Chepstow and the surrounding area
Chepstow is a town sitting on the River Wye in Monmouthshire in Wales near its border with Gloucestershire in England. The town centre is quite compact with some pedestrianised streets. It’s a pretty town with some nice little shops and cafes.
There are quite a few things to do and visit close by:
Chepstow Castle: http://cadw.gov.wales/daysout/chepstow-castle/?lang=en
Chepstow Museum: http://www.chepstow.co.uk/Chepstow-Town-Council/chepstow_museum-11239.aspx
St Mary’s Priory Church: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priory_Church_of_St_Mary,_Chepstow
Wye Valley Walk: http://www.wyevalleywalk.org/content.php?nID=6&ws=1
Piercefield Park: http://www.wyevalleyaonb.org.uk/wyetour/content-41643.php
Tintern Abbey and Devils Pulpit: http://www.visitwales.com/attraction-search/attraction-search-results/attraction-search-details?id=527989
and lots more.
Chepstow is also not too far from the cities of Gloucester and Bristol and the delights they have to offer.
Travelling by car, Chepstow is about 125 miles from Central London, 90 miles from Birmingham, 18 miles from Bristol, 36 miles from Gloucester and 16 miles from Monmouth. The town sits quite close to the M4.
The racecourse is situated on A466 road from Monmouth and is signposted from M48 Junction 2. (Satnav NP16 6BE).
Parking is free
Chepstow Railway Station is a mile and a half away. It has direct connections to many major towns in the area and connections for London are available by changing at Newport. There is a race day bus service operating from both Chepstow Station (£3) and from Newport Station (£5).
Chepstow hosts both flat racing and NH racing.
Among many meetings here, the course hosts The Welsh Grand National every December.
Chepstow is a left handed undulating oval course of 1m 7f with a home straight of 5f. There are eleven fences on each full circuit with a run in from the last of just over 1f. The course puts a great emphasis on stamina and more so given that the ground here can become very testing, especially in winter months.
There is also a straight mile used in Flat racing. All races up to a mile are run on it. The oval course is used for races over a mile. The run in from the final bend is 5f. The undulating nature of the course places an emphasis on stamina and may favour front running horses. On the straight course there is a very slight advantage in being high but statistically it’s quite minimal.
Clerk of the course is currently Libby O’Flaherty
Course telephone number: 01291 622260
Course website: https://www.chepstow-racecourse.co.uk/
Disabled access : https://www.chepstow-racecourse.co.uk/plan-your-visit/accessibility/
There are two enclosures at Chepstow, The Premier Enclosure and The Grandstand and Paddock. I really like the idea that on quieter days such as today that the two are combined with just one entry fee. The food and drink available in both is very good based on what I saw today. The only glaring omission was that there was no apparent ice cream outlet (correct me if I’m wrong) and it was a hot day.
I really like the idea of the parade ring and winners enclosure being in front of the stand and viewing is really good to be fair
The grandstands aren’t huge and I can imagine them being like sardine tins on Welsh National day but every course is like that on big days. There was plenty of room today and viewing is really good on a very pretty racecourse.
My Day Today
This was lovely today with a relatively small crowd and ease of movement. I really like this course and I will come back again before the summer is out.
I think £18 into a combined Premier / Grandstand enclosure is quite reasonable. The pie I had in the Premier bar was nice and none too expensive.
I didn’t fancy the racing too much today so restricted myself to small (unsuccessful) each way bets other than the one winner I had which I bet properly albeit at restrictive odds. I’m a bit disappointed at myself really, betting to take an interest is ill disciplined and not like me at all. Serves me right that they were all beaten. Never mind, it was a small loss instead of a small profit. Lesson learned.
The one winner I did back was ‘Rockin’ Roy’, another winning 2yo for the in form Archie Watson yard. The one I would take out of this race is the second ‘Sir Victor’. Running after a 90 day lay off, he started a bit slow and was ridden a fair way out but ran on to take 2nd inside the final furlong. should strip a bit fitter next time and could win a similar type of race.
So tomorrow, I might just go to Newbury, in fact I’m sure of it!!
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