Ludlow Racecourse

Address:
Bromfield, Ludlow, Salop, SY8 2BT - Map & Directions
Telephone:
01584 856221
The Grandstand at Ludlow
The Grandstand at Ludlow (David Stowell / geograph.org.uk)

Previous records seem to suggest that some form of horse racing was taking place in Ludlow as early as the 14th century, however racing didn’t start happening frequently on the current site until 1729. National Hunt rules racing wasn’t introduced at Ludlow until the middle of the 19th century, but due to its popularity and success it quickly became the dominant force, with flat racing eventually dropped altogether.

There are 16 days of National Hunt racing each calendar year at Ludlow and it is popular with those either side of the Welsh border, with trainers often using the races at Ludlow as a way to prove their up and coming horses and see how they cope in preparation for high profile competitions.

Located just 40 miles form Birmingham, Ludlow sits in the picturesque Shropshire countryside and is very popular with visitors. The course is situated two miles north of Ludlow town centre lying just off the A49, and can be accessed by following the brown tourist signs, with free car parking available for all visitors. Alternatively, customers are welcome to travel by train, with Ludlow station located on the Newport to Crewe line. Frequent trains from London serve Newport, whilst Crewe is accessible from most major stations in the north of England. Ludlow station is just two miles south of the racecourse, with a free connecting bus service available on race days, reasonably priced taxis or a brisk walk all fine options.

Ticket Prices

Ludlow racecourse ticket prices are priced very reasonably, with Members’ Badge access priced at just £21. Grandstand and paddock entry is £16 whilst access to the course enclosure costs as little as £10. Visitors under the age of 18 are allowed entry free of charge when accompanied by a full paying adult, however unaccompanied under 18s will not be permitted access to the enclosure.

The Course

Consisting of only a National Hunt track, the course at Ludlow is run right-handed, is oval in shape and quite galloping in nature. Much like at Kelso, the steeplechase and hurdle courses mostly run side by side but separate on the far side, creating two different back straights.

The hurdles course is the one set further back, making the overall circuit a slightly longer one, coming in at 1m 5f and featuring six flights. It’s the more undulating of the two but the ups and downs are relatively minor on both courses.

The shorter steeplechase course measures at 1m4f in circumference and features nine fences, with the solitary water ditch bypassed on the second circuit. As far as fences come, they are on the easy side but the first one down the home straight is known to catch the odd horse out. Turning is trickier on the steeplechase course on the account of the bends on the far side being considerably sharper.

Henderson Hunting Ground

Nicky Henderson has long been a massive fan of Ludlow. Seeing it as one of the ideal places to try out some of his inexperienced but speedy looking runners, he’s regularly got a name or two in the mix here.

As of September 2019, the multi-time British Champion trainer had sent 433 runners to the galloping course, winning on a hugely impressive 141 occasions (33% win rate). Had you bet £1 on every single horse of his in this time, you’d have collected yourself a very handsome £94.68 profit. Clearly, he knows what horses do well here so always take his entries seriously.

A Front Runner’s Course

A look at pace analysis tells us that there’s a strong early leader bias over two-miles at Ludlow. As a pacey and largely flat track that places little emphasis on stamina, those that begin quickly on the ground and are just as fast over the fences often proven hard to peg back.

A look at 67 chases no more than 2m 1½f in length gives front runners a huge Impact Value of 3.01, making them three times more likely to prevail than the rest. This is a score third only to Hexham and Taunton so it’s definitely a place where you should favour horses who have a tendency to feature among the early leaders.

Major Meetings at Ludlow

Meeting at Ludlow
Meeting at Ludlow (Clint Mann / geograph.org.uk)

Due to being a relatively small course, there are no real major meetings of any note during the year, however there are a number of sponsored and charity events, particularly aimed at children in order to make the venue a fun and family-friendly day out.

Dining and Hospitality

Ludlow Course
Ludlow Racecourse (Peter Evans / geograph.org.uk)

For those wishing to enjoy a day at the races in the comfort of their own private box, Ludlow offers a number of affordable, luxury hospitality boxes. Priced at just £75 per head, private boxes at Ludlow allow visitors to watch the racing in their own personal space and enjoy the day with friends and with a private bar, choice of menus and race day programme all included it really is very competitively priced. Alternatively, the Jubilee Stand Restaurant offers a three course lunch starting at just £60.50 per person, depending on the location in the restaurant.

Map

Swap Start/End

Grudge Matches