Newbury and surrounding area
Newbury is a small market town situated to the west of Berkshire. Despite it’s relatively small size, there is plenty happening around here in terms of shopping and business. Vodafone are a major organisation who have their HQ here. Newbury isn’t far off the M4 and within an hours travel are London, Oxford, Reading, Bristol and the South Coast.
There’s plenty to do if you are in this general area for any length of time:
Highclere Castle – Highclere Castle is the home to Downton Abbey and there are lots of excursions and tours organised by various people https://www.highclerecastle.co.uk/
Sandham Memorial Chapel – https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sandham-memorial-chapel
Shaw House – http://www.westberkshireheritage.org/shaw-house
Donnington Castle – http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/donnington-castle/?utm_source=Trip%20Advisor&utm_campaign=Local%20Listings&utm_medium=Trip%20Advisor%20Profiles&utm_content=donington%20castle
St Nicolas Church – https://st-nics.org
Welford Park – https://www.welfordpark.co.uk/
…….and plenty more!
Newbury hosts both flat racing and NH racing. It is a top class track and many famous and prestigious races are held here, the Lockinge Stakes and Hennessey Gold Cup to name but two.
The Flat racing course is a galloping track about 1m 7f around with a run in of 4.5f and is largely flat. There is also a straight mile which has some small undulations. There doesn’t appear to be any bias in the draw.
The jumps course sits inside the flat course and is also 1m 7f around and is similarly flat and galloping. The fences are quite stiff compared to other tracks. There are 11 fences including a water jump in front of the stands.
Both tracks become quite testing in inclement weather.
Clerk of the course is currently R W Osgood
Course telephone number: 01635 40015
Travelling by car, Newbury just over 60 miles from Central London, 105 miles from Birmingham, 65 miles from Bristol and 27 miles from Oxford. The town sits quite close to the M4 Junction 13. Follow the signs through town for the racecourse. The post code is RG14 7NZ. Parking is free and (today at least) there were golf buggies giving lifts from the car park to the course entrance.
There is disabled parking right outside the entrance.
Newbury Racecourse has it’s own railway station.
Course website: https://newburyracecourse.co.uk/
Disabled access : https://newburyracecourse.co.uk/racing/accessibility/
There are two enclosures at Chepstow, The Premier Enclosure and The Grandstand and Paddock. The racecourse encourage smart casual dress in the Premier Enclosure. The food and drink available in both is very good based on what I saw today. There are plenty of outlets in both enclosures to suit every taste.
This is a very big racecourse as you would expect for one with its stature in the game. Viewing is plentiful and is very good.
There were sniffer dogs present at the entrances today, it’s good to see.
My Day Today
It’s been a long time since I came to Newbury and I’d forgotten how much I like it here. The crowd was thankfully quite small for the course as I don’t do crowds very well.
I paid £26 into the Premier Enclosure. The Grandstand enclosure was £18.
I didn’t sample any food as wasn’t hungry. As luck would have it, there was room in the Hennessey Restaurant………All the times I’ve tried to get into restaurants on courses recently and they’re always full.
It was an interesting card of racing today and I did get involved in five of the seven races.
In the first race, a novice stakes, I backed a newcomer of John Gosden called Sheriffmuir. I got 9/4 the night before and was briefly pleased as it opened around 13/8 on the day and was then backed to 6/4 and 11/8 before settling at 13/8F at the off. I wouldn’t have bet at this price and after the race wished I hadn’t bet the night before. But I think the reality is that JG often leaves something to work on with his newcomers and perhaps in the main they should be avoided, as much of a fan as I can be. Ironically, John Gosden had three winners at other meetings today.
Race 2 was another Novice Stakes, this time restricted to fillies. Archie Watsons 2yo are running well right now and a small punt each way on Gallovie (16/1) each way seemed a reasonable call in what seemed a very open contest. I thought when she went to the front just over a furlong out that she would win but was just run out of it in the last 50 yards. Never mind 4/1 a place just about covered my race 1 losses
So a cup of coffee and then on to race 4 when I dithered about backing ‘Natalie’s Joy’ and I needn’t have really, she won readily enough. But it took me an age to find fault with everything else and only then did I have a bet and a small one at that. But hey, a winner is a winner.
In race 5, I shared the view of my pal @genuinetriers on Twitter that ‘Lucky Deal’ would probably get an easy lead. A brief challenge from Koeman as they turned for home put paid to that. To be fair, he clung on to his narrow lead until headed entering the final furlong. Game enough and will have another day.
Race 6, a 0-75 handicap, was to be my last, win or lose given the long drive home at the wrong time of the day. Majboor was a strong bet in the end. He had won gamely in his last race repelling all challengers having made all. Again I could only find fault with the others in the race and off the same mark and with Liam Keniry replacing an amateur, I was confident and my confidence was repaid at 5/4 (returned evens).
So a small profit to get me home. Thinking back, I probably should have done better but hindsight is a wonderful thing. But it’s not so wonderful as gratitude and I’m happy with my day.
So weather and my attitude permitting, I shall go to Windsor on Monday evening.
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