Warwick Racecourse is situated less than a mile from the town centre of Warwick, the county town of Warwickshire, in the West Midlands region of England. Racing first took place on the racecourse in its current location, on Hampton Street, in 1707, but the course and its facilities have undergone significant improvements in recent years.
In 2000, a new grandstand was opened, at a cost of £3 million and between 2007 and 2008 the racecourse executive undertook an ambitious modernisation project, at a cost of £2 million, which included a new six-furlong start, a new weighing room, two new restaurants and a modern conference facility. Today, Warwick Racecourse stages 21 Flat and National Hunt fixtures all year round.
For racegoers, the course offers a choice of the Main Enclosure and, on bank holidays only, the Course Enclosure. Admission prices are £20 in the Main Enclosure on bank holidays and weekends, £15 in the Main Enclosure in midweek and £10 in the Course Enclosure, when available. Concessions are available for juniors, aged 17 to 24 and senior citizens and admission is free for accompanied children.
For corporate events, such as conferences and meetings, Warwick Racecourse offers a range of 11 syndicate rooms, all of which offer plenty of natural daylight and free Wi-Fi access. The largest of them, known as the 1701 Suite, is located next to the main grandstand, overlooking the racecourse and is capable of accommodating up to 160 people in a theatre style configuration. Warwick Racecourse is just 5 minutes away from the M40 motorway and unlimited free parking is available on-site.
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What's the Warwick course like?
The Flat course at Warwick is a left-handed, broad, but sharp, oval, just over a mile and three quarters around, with a two-furlong straight. There is no straight course; the five and six-furlong courses bend sharply at the point where they join the round course. The emphasis is on speed, rather than stamina and big, long-striding gallopers are at a disadvantage over all distances.
The National Hunt course is a furlong or so shorter in circumference than the Flat course, but is similarly sharp with tight bends. There are ten, stiff fences per circuit, five of which come in rapid succession along the back straight, so jumping ability is at a premium. There are just two fences in the short home straight and a run-in of just over a furlong.
Notable Races and Events
Patrons of Warwick Racecourse are treated to decent racing action, under both codes, throughout the season. The most valuable race at Warwick is, in fact, the Betfred Classic Chase, a Grade 3 handicap chase run over 3 miles 5 furlongs in January. Another National Hunt race of note is the Neptune Investment Management Leamington Novices' Hurdle, a Grade 2 race run over 2 miles 5 furlongs on the same card as the Betfred Classic Chase.
On the Flat, one of the most prestigious races of the season at Warwick is the Listed Eternal Stakes, run over 7 furlongs in June. In fact, the race became the first Listed race to be run at Warwick in 2003, when it was sponsored by Betfair and featured the first Godolphin-owned runner at the track, Gonfilia.
On April 2, 2002, Tony McCoy rode Martin Pipe's Valfonic to a 1¼-length victory in the Leek Wooton Novices' Handicap Hurdle at Warwick. In so doing, he beat Sir Gordon Richards' long-standing record of 269 winners in a single season
Top Owners, Jockeys and Trainers
On the Flat at Warwick, Tom Queally is the leading jockey over the last five seasons with 13 winners from 39 rides. Mark Johnston has saddled 12 winners from 57 runners in the same period and tops the trainers' table, while Godolphin is the leading owner with 6 winners from 25 runners. Over Jumps, Tony McCoy is leading jockey with 13 winners from 61 rides, Alan King is the leading trainer with 17 winners from 90 runners and Trevor Hemmings is the leading owner with 7 winners from 20 runners.
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