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The Stratford Racecourse

Published on: 23/08/2013

Stratford on Avon racecourse is a left handed track, which hosts numerous events, the most prestigious probably being some of the National Hunt events. This impressive track is located in the heart of Shakespeare’s county, and has been a popular site with jockeys and the public for many years. Its diminutive size certainly hasn’t detracted from events being run there: it has sixteen race meetings held each year, as well as the important Champion Hunter Chase, held during Junes two day Stratford Foxhunter’s meeting. Things are never quiet at this busy track.

The Racecourse’s Impressive History

There are records going as far back as 1769 which detail regular races taking place on the site of the Track, which was known as Shottery Meadow. 200 years later the same race, as part of three day Garrick’s Shakespearean Jubilee, was still taking place, proving the unbroken interest in the track. The Garrick Jubilee Challenge Cup was inaugurated in 1969, a race specifically commemorating that first event held at Stratford Racecourse.

There was a lengthy hiatus of racing between 1778and 1836, but in 1839 and 1840 the Grand National Champion Lottery was the winner of the four mile chase at Stratford. Once again the track was closed for a period of 6 years from 1843, thankfully for the last time to date. From this reopening more and more impressive and prestigious events have been run at Stratford, such as the Diamond Jubilee Cup in 1897, the Avon Steeple Chase in 1867, and the Warwickshire Hunt Coronation Cup in 1902. From the middle of the nineteenth century the track has gone from strength to strength. Many jockeys have a particular affinity for Stratford: Richard Johnson A.P. McCoy have always performed well there, as well as many others. The track has attracted top trainers such as Nigel Twiston-Davies and Jonjo O’Neill.

Racing Schedules at Stratford

The Irish Day gets the racing started at Stratford, with May and June featuring the Estates Day and Family Day respectively. The Family Day is one to watch out for, as it features the Birmingham Post Handicap Chase, or the Stratford Summer Cup as it is more widely known. The annual Ladies day is put on in July, which is a local event of particular interest, including as it does prizes for the best dressed attendees. Stratford is considerably more relaxed and non stringent in its dress code, unlike Epsom or Ascot.

The racecourse itself is structurally very impressive, featuring three separate enclosures: the Tattersalls Enclosure, the Centre Course, and the Club Enclosure. The Chaser room offers a wide range of food and drinks, along with a carvery and hot buffet. The Gallery restaurant is only open to Annual Members and Enclosure Patrons. Recent culinary additions to the site are Alice’s Noodle Bar, and the Bridge bar carvery. Whatever your food tastes, you will certainly not go hungry at Stratford Racecourse! Like all top class tracks Stratford has private boxes, which can be rented out for personal or corporate events. There is a disabled viewing area, and a picturesque Picnic Enclosure. Those under the age of 18 are admitted free, provided they are accompanied by an adult, with ticket prices ranging from £10 to £20. Stratford isn’t just the home of Shakespeare, but world class horse racing too!

Published on: 23/08/2013 © Bet Bind