The Ultimate Guide to Southwell Racecourse

Southwell mainSouthwell Racecourse is situated in Nottinghamshire, in the East Midlands region of England, approximately 7 miles from the market town of Newark-on-Trent. The first meeting at the track, in its current location, took place in 1898, but the racecourse and facilities have undergone significant development over the years. A new enclosure stand was completed in 1965, the hurdles track and watering system were completed in 1968 and the all-weather track was completed in 1989. Despite having an “all-weather” Fibresand racing surface, Southwell Racecourse was forced to close for five months between June and December 2007 and another two months between December 2012 and February 2013 because of flooding. Nevertheless, Southwell Racecourse will still stage 57 fixtures in 2013.

For racegoers, Southwell Racecourse offers a choice of the Premier Enclosure, with admission prices of £20 for feature fixtures and £16 for other fixtures and the Grandstand Enclosure, with admission prices of £12 and £11 respectively. Admission is free for accompanied children.

For corporate events, including conferences, exhibitions, product launches and trade shows, Southwell Racecourse offers a variety of flexible indoor and outdoor spaces. The Minster Suite, for example, overlooks the racecourse and is capable of accommodating up to 300 people and other, smaller hospitality suites, breakout rooms and seminar rooms are also available. Conferences can be held on racedays and combined with round of golf or a day at the races.

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Getting there

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What's the Southwell course like?

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The all-weather track at Southwell is a left-handed, sharp, flat oval, approximately a mile and a quarter around, with a three-furlong straight. A spur joins the straight at the three-furlong marker to create a straight five-furlong track. The all-weather surface at Southwell is Fibresand, which is a deeper, looser surface than Polytrack, which is the all-weather surface employed at Lingfield, Kempton and Wolverhampton.

The turf track is similar in layout to the all-weather track. There are seven, fairly stiff fences per circuit and the hurdles are the fixed-brush type, popular in France, which are more like miniature steeplechase fences than regulation hurdles.

Notable Races and Events

Woolfall SovereignNo Listed, Graded or Group races are run at Southwell, so the most valuable races on the calendar, Flat and National Hunt, are handicaps. The most valuable race of all is the Download The Blue Square Bet App Handicap, run over 5 furlongs on the all-weather track in January and worth just over £10,000 in prize money. In 2012, the race was won by Woolfall Sovereign, a 6-year-old trained by George Margarson, who hadn't been seen at Southwell before and hasn't been seen since!

One of the most valuable races on the current National Hunt calendar at Southwell is the Betvictor Champions League Red Card Refund Handicap Chase, run over 2 miles 4½ furlongs in May and worth £6,498 to the winner. In 2Joe Fanning013, the race was won by Keith Reveley's 9-year-old King's Grey, who ran out a ready winner despite carrying top weight of 11st 12lb.

Top Owners, Jockeys and Trainers

On the all-weather track at Southwell, Joe Fanning is, by far, the most successful jockey over the last five seasons. His total of 86 winners from 385 rides is 30 winners ahead of his nearest rival, Robert Winston, with 56 winners from 347 rides. Middleham Moor trainer Mark Johnston, who's saddled 75 winners from 294 runners over the last five seasons, also holds a healthy lead at the top of the trainers' table, as does Sheikh Handan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum at the top of the owners' table, with 39 winners from 103 runners.

Over Jumps, Tony McCoy tops the jockeys' table with 29 winners from 115 rides over the last five seasons but, if you're looking for jockeys in profit, James Reveley, in second place with 18 winners from 51 runners, has recorded a profit of 37.15 points, compared with McCoy's 21.38 point loss in the same period. Jonjo O'Neill is the leading trainer with 19 winners from 11 runners and John Patrick “J.P.” McManus is the leading owner with 14 winners from 72 runners.

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