This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (August 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Owned by||Leicester Racecourse Company Ltd.|
|Screened on||Racing TV|
|Course type|| Flat |
|Notable races||King Richard III Stakes|
Leicester Racecourse is a horse racing course in Oadby, Leicestershire, about three miles south of the city centre.
The earliest evidence suggests that racing took place at Abbey Meadow, Leicester on 23 March 1603, the day before Queen Elizabeth I died. The highlight of these early meetings was the Corporation Town Plate. This was discontinued towards the end of the century but was re-introduced in 1720. In 1740 meetings were transferred to St. Mary's Field, although racing was still held at Abbey Field. However, in 1742 it was decided to end racing at Abbey Field because of flooding, so St. Mary's Field became the preferred location. In 1807 the Leicester Gold Cup, worth 100 sovereigns, was first run at Victoria Park racecourse. The first meeting at the present racecourse at Oadby took place on 24 July 1883. Victoria Park became a cricket ground, with the grandstand becoming the cricket pavilion.
On 31 March 1921, a young apprentice jockey, Gordon Richards, rode the first winner of his career at Leicester: Gay Lord, trained by Martin Hartigan. He went on to ride a total of 4,870 winners. On Friday 20 January 1931, Golden Miller won his first race, the Gopsall Maiden Hurdle, over 2 miles at Leicester, and worth £83. Ridden by Bob Lyall, Golden Miller started 5/4 favourite and won easily. He came back to Leicester in January 1935 and, ridden by Gerry Wilson, won the Mapperely 'Chase. Golden Miller won five consecutive Cheltenham Gold Cups between 1932 and 1936, and the Grand National in 1934.The Golden Miller Handicap Hurdle is run at Leicester every year in memory of this great horse.
The racecourse had its heyday in the late nineteenth century when it staged some of the most valuable races in the United Kingdom, including the Prince of Wales Stakes and the Portland Stakes, both of which carried more prize money than any of the five British flat-racing Classics in 1889.
Leicester racecourse was the scene of the infamous Flockton Grey ringer case.
It is an oval shaped course of about 1 mile 5 furlongs, with a straight 7 furlong course which joins the round course 4½ furlongs from the winning post. The 7 furlong course runs downhill to half way, uphill for 2 furlongs before levelling out for the last 1½ furlongs.Races are run over distances between 5 furlongs and 1 mile 3 furlongs 183 yards. Leicester's most valuable flat race is the King Richard III Stakes, run in April over 7 furlongs 9 yards.
The steeplechase course, which is also about 1 mile 5 furlongs, has ten fences. There are six fences, including the water jump and an open ditch, down the back straight, which runs inside the flat course. On the turn to the home straight the steeplechase course switches to the outside. Prior to the 2009/10 National Hunt season, the open ditch, which was jumped as the fourth last fence on the turn from the back straight, was moved to the home straight. The home straight now consists of four fences, with the open ditch taken as the third last fence. Hurdle races are run on the flat course. The last 3 furlongs are uphill, so Leicester presents a stiff test of stamina.
Racing is held on 30 days a year at Leicester: 19 Flat, 11 National Hunt.
|April||Saturday||King Richard III Stakes||Flat||Listed||7f 9y||4yo +|
In horse racing in the United Kingdom, France and the Republic of Ireland, National Hunt racing requires horses to jump fences and ditches. National Hunt racing in the UK is informally known as "jumps" and is divided into two major distinct branches: hurdles and steeplechases. Alongside these there are "bumpers", which are National Hunt flat races. In a hurdles race, the horses jump over obstacles called hurdles; in a steeplechase the horses jump over a variety of obstacles that can include plain fences, water jump or an open ditch. In the UK the biggest National Hunt events of the year are generally considered to be the Grand National and the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Goodwood Racecourse is a horse-racing track five miles north of Chichester, West Sussex, in England controlled by the family of the Duke of Richmond, whose seat is nearby Goodwood House. It hosts the annual Glorious Goodwood meeting in late July and early August, which is one of the highlights of the British flat racing calendar, and is home to three of the UK's 36 annual Group 1 flat races, the Sussex Stakes, the Goodwood Cup and the Nassau Stakes. Although the race meeting has become known as 'Glorious Goodwood', it is sponsored by Qatar and officially called the 'Qatar Goodwood Festival'.
Aintree Racecourse is a racecourse in Aintree, Metropolitan Borough of Sefton, Merseyside, England, bordering the city of Liverpool. The racecourse is best known for annually holding the world-famous Grand National steeplechase.
Newmarket Racecourse is a British Thoroughbred horse racing venue in Newmarket, Suffolk, comprising two individual racecourses: the Rowley Mile and the July Course. Newmarket is often referred to as the headquarters of British horseracing and is home to the largest cluster of training yards in the country and many key horse racing organisations, including Tattersalls, the National Horseracing Museum and the National Stud. Newmarket hosts two of the country's five Classic Races - the 1,000 Guineas and 2,000 Guineas, and numerous other Group races. In total, it hosts 9 of British racing's 36 annual Group 1 races.
Ayr Racecourse at Whitletts Road, Ayr, Scotland, was opened in 1907. There are courses for flat and for National Hunt racing.
A steeplechase is a distance horse race in which competitors are required to jump diverse fence and ditch obstacles. Steeplechasing is primarily conducted in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Australia and France. The name is derived from early races in which orientation of the course was by reference to a church steeple, jumping fences and ditches and generally traversing the many intervening obstacles in the countryside.
Dawn Run (1978–1986) was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse who was the most successful racemare in the history of National Hunt racing. She won the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 1984 and the Cheltenham Gold Cup over fences at the festival in 1986. Dawn Run was the only racehorse ever to complete the Champion Hurdle - Gold Cup double. She was only the second mare to win the Champion Hurdle, and one of only four who have won the Cheltenham Gold Cup. She was the only horse ever to complete the English, Irish and French Champion Hurdle treble.
Chepstow Racecourse is a thoroughbred horse racing course located just north of the town of Chepstow in Monmouthshire, Wales, near the southern end of the Wye Valley and close to the border with England. It is one of 16 racecourses operated by the Arena Racing Company and is home of the richest race in Wales, the Coral Welsh Grand National.
Newton Abbot Racecourse is a thoroughbred horse racing venue located on the north bank of the River Teign in the parishes of Kingsteignton and Teigngrace just north of Newton Abbot, Devon, England. The course is a tight, flat left-handed oval of about 1 mile 1 furlong. There are seven relatively easy fences to a circuit and a very short run in to the finish.
Ian Balding is a retired British horse trainer. He is the son of the polo player and racehorse trainer Gerald Matthews Balding and the younger brother of trainer Toby Balding. Ian Balding was born in the US, but his family returned to the UK in 1945. He was educated at Marlborough College and Millfield school in Somerset. He went up to Christ's College, Cambridge, in 1959 to read Rural Estate Management, where he played Rugby for the University team, gaining his Blue in 1961 at full back. He started training in 1964. Kingsclere became his home at the age of 26 and it is here that earned his reputation as an internationally respected trainer.
Bromford Bridge Racecourse was a racecourse in the Bromford area of Birmingham, England.
Synchronised was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. A specialist long-distance steeplechaser, he was best known for his performances in the 2011–2012 National Hunt season, when he won the Grade I Lexus Chase in Ireland before winning Britain's most prestigious steeplechase, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, on 17 March. He was euthanised after incurring a leg fracture in the Grand National on 14 April 2012.
Aurelius was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and sire best known for winning the classic St Leger Stakes in 1961 and for becoming one of the few classic winners to compete in steeplechases. As a two-year-old he finished fourth in his only appearance but was one of the best colts in Britain in the following year, winning the Craven Stakes and the King Edward VII Stakes before taking the St Leger. He was even better in 1962 when he won the Hardwicke Stakes and was narrowly beaten in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. He was retired to stud but had serious fertility problems and later returned to the racecourse where he had a reasonably successful career in National Hunt racing.
Like-A-Butterfly was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare who competed in National Hunt racing. Although she did not begin competing in public until she was seven years old she had a successful racing career, winning twelve of her seventeen races, including five at Grade I level. She was unbeaten in three National Hunt Flat races including the Champion INH Flat Race and her first five over hurdles including the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle, Deloitte Novice Hurdle and Supreme Novices' Hurdle. She won the Irish Champion Hurdle but missed the whole of the next season through injury. In her final season she competed in steeplechases and won three times including the Powers Gold Cup and the Mildmay Novices' Chase. After retiring from racing she produced five foals before dying of horse colic at the age of nineteen.
Back In Front is a retired, Irish Thoroughbred racehorse who competed in National Hunt racing. The gelding showed early promise in National Hunt Flat races, winning twice and finishing third in an exceptionally strong renewal of the Champion Bumper. He was one of the leading novice hurdlers in the 2003–04 season, winning four races including the Supreme Novices' Hurdle in England and the Evening Herald Champion Novice Hurdle in Ireland. In the following season he won the Morgiana Hurdle and was regarded as a Champion Hurdle contender before being sidelined by injury. Back In Front won the Bula Hurdle in 2004 but ran poorly when joint-favourite for the Champion Hurdle in 2005. He had little success when switched to steeplechasing and was retired in 2007, having won eleven of his twenty-five races.
Champagne Fever is an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse who competes in National Hunt racing. He is noted for his front-running style and has won seven of his thirteen races. After beginning his racing career on the amateur point-to-point circuit he became the dominant National Hunt Flat performer in Britain and Ireland in 2012, winning the Champion Bumper and the Champion INH Flat Race. In the following season he was campaigned in novice hurdle races and won two more Grade I races, the Deloitte Novice Hurdle in Ireland and Supreme Novices' Hurdle in England. In his first season over steeplechase fences he won one minor race and finished second in the Arkle Challenge Trophy and in the following year he added win in the Clonmel Oil Chase and Red Mills Chase.
Karshi was a British Thoroughbred racehorse best known for his performances in National Hunt racing. He was a moderate performer on the flat, winning one minor event in eleven attempts, but showed improved form when tried over hurdles despite recurring injury problems. In his first season over obstacles he won two novice races and finished third in the Sun Alliance Novices' Hurdle. In the following season he won the Lonesome Glory Hurdle and recorded his most important victory when winning the Stayers' Hurdle at odds of 20/1. He also produced several good performances under big weights in handicap races and won his only race over fences before leg injuries ended his racing career.
Nomadic Way was an American-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He was a successful stayer on the flat and was a top class hurdler under National Hunt rules, switching between the two codes in a racing career which lasted from October 1987 until January 1993.
Silver Fame was a British Thoroughbred racehorse who won the 1951 Cheltenham Gold Cup. After beginning his racing career in Ireland he moved to England and became one of the leading steeplechasers of his time. He won races at the Cheltenham Festival in 1948 and 1950 and ran twice in the Grand National, falling when favourite for the race in 1948. Despite running extremely well at Cheltenham he did not contest the Gold Cup until 1951 when he won the race in record time. He was also the oldest winner of the race up to that time, and remains one of only two horses to win the race at the age of twelve. He spent his retirement as a hunter.
Where Or When was an Irish-bred British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He showed good form as a two-year-old in 2001, winning three races including the Group 3 Somerville Tattersall Stakes as well as finishing fourth in the Dewhurst Stakes and the Solario Stakes. In the following year he ran unplaced in the 2000 Guineas and the Epsom Derby before recording his first win almot ten months when he took the Thoroughbred Stakes. On his final run of the year he recorded his biggest victory when he upset the odds-on favourite Hawk Wing in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. In 2003 he failed to win but was placed in the Lockinge Stakes and the Queen Anne Stakes. After his retirement from racing he had modest success as a breeding stallion.