Leicester Racecourse

The history of horseracing in the vicinity of Leicester can be traced back to 1603, but the racecourse in its current location, in Oadby, three miles south of Leicester city centre, staged its first fixture in 1883. The Belvoir Stand, which is tagged onto the old wooden grandstand, now houses a spacious members’ club lounge, offering excellent viewing straight down the course. Leicester is one of the busiest turf racecourses in the country with 21 Flat and 12 National Hunt fixtures throughout the year.

 

Course Characteristics

The round course at Leicester is a right-handed, galloping, testing oval, about a mile and threequarters around, with a home straight over half a mile long. The straight seven-furlong course falls for the first three furlongs or so, but rises again for the next quarter of a mile before levelling out before the winning post. High numbers are best on the straight course.

The National Hunt course features ten easy fences, or eight flights of hurdles per circuit and a run-in of just over a furlong. Once again, the last three furlongs are uphill, creating a stiff test of stamina.

 

Track Facts

An audacious betting coup was attempted at Leicester on March 29 1982, when Good Turn, a three-year-old, was substituted for Flockton Grey, a two-year-old, and duly won the Knighton Auction Stakes by 20 lengths under Kevin Darley.

In 2012, with funding from the Levy Board, the Leicester racecourse executive created a new bend on the far side of the course to solve some of the problems with providing fresh ground on such a narrow course.

The steeplechase course at Leicester maintains a healthy covering of grass all year round, despite having no irrigation system.

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