Newbury racecourse is located in the civil parish of Greenham just outside North Wessex Downs, a beautiful place. These beautiful views around the course can only be matched with the views on Newbury racecourse tracks. The tracks are well maintained and have top-class facilities.
About a decade ago, Newbury racecourse made headlines as it was the venue where Queen Elizabeth hosted celebrations for her 86th birthday. The Queen had two horses compete on that day. The horses were both ridden by Ryan Moore, but neither gave her the birthday win she was hoping for.
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Newbury racecourse history
The earliest evidence of horse racing in Newbury goes back to 1805 during the annual Newbury Races meeting. The two-day event was held at Endborne Heath until 1811 when it was moved to Woodhay Heath for another four years.
Newbury waited close to a century to have its first racecourse because of John Porter’s persistence. John Porter was Kingsclere’s trainer, and leading up to the construction of the racecourse; he’d made lots of proposals. Each of these proposals was rejected by the Jockey Club because of their strict requirements.
He finally caught a break when he met with King Edward VII, who was more than happy to support the application for a new racecourse. A good word from the King was enough to get the application approved.
In 1904, the Newbury Racecourse Company was created. The company immediately set out to work on stables and buildings on the new piece of land. On 26th and 27th September 1905, the first horse race meeting was held on the racecourse. John Porter managed to saddle a winner on the second race day. This was his last racing season before he retired.
In the beginning, the Newbury racecourse only held flat races. But after a year, they added National hunt races. As time went by, more and more events were added to the yearly horse racing schedule. Many great racers had the opportunity, including Golden Miller, to race here. Golden Miller won the Cheltenham Gold Cup five times. His chase debut was at the Newbury racecourse, but unfortunately, he was disqualified for carrying the wrong weight. Luckily he managed to make things right afterwards and won the Reading Chase in his next appearance.
The racecourse has an almost oval track with three bends. Two are on the far end and are quite sweeping, and the third is tighter and located right after the finishing post. It is used for races that are longer than two miles.
The flat track has a long straight from the final bend and can accommodate races up to 1 mile. The track has slight undulations on the straight, but there isn’t a real draw bias to worry about.
But when 1-mile races start in the spur, there is a draw to worry about since there is a sweeping corner to negotiate about 2.5 furlongs after the off. On the other hand, longer races start down the back straight except for two-mile races.
The jump course is run on the inner track hence has tighter corners. It has four fences and seven hurdles, and fence combinations. Newbury had tricky fences in the past, but nowadays, the obstacles aren’t as stiff as they were. Today, the jump course is a track where novices can experience a chase race at a good level without being pushed to the limit. Because of its shape, jockeying for position at the start of the race isn’t mandatory. However, taking the lead as you near the run-in has great value.
Newbury main racing events
Hennessy Gold Cup Chase
This race is now known as the Ladbrokes Trophy. It is a Grade 3 National Hunt steeplechase that’s open to horses over four years old. It’s run over 5,225 meters and has 21 fences. The handicap race takes place annually in December.
This is a Group 1 flat race that’s open to horses over four years old. It’s run for 1,609 meters every year in May. The race is named after Lockinge and was established in 1958. Initially, it was open to horses over three years old.
Challow Novices’ Hurdle
This is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle that is open to horses over four years old. It is run for 4,131 meters. During the race, horses jump over ten hurdles. This race is mostly of novice jockeys and takes place annually in December.
Game Spirit Chase
This is a Grade 2 National Hunt steeplechase race that’s only open to horses over five years old. It is run for 3,308 meters, and horses jump over 13 fences. The race is held annually in February. The first event was run in 1953 and was named after Game Spirit, a racehorse owned by the Queen Mother.
The Betfair Hurdle
This is a Grade 3 National Hunt hurdle race that is open to horses over four years old. It is run over 3,282 meters and has eight hurdles. It’s a handicap race schedule for every February.
Where to bet on Newbury racecourse races
Online betting sites
While you can bet in traditional bet shops, we recommend using online betting sites. Below are some benefits it offers.
- Better odds – the fact that online betting sites don’t have lots of overheads means they can afford to give punters better odds which translates into potentially higher wins.
- Convenience – provided you have an internet connection; you can place your bets from anywhere in the world. This means that you’ll save on money that you’d have spent on travel and accommodation.
- Racing coverage – with traditional betting shops, there are limited races you can bet on. But with online betting shops, you can bet on a range of horse races from all over the world.
How to get to Newbury racecourse
Car – the racecourse has enough free parking. If you opt to drive there, use the following stat nav details – RG14 7NZ
Train – most people opt to travel by train since the racecourse has its own train station. If you arrive by train, you’ll walk to the racecourse grounds.
Bus – during race days, the course is well services by coach and bus companies.
Newbury racecourse has a beautiful course surrounded by beautiful venues. When you combine this with the sporting excellence, ease of transport, and excellent customer support they offer, it becomes one of the best racecourses in Britain.
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