The Ultimate Guide to Ludlow Racecourse

LudlowLudlow Racecourse is situated two miles north of the market town of Ludlow in Shropshire, in the West Midlands region of England, close to the Welsh border. The first written record of racing at Ludlow Racecourse, in its current location, dates back to 1729. The racecourse was originally a venue for Flat racing only, but the first hurdle races were run in 1850, the first steeplechases were run in 1870 and National Hunt racing gradually came to dominate. A new grandstand was constructed and opened in 1904 and, today, Ludlow Racecourse hosts 16 National Hunt fixtures throughout the year.

For racegoers, Ludlow Racecourse offers the choice of the Club Enclosure at £21 per person, the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure at £16 per person, with a £2 refreshment voucher for senior citizens and the Course Enclosure at £10 per person, including a racecard.

On non-racedays, Ludlow Racecourse offers a range of indoor spaces suitable for conferences, meetings and other corporate events. The Clive Pavilion, for example, is purportedly one of the largest facilities of its kind in Shropshire, with 7,000 square feet of floor space and capacity for 500 people for a sit down meal. For smaller events, the Jubilee Stand, completed in 2002 and offering views over the racecourse and beyond, is capable of accommodating up to 150 people in total, or can be divided into smaller rooms.

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Getting there

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What's unique about the course at Ludlow?

Ludlow Guide
Ludlow consists of a sharp, right-handed oval, approximately a mile and a half around, with a run-in of just over a furlong.

There are nine, fairly easy, fences per circuit. The hurdle course runs outside the chase course and is less sharp, with easier turns. The hurdle course features slight undulations throughout but, even so, rarely presents problems for big, long-striding types.


Notable Races and Events

Tour Des ChampsThe most valuable race of the year at Ludlow is the Tanner Wines Handicap Chase, run over 3 miles in December and worth £9.583 to the winner. In 2012, the race was won by Nigel Twiston-Davies' 5-year-old Tour Des Champs, who went on to finish fourth in the valuable Coral Scottish Grand National, over 4 miles 110 yards, at Ayr the following April.

On the same card in December, the Tanners Champagne Handicap Chase, run over 2 miles and worth £7,913 to the winner, is another notable race on the Ludlow calendar. The 2012 renewal was won by Venetia Williams' 6-year-old Drumshambo, who went on to complete a hat-trick in the Castleford Handicap Chase at Wetherby on his next start.

Paul MoloneyOther notable races include the Betfair Commits £40 Million To British Racing Handicap Chase, run over 3 miles in October. In 2012, the race was won by Jackie Du Plessis' 9-year-old Armenian Boy, who'd finished second on his last five starts over hurdles and fences stretching back over two years.

Top Owners, Jockeys and Trainers

Paul Moloney has had more than twice the number of rides of any other jockey at Ludlow during the last five seasons and, unsurprisingly, has a healthy lead in the jockeys' table with 34 winners from 174 rides.

His nearest pursuer, Tony McCoy, has ridden just 23 winners in the same period, but has achieved that total from just 75 rides, at a very respectable strike rate of 31%.

Vale of Glamorgan trainer Evan Williams has had more than twice the number of runners at Ludlow than any other trainer and tops the trainers' table with 40 winners from 217 although, once again, Nicky Henderson's total of 30 winners has been achieved from just 95 runners, at a strike rate of 32%. J.P. McManus is the leading owner with 7 winners from 42 runners over the last five seasons.

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