Horse Races in the UK?

Aug 31st, 2005, 03:10 AM
  #1  
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Horse Races in the UK?

I'll be traveling to the UK next week and I would love to be able to go see a horse race while I'm there. (I'm a huge fan of Dick Francis novels and have read so much about English horse racing I'd like to see some for myself!). I'll be staying in London, so I'm trying to find something not too far from there. Either steeplechase or flat. I'll be away from the 8th-19th.

Thanks in advance!
kris4n6 is offline  
Aug 31st, 2005, 05:38 AM
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According to one of the TV channels that cover racing, the following are on:

10th Chester, Doncaster, Musselburgh, Goodwood, Wolverhampton (all-weather course, evening)
11th Carlisle, Goodwood, Stratford-Upon-Avon
12th Musselburgh, Folkstone, Redcar
13th Salisbury, Thirsk, Yarmouth
14th Beverley, Sandown, Yarmouth
15th Ayr, Pontefract, Yarmouth
16th Ayr, Newbury, Nottingham
17th Ayr, Catterick, Lingfield Park (all-weather course), Newbury, Warwick, Wolverhampton (all-weather course, evening)
18th Hamilton, Plumpton, Uttoxeter

Apparently only Stratford is a jumps course (which is the kind of racing Dick Francis writes about). The rest are on the flat. You'll have to do some work with an atlas to work which which are near where you'll be, but between them they cover a fair range of tghe country and some would make a reasonable day trip out of London.
PatrickLondon is online now  
Aug 31st, 2005, 05:49 AM
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Go to Britishracecourses.org.
Click on interactive map and then put in your dates.
There is racing at Epsom Sept. 8th. Sandown Sept. 9-10th.
Have fun at the races.
pharlap is offline  
Aug 31st, 2005, 06:49 AM
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Lucky you. I have to settle for Saratoga.

Another useful site is:

http://www.channel4.com/sport/micros...ing/index.html
jsmith is offline  
Aug 31st, 2005, 08:48 AM
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You can rule out several of the racecourses on Patrick's list as they are too far from London. Uttoxeter is a jump track, but it is stuck away in the midlands, not particularly close to anywhere.

Stratford is easily accessible from London, because you can get the train, and it is a really nice friendly little course. Cross into the centre of the course at some point and go and stand by the last or second-last fence during a 'chase. The noise and 'hustle' may surprise you!

If it's flat racing you want, then Patrick has given you a good list of courses - Goodwood, Sandown and Epsom are close to London, and are very big courses, but a bit impersonal, IMHO.

I'd forget about any of the all-weather courses - it's just flat racing on dirt.

I've been to a good few of the racecourses mentioned, and if I was going for atmosphere and a real sense of what Dick Francis wrote about, I'd definitely go for Stratford. It is possible that the Warwick meeting on 17th is a jump meet, as it is a mixed course.
julia_t is offline  
Aug 31st, 2005, 10:34 AM
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kris4n6, with the two websites given and the excellent suggestions from julie_1, you should be able to find a few events to your liking.

The channel4 site has directions to the courses by train or auto. Most have connections by bus or how long the walk would be from the train station.

Since you have a wide window, you could choose a couple of meets and go on the first opportunity with nice weather.

BTW, my first visit to a racecourse was to Ayr way back in 1948. My grandfather (a bookie) from Lancashire always took his summer vacation to coincide with the Ayr races. It was an unforgetable experience and I've been a fan of those majestic animals ever since.
jsmith is offline  
Aug 31st, 2005, 10:38 AM
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Sometime around mid Sep York stages its ultra famous races - i know how popular they are - i got off the train in York recently one mid-Sep day expecting to as usual have the Tourist Information Centre reserve me a cheap B&B only to be greeted by the phrase - no everything's booked up because of the races. I had to go to Harrogate to find a B&B - and the next day i took the train to York and it was mobbed with folks flocking to the races - many were wild young women, dressed to the gills and with especially fancy hats who were off to the races - they didn't look like equestrian event fans but were going for the party - many had bottles of champagne they were sipping -but these races are famous and York is only 2 hours each way from London by train.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Sep 1st, 2005, 05:45 AM
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Hereís my suggestion: Combine Goodwood with a trip to Chichester.

The first race isnít usually until the early afternoon which gives you time to have a look round Chichester which is a pretty town in itís own right. If you have time go to Fishbourne Roman Villa.

There are buses from Chichester station to the racecourse, and the racecourse is beautiful Ė IMHO the prettiest in England, and the racing is usually of a good standard too.

There are plenty of places in town to get a nice meal in the evening and the trains run back to London fairly regularly.
david_west is offline  
Sep 1st, 2005, 06:22 AM
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I'm w/ david_west combining Goodwood w/ some sightseeing. Stratford would also be good for seeing sights and going to the races.

If you do go to Goodwood, another really intereseting place practically next door to the course is the Weald and Downland open air museum. This is acres of centuries old houses and out bldgs moved in from all over southern England.
janis is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 08:11 PM
  #10  
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Thanks everyone for all the information. I'm sorry I didn't update and thank before leaving!

Unfortunately I didn't end up being able to go on this trip - but I've printed up everyone's recommendations and on my next trip, come hell or high water, I will be making it to a racecourse!!!
kris4n6 is offline  

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