The Ultimate Guide to Newcastle racecourse

Newcastle Racecourse is situated within the boundaries of High Gosforth Park, in Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear in North East England, approximately 5 miles from the city centre. Racing in Newcastle upon Tyne originally took place on an area of common land, known as the Town Moor, but was transferred to the current location in 1882.

Throughout the 19th century, the Northumberland Plate, also known as the “Pitmen's Derby”, was the highlight of a holiday known locally as “Races' Week.” In 1994 Newcastle was acquired by Northern Racing, which invested £11 million in a new straight mile course, new stands, a new parade ring and other new facilities for racegoers. Today, Newcastle Racecourse stages 30 Flat and National Hunt fixtures throughout the season.

For racegoers, Newcastle Racecourse offers the choice of the Premier Enclosure, at £21 per person and the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure, at £15 person. Admission is free for accompanied children.

For corporate events, such as conferences, exhibitions, meetings and seminars, Newcastle Racecourse offers a wide variety of flexible indoor spaces capable of accommodating between 4 and 400 people. The Grandstand Hall offers over 15,000 square feet of floor space and all the other suites are in close proximity for breakout sessions. For outdoors events, Newcastle is set in 800 acres of outdoor space, on grass and hard standing, with free parking for up to 10,000 vehicles. For your peace of mind, Newcastle Racecourse is an accredited member of the Meetings Industry Association (MIA), which means that it must set and maintain professional standards.

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Getting there

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What's unique about the course at Newcastle?

On the Flat at Newcastle, the round course is a left-handed, galloping oval, a mile and three quarters around, with a steady rise from the turn into the straight to the winning post, which puts an emphasis on stamina. There is also a straight mile course.

The Jumps course is laid out inside the Flat course and, once again, runs uphill from the fifth last fence to the winning post. There are eleven, fairly stiff fences per circuit.

Notable Races and Events

The most prestigious race of the year at Newcastle is the John Smith's Northumberland Plate, run over 2 miles 9 yards in late June or early July and worth £86, 226 to the winner. The most successful horse in the history of the race is Underhand, who won three years running between 1857 and 1859, by a head, a neck and a neck.

Another notable race on the Flat at Newcastle is the Group 3 Betfred Mobile Lotto Chipchase Stakes, run over 6 furlongs in June and worth £31,191 to the winner. In 2012, the race was won by the 5-year-old Maarek, trained in Ireland by David Peter Nagle, who went on to win the Group 2 Qipco British Champion Stakes at Ascot later in the season.

Over Jumps, the most prestigious race is, without doubt, the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle, run over 2 miles in December and worth £58,521 to the winner. In 2012, the race was won by John Quinn's 4-year-old Countrywide Flame, who went on to finish third, beaten 4¼ lengths, behind Hurricane Fly in the Stan James Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival the following March.

Top Owners, Jockeys and Trainers

On the Flat at Newcastle, the situation at the top of the jockeys' table for the last five seasons is very tight indeed, with Paul Hanagan and Tony Hamilton both having ridden 27 winners from 183 rides and 177 rides, respectively. However, it's interesting to note that, while Hanagan has recorded a level stakes loss of 67.97 points in the period, Hamilton has recorded a level stakes profit of 6.85 points. In the trainers' table, Richard Fahey has had 32 winners from 215 runners and Michael Dods has had 31 winners from 184 runners although, once again, Fahey is well in the red with a level stakes loss of 57.29 points and Dods is well in the black with a level stakes profit of 75.14 points. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum is the leading owner on the Flat with 9 winners from 51 runners.

Over Jumps, James Reveley, with 23 winners from 128 rides, holds a healthy lead over Jason Maguire, with 14 winners from 72 rides, at the top of the jockeys' table. The situation at the top of the trainers' table is tighter, with Lucinda Russell, with 19 winners from 132 runners, just ahead of Keith Reveley, with 18 winners from 81 runners. Similarly, at the top of owners' table John Wade, with 7 winners from 76 runners, is just one ahead of his nearest pursuers, Andrea and Graham Wylie.

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