|Location||Musselburgh, East Lothian|
|Screened on||Racing TV|
|Course type|| Flat |
|Notable races||William Hill Scottish Sprint Cup, Royal Mile Handicap|
The course offers both flat racing and National Hunt meetings (though it only introduced jumping in 1987) and is 2 km long. In the middle of the course is a nine-hole golf course, Musselburgh Links, dating from at least 1672. The Royal Musselburgh Golf Club was founded there in 1774.
The racecourse itself sits on Musselburgh common good land. It is situated on the eastern side of the town, less than a mile from the A1 and two miles from the Edinburgh City Bypass. A road bridge over the Esk gives access to the course on race days only; the rest of the time, the gates are kept closed.
The first races in Musselburgh took place in 1777 under the auspices of the Royal Caledonian Hunt. Between 1789 and 1816, race meetings were held on the sands at Leith, although some races did still take place in the town. In 1816, they returned permanently to Musselburgh, to a course that had been laid out for them by the town council. The Hunt were so pleased with the new course that they distributed 50 guineas amongst the town’s poor.
After the legalisation of off course betting shops in 1961, racecourse attendances went into decline. This hit Scotland particularly hard, with Lanark and Bogside racecourses both going bankrupt. By the 1980s Musselburgh looked to be heading the same way, and, despite a temporary financial reprieve in 1987 when racecourses began to sell pictures of races to the betting shops, it was still losing money at the start of the 1990s.
As a result, in 1991, East Lothian Council took over the running of the racecourse from the Lothians Racing Syndicate Limited (LRS). The Council brought the racecourse to a breakeven position in one year. In 1994, the Council and the Lothians Racing Syndicate created the Musselburgh Joint Racing Committee (MJRC) to run the racecourse, a partnership which still exists today. The Council own the racecourse facilities and assets and the MJRC pay a full commercial rent for use of the land and facilities to both the Common Good Fund and ELC.
From 1995 onwards, a £7.5 million refurbishment plan was put in place. This included a prestigious new hospitality stand (The Queen’s Stand), the refurbishment of the Edwardian Grandstand, the building of the Links Pavilion, a new weighing room and entrance complexes, a new parade ring, new stables and groundstaff facilities, extensive landscaping and improvements to the track itself.
In 2012 an all weather strip was introduced to the track to prevent the bends being chopped up.
Annual attendance is over 70,000 per annum, up from 38,000 in 1999. Ladies' Day in June is usually the biggest day with sell-out crowds of 10,000.
In 2011, Musselburgh won the Dual Purpose Award at the Neil Wyatt Racecourse Groundstaff Awards, beating the much bigger Ascot Racecourse into second place.Musselburgh Racecourse have also won a range of awards through the RCA Showcase Awards.
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.
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.
Musselburgh is the largest settlement in East Lothian, Scotland, on the coast of the Firth of Forth, 5 miles (8 km) east of Edinburgh city centre. It has a population of 20,840.
Leicester Racecourse is a horse racing course in Oadby, Leicestershire, about three miles south of the city centre.
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.
Doncaster Racecourse is a racecourse in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England. It hosts two of Great Britain's 36 annual Group 1 flat races, the St Leger Stakes and the Racing Post Trophy.
Uttoxeter Racecourse is a National Hunt racecourse in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, England.
Brighton Racecourse is an English horse racing venue located a mile to the northeast of the centre of Brighton, Sussex owned by the Arena Racing Company.
Kelso Racecourse is a thoroughbred horse racing venue located in Kelso, Scotland. The official website describes the course as Britain's Friendliest Racecourse. It was voted the Best Small Course in Scotland and the North of England in 2007, 2012 and 2014 by the Racegoers Club.
Nottingham Racecourse is a thoroughbred horse racing venue located in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England. It is situated at Colwick Park, close to the River Trent and about 3 km east of the city centre.
Horseracing in Scotland is a popular spectator sport, with a history dating back over 900 years. There are currently five operating racecourses in Scotland - one exclusively for flat racing, two exclusively for jump racing and two mixed. Between them they held one hundred and three race meetings in 2014. The main National Hunt meeting held is the Scottish Grand National meeting at Ayr each April, and the main Flat meeting is the Ayr Gold Cup Festival, at the same course each September.
Bromford Bridge Racecourse was a racecourse in the Bromford area of Birmingham, England.
Lanark Racecourse was a Scottish horse racing venue, situated in the small town of Lanark in Scotland's Central Belt, 25 miles (40 km) from Glasgow. It was reputedly founded by King William the Lion of Scotland (1165-1214).
Les Arcs is a retired Thoroughbred racehorse who was bred in the United States and trained in the United Kingdom. After racing with mixed results over a variety of distances, the gelding emerged as a top-class performer when switched to sprint distances. In 2006 he won six races including the Golden Jubilee Stakes and the July Cup, both Group One races and was the highest-rated European sprinter of the year. He was also named Horse of the Year by the Maryland Horse Breeders Association. In all, Les Arcs won twelve races and was placed ten times from forty-two starts between May 2003 and August 2010.
The Great Metropolitan Handicap is a flat handicap horse race in Great Britain open to horses aged four years or older. It is run over a distance of 1 mile 4 furlongs and 6 yards at Epsom in April during the Epsom Spring meeting. Inaugurated in 1846 it originally attracted top-class racehorses in the 19th and early 20th century, but today its importance has been eclipsed by larger stakes races with more valuable purses.
The Grimthorpe Handicap Chase is a National Hunt handicap steeplechase in England which is open to horses aged five years or older. It is run at Doncaster over a distance of about 3 miles and 2 furlongs and during the race there are 19 fences to be jumped. The race is scheduled to take place each year in late February or early March.
Trip To Paris is an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. After showing modest form in his first two seasons he emerged as a top-class stayer as a four-year-old in 2015 after being gelded, winning the Chester Cup in May before recording his biggest win in the Ascot Gold Cup. He failed to win again after his Gold Cup success but was placed in a number of major races including a second in the Caulfield Cup. He was retired in July 2017 having won six of his twenty-seven races and earning over £800,000 in prize money.
Borderlescott is a British Thoroughbred racehorse. A specialist sprinter noted for his consistency and durability he raced 85 times on 25 different tracks in twelve seasons between 2004 and 2015. He won fourteen races and was placed second or third on thirty occasions. In his early career the gelding showed promising form, winning one minor race as a juvenile in 2004 and four handicap races in the following year. In 2006 he recorded his first major success when he won the Stewards' Cup. He failed to win in 2007 but emerged as a top-class sprinter in the following year when his wins included the Nunthorpe Stakes. He won the Nunthorpe Stakes again in 2009 and added a win in the King George Stakes in 2010. He won the Beverley Bullet Sprint Stakes in 2012 before being retired at the end of the year. He came out of retirement in 2013 and raced nineteen times without success before being retired again in 2015.
Alpha Delphini is a British Thoroughbred racehorse. A specialist sprinter, he was unraced as a juvenile and did not win a race until the August of his four-year-old campaign. In 2016 he made steady progress, winning three handicap races before taking the Listed Beverley Bullet Sprint Stakes. He won two minor races in 2017 and in the following year he recorded his biggest success when he won the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes.
This section is empty.You can help by adding to it.(April 2014)