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Exeter Racecourse

Published on: 20/11/2016

Exeter Racecourse is located on top of the Haldon Hills in Devon, overlooking the city of Exeter to one side and the wilderness of Dartmoor to the other. Exeter Racecourse is considered to be one of the best jump tracks in the country. It hosts between 15 and 18 National Hunt meetings every year between October and May. The highlight of the season is the Haldon Gold Cup which takes place in November and provides a substantial cash prize worth over £60,000.

It is thought that horse racing first occurred in Devon more than three centuries ago during the reign of King Charles II. In 1750, when the Jockey Club was founded, racing in Exeter becoming officially regulated. The track remains the highest in the UK with and offers visitors far-reaching views of the Devon countryside.

In the early days, the course was christened Haldon Racecourse. It later became the Exeter & Devon before it was re-named again in the 1990s. Exeter racecourse is renowned as being one of the best National Hunt courses in the South West and has the second longest track in England. The track includes eleven fences and a difficult uphill run of half-a-mile to the finishing post. The course is exceptionally demanding in winter and is better suited to horses with the strength and the stamina to endure the tough run-in.

Exeter Racecourse has hosted many popular race meetings throughout the years including November’s William Hill Gold Cup meet which offers the venue’s biggest prize. The New Year’s Day meeting draws huge crowds as well as top-class trainers, jockeys and horses.

The much-loved and world famous horse, Desert Orchid won his first chase at Exeter Racecourse in the mid-eighties. Champion chaser, Azertyuiop, claimed victory over the Haldon Gold Cup in 2004. Denman’s first run at Exeter gained him a victory before he went on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2008. Kauto Star was a novice from France who became a two-time winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup and ran some of his first English events at Exeter.

Three-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Best Mate was perhaps the most famous jump horse to run at Exeter. His Cheltenham Gold Cup exploits matched Arkle’s celebrated record and made him a household name. Unfortunately, in 2005, Best Mate suffered a suspected heart attack at Exeter Racecourse during the Haldon Gold Cup race and perished. He had previously won the same race back in 2001. Other highly-regarded events hosted by Exeter Racecourse include October’s Best Mate Novice Chase Day, New Year’s Day racing, February’s Cheltenham Festival Preview and the grand finale event, May’s Ladies Night.

An array of packages are available to choose from such as the Haldon Package, which contains Premium entry, food and drink in the Denman Room, a tip sheet and a race card. Another option is the Punters package, which includes Grandstand and Paddock entry, light refreshments in the Martin Pipe Bar, an exclusive tour of the racecourse and a race card.

In recent years, Exeter Racecourse has undergone extensive renovation works costing in excess of £2 million. The improvements have extended the conference rooms, created race day hospitality areas and improved the member’s facilities by making the Haldon Stand bigger. The venue also features the Desert Orchid Restaurant and fast food facilities.

Published on: 20/11/2016 © Bet Bind