Newbury Race Course has been at its present location in Greenham since 1905 though there was horse racing in the area for a few years in the early years of the 18th century. Newbury offers both flat racing and hurdles / steeplechase races all year round depending on weather conditions. Over the years Newbury has become a popular destination for horse racing fans over the last century or so.
The revival of horse racing in Newbury and the development of the race course was down almost entirely to a single man, John Porter. He believed that the Newbury Races held between 1805 and 1815 should be revived with the new course he proposed to have built at Greenham. It just so happened that the Jockey Club had made it harder to set up a new race course in the mid 1890’s. Porter had several applications rejected by the Jockey Club before he got a big break in fortune. He met Edward VII and told him about the problems in having his application approved. The next application was approved, with the Jockey Club not daring to reject an application made with the backing of the king. The royal family is known to be keenly interested in horse racing and they enter the horses that they own in the races at Newbury and all the other race courses.
John Porter in many respects picked a great place to put his delayed race course. The village of Greenham just outside Newbury had flat enough land to have a flat race course and a hurdle course on it. Newbury is in the county of Berkshire, and not too far from London, meaning horse racing fans from London do not have to travel for too long to attend race meetings at this course venue. Among the spectators that come from London is occasionally Elizabeth II, keep up the royal tradition of having an avid interest in horse racing, and her great grandfather’s support of Newbury. The Queen even decided to spend her 86th birthday attending a race meeting at Newbury. However the two horses she owns that ran in two different races did not win either of them.
Newbury became one of the most popular English race courses as it hosts some really well known races that tempt horse racing fans to meetings there. Without a doubt the most well known race run on the course is the Henessy Gold Cup. Read more about Henessey Gold Cup at http://www.bbc.com/sport/horse-racing/34954459. Other popular races held on the Newbury race course include the Lockinge Stakes as well as the Challow Novices Hurdles. There is also a race named after the founder of the course, the John Porter Stakes. These races are held throughout the year, with the Henessy Gold Cup always been held during November. The Gold Cup was run for its first three years at Cheltenham before it was switched to Newbury.
The Henessy Gold Cup has had some pretty notable winners in the past that have included Mandarin, Bobs Worth, Arkle, Denman, and Many Clouds. Mandarin was the winner of the very first running of the Henessy Gold Cup and has the distinction of been the only to have won the race at Cheltenham and later at Newbury in 1961. Arkle won the Hennessy Gold Cup twice in 1964 and 1965. His forced retirement through injury in the summer of 1966 meant he lost out on the chance to win a third race, to go with the three Cheltenham Gold Cups he won. Altogether there have been eight horses that have won both the Cheltenham and the Henessy Gold Cups, including Arkle and most recently Bobs Worth. In 2015 Many Clouds became the first horse to win both the Henessy Gold Cup and the Grand National. So far no horse has ever won both Gold Cups and the Grand National. Read more reviews here about horse racing.
The most successful jockey in this race was Willie Robinson, who rode the winning horses in 1961, 1963, and finally in 1968. The most successful trainer so far was Fulke Walwyn, who trained seven winners between 1957 with Mandarin, and Diamond Edge in 1981. The horses that Robinson rode to victory were all trained by Walwyn. In 2015 the prize fund stood at £200,000 with £113,000 going to the winner. That race was won by Smad Place as ridden by Wayne Hutchinson and trained by Alan King.