Ffos Las racecourse is located in South Wales in the County of Carmarthenshire. Specifically, it sits in beautiful countryside between the towns of Carmarthen and Llanelli. The racecourse has existed only since 2009 and is built on the site of a disused coal mine. Carmarthenshire itself is mainly an agricultural county but with a history of coal mining also. The most populated town is Llanelli though the county town is Carmarthen.
Ffos Las racecourse hosts both Flat and NH Racing.
For Flat racing, Ffos Las is a left-handed oval and flat, galloping track of 1m 4f around with a straight of just over 4 furlongs. There is an extension to the straight for races over 5 and 6 furlongs.
There doesn’t appear to be any draw bias at Ffos Las.
The Jumps course is also a left-handed, flat and galloping circuit of 1m 4f. The run in from the last is quite short for both hurdles and chases. It’s not unusual for jumps to be omitted at Ffos Las due to low sun.
Clerk of the course: Keith Ottesen
Course telephone number: 01554 811092
Ffos Las Racecourse is about 205 miles from Central London, 163 miles from Birmingham, 98 miles from Bristol, 60 miles from Cardiff, 178 miles from Manchester and 375 miles from Edinburgh.
The course is situated just off the A484 between Llanelli and Carmarthen.
The course post code is SA17 4DE.
Course parking is free.
The nearest railway station is Llanelli Station which is about 9 miles away. There are shuttle buses running at a cost of £1 for each journey.
There only seems to be the one enclosure here and there is plenty enough space in it I would think. I guess on a ‘Ladies’ day or on Welsh Champion Hurdle day they probably get more than a few in. The stand is bigger than some I have seen and there is plenty of space around. There are quite a few picnic style benches between the stand and the running rail too.
The view from the stand is great too, particularly as Ffos Las is such a flat course and those wanting to use binoculars will have no problem at all
The area behind the grandstand is very spacious and does of course include the parade ring though I imagine that on a busier fixture there might be a few more food and drinks vans etc
There wasn’t too much by way of food and drink today. That’s not a criticism, there was plenty for the few of us that were there. There is a bar and betting hall underneath the grandstand and that was all that was open today though there are clearly other facilities which didn’t need to be open today but which would accommodate a larger attendance. Food vans comprised of just one today. I tried it and it was fine for me.
Overall, the people who worked here were really welcoming and there were plenty of people keeping the place clean and tidy. It had a nice feel and I’m certain I will come back here again.
I can have absolutely no complaints about today. The drive down from home was a long one and the rain in the Welsh hills slowed it up a bit more. But even then, it was still a beautiful route to drive along, absolutely stunning! The course is very pretty and, as I said above the people working here were just lovely.
To top what was already a nice Monday, I had four bets and they all won. Not often that happens but today it did……
The first race was a 0-70 handicap for 3yo+ and my selection here was ‘Captain Lars’ from in in-form Archie Watson stable. He had done most of his recent running and winning on the all weather tracks though has run well enough on turf and has a few victories on the flat tracks of South Africa on good ground. So Ffos Las being similarly flat as are the all weather tracks, I thought he had an very good chance of winning today especially for a stable going well. In the race, ‘Captain Lars’ made all along the stands side rail and although drifting away from the rail over 1f out, the jockey straightened him and he ran on to win quite comfortable in the end. Backed at 6/4, that soon disappeared and eventually returned at 6/5F.
In race 2, A Novice Stakes for 2yo over 5f, I might have taken an interest in ‘Karalina’. She’d not raced since early May when finishing 3l 4th to ‘Signora Caballero’ who herself has since kept very good company, winning her next three and who last time out had finished a 3/4l 2nd to ‘Pretty Pollyanna’ in a Group 1 at Deauville. I was a little concerned by her absence from the track for nearly four months but especially so as she drifted quite a lot in the betting from 3/1 in the morning to a returned SP of 11/2. That was enough to put me off. She held every chance entering the final furlong but stayed on at the one pace and only just losing 2nd close to home. I didn’t bet in the end today but I expect she will come on a bundle for todays race and we shall see next time…….
I took no interest in the third race.
Race 4 was a Novice Stakes for 3yo+ over an extended 7f and seemed on paper to be a match between ‘Wufud’ (Charles Hills) and ‘Preacher Man’ (Jamie Osborne). The latter was returning from a 394 day absence and last time had finished behind ‘Dee Ex Bee’ at Goodwood, beaten 7 3/4l as a 2yo. ‘Wufud’ was unraced as a 2yo and was having just his 3rd start this season. Despite drifting a little in the betting, ‘Wufud’ was sent off 10/11F, including my money. The two fought a duel inside the final furlong with both leading and both hanging left but in the end it seems the favourites race fitness told and he prevailed by just a length. I think the second is worth a second look next time he runs, if in similar company.
In race 5, a 0-80 handicap for 3yo+ over a mile, I was all set to back the Clive Cox trained ‘Cuban Heel’ who I think had run well in his last two at Epsom and previously Windsor, in similar types of races. There didn’t seem to be anything else jumping off the card as I worked through it and it just seemed a matter of if his run was timed correctly. He drifted from 11/8 early on course out to 2/1 as the money came for the David Evans trained ‘The Groove’ and in the end they went off joint favourites. I decided to leave it alone and came within a short head of regretting it. Held up in about 4th, he made up quite a lot of ground in the final 2 1/2 furlongs or so to chase the winner inside the final furlong and only just failed to get there.
Race 6, a 0-75 for 4yo+, included my friend from Beverley the other week, ‘Jacbequick’. Today he was having his first run for David Pipe. I was impressed how he had won over the extended 7f at Beverley, a trip well below his best though I’m sure he was helped by the stiff finish there. Today he was racing over a more suitable 10f and off the same rating. I was surprised at the price available (returned 3/1) and there was little support for any of the others and none of them seemed any better than those he had beaten recently. Worth a bet and my support was justified. Help up just off the pace, he was sent to the front just over 2f out and was driven out to win by 1 3/4 lengths. Could win again I think!
I decided to head home at this point and hoped to beat any rush hour traffic there might be. I did though have a little dabble on race 7 online before I left……
Only four runners for the finale as three had been taken out for various reasons. Having looked at the race last night it seemed the only runner with a winners profile was likely favourite ‘Landue’. He returned from a 10 month break in July and ran ok in 4th in a 0-70 on the all weather at Kempton Park. Three weeks later he reappeared in a 0-65 over 10f at Lingfield and duly won with some authority. Back on turf today and upped to 12f, he seemed a decent bet if for no reason other than the opposition looked a very mediocre bunch. I have no idea how he ran but only that he won at 8/15F (I backed at 8/11)
I have to be happy with a day like that. Whether my rationale was right or wrong, it worked and I just made the right calls. I could very easily have added two losers today though would still have had a good day. As always I am grateful, it’s just got to be that way!!
I think it’s going to be Wolverhampton on Wednesday……..!