Chepstow Racecourse

Chepstow

Chepstow Races

Situated just over the River Severn in south-east Wales, Chepstow Racecourse is a historic venue which stages action both on the flat and jumps throughout the year. Although initially just a flat course, Chepstow is now arguably better known for its National Hunt meetings, with the showpiece Coral Welsh Grand National fixture - on December 27 each year - often attracting a sellout crowd.

The racecourse was built in 1926 and over 20,000 people attended the inaugural race meeting at Chepstow.

David Nicholson, the ex-racehorse trainer and jockey, added his name to the Chepstow hall of fame by partnering three successive Welsh Grand National winners in 1959, 1960 and 1961 with Limonali twice and Clover Bud.

In the late 80s and early 90s, the race was dominated by Somerset trainer Martin Pipe, with Bonanza Boy winning the race in 1988 and 1989 while Pipe also won the feature in 1991, 1992 and 1993.

The racecourse also hosts several music nights throughout the season, with acclaimed Welsh singer Tom Jones as well as Madness and All Saints performing at the track in recent times.

The Racecourse at Chepstow

Chepstow boasts a flat and National Hunt track, with both providing a decent stamina test and a long straight. Both are left-handed and very undulating, and with a run-in of five furlongs, horses can often get racing a long way out.

On the flat track, all races up to a mile are run on the straight course but that can still take a bit of getting so ideally you want a horse which has no issues at the trip.

On the jumps track, it again has the five-furlong finish with 11 fences on the oval course, including several on the home straight which can put a premium on jumping under pressure. The final run-in of 250 yards can also catch horses out, especially over the Welsh Grand National distance. Conditions can be very testing and with five fences in the straight, the first part of which is downhill, front runners do well here and can often be hard to peg back.

The record times for Chepstow are actually very fast considering the soft conditions during the winter months, but it can ride very fast when the ground is quick. You definitely should consider any stamina doubts over the jumps track, with horses often struggling in what can be attritional conditions.

The other things to consider seriously are the undulations and the downhill run from the last and you can often see tired horses make a mistake at the final hurdle or fence as a result.

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Dress code at Chepstow Racecourse

Chepstow Racecourse has a relaxed dress code in the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure and fancy dress is welcomed when appropriate.

In the Premier Enclosure & Hospitality area, they do operate a smart-casual dress code. That includes smart shoes only (formal dress shoes), no trainers, canvas shoes, sandals or flip-flops and no sportswear including football or rugby shirts.

In the Grandstand & Paddock enclosure, the dress code is more relaxed. Tailored shorts and T-Shirts are worn by racegoers enjoying the sun, while more relaxed footwear, including smart trainers and canvas shoes are also allowed within this enclosure.

Chepstow fixtures

14th June Flat - Afternoon - Turf

24th June Flat - Afternoon - Turf

2nd July Flat - Evening - Turf

12th July Flat (All Saints Live) - Evening - Turf

18th July Flat - Afternoon - Turf

26th July Flat - Evening - Turf

15th August Flat - Evening - Turf

22nd August Flat - Afternoon - Turf

26th August Flat - Afternoon - Turf

2nd September Flat - Afternoon - Turf

12th September Flat - Afternoon - Turf

17th September Flat - Afternoon - Turf

11th October Jump - Afternoon - Turf

12th October Jump - Afternoon - Turf

29th October Jump - Afternoon - Turf

6th November Jump - Afternoon - Turf

20th November Jump - Afternoon - Turf

7th December Jump - Afternoon - Turf

27th December Jump (Coral Welsh Grand National) - Afternoon - Turf

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Chepstow Racecourse Events

Despite being initially built as a flat course - the great Sir Gordon Richards rode the winners of 11 consecutive races there across two days in 1933 - the track is now better known for National Hunt racing. The marquee race day takes place on December 27, with the highlight being the £150,000 Coral Welsh Grand National. The race has seen several impressive winners in recent years with 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Native River taking the 2016 renewal.

Bindaree and Silver Birch both completed the Welsh National/Grand National double back in 2003 and 2007 respectively while Synchronised - the 2010 Welsh National winner - would go on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2012 under AP McCoy.

The card also includes the Grade 1 Finale Juvenile Hurdle, a race which often throws up several Triumph Hurdle contenders at the Cheltenham Festival. Defi Du Seuil won the Chepstow Grade 1 en route to Triumph glory for Philip Hobbs in 2016, while We Have A Dream bagged the £37,000 first prize in Wales before taking the Anniversary Four-Year-Old Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree.

Directions to Chepstow Racecourse

Chepstow Racecourse is on the A466 Chepstow to Monmouth Road, not far from the Severn Bridge. From the M4 East (Junction 21) or M4 West (Junction 23), take the M48 and exit at Junction 2 (Chepstow). You can then follow the brown racecourse signs all the way to the track.

There is a special race day bus service, provided by Newport Transport which operates from Chepstow Train Station via the town bus station to the racecourse. The service also operates from Newport to the course from the train station.

Chepstow train station is 1.4 miles away from Chepstow Racecourse and is accessible from Birmingham, Cardiff, Cheltenham Spa, Derby, Gloucester, Newport and Nottingham. Further connections are available at Newport for London (Paddington), Shrewsbury, Crewe, Manchester, Exeter, Salisbury, Portsmouth and all parts of Wales, South and West England.

Bristol Airport is around 30 miles away from the course while Cardiff Airport is 45 miles away. If you have the luxury of owning a helicopter, they can land on the racecourse by prior arrangement.

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