Newbury Racecourse

Last updated

Newbury Racecourse
Newbury Stands.jpg
The Berkshire Stand and The Grandstand
Location Newbury, Berkshire
Coordinates 51°23′40″N1°18′2″W / 51.39444°N 1.30056°W / 51.39444; -1.30056
Date opened26 September 1905
Screened on Racing TV
Course type Flat
National Hunt
Notable races Lockinge Stakes, Hennessy Gold Cup, Challow Novices' Hurdle
Official website

Newbury Racecourse is a racecourse and events venue in the civil parish of Greenham, adjoining the town of Newbury in Berkshire, England. It has courses for flat races and over jumps. It hosts one of Great Britain's 36 annual Group 1 flat races, the Lockinge Stakes.


Horserace finishing at Newbury Newbury Racecourse, finish.jpg
Horserace finishing at Newbury
Newbury Racecourse Road, view from the Nuffield Health Gym Newbury Racecourse Road.jpg
Newbury Racecourse Road, view from the Nuffield Health Gym


The racecourse held its first race meeting on 26/27 September 1905 at its current location, in the Greenham area on the south-east side of Newbury, West Berkshire.

The first recorded racing at Newbury took place in 1805 with "Newbury Races", an annual two-day race meeting at Enborne Heath. The meeting lasted until 1811 when it transferred to Woodhay Heath until 1815.

Newbury Racecourse didn't come into existence for another 90 years when Kingsclere trainer, John Porter proposed a new racecourse at Newbury. The Jockey Club had laid down strict qualifications for new racecourses and after Porter's plans were rejected several times, a chance meeting with King Edward VII brought about a further application which with the King's support was approved by the Jockey Club.

In April 1904 the Newbury Racecourse Company was formed and purchased the land and then construction began of the buildings and stables at a cost of £57,240.

On 26 and 27 September 1905 the first ever racemeeting took place at Newbury Racecourse with Copper King ridden by Charlie Trigg and trained by Charles Marnes winning the opening race, the Whatcombe Handicap. Marnes was presented with a Silver Cup (value £25) and Trigg received a gold mounted whip (value £10).

It was fitting that John Porter trained Zelis to win the Regulation Plate on 27 September, providing the only winner at Newbury for course's founder as he retired from training at the end of the 1905 season.

National Hunt racing followed shortly after Flat racing and in 1906, nine days racing were planned for Newbury in 1906 – six on the Flat and three over Jumps. A members badge which also covered the two days in 1905 was priced at 7 guineas.

During the First World War Newbury Racecourse was used as a prisoner-of-war camp for German prisoners. [1] [2]

In September 2020 it was reported that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Newbury Racecourse had experienced a 68% loss of turnover for the first 6 months of 2020. [3]

In January 2021 a COVID-19 vaccination centre was established at Newbury Racecourse. [4] [5]

Notable events

On 14 August 2010, Irish vocal pop band Westlife held a concert for Where We Are Tour supporting their album Where We Are. The concert was sold-out and contributed to a record 30,000 attendance for the following day of racing. [6]

Each year the racecourse hosts two music nights, with acts in recent years including: Jess Glynne, Olly Murs, Craig David, Rudimental and Sir Tom Jones.


The racecourse has a dedicated railway station, which sees heavy traffic and additional trains on race days. It also acts as a venue for conferences, meetings, weddings and Hen and Stag parties. [7]

2011 incident

On 12 February 2011, two horses, Marching Song and Fenix Two, collapsed and died in the Paddock while parading for the first race of the day. Two others also appeared to have been affected, Kid Cassidy and The Merry Giant. The novice hurdle race went ahead, starting about 20 min late, but the rest of the day's racing was abandoned. [8] [9]

On 17 February, the preliminary results of the investigation into the incident were released.

Professor Tim Morris, Director of Equine Science and Welfare for the British Horseracing Authority, reported that they had been informed that there had been leakage from an electrical cable running under the parade ring. Both the horses had been examined postmortem and sudden cardiac arrest, consistent with accidental electrocution, had been identified as the cause of death and no other cause of death was further investigated.

Professor Morris also stated:

I can also confirm that, contrary to speculation, no evidence of any burn marks around the mouth was found on post mortem examination, neither were such marks found by the veterinary surgeons on the horses at the start. [10]

Notable races

MonthDOWRace NameTypeGradeDistanceAge/Sex
FebruarySaturday Game Spirit Chase ChaseGrade 22m 1f 5yo +
FebruarySaturday Betfair Hurdle HurdleGrade 32m 110y4yo +
FebruarySaturday Denman Chase ChaseGrade 23m 5yo +
FebruarySaturday Winter Bumper N H FlatConditions2m 110y4yo-6yo
MarchSaturday Greatwood Gold Cup ChaseGrade 32m 4f 5yo +
AprilSaturday Fred Darling Stakes FlatGroup 37f 3yo only f
AprilSaturday John Porter Stakes FlatGroup 31m 4f 5y4yo +
AprilSaturday Greenham Stakes FlatGroup 37f 3yo only
MaySaturday Fillies' Trial Stakes FlatConditions1m 2f3yo only f
MaySaturday Carnarvon Stakes FlatConditions6f3yo only
MaySaturday Aston Park Stakes FlatConditions1m 4f3yo only f
MaySaturday Lockinge Stakes FlatGroup 11m 4yo +
JuneThursday Abingdon Stakes FlatConditions1m 2f3yo only f
JulySaturday Weatherbys Super Sprint FlatConditions5f 34y2yo only
JulySaturday Hackwood Stakes FlatGroup 36f 8y3yo +
AugustFriday St Hugh's Stakes FlatConditions5f 34y2yo only f
AugustSaturday Geoffrey Freer Stakes FlatGroup 31m 5f 61y3yo +
AugustSaturday Hungerford Stakes FlatGroup 27f 3yo +
AugustSaturday Denford Stakes FlatConditions7f 2yo only
SeptemberFriday Haynes, Hanson and Clark Conditions Stakes FlatConditions1m 2yo only
SeptemberSaturday Legacy Cup FlatGroup 31m 3f 5y3yo +
SeptemberSaturday Mill Reef Stakes FlatGroup 26f 8y2yo only
SeptemberSaturday World Trophy FlatGroup 35f 34y3yo +
OctoberSaturday St. Simon Stakes FlatGroup 31m 4f3yo +
OctoberSaturday Horris Hill Stakes FlatGroup 37f 2yo only
NovemberThursday Gerry Feilden Hurdle HurdleHandicap2m 110y4yo+
NovemberThursday John Francome Novices' Chase ChaseGrade 23m 4yo +
NovemberFriday Berkshire Novices' Chase ChaseGrade 22m 4f 4yo +
NovemberSaturday Long Distance Hurdle HurdleGrade 23m 110y4yo +
NovemberSaturday Ladbrokes Trophy ChaseGrade 33m 2f 110y4yo +
December29th Challow Novices' Hurdle HurdleGrade 12m 5f 4yo +

Related Research Articles

Berkshire County of England

Berkshire is a county in South East England. One of the home counties, Berkshire was recognised by the Queen as the Royal County of Berkshire in 1957 because of the presence of Windsor Castle, and letters patent were issued in 1974. Berkshire is a county of historic origin, a ceremonial county and a non-metropolitan county without a county council. The county town is Reading.

Horse racing Equestrian sport

Horse racing is an equestrian performance sport, typically involving two or more horses ridden by jockeys over a set distance, for competition. It is one of the most ancient of all sports, as its basic premise – to identify which of two or more horses is the fastest over a set course or distance – has been unchanged since at least classical antiquity.

Horse racing in Great Britain

Horse racing is the second largest spectator sport in Great Britain, and one of the longest established, with a history dating back many centuries. According to a report by the British Horseracing Authority it generates £3.39 billion total direct and indirect expenditure in the British economy, of which £1.05 Billion is from core racing industry expenditure and the major horse racing events such as Royal Ascot and Cheltenham Festival are important dates in the British and international sporting and society calendar.

In horse racing in the United Kingdom, France and 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.

Ascot Racecourse

Ascot Racecourse is a dual-purpose British racecourse, located in Ascot, Berkshire, England, which is used for thoroughbred horse racing. It hosts 13 of Britain's 36 annual Flat Group 1 horse races and three Grade 1 Jumps races.

Newbury Racecourse railway station Railway station in the town of Newbury, Berkshire, England

Newbury Racecourse railway station serves the East Fields area of the town of Newbury, Berkshire, England, and the adjacent Newbury Racecourse. It is 52 miles 31 chains (84.31 km) measured from London Paddington. It was opened on 26 September 1905.

Warwick Racecourse is a horse racing course in Warwick, England. It is a National Hunt racing course and has a programme of 25 meetings throughout the year, many of which are televised. The first stand was built in 1808, and its most recent redevelopment was completed in 2018. In the racecourse is a nine-hole golf course and a golf driving range. The area is a popular place for local people to walk their dogs. There is parking next to the course and it is a five-minute walk away from the town centre.

Kempton Park Racecourse

Kempton Park Racecourse is a horse racing track together with a licensed entertainment and conference venue in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, England, 16 miles south-west of Charing Cross, London and on a border of Greater London. The site has 210 acres of flat grassland surrounded by woodland with two lakes in its centre. Its entrance borders Kempton Park railway station which was created for racegoers on a branch line from London Waterloo, via Clapham Junction.

Ayr Racecourse

Ayr Racecourse at Whitletts Road, Ayr, Scotland, was opened in 1907. There are courses for flat and for National Hunt racing.

The Coral Welsh Grand National is a Grade 3 National Hunt steeplechase in Great Britain which is open to horses aged four years or older. It is run at Chepstow, Wales, over a distance of about 3 miles and 6½ furlongs, and during its running there are twenty-three fences to be jumped. It is a handicap race, and it is scheduled to take place each year on 27 December.

The John Porter Stakes is a Group 3 flat horse race in Great Britain open to horses aged four years or older. It is run over a distance of 1 mile, 4 furlongs at Newbury in April.

The Greenham Stakes is a Group 3 flat horse race in Great Britain open to three-year-old colts and geldings. It is run over a distance of 7 furlongs at Newbury in April.

Bath Racecourse

Bath Racecourse is a thoroughbred horse racing venue on Lansdown Hill, about 3 14 miles (5.2 km) northeast of Bath, Somerset, England. It is owned and operated by Arena Racing Company.

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.

Windsor Racecourse, also known as Royal Windsor Racecourse, is a thoroughbred horse racing venue located in Windsor, Berkshire, England. It is one of only two figure-of-eight courses in the United Kingdom, the other being at Fontwell Park.

John Porter (horseman)

John Porter was an English Thoroughbred flat racing trainer whose horses won the English Triple Crown three times. He was described by the National Horseracing Museum as "undoubtedly the most successful trainer of the Victorian era."

Flakey Dove was a British racehorse best known for her win in the 1994 Champion Hurdle. In a career which lasted from January 1990 until January 1995 she ran forty-four times and won fourteen races. Although she won two races on the flat, Flakey Dove was a specialist hurdler who competed mainly in National Hunt races. She ran in some races restricted to mares in the early part of her racing career, but was mainly campaigned against geldings and entire horses in open competition.

Turtle Island was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He was one of the leading British two-year-olds of 1993 when he won four of his seven races including the Norfolk Stakes, Phoenix Stakes and Gimcrack Stakes. In the following year he won the Greenham Stakes before winning the Irish 2,000 Guineas by fifteen lengths. He was beaten in his three remaining races and was retired to stud, where he had some success as a sire of winners.

Kingman (British horse) British-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Kingman is a retired British Thoroughbred racehorse owned by Khalid Abdullah and trained by John Gosden. As a three-year-old he won the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas, St. James's Palace Stakes, Sussex Stakes and Prix Jacques le Marois.

Charlie Trigg

Charles George Trigg was a British flat jockey of the early 20th century, winning The Oaks in 1910.


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Great War Forum
  2. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Royal Berkshire Regiment Great War Project
  3. "Newbury Racecourse Coronavirus impact". Archived from the original on 25 September 2020. Retrieved 25 September 2020. Racecourse 68% turnover drop
  4. "Newbury Racecourse asks for coronavirus vaccination hub to be allowed to run on racedays". Archived from the original on 5 February 2021. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  5. "Here we go! It's V-Day launch today at Newbury Racecourse". Archived from the original on 5 February 2021. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  6. "Racing: Horses and courses". Financial Times. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  7. "Corporate events, race sponsorship and venue hire at Newbury Racecourse". Newbury Racecourse. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
  8. "Electrocution blamed as two horses die at Newbury races". BBC Sport. 12 February 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
  9. J.A. McGrath and Adam Lusher "Horses drop dead in bizarre scenes at Newbury" Archived 31 July 2017 at the Wayback Machine , Telegraph website, 12 February 2011
  10. Newbury Racecourse statement (retrieved 22 February 2011) Archived 21 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine

Coordinates: 51°23′40″N1°18′2″W / 51.39444°N 1.30056°W / 51.39444; -1.30056