Uttoxeter Racecourse is situated in the market town of the same name in Staffordshire in the West Midlands region of England. The racecourse was opened in its current location, on Wood Lane, less than a mile from the town centre, in 1907, following the closure of Keele Racecourse. Uttoxeter Racecourse, itself, was closed for the duration World War I and World War II, but subsequently acquired by Uttoxeter Urban Council and reopened in 1952.
In 1988, Uttoxeter was acquired by Northern Racing and the late Sir Stanley Clarke was appointed chairman. Despite substantial development and modernisation over the years, Uttoxeter has always managed to maintain a “country” feel, something that the racecourse executive intends to bear in mind for future developments. Today, Uttoxeter Racecourse stages 25 National Hunt fixtures all year round.
Racegoers at Uttoxeter can choose the Premier Enclosure, Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure or the Family Enclosure. Admission prices vary according to whether the fixture being staged is a feature, standard or weekend event. In the Premier Enclosure, admission prices are £28, £22 and £25, respectively, while the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure is a little cheaper at £23, £18 and £20 and the Family Enclosure is cheaper still at £12, £9 and £10. Concessions are available for senior citizens and admission is free for accompanied children.
For any style of corporate event, Uttoxeter Racecourse offers a range of over 40 suites equipped with the latest conference equipment and capable of accommodating up to 600 people. All corporate events are supported by a dedicated, experienced events team. A concierge service is available, along with ample free parking and a range of catering options to suit almost any taste and budget.
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What's the Uttoxeter course like?
Uttoxeter consists of a left-handed, fairly galloping oval, approximately a mile and a quarter around with minor undulations throughout. There are eight, moderately difficult fences per circuit with a run-in of less than a furlong.
The turn into the home straight is easy, but the gentle curvature of the straight can disadvantage horses with a tendency to jump slightly right handed. During wet weather, the going at Uttoxeter can become absurdly testing, so that only confirmed mudlarks can act on it.
Notable Races and Events
The most prestigious and valuable race on the Uttoxeter calendar, by the proverbial country mile, is the Midlands Grand National, a Listed handicap chase run over 4 miles 1½ furlongs in March. Many famous horses have won or run well in the Midlands Grand National over the years. Rag Trade, who won the Midlands Grand National in 1975, went on to win the Grand National itself the following season and Thinker, who won in 1986, went on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup the following season. In 1997, Lord Gyllene, owned by Uttoxeter chairman Sir Stanley Clarke, finished second to Seven Towers in the Midlands Grand National, but won the rescheduled “Monday National” by 25 lengths four weeks later.
In recent years, the Midlands Grand National has been farmed by Nicholashayne trainer David Pipe (left), who won it with Minella Four Star in 2011, Master Overseer in 2012 and again, with Big Occasion, in 2013. Big Occasion was a maiden over fences, but clearly appreciated the step up to the marathon distance, drawing clear on the run-in to win by 6 lengths and give amateur rider Mikey Ennis the biggest win of his career. A month later, the pair also finished second in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr.
Top Owners, Jockeys and Trainers
Jason Maguire (right)is the top jockey at Uttoxeter over the last five seasons with 46 winners from 204 rides, although Tony McCoy, with 44 winners from 212 rides is hot on his heels.
Their respective bosses, Donald McCain and Jonjo O'Neill, top the trainers' table with 42 winners from 223 runners and 32 winners from 239 runners, respectively and John McManus is, by far, the leading owner with 19 winners from 155 runners.
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