Leicester Racecourse is around four miles south-east of Leicester city centre. Thus, it is busy year-round. Leicester is a very popular venue. That’s because it is close enough to several training centres. Also, it’s in an area with a high population. Both the races and the stands draw good crowds.
Leicester Racecourse has hosted races since the 1800s. The area has a good racing history. The current course is dual-purpose. That means it hosts both National Hunt and flat meetings throughout the year.
Sam Twiston-Davies, Harry Skelton, Aidan Coleman, and Richard Johnson have all raced at Leicester. They are among the most accomplished jumps jockeys to have raced here. This goes to show that Leicester attracts the crème de la crème. Trainer-wise Tom George, Dan Skelton and Nigel Twiston-Davies are the top dogs.
Over on the flat, things are arguably even more star-studded. Champion jockeys Jim Crowley, Paul Hanagan, and Silvestre De Sousa have ridden here. They join Andrea Atzeni as the most prominent riders.
The juggernaut-like stables of Richard Fahey, Mark Johnston, Richard Hannon, and Mick Channon have churned out the winners alongside superstar handler Sir Michael Stoute, who often sends a good one to this course.
Leicester remains one of the most popular tracks in the country among trainers. Thus, it always attracts its fair share of top-quality horses. This begs the question, why Leicester Racecourse doesn’t have more pattern races scheduled.
Ticket Prices at Leicester Racecourse
For a typical National Hunt meeting at Leicester general admission is £15. That’s pretty competitive. Leicester maintains the same price structure on the flat broadly speaking. Prices increase to £20 for Gentlemen’s Day or £30 for Ladies Day, for example. Whereas restaurant and hospitality, packages are also on sale.
Leicester Racecourse Details
Leicester is a right-handed, undulating oval with a stiff finish. There are essentially three tracks listed here to accommodate all of the various races the venue handles, though, actually, flat and hurdles races share a space.
A mile and six furlongs round with a five-furlong run-in and a straight track accommodating races up to seven furlongs, the flat course at Leicester is mainly downhill on the straight track to halfway before rising gradually over the last couple of furlongs and up to the line.
Generally speaking, it’s a fair galloping track but it’s one that doesn’t take the rain too well so it will hold up many horses when the softer ground comes. Therefore, Leicester suits hold-up horses more than anything else, so be wary of confirmed fast-going front-runners who may run out of steam late on.
There is a slight dip down the back straight and then that familiar uphill climb after the final turn, with the emphasis here having usually been on stamina and not speed. The hurdle races are actually run on the flat course which could have been overused and churned up, so they are often even more testing than the steeplechases which is always something to keep in mind.
Naturally, we see the same dip down the back and the same gruelling uphill finish over fences. The obstacles here have been made a little bit easier over recent years, but it is still felt that you will need a very competent jumper to be successful around here.
Most jockeys find the second fence in the back straight a little tricky. And the overall emphasis is still on stamina because of that finish. However, due to being churned up and watered during the flat season, the hurdles track is always softer than this one so over fences you will not need to necessarily find a slow, dour stayer.
Biggest Races at Leicester Racecourse
While the two races below in terms of the standard are Leicester’s two biggest events across both codes, their maiden and novice races on the flat are the ones to really watch out for during the summer months.
Some of the top trainers in the country send some of their very brightest talents to Leicester in order to gain experience, so always be on the lookout for a Newmarket or Lambourn trainer sending a horse here for a top owner as it may well be a future Group 1 star.
- King Richard III Stakes (Flat) – Listed Race, 7f, April
- Leicestershire Silver Fox Handicap Chase (Jumps) – 2m4f, December
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