Haydock Park Racecourse is situated on the outskirts of the village of Haydock in Merseyside in the north west of England, roughly equidistant from Liverpool and Manchester. The history of racing in the area can be traced back to 1752, when a series of meetings was inaugurated at Newton-le-Willows, approximately three miles to the south of the current racecourse. Racing continued on the Old Goldborne Heath course until its closure in 1898, at which time it was transferred to its current location at Haydock Park, built on 127 acres of parkland leased by Lord Newton. The Old Newton Cup, run over 1 mile 4 furlongs in July, is the last surviving link between the old racecourse and the new. Nowadays, Haydock Park hosts 33 Flat and National Hunt fixtures throughout the year.
For racegoers, Haydock Park Racecourse offers a choice of three enclosures, the Premier Enclosure at £36 per person, the Country Enclosure at £24 per person and the Tattersalls Enclosure at £13 per person. Concessions are available for students and senior citizens in the Tattersalls Enclosure and admission is free for accompanied children in all three enclosures.
For corporate events, Haydock Park Racecourse offers a purpose-built conference and exhibition centre with a range of indoor spaces capable of accommodating 500 people. For smaller meetings, corporate customers can choose one of a series of luxury executive boxes overlooking the racecourse. For larger meetings, conferences and dinners, they have the choice of the Paddock Pavilion, in the parade ring, which can accommodate up to 150 people, or the larger Park Suite, which can accommodate up to 450 people.
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What's unique about the course at Haydock?
The track at Haydock Park is a left-handed, galloping oval, one mile and five furlongs around, with a 4½ furlong straight that rises slightly all the way to the winning post. There is also a straight six-furlong course.
Over Jumps, there are 10 stiff fences per circuit, with a run-in of two furlongs. The hurdle course is inside the steeplechase course and, as such, has tighter bends and is sharper in character.
Notable Races and Events
The most prestigious race run on the Flat at Haydock is the Group 1 Betfred Sprint Cup, run over 6 furlongs in early September each year and now part of the British Champion Series. The race was inaugurated in 1966, but wasn't upgraded to Group 1 status until 1988. Since that time, the race has been won by many exceptional sprinters, including Dayjur in 1990, who went on to win the Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp and Sheikh Albadou in 1992, who went on to win the Breeders' Cup Sprint. The 2012 winner, Society Rock, trained by James Fanshawe, was winning his second race at Group 1 level, having won another race in the British Champion Series, the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, the previous season.
Over Jumps, the most prestigious race run at Haydock Park is, undoubtedly, the Betfair Chase, run over 3 miles in November each year. The race is a fairly recent addition to the National Hunt calendar, having first been run in 2005, but has quickly become established as a trial for the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day and the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March. Indeed, originally Betfair offered a bonus of £1 million, known as the Betfair Million, to any horse that won the Betfair Chase, the King George VI Chase and the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Paul Nicholls' Kauto Star won the Betfair Million in the 2006/07 season and went on to win the Betfair Chase three more times, in 2007, 2009 and 2011.
Top Owners, Jockeys and Trainers
On the Flat at Haydock Park, Jamie Spencer is the leading jockey over the last five seasons with 26 winners from 139 rides, although Paul Hanagan and Richard Kingscote with 22 winners apiece from 178 and 86 rides respectively aren't far behind. Richard Kingscote, in particular, has a highly respectable 26% strike rate and a healthy level stakes profit of 69.00 points. The situation at the top of the trainers' table is even tighter with Richard Fahey with 28 winners from 244 runners just one ahead of Tom Dascombe with 27 winners from 115 runners. Hamdan Al Maktoum is the leading owner over the last five seasons with 26 winners from 93 runners.
Over Jumps, Cholmondeley trainer Donald McCain has had nearly three times as many runners at Haydock Park over the last five seasons, so it's no great surprise that he's miles ahead in the trainers' table with 40 winners from 159 runners. Similarly, McCain's stable jockey, Jason Maguire, has had many more rides than any other jockey at Haydock and his total of 33 winners from 119 rides is well clear of his nearest pursuer, Brian Hughes, with 10 winners from 65 rides. Trevor Hemmings is the leading National Hunt owner with 11 winners from 94 runners.
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