Stratford Upon Avon Racecourse

Luddington Road, Stratford upon Avon, Warwicks, CV37 9SE - Map & Directions
01789 267949
Stratford-upon-Avon Racecourse
Stratford-upon-Avon Racecourse (Ian Paterson /

The current Stratford-upon-Avon racecourse at Shottery Meadow has been in use for horse racing since 1755 and has hosted racing for over 250 years. Located within a bend in the River Avon among picturesque meadow aesthetics, Stratford is heralded as one of the most attractive and friendly courses in the United Kingdom. Stratford hosts around 15 race meetings between February and November each year, most of which are held between May and August due to Stratford being a big part of the summer jumping programme.

Stratford-upon-Avon racecourse is situated in the Warwickshire countryside and is very accessible, whether travelling by car or by public transport. Stratford-upon-Avon railway station is just a 20-minute walk from the course, with a taxi rank conveniently located outside the station. Trains travelling from most major destinations via Birmingham Moor Street serve the station.

Ticket Prices

There are three enclosures at Stratford with varying price levels, the most expensive being the Club at £20, then the Tattersalls (£16) and the cheapest option is in the centre of the course itself, this area being priced at £10. Club tickets offer great views, access to covered seating, the Champagne Bar and Gallery restaurant and they are ideal for those looking for the full race day experience.

The Tattersalls – which also includes access to the centre of the track (ideal for picnics) – still allows viewing of the parade ring and pre-parade ring and also allows visitors to use the first floor Garrick Bar, as well as all public ground floor areas. Finally, the best value choice is the Centre Course which is ideal for picnics, BBQs and dogs, whilst free children’s entertainment also takes place here. Children aged under 18 are free when coming with a paying adult.

The Course

Stratford Jumps Racecourse Map

Stratford Racecourse is used exclusively for National Hunt races, with the course running left-handed over a distance of 1m2f. Despite its banked bends, the corners are still generally sharp, particularly the one at the far end of the course. There is a gradual incline from this turn to the middle of the back straight, before a sharp descent follows until the home bend, making for a relatively undulating course all in all.

The steeplechase course consists of eight fences, including an open ditch and a water jump, with the water jump being bypassed on the final circuit meaning there is a longer run-in. The hurdles course contains five flights – two of which are positioned in the home straight making the run-in a lot shorter that it is on the steeplechase course.

Need for Speed

As far as National Hunt courses go, Stratford is up there as one of the very quickest. In part it’s due to only holding racing in the summer as the ground here is often on the firmer side. This is especially true of the inside four metres of the hurdle course’s back straight, which according to former clerk of the course Stephen Lambert, tends to be a fair bit firmer than elsewhere. Why this is the case is up for debate but the two most common explanations are that it is either the result of filling and sanding for 150 years or because that particular strip used to be a ridge on some old farmland.

The speed of races combined with what are some fairly challenging fences means the rate of fallers and unseated jockeys at Stratford is towards the high side. Chasers therefore need to be able to jump both quickly and accurately in order to pass the test they will face here. On the hurdles course, the easier obstacles allow ex-flat horses to show off their pace. Due to having a short final straight, jockeys will often put their foot down quite early on too, as chances to make up ground after the bend can be quite limited.

Coleman Underestimated

As of September 2019, Aidan Coleman has ridden 281 horses at Stratford, winning on 58 occasions. The resulting strike rate of 21% is a highly respectable one but falls short of being anything spectacular.

However, that stat alone doesn’t tell the full truth. He’s a jockey who often wins when he perhaps shouldn’t when at Stratford and this has led to him accumulating a huge level stakes net win of 82.80. The bookies seemingly haven’t cottoned onto the fact he rides this course extremely well so it’s something to take advantage of or at least to bear in mind if you fancy the horse he’s riding anyway.

Major Meetings at Stratford-upon-Avon

Jump at Stratford Racecourse
Jump at Stratford Racecourse (David P Howard /

The most popular race held at Stratford is The Corbett Cup, which is a race held for champion novice hurdlers. Other important races include The Horse and Hound Cup, which is the last champion hunter chase of the season, as well as The Ladbroke Hurdle. As well as these races, there are a number of charity and sponsored meetings each year, with family fun days aimed at making race days more accessible for children.

Dining and Hospitality

Stratford Racecourse
Stratford Racecourse (David P Howard /

Stratford offers a wide range of options for racegoers looking for the full racing experience, with a solid range of eating and drinking outlets that can be accessed from the two main enclosures and a good array of corporate hospitality too.

Private boxes catering to groups of between 10 and 90 people or marquees for up to 500 mean almost any group size can be accommodated. All-inclusive packages for such facilities include food, wine, parking, complimentary drinks throughout the day and a variety of further benefits and prices range from £115-£135 per person. There is also a range of corporate packages for similar budgets as well as conference and events facilities.


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