Chelmsford City Racecourse

chelmsford cityChelmsford City Racecourse, set in Great Leighs, Essex, is one of the ‘new kids on the block’ in terms of UK racecourses. Opened in April 2008 it lacks some of the history of courses that go back centuries, but was seen as a chance to bring racing to a new geographical audience, on account of the lack of race tracks in the area. The brainchild of entrepreneur John Holmes, after a series of postponements the first meeting was held on 20th April 2008. Unfortunately attendence was low and facilities criticised. In January of the next year the course went into administration. It wasn’t until 2015, after several deals fell through, that it resumed once again after Fred Done (Betfred Owner) bought the track.

Fast forward to now and the venue was a new lease of life. In addition to the televised races (on the 8.5 furlong oval – which has a 2-furlong home straight) the course hosts private events, music and events (Ministry of Sound, Fireworks Night, Ladies Day featuring Beverley Knight to name a few) as well as Christmas parties and bespoke packages. Membership of the course – which comes with exclusive benefits – is available too.

Cheltenham is home to some must-see races on its polytrack, such as April’s Cardinal Stakes flat race, as well as listed races such as May’s Chelmer Fillies Stakes, and June’s Queen Charlotte Fillies’ Stakes. The official Cheltenham City Racecourse website is as modern as any racecourse site I’ve seen and you can search through and book events and race days directly with them. It’s great to see the course go from struggling to thriving, and for those looking to watch competitive all-weather racing in the South of England to have a top class course to go to. Casual and serious horse racing fans alike would benefit from checking it out.