Chelmsford and it’s surroundings

Chelmsford is the county town of Essex in the South East of England.

The city’s recorded history dates back to 1199 when it was granted a royal charter to hold a market though evidence of Neolithic and Bronze Age settlements have since been found nearby. Chelmsford suffered a great deal of bombing by the Luftwaffe during WWII due to its local light engineering works. It was also a target for V2 rockets. Major employers in Chelmsford have included Marconi, BAE Systems, English Electric Valve Company and Britvic though of these only English Electric Valve Company now incorporated into Teledyne e2v remains in Chelmsford.

There are a few places worth a look in Chelmsford:

Hylands Park –

Chelmsford Cathedral –

RHS Garden Hyde Hall –

The Racecourse

Chelmsford City Racecourse hosts only flat racing on an All-Weather surface. The surface used here is Polytrack. The course has the benefit of floodlights.

Chelmsford is a left-handed track of just over one mile around. The course is essentially galloping in nature, having broad, sweeping turns and a straight of 2f. There are chutes off the main couse for 7f, 1m and 2m starts. The course seems to favour front runners.

The general belief is that low numbers have an advantage in sprints though certainly less so over 6f as the runners have a bit more time to sort themselves out before negotiating the bend.

Clerk of the course: Andrew Waitt

Course telephone number: 01245 360 300

Getting Here

Chelmsford City Racecourse is 55 miles from Central London, 143 miles from Birmingham, 178 miles from Bristol, 211 miles from Cardiff, 230 miles from Manchester and 395 miles from Edinburgh.

The course itself is situated in Great Leighs, about 5 miles north of Chelmsford itself

The course post code is CM3 1QP.

Course parking is free.

The nearest railway station is Chelmsford (from London Liverpool Street) and then bus numbers 70 and 352 run from not too far away to Great Leighs.

Racecourse facilities

Course website:

Disabled access:

All the course facilities are in the centre of the course. There is no grandstand but rather just some steps right outside the Sports Bar. Personally, I cannot see how anyone can watch the race other than on the big screen, which is what most of us do anyway.

I found that everything was just pristine in appearance and the staff here were really nice.

There is no strict dress code here. though the course specifically exclude sportswear. They also reserve the right to change the dress code on specific days. Smart dress is always a requirement in the club restaurant.

There are a number of places to eat and drink on the course including The Club Restaurant and Lounge (panoramic views), The Fairwood restaurant, The Sports Bar and The Grill Kitchen for quick food.

My Day

I struggled a bit with Chelmsford City Racecourse and think I just didn’t like the fact that I couldn’t just look across the racecourse as one normally can. But I can’t fault the attitude of people working here, it was just excellent.

I used public transport to get here and would advise against it. The train service from Liverpool Street Station is spot on as is the bus ride out. But the bus drops you a good 500 – 600 yards from the course entrance, maybe more and the walk includes very little by way of footpaths and involves crossing a dual carriageway. It’s not clear where the course is, but if you do use public transport, the entrance once you walk to it, is actually along the dual carriageway.

I don’t understand why the racecourse can’t organise a shuttle bus. I paid £6.20 for a return bus journey out from Chelmsford Station. The course could organise this and charge the same and get their punters there and back, safe and happy.

Oh well, at least I made a few quid again and from just one horse again.

I did back a selection of @genuinetriers in the second race without really knowing too much about it other than reading the racing post comments and form pages and seeing that it did indeed have a chance. The name of the horse is Blackheath and I shall watch for future engagements as he seems to have the ability to win though today wasn’t his day. He did finish fourth though and as I had covered my win bet in the 4TBP market on Betfair, there was no damage done.

The horse I came to back was the William Haggas trained Saint Diana who ran in the fifth race, a Novice Stakes for fillies. She had finished 2nd on all four starts to date though had clearly demonstrated that she was capable of winning. Her most recent two efforts had been here, last time finishing 2nd to a Godolphin inmate Welsh Lord over 10f and previously to the Henry Candy trained Skill set and also over 10f. Today, back down to a mile and against her own sex and against lesser rivals (in my view), she was a serious bet for me at around 5/4 – 11/8. She made all and duly obliged, always holding here nearest pursuer inside the final furlong.

So before she was unsaddled, I was off down the road looking for my bus home.

I’m having a wonderful run of betting on course at the moment. That’s the eighth racecourse visit in a row from which I’ve come away making some sort of profit.

Next stop is Redcar on Tuesday next week. Let’s see if we can keep the run going!!

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