The Ultimate Guide to Wincanton Racecourse

Wincanton Racecourse is situated less than a mile north of the town centre of Wincanton in Somerset, South West England. The course was built in its current location, at Kingwell farm, under the patronage of Lord Stalbridge and staged its first meeting in 1927.

Lord Stalbridge fell ill during World War II, during which time the course was requisitioned by the army who sold his Kingwell Farm to a group of local National Hunt enthusiasts. They restored the course to its former glory in time for racing to resume in 1945. The racecourse changed hands again in 1966, when it was acquired by the Racing Holdings Trust, which has invested in the course and its facilities over the years. Today, Wincanton stages 17 National Hunt fixtures between October and May.

For racegoers, Wincanton Racecourse offers the choice of the Premier Enclosure, with an admission price of £25 on Boxing Day, £20 for “Premier” fixtures and £18 for all other fixtures, the Grandstand Enclosure at £18, £14 and £13 and the Course Enclosure at £10, £8 and £6 respectively. Concessions are available for racegoers aged 17 to 25 on production of valid identification and admission is free for accompanied children.

For corporate events, including conferences, exhibitions, meetings and seminars, Wincanton Racecourse offers a tranquil, rural environment, but nevertheless provides a range of conference rooms and smaller breakout and seminar rooms, capable of accommodating between 5 and 200 people. Free parking and Wi-Fi access is available, along with audiovisual equipment hire and catering, if required.

Wincanton Racecourse offers unique conference and exhibition facilities in the heart of rural Somerset making it the ideal venue for team building, conferences, corporate events, product launches, seminars, interviews and meetings, trade fairs, business exhibitions, wedding fairs and so much more

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Getting there

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What's the Wincanton course like?

Wincanton consists of a right-handed, sharp oval, approximately a mile and a half around. There are nine, moderately difficult fences per circuit, three of which are in the home straight and a run-in of just under a furlong.

Notable Races and Events

The most valuable race of the year at Wincanton is the Badger Ales Trophy Handicap Chase, a Listed race run over 3 miles 1½ furlongs in February. In 2012, the race was won by David Pipe's The Package, who went on to finish fourth in the Hennessy Gold Cup won by subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Bob's Worth, but was pulled up on two subsequent starts.

On the same card as the Badger Ales Trophy Handicap Chase, the Kingwell Hurdle is a Grade 2 limited handicap run over 2 miles. The 2012 winner, Paul Nicholls' Zarkandar, went on to finish fourth in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and won the Aintree Hurdle later the same season.

On an historical note, in 1987, Steve Knight, a former pupil at King Arthur's School, Wincanton, rode Maori Venture, owned by the late Jim Joel and trained by Andy Turnell, to victory in the Grand National at Aintree.

Even longer ago, in 1959, the late Josh Gifford, subsequently champion National Hunt jockey four times, rode the first of his 642 career winners at Wincanton Racecourse.

Top Owners, Jockeys and Trainers

Paul Nicholls trains at Ditcheat, less than 10 miles away from Wincanton Racecourse and is a long way ahead of his nearest rival at the top of the trainers' table for the last five seasons, with 48 winners from 191 runners.

Daryl Jacob, formerly second jockey to Paul Nicholls, is the leading jockey in the same period, with 31 winners from 137 rides, while John McManus is the leading owner, with 4 winners from 40 runners.

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