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Bath Racecourse

Published on: 08/08/2016

At 780 feet (238 metres) above sea level, Bath racecourse in Somerset, can claim to be the most elevated flat racing venue in the UK and the third-highest overall behind the jump tracks at Hexham and Exeter.

The left-handed course is one mile, four furlongs and 25 yards in distance and is renowned for having a challenging uphill section leading to the finishing line. Every year, between April and October, around 20 fixtures are scheduled including the Lansdown Fillies Stakes, which takes place in April; and the Dick Hern Fillies’ Stakes, which is run in August.

Racing in Bath can be traced back to 1728, when a competition was held at Claverton Down, just a few miles from the current course. Races were first held at the current Lansdown Hill site in the 1770s but were not held regularly until 1811. During the 19th century, the course gained recognition thanks to the Somersetshire Stakes which was held a week before the Epsom Derby and often featured contenders for the big race.

Just after the turn of the 20th century, the course was sold to a syndicate that also owned the racecourse at Newbury. During the Second World War, it was occasionally used as a landing field by the RAF.

In 1954, the course became the scene of one of betting great scandals. A French horse, Francasal was swapped with a stronger horse called Santa Amaro in the Spa Spelling Stakes. The horse was priced at 10-1 but attracted a sudden surge of betting activity which alerted off-course bookmakers. However, they were unable to contact the racecourse to lay off odds because the only telephone line had been cut. Both horses vanished but were later found and five men were arrested, four of whom were eventually found guilty of conspiracy and fraud at the Old Bailey courthouse in London.

The course was later sold to the Arena Racing Company (ARC) and the facilities were upgraded. As a result, the racecourse became a popular venue for other activities such as weddings and conferences.

The current racing calendar at Bath Racecourse includes many famous meeting including:

The racecourse boasts two full-service restaurants, various fast food outlets, two bars and a Champagne Lawn. Punters can choose between a Grandstand Enclosure ticket, which offers great views and full access to the public areas; or a Centre Course Picnic Enclosure ticket, which offers picnic space and parking within the enclosure, as well as food, drink and betting facilities.

Published on: 08/08/2016 © Bet Bind
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