Newbury Racecourse

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Newbury
Newbury Stands.jpg
The Berkshire Stand and The Grandstand
Location Newbury, Berkshire
Coordinates 51°23′40″N 1°18′2″W / 51.39444°N 1.30056°W / 51.39444; -1.30056
Date opened 26 September 1905
Screened on Racing UK
Course type Flat
National Hunt
Notable races Lockinge Stakes, Challow Novices' Hurdle
Official website

Newbury Racecourse is a racecourse 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 31 Group 1 flat races, the Lockinge Stakes.

Horserace finishing at Newbury
Crowds at Newbury
Cois Farraig jumps the last in front at Newbury

History[edit]

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.

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 construction began of the buildings and stables at a cost of £57,240.

On September 26th and 27th, 1905 the first ever racemeeting took place at Newbury Racecourse with Copper King ridden by Charles 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 September 27th 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]

Notable events[edit]

Queen Elizabeth II spent her 86th birthday at Newbury Racecourse. She watched the races from the Royal Box although her two horses, Sequence ridden by Ryan Moore and Momentary ridden by Hayley Turner, did not win.[3]

Facilities[edit]

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, weddings and Hen and Stag parties.[4]

2011 incident[edit]

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 minutes late, but the rest of the day's racing was abandoned.[5][6]

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 had been identified as the cause of death, consistent with accidental electrocution being the cause of death, and that no other cause of death was being 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.[7]

Notable races[edit]

Flat racing:

National Hunt racing:

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°23′40″N 1°18′2″W / 51.39444°N 1.30056°W / 51.39444; -1.30056