Newton Abbot Racecourse is situated just to the north of the market town of Newton Abbot, Devon in the South West of England, on the banks of the River Teign. It has the distinction of being the most westerly course on mainland Britain. The racecourse was built, in its current location, in 1886 but, despite the popularity of racing in the area, the main grandstand wasn't opened by HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother until 1969. The first corporate facilities at Newton Abbot were opened in 1990 and a rolling programme of redevelopment during the winter means that facilities, for corporate clients and racegoers, continue to improve year-by-year. Nowadays, Newton Abbot Racecourse stages 19 National Hunt fixtures a year between March and October.
For racegoers, general admission prices at Newton Abbot Racecourse are £18 per person in the Paddock Enclosure and £12 per person in the Course Enclosure. Admission is free for accompanied children.
For corporate clients, Newton Abbott Racecourse offers a wide range of indoor and outdoor spaces suitable for conferences, meetings, seminars and other events. Collectively, the private boxes, restaurants and suites at Newton Abbot offer 9,000 square feet of floor space and can accommodate up to 300 people in a variety of configurations. Free Wi-Fi access is available throughout the site, audiovisual equipment and flip charts are included in the price and ample free parking is readily accessible. Outdoors, a mixture of grass and hard standing, on which marquees and other structures can be erected, provide an alternative for larger events.
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What's unique about the course at Newton Abbot?
Newton Abbot consists of a tight, left-handed oval, just nine furlongs around. There are seven fences per circuit and a very short run-in.
The sharpness of the course, as a whole and the length of the run-in mean that handy, front-running types hold a distinct advantage. Hurdle races over 2 miles 3 furlongs start on a spur after the winning post and the first flight is omitted on the second circuit.
Notable Races and Events
The principal races of the year at Newton Abbot are the SIS Live Handicap Chase, run over 2 miles 110 yards in August and the Totepool.com Sports, Games, Bingo & More Handicap Hurdle and the Lord Milday Memorial Handicap Chase, run over 2 miles 6 furlongs and 2 miles 5½ furlongs, respectively, on the same card in September. In 2012, Nicholashayne trainer David Pipe won both of the latter two races with Premier Dane and Shoegazer.
In 2011, a Tote Jackpot pool worth £1.36 million was won at Newton Abbot after well-fancied horses won all six legs. The winner of the sixth leg, Flying Award, was returned at 7/1, but the winners of the first five legs were Topolski (15/8), Midnight Appeal (11/8F), Rith Bob (5/2CF), Fin Vin De Leu (7/4JF) and Maizy Missile (5/1F). The favourable results produced 179.24 winning units or, in other words, a dividend of £5,390.50 to a £1 stake.
More recently, in 2013, Patrick Masterson, managing director of Newton Abbot Racecourse, threatened to permanently close a section of the Teign Estuary Trail – a cycle route which had recently been extended along the back of the racecourse – after incidents of vandalism. Children climbed onto the course, causing extensive damage to one of the fences and members of the public threw stones and other rubbish on to the back straight, as well as abusing staff because of the closure of the cycle route with gates on racedays.
Top Owners, Jockeys and Trainers
Tony McCoy is far and away the leading jockey at Newton Abbot in recent years, having ridden nearly twice the number of winners than any other jockey in the last five seasons.
In fact, he's ridden 48 winners from 166 rides in that period, while his nearest pursuer, Richard Johnson, has ridden 25 winners from 156 rides. Paul Nicholls, who trains at Ditcheat, Somerset, just over 70 miles from Newton Abbot, is the leading trainer with 44 winners from 134 runners and John P. McManus is the leading owner with 15 winners from 92 runners.
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