The Ultimate Guide to Musselburgh Racecourse

MusselburghMusselburgh Racecourse, formerly known as Edinburgh Racecourse, is situated on an area of undulating, sandy ground beside the Firth of Forth in East Lothian, Scotland, approximately 6 miles east of central Edinburgh. Horse racing in the vicinity of Edinburgh originally took place on Leith Sands, but was transferred to turf at Musselburgh Racecourse, in its current location, in 1816. In 1991, on the verge of closure in the face of dwindling attendances, Musselburgh Racecourse was taken over by East Lothian Council and has undergone dramatic transformation in the last 20 years or so. Over £7.5 million has been invested in the racecourse and its facilities since 1995 and, today, Musselburgh stages 24 Flat and National Hunt fixtures throughout the year, attracting over 70,000 visitors.

For racegoers, general admission prices at Musselburgh Racecourse are £16 per person for midweek meetings, rising to £21 per person at weekends. Concessions are available for disabled people, senior citizens and students and admission is free for accompanied children.

For corporate events, such as conferences, dinners and meetings, Musselburgh offers a purpose built conference and banqueting centre. A selection of rooms capable of accommodating between 12 and 100 people is available for events of different sizes or the whole of the venue can be hired, exclusively, for larger events. A personal event coordinator is assigned to look after each individual event and extensive free parking is available.
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Getting there

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What's the Musselburgh course like?

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On the Flat, the round course at Musselburgh is a right-handed, sharp oval, approximately a mile and a quarter around, with a 4-furlong straight. The track is essentially flat, with only minor undulations and a slight rise throughout the final furlong and a half.

The very sharp turns at the top end of the course and into the straight mean that agile, handy types have a distinct advantage over their big, long-striding counterparts.

There is also a straight five-furlong course. Over Jumps, Musselburgh is equally sharp and favours handy, front-running types. There are six flights of hurdles or eight, rather stiff, fences per circuit.


Notable Races and Events

Sand TigerThe most valuable races of the year at Musselburgh Racecourse are all handicaps. The Betfred Royal Mile, worth £31,125 to the winner, is a recent addition to the Musselburgh calendar. The inaugural running, on Easter Saturday 2012, was won by Richard Fahey's 3-year-old Chapter And Verse, who went on to win other valuable handicaps at Doncaster and York, earning a 13lb rise in the weights as a result. Other important races on the Flat at Musselburgh include the Edinburgh Cup, run over 1 mile 4 miles 100 yards and the Totescoop6 Scottish Sprint Cup, run over 5 furlongs, in June. Over Jumps, the richest day of the year is New Year's Day, featuring the Hogmaneigh Handicap Hurdle, over 2 miles and the Honest Toun Handicap Chase, over 2 miles 4 furlongs.

Historically, the vast majority of visitors to Musselburgh Racecourse were male but, in 2004, the racecourse executive introduced Ladies' Day, in an effort to increase the appeal of horse racing to a wider audience. Ladies' Day at Musselburgh Racecourse has since become one of the major events in the Scottish sporting calendar and, in 2007, achieved the distinction of being the first Scottish horse racing event to sell out in advance.Richard Fahey

Top Owners,Jockeys and Trainers

On the Flat at Musselburgh, Paul Hanagan is far and away the most successful jockey over the last five seasons with 45 winners from 170 rides. His nearest pursuer, Joe Fanning, has ridden 28 winners from 142 rides in the same period. Richard Fahey is the leading trainer with 38 winners from 189 runners and Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum is the leading owner with 13 winners from 53 runners.

Over Jumps, Jason Maguire tops the jockeys' table with 24 winners from 79 rides, although Brian Hughes is not far behind with 19 winners from 126 rides. Jason Maguire's boss, Donald McCain, is the leading trainer during the last five seasons with 19 winners from 72 runners and Andre and Graham Wylie are the leading owners with 10 winners from 41 runners.

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