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Race Courses ... Recommendations

West Coast NZ
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Race Courses ... Recommendations

There will no doubt be many questions to follow this for the knowledgable forum people. Although just reading Q & A's gives heaps of info and ideas.

OK, we will be in UK for about 6 weeks from NZ and would like to experience an English race day somewhere. I have looked up the racing website and for the dates that would suit, the following races are sheduled. Has anyone been to these racecourses or have preferences. Also day or evening races best?

August 15, Sun Bath (Day)

" 19, Thu Chepstow (Evening)

" 20, Fri Salisbury (Evening)

" 21, Sat Bath (Evening)

" 27, Fri Bath (Evening)

" 30, Mon Chepstow (Day)

We will be in London 9th - 13th (ish). Would like to do Windsor (evening) but it is the evening of arrival from L.A. (3.50pm) so I guess we'll be knackered. Also that week 11th Sandown (E), 12th Goodwood (E), but I'm sure these are too far out of London.

Many thanks.

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Hampshire, United...
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1. Re: Race Courses ... Recommendations

Er... If you think Sandown is too far from London, you're in for a big shock with Chepstow, Salisbury and Bath!!

I've only been to Epsom for horse racing, so not much help I'm afraid. However, I just wanted to say that Sandown isn't that far from Hampton Court Palace, which most people would agree is near, if not part of, London.

(Actually - re-reading your post, I think you're looking at somewhere to visit whilst in London, and then moving on to the likes of Bath or Chepstow, yes?)

Have you also looked at Windsor, Ascot and Epsom racecourses? All accessible from London.

Essex
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2. Re: Race Courses ... Recommendations

Windsor is a nice little racecourse and the 'vibe' there is very friendly. I know that jet-lag can be a pain, but I can recommend you making the effort to get there if you think you can take it.

Sandown is closer to London than Chepstow, Bath & Goodwood.

Sandown is a nice course, quite large and one of the more 'modern' ones, meets there can be quite posh. They lay on special Race Trains for meets there, so you should have no problem getting there from London, and you might well be on a trainload of peeps all going the same way, that can be quite fun.

Goodwood is in a nice setting, and that Sussex Area has a lot to offer too, so IF you fancy a side-trip, I'd get myself down there somehow, hire a car and then you can explore the area - there are houses such as Goodwood itself, Petworth and some nice towns like Chichester and Arundel that are not so far away.

You also might like to take a day trip to Newmarket, if you get there early in the morning, (or stay overnight then get up early) you will see strings of Horses going through the town (they have special traffic lights for them) up to the gallops for exercise.

You also can visit the National Stud, and the National Horseracing Museum, things that I suspect might interest you a lot.

http://www.nationalstud.co.uk/tours-Times.asp

http://www.nhrm.co.uk/

You can also do tours of working Training yards on particular days:

www.newmarketexperience.co.uk/daysout.php

I think you will probably have checked this site, but have a look at:

http://www.britishhorseracing.com/

The BHA website, they have all the fixtures there

Point-to-Pointing is another form of Horseracing that you might find 'available' when you are here, these are less formal meets organised by local hunts. A bit more like the old-fashioned 'Country' Races they hold in OZ. Don't know if you have them in NZ tho?? For these though you might well want a car, most people tend to 'picnic' from their car boot and they have a very relaxed vibe:

http://www.pointtopoint.co.uk/index.html

Wherever you get to, you will have a blast!!

Edited: 12 May 2010, 12:37
england
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3. Re: Race Courses ... Recommendations

I like Sandown, it actually has its own train stop next to the course (Esher).

It must be the easiest racecourse to get to from London. And how nice to have someone say racecourse instead of that horrible modern term race track which is creeping in, I was always told 'horses for courses', 'tracks for hacks'. ;-)

Stanley, Falkland...
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4. Re: Race Courses ... Recommendations

Just to be pedantic, I think Kempton is easier than Sandown - you step off the train (to Shepperton, from Waterloo) and you are in the course, about a 3 minute walk to the stand. Sandown is about a 10 minute walk.

It's also on a hill with good views over west London (Sandown).

Kempton usually has 'theme' nights during the summer - James Bond, Irish, etc. with some entertainment. Watching the cavalry pulling field guns up the track makes a change from my usual bets. The guns are used during the rendition of the '1812 Overture' . Spectacular.

england
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5. Re: Race Courses ... Recommendations

hi peterscot,

I'll be pedantic too!

I think you will find it is not the Cavalry, it is their arch rivals the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery.

'The cavalry are soldiers pretending they can ride, the King's Troop are horsemen pretending they are soldiers'. (A gunner from the troop told me this).

Essex
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6. Re: Race Courses ... Recommendations

Just to be awkward,

IMHO Sandown is much nicer than Kempton (but Kempton is OK......)

East Sussex, United...
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7. Re: Race Courses ... Recommendations

Ive only been a couple of times with a group of colleagues from work but the Monday evening meetings at Windsor are well worth a visit. Nice course in a good location, and each meeting is also 'themed' with entertainment all thrown in with the entrance fee.

Hampshire, United...
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8. Re: Race Courses ... Recommendations

KEMPTON!! THAT'S the one I've been to for horse-racing. Epsom is where my NHS trust goes for a jolly, I mean, large Trust events. I knew I was missing a local racecourse somewhere!

Bucks, UK
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9. Re: Race Courses ... Recommendations

Sandown is very easy from London and is a lovely course. They are running a comedy night that evening (after the races) which sounds like fun. Go to Sandown.

If you have a car, by all means go to Goodwood. You will be there for Glorious Goodwood, which would be fun if you enjoy dressing up, quaffing champagne and people-watching, but might be a bit much if you have an aversion to Toffs. Chepstow is a nice course if you happen to be in the Bristol/S.Wales area, but it's not worth a special trip unless you are interested in a particular race meeting there.

All these courses have websites if you want to research further.

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Bristol
Bristol
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Stanley, Falkland...
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10. Re: Race Courses ... Recommendations

Thanks for the clarification, fuschiagirlengland. I'm not sure how I've got through life without knowing that! :-)

Anyway, with the fireworks and the artillery, it's one of the most spectacular nights at a racecourse. Plus the fat lady leading 10,000 people singing 'Rule Britannia'!