Chelmsford City Racecourse

Address:
Chelmsford, CM3 1QP - Map & Directions
Telephone:
01245 360 300

Chelmsford City Racecourse opened in 2008 as Great Leighs Racecourse and was then the first new racecourse to be opened since 1927, when Taunton galloped into life. Sadly it lasted less than 12 months before going into administration, but it reopened in January 2015 with a new name, one that the owners presumably think will help with marketing the course as it’s actually much closer to Braintree than Chelmsford.

Theoretically there should be a strong market in this area as although Newmarket, the home of British racing, is just 50 miles away, there is no track in Essex itself nor in neighbouring Hertfordshire. The track, which hosts flat races only, is now owned by a syndicate fronted by Betfred owner Fred Done and it is hoped that it will grow into an established course, having reopened on 11th January 2015 for a small invite-only meeting.

The course is five miles north of Chelmsford, with regular trains running from London to the city and the course a 20 minute taxi from the station. Those arriving by car will find access easy enough via the A131, M11 or A120 and there is free parking available on site. In 2015 Chelmsford will host 58 fixtures but they hope to grow that number in their bid to be “Europe’s best all weather horse racing venue”.

Ticket Prices

Chelmsford offers annual memberships, corporate membership and excellent value season tickets, the latter of which is just £180 for all 2015 meetings with additional season tickets (for race-goers who reside at the same address) priced at just £120. Tickets are generally £15 for most meetings, though prices vary, with the highest standard ticket being £22. Children under the age of 16 are free of charge, subject to age verification if requested.

The Course

Chelmsford City offers a completely flat test and is a left-handed oval of slightly more than a mile (8.5 furlongs to be precise). Two chutes allow for 7f and 1m starts and because of the gentle galloping turns and consistent all-weather polytrack surface it is a relatively easy racecourse that doesn’t especially favour any type of horse and is great for inexperienced runners. In terms of the draw and any statistical analysis of winners it’s early days in the track’s history but everything is set up for Chelmsford to be a largely unbiased track. That said there are suggestions that front runners will prosper, whilst low drawn horses, especially in the longer sprints, have also tended to do slightly better than may have been expected. On the home straight the centre of the course is favoured, as at Kempton, Lingfield and Wolverhampton.

Major Meetings at Chelmsford City Racecourse

As a new track there are no major meetings held at Chelmsford, although it is sure to try and bring in some bigger races. The course also plays hosts to fixtures as part of the All-Weather Championships, with those fixtures held up until the 1st April each year.

Dining and Hospitality

There is a good range of dining, drinking and hospitality options available at Chelmsford City with all budgets catered for. The Fairwood Restaurant is situated adjacent to the home straight and can cater to up to 250 guests with two and three course bistro-style menus available for between £41 and £86 depending on the package and fixture. The Fairwood Lounge can be hired with bespoke hospitality options and is opposite the winning post, with a private terrace making the perfect spot to watch a winner romp home. The Club Restaurant and Lounge offers an even more luxurious experience, with packages ranging from £62 to £112, whilst the two Sportsbars offer more informal options and sometimes feature live music after the racing has finished. Packages including a reserved table, drinks and a curry are available for either Sportsbar venue.

Map

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