The Ultimate Guide to Windsor Racecourse

Windsor mainWindsor Racecourse, sometimes referred to as Royal Windsor Racecourse, is set in 165 acres of land in Berkshire, South East England, approximately 25 miles west of Central London. The first race meeting on the course in its current location, on the banks of the River Thames, overlooked by Windsor Castle, took place in 1866. The first Monday evening meeting at Windsor was staged in 1964 and in 1966 the second right-handed loop in the figure of eight course was made tighter, such that races over 2½ miles were no longer possible. Today, Windsor Racecourse is part of the Arena Racing Company and plays host to 26 Flat fixtures between April and October.

Admission prices at Windsor Racecourse are £25 in the Club Enclosure, £21 in the Grandstand Enclosure and £12 in the Silver Ring. Students receive a 30% discount on admission to the Club and Grandstand Enclosures on production of a valid Students' Union card and admission is free for accompanied children.

For corporate events, such as conferences, exhibitions, meetings and training courses, Windsor Racecourse offers a choice of 23 indoor facilities, each featuring spectacular views over the racecourse and the surrounding countryside. The racecourse also has extensive grass and hard standing areas outdoors, which are licensed for entertainment, food and drink and suitable for any kind of outdoor event. Windsor Racecourse is easily accessible from the M25, M4 and M3 motorways and extensive free parking is available on-site.

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Getting there

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What's unique about the course at Windsor?

Windsor course guide
The round course at Windsor is a fairly sharp figure of eight, just over a mile and a half around, with a long, 5-furlong straight. In races over a mile and a mile and a quarter, runners turn only right-handed, but in races over a mile and a half they're required to turn right and left-handed.

Races over 6 furlongs start on a chute that joins the round course at the 5-furlong marker. Although the course is sharp in character, the length of the home straight gives big, long-striding gallopers plenty of time to get going, so they're rarely disadvantaged.


Notable Races and Events

Lay TimeThe most valuable and prestigious race on the Windsor Racecourse calendar is the one and only Pattern race of the year, the Winter Hill Stakes, a Group 3 contest run over a mile and a quarter in August. In 2012, the race was won by Andrew Balding's 4-year-old Lay Time, who scraped home by the minimum margin from Roger Charlton's 4-year-old Primevere. Lay Time had a cut at Grade 1 company later in the season, but finished last of ten, beaten 11 lengths, in the Canadian International Stakes at Woodbine.

On a more successful note, Richard Hughes became only the second jockey in the history of British horseracing to ride seven winners on a single card at Windsor in October 2012. Hughes completed a 10,168/1 seven-timer on his way to capturing the British Flat Jockeys' Championship.

HughesMuch longer ago in the history of Windsor Racecourse, Gordon Richards, later to become Sir Gordon Richards, rode the 2,749th winner of his career at the track in April 1943. In so doing, he surpassed Fred Archer's record for career winners.

Top Owners, Jockeys and Trainers

Wiltshire trainer Richard Hannon is very fond of Windsor and has had more than twice as many runners as any other trainer during the last five seasons. Unremarkably, he is far and away the most successful trainer, with 84 winners from 474 runners, nearly four times more winners than anyone else. A similar comment applies to Hannon's stable jockey and son-in-law, Richard Hughes, who is head and shoulders above the opposition with 79 winners from 352 rides. The owners' table is a little more competitive, but Godolphin, with 15 winners from 67 runners, still holds a healthy lead over the competition.

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