Great Yarmouth Racecourse is situated on the northern outskirts of Great Yarmouth, the third largest seaside resort in the country, in Norfolk in the east of England. The history of horseracing in the Great Yarmouth area dates back to 1715, but the racecourse was not established in its current location, on an expanse of low dunes known as the North Denes, until 1920. Great Yarmouth Borough Council took over ownership of the racecourse early in the twentieth century but, in 2001, became a minority shareholder in Greater Yarmouth Racecourse Ltd, of which Arena Racing Corporation (ARC) is the majority shareholder. ARC has been able to finance improvements that Great Yarmouth Borough Council could not, including the construction of the Lord Nelson Grandstand, which was completed in 2004. Nowadays, Great Yarmouth hosts 24 Flat fixtures a year between April and October.
Great Yarmouth Racecourse offers racegoers the choice of the Premier Enclosure, with admission prices ranging from £21 to £24 per person depending on the nature of the fixture being staged and the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure, with admission prices ranging from £14 to £17. Admission is free for accompanied children in both enclosures.
For corporate events, such as conferences, exhibitions and meetings, Great Yarmouth offers a comprehensive range of small, medium and large indoor spaces, including breakout rooms, marquees and suites, capable of accommodating up to 380 people. All of the indoor spaces enjoy natural daylight and offer free Wi-Fi coverage. There are also acres of outdoor space and free car parking for outdoor events, such as product launches and trade shows.
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What's unique about the course at Great Yarmouth?
The round course at Yarmouth is a narrow, left-handed oval, approximately one mile and five furlongs around with sharp bends. There is also a straight mile course. The track is flat throughout, with the exception of a slight fall at the top of the five-furlong straight and galloping in character.
In terms of draw bias, high numbers tend to be favoured on the straight course, especially in large fields. Great Yarmouth Racecourse is built on an accumulation of soft, sandy soil, which covers the ancient land surface to a considerable depth. One consequence of this is horses that run well at Great Yarmouth tend to run well on synthetic, all-weather surfaces, such as Fibresand and Polytrack and vice versa.
Notable Races and Events
The most prestigious and valuable race run at Great Yarmouth is the John Musker Fillies' Stakes, the only Pattern race of the season, which is run over 1 mile 2 furlongs each September. In 2012, Clive Brittain's 3-year-old filly Semayyel, who had just a maiden win to her name and was on a losing run of ten, ran on strongly to win the John Musker Fillies' Stakes by 5 lengths at odds of 125/1.
In 2010, Great Yarmouth Racecourse passed a quality assessment by the national tourist board, VisitEngland and was awarded a plaque bearing the organisation's red rose logo. The VisitEngland inspector described Great Yarmouth as an attractive racecourse, which caters very well for local people and holidaymakers and creates a great family atmosphere.
Great Yarmouth is approximately 70 miles from Newmarket, via the A47 and A11 and is often used by Newmarket trainers for preparatory races for their better horses. Dubai Millennium won a maiden race at Yarmouth on his 2-year-old debut in October 1998, when trained in Newmarket by David Loder. He was transferred to Saeed Bin Suroor in March the following year and went on to win nine out of his ten career starts, including the Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville as a 3-year-old in 1999 and the Group 1 Dubai World Cup, on dirt, at Nad al Sheba and the Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes at Ascot as a 4-year-old in 2000.
His only defeat came in the Derby in 1999 where, despite starting 5/1 favourite after three wins in lesser company, he could only finish ninth, beaten 9¼ lengths, behind Oath. Dubai Millennium was retired to stud at the end of the season in 2000, but his stud career was cut short by his death, from grass fever, in 2001. Nevertheless, as a stallion he still managed to produce five stakes winners from a single crop of 56.
Top Owners, Jockeys and Trainers
Ryan Moore is the leading jockey at Great Yarmouth during the last five seasons with 29 winners from 128 rides, although Jamie Spencer with 27 winners from 153 rides and Hayley Turner with 27 winners from 144 rides are both hot on his heels.
Mark H. Tompkins tops the trainers' table for the same period with 27 winners from 225 runners although, once again, Michael Bell is close behind with 26 winners from 119 runners. Hamdan Al Maktoum is the leading owner with 19 winners from 85 runners in the last five seasons.
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