Wolverhampton Racecourse is set in 22 acres of grassland in Dunstall Park, just a mile north of the city centre of Wolverhampton in the West Midlands region of England. The first race meeting at Dunstall Park was in 1888, but it was in 1993 that the course and its facilities received a complete overhaul. In that year, an all-weather, Fibresand track, equipped with floodlights was installed and a new grandstand, along with executive boxes, restaurants and a hotel were built. In 1999, the racecourse was bought by Arena Leisure plc and, in 2004, the original Fibresand track was replaced with Polytrack. Today, Wolverhampton stages Flat racing on Polytrack only, but is, nevertheless, the busiest racecourse in the country, with 110 fixtures all year round.
For race goers, Wolverhampton Racecourse offers a choice of the Premier Enclosure and the Grandstand Enclosure. Admission to the Premier Enclosure costs £25 on Boxing Day, £20 on Saturday evenings, £15 on midweek and weekend afternoons between February and December and just £5 during January. Admission to the Grandstand costs £15 on Boxing Day, £10 on Saturday evenings, £10 on midweek and weekend afternoons between February and December and is free during January. Admission to both enclosures is free for accompanied children at all times.
For corporate events, such as conferences, meetings and exhibitions, Wolverhampton Racecourse offers a selection of conference suites, newly refurbished in terms of conference equipment, décor and furnishings and capable of accommodating between 2 and 600 people. In addition to flexible indoor spaces, the racecourse offers a large, secure area of grassland in the centre of the course suitable for large outdoor events, including music concerts and festivals. Free parking for over 1,500 vehicles is available, along with accommodation in the Holiday Inn hotel within the racecourse complex, if required.
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What's unique about the course at Wolverhampton?
The Polytrack course at Wolverhampton is a flat, left-handed oval, about a mile in circumference. The bends are fairly sharp and, along with the short, two-furlong straight, favours horses that like to lead or race close to the pace.
Notable Races and Events
For all that Wolverhampton stages 110 fixtures a year, no Pattern races and only one Listed race, the Lady Wilfruna Stakes, run over 7 furlongs in March, are run on the course. The other notable race on the Wolverhampton calendar is the Lincoln Trial Handicap, run over 1 mile ½ furlong, on the same card as the Lady Wilfruna Stakes. In 2013, the race was won by Alan Bailey's 4-year-old Strictly Silver, who went on to finish eighth, beaten 3½ lengths, in the Lincoln at Doncaster later the same month.
On April 29, jockey Graham Gibbons rode a double at Wolverhampton on Singzak for Michael Easterby and Off The Pulse for John Mackie. However, more drama was to follow because, shortly after finishing fourth on his third and final ride of the day, Sylvia Pankhurst, Gibbons was arrested by the police. Gibbons, 31, had apparently failed to appear at Scarborough Magistrates' Court three days earlier to answer a charge of being drunk and disorderly and was arrested by West Midlands Police, acting on behalf of their colleagues in North Yorkshire.
Top Owners, Jockeys and Trainers
Luke Morris, who's had nearly twice as many rides as any other jockey on the Polytrack at Wolverhampton, is the leading jockey over the last five seasons with 117 winners from 1240 rides. However, he's not really a jockey to follow at Wolverhampton because he has a strike rate of just 9% and has recorded an unhealthy level stakes loss of 370.69 in that period. By contrast, Joe Fanning, who's in second place in the jockeys' table for the last five seasons, with 112 winners from 671 rides, has a strike rate of 17% and has recorded a level stakes profit of 9.49 points. Monmouthshire trainer David Evans is very fond of Wolverhampton and tops the trainers' table with 93 winners from 847 runners over the last five seasons, while Dr. Marwan Koukash is the leading owner with 55 winners from 307 runners.
Follow Wolverhampton Racecourse on Social Networks
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