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Newbury Race Course

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.

Newbury Race CourseJohn 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.

Goodwood race festival

The Goodwood Racecourse is a horse-racing track that has been a host for various competitions for over 200 years. It is situated north of Chichester in West Sussex, close to the created in 2011 the South Downs National Park and controlled by the family of the Duke of Richmond.

The Beginnings of the Course

Although its beginnings date far before the first race, it wasn’t until the beginning of the nineteenth century, when the Third Duke of Richmond introduced horseracing to Goodwood, that the racecourse started functioning.

Throughout the years, the estate kept growing and so was increasing its popularity. Over the years the course did not operate only during the short period of the Second World War but shortly after that, it has seen a massive growth in the number of spectators with as many as 55,000 present in 1953.

In the years following the Second World War, the track has undergone various changes, including the demolition of the old Stand in 1979 and the erection of the new one, now known as the March Stand. After that, in the late 80s, the Charlton Stand has been opened, followed by the 1990 opening of the Sussex Stand. Despite the changes, the course has retained its English charm and is thought to be the most scenic racecourse in Europe.

Over 20 Notable Races Each Year

Nowadays it is the host to many prestigious races every year, totaling over 20 of them. The two most notable ones are the Sussex Stakes and the Nassau Stakes, both of which are Group 1 races and are run during the ‘Glorious Goodwood’, which is one of the two most important events happening each year on the course. The other event is the May Racing Festival, a three-day racing event which takes places each year in May (2016 dates – 19th-21st May), with the prize money value exceeding £450,000. The Goodwood race festival in May is a ‘prelude’ to the season before the July’s Goodwood Festival and acts as a great opportunity for Jockeys to enhance their reputation. All three of the races are listed races (dates in brackets are for 2016): The Height of Fashion Stakes (19th July), Cocked Hat Stakes (20th of July) and The Daisy Warwick Stakes (21st of July).

The Winners and Record Holders

Goodwood race course

The ‘Glorious Goodwood’, which usually takes places each year around the break of July and August, in 2016, is scheduled to take place between 26th and 30th of July. It offers much higher prizes, which differ depending on the race. The opening ceremony on the 26th of July, highlighting past winners and unveiling specially commissioned cups is followed by the Group 2 Lennox stakes, with the prize money value of £300,000. It has been won in the past 2 times by four jockeys – Eddie Ahern, Kerrin McEvoy, Richard Hughes and Tom Queally. Eddie Ahern is the only one of them to do that with one horse (which is the only horse to win the race twice) – Nayyir.

The featured race of the second day is a mile-long Group 1 Sussex Stakes race, with astonishing £1million in prize money value. The race is a part of the British Champions series and offers the 3-year-olds the chance to challenge the older horses. The leading jockey is to this day Sir Gordon Richards – 8 wins with 8 different horses scored in the span of 22 years. Read more about Sir Gordon Richards at http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/2897151. The first one in 1928 with Marconigram and then two more before the Second World War – Corpach in 1936 and Pascal in 1937. After the war, he added five more victories to his list of achievements – with Radiotherapy (1946), Combat (1947), Krakatao (1949), Le Sage (1951) and the last one scored with Agitator just a year later in 1952. The only horse to win the race twice is Frankel, British Thoroughbred racehorse with two victories – in 2011 and 2012.

The featured race on day 3rd – The Goodwood Cup is a Group 2 race at a distance of 2 miles and £300,000 in prize money (£170,130 for the winner). There are 5 jockeys who have won it 5 times each – Jem Robinson, George Fordham, Steve Donoghue, Lester Piggott and Pat Eddery. The most successful horse is Double Trigger, which won it 3 times – in 95’, 97’ and 98’.

The main race of the 4th day is the 5 furlongs long (1,006 meters) King George Stakes (Group 2). The most notable winner is Lester Piggott with 9 wins total, over the course of 26 years. The prizes are the same as during day 4 – £300,000 with £170,130 for the winner of the race.

The last day has two featured races. The first one is Stewards’ Cup (handicap race) and its leading jockey is Richard Hughes with 4 wins total, last time winning it in 2014 and cashing £62,250 from the total of £100,000. It is run on a distance of 6 furlongs (1,207 meters). The other one, of a much bigger importance, is The Nassau Stakes (Group 1), which is a part of the British Championship Series. It is open to fillies and mares aged three years and upwards and is run over a distance of 1 mile, 1 furlong and 192 yards (1,986 meters). Two leading jockeys – Sir Gordon Richards and Nat Flatman – both won the race 6 times. The most successful horse is Midday, winning in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The total money prize value was £600,000 out of which £340,260 went the winner (2015). Click here too read more about horse racing.

Apart from horse racing, the Goodwood Racecourse offers a range of outdoor and indoor spaces perfect for corporate events, events, seminars and dinners. It is quite a popular venue for both recreation and official meetings – the stands and suites are available for rent and can be divided into separate areas if needed – depending on the requested space, availability and the type of event. The races on the course are also popular betting targets, with the biggest market interest sparked by the races which are part of the Glorious Goodwood – the Sussex Stakes, the Richmond Stakes, the Nassau Stakes and the Stewards’ Cup.

Cheltenham Race Course

Cheltenham Race Course is located just outside of the Gloucestershire town of Cheltenham. It is actually sited at a place called Prestbury Park. Every March this race course hosts the Cheltenham Festival, probably best known for the Cheltenham Gold Cup. This festival alone makes it one of the most popular of English race courses. It is known primarily as a course that hosts hurdle races, and the course is sited in what is almost a perfect natural amphitheater meaning there is a great deal of space for the larger crowds the course attracts for its most popular races.

The Cheltenham Festival is one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the English horse racing calendar, and not just because of the Cheltenham Gold Cup. This festival counts members of the British royal family among its biggest admirers, including Elizabeth II herself, and the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (who had a race named after her). During the festival the crowds will often be sold out, or near to selling, which is quite an achievement as the race capacity of just over 67,000. These high crowd numbers reflect the popularity of the races held during the festival with many many horse racing fans attending every single year. Aside from the Gold Cup, the festival includes the Champion Hurdle race, the Queen Mother Champion Hurdle Chase, and also the World Chase.

The land in Prestbury Park that the race course was built on is just about perfect for horse racing. You can read more on horse racing at http://khrc.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx. It is flat and covers an area large enough for the course to be of a long enough length for longer races, and to allow for larger crowds to pay and watch those races. Been the shape of a large and natural amphitheater certainly made it easier for the course to be developed and be able to accommodate crowds as large as 67,000 during the Cheltenham. In the past when there was much less attention paid to safety at sports events the crowds could have been considerably higher. The course is traditionally busiest during the festival as you would expect as that is when the most important races are held. Those races attract some of the best horses, jockeys, and trainers in English horse racing.

Cheltenham Race Course

Over the years the Cheltenham Gold Cup has had some famous winners both in terms of horses and jockeys since it was first held back in 1924. This famous steeplechase event features 22 fences and the total length of the race is 3 miles and 2 1/2 furlongs. It is classed as the Blue Riband of the National Hunt events in England. There is a great deal of prestige attached to winning this race, and the prize has to be classed as being pretty tempting as well. For 2016 the prize money has been increased to a total of £575,000.

Some of the best known horse in the history of English horse racing have been among the past winners. Horses like Arkle, Best Mate, Golden Miller, as well as Mill House. Irish gelding Arkle won the Gold Cup over three consecutive years in 1964, 1965, and finally in 1966. He was injiured later on in 1966 and never ran another race. Golden Miller has the distinction of winning both the Gold Cup and the Grand National. Golden Miller still holds the record for the most number of wins, winning five in a row between 1932 and 1936, as well as the Grand National victory in 1934. There is a statue of Golden Miller at Cheltenham to mark his achievement of five victories.

A rarity occurred in the 2015 race, as for the first time since 1975 the winner was a novice runner, in the guise of Conygree. The race can be entered by any horse over five years of age, and is also open to novices though many find it a grueling event first time around. The race seems certain to remain one of the most prestigious on the horse racing calendar for many years to come. You can review more races by clicking here.

Cheltenham Race Course hosts other events as well as horse racing. It has a top class conferencing venue, and well known hospitality facilities so it is often used for business conferences, social functions, and wedding receptions. Near by colleges and universities use the conference facilities for graduation ceremonies too. There is an annual music festival held at the venue as well as occasional music concerts.