Uttoxeter Racecourse

Address:
The Racecourse, Wood Lane, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, ST14 8BD - Map & Directions
Telephone:
01889 562561
Entrance to Uttoxeter Racecourse
Entrance to Uttoxeter Racecourse (Gregory Marler / Wikipedia.org)

Based in Staffordshire, Uttoxeter racecourse was built and opened in the early 1900s, replacing the Keele Park racecourse, which closed down slightly earlier. Racing has been consistent at Uttoxeter since it opened, apart from spells of closure during both the First and Second World Wars, although it almost closed in the 1940s when a farmer who owned part of the land refused to sell his share for the price that was offered.

After a compromise and help from the local council, the land was purchased and the course reopened. In 1988, Sir Stanley Clarke CBE purchased the course and invested a large sum of money into the redevelopment and improvement of the course facilities, completely modernising the site, building two huge new grandstands in the process.

Those who wish to travel to Uttoxeter racecourse by car are advised to exit the M1 and take the A50 to Uttoxeter town centre, following the numerous signposts to the racecourse. Alternatively, those travelling by train will be pleased to know that Uttoxeter railway station is adjacent to the racecourse and is frequented by services from Derby and Stoke-on-Trent.

Ticket Prices

Entrance to the Grandstand and Paddock enclosures is available for as little as £15 on most race days, with access to the centre course priced at just £10. These prices are based on advance tickets bought online, with prices expected to increase for those buying at the gate.

Those attending under the age of 18 are granted access to all enclosures free of charge when accompanied by a full paying adult and it is advisable for teenagers to carry proof of age if they intend to avail of this offer.

The Course

Uttoxeter only hosts National Hunt races, on a course that is run left-handed around a misshaped oval that measures 1m2f in circumference. Despite the course being left-handed, it also features a right-handed dogleg across the back straight, which often results in jockeys straying from the rail. There are some fairly minor undulations present around the course but the final 4f straight is even less fluctuating and is more or less flat.

The steeplechase course features eight fences, with half of them coming in the home straight prior to the winning post, making for a challenging finish. At the beginning of the home stretch, there is an adjoining chute, which is used as a starting point for chases two miles in length. Two mile hurdle races also begin from a chute with the first obstacle coming just before the main circuit. The remaining six flights are split evenly between the back and home straights.

Tactics Conditions Dependent

Depending on what time of year it is, the ground at Uttoxeter can be especially heavy or it can be very much on the quick side. It certainly has a reputation for offering the former with gruelling underfoot conditions far from a rarity. At such times of year, lasting the trip is vitally important as any horse caught flagging with a lap to go will find it near impossible to make up ground.

It’s a completely different story when the going is good though as Uttoxeter is naturally a quick course, one that places a real emphasis on speed. Jockeys can afford to be patient on testing ground but prominent tactics prove more successful when the ground allows for a much faster pace.

Skelton’s Speciality

Harry Skelton is the jockey to watch out for whenever he makes the trip to Uttoxeter. When checking his record in September 2019, the brother of trainer Dan Skelton enjoyed 83 victories from 253 starts, an exceptional strike rate of 33%. Backing him consistently would’ve provided you with an equally exceptional level stakes profit of 87.66.

Interestingly though, this figure isn’t quite enough to match the one posted by the recently retired Noel Fehily. Despite only winning 21% of the time, a series of long-odds successes saw the Irishman end his career with a huge +105.84 level stakes profit at Uttoxeter. We hope you were on!

Major Meetings at Uttoxeter

The most important race run each year at Uttoxeter is easily the Midlands Grand National that takes place each March and was first run back in 1969. The steeplechase race takes place over a substantial distance of 4m1f and 110yds and has always been covered by Channel 4, apart from a seven year spell of coverage by the BBC which began shortly before the millennium.

No horse has won the national more than once and just four jockeys have won the race on more than one occasion. Another prestigious race at Uttoxeter is the English Summer National Handicap Chase, another test of stamina which is run every June over a distance of 3m4f.

Dining and Hospitality

Uttoxeter Racecourse
Uttoxeter Racecourse (Dave Pickersgill / geograph.org.uk)

The Silks Restaurant at Uttoxeter racecourse is priced at just £72 per head, whilst the Hoops Bistro and Champagne Bar is available for as little as £62 per person. In terms of private boxes, there are three price brackets, with each varying in benefits and menu.

The Silver hospitality box is the cheapest and is available for just £85. The Gold and Platinum options are the two most expensive options, priced at £120 and £145 per person respectively with improved food and drink as you would expect.

Map

Swap Start/End

Grudge Matches