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Southwell Racecourse Guide

Southwell Racecourse offers a unique blend of charm, excitement and comfort as they cater for race fans on both their all-weather and turf tracks, making it one of the premier sporting venues in the East Midlands.

With racing on both surfaces taking place all year round, Southwell is a busy hive of activity 12 months of the year and the racecourses are intertwined with the fairways of Southwell Golf Club.

Here's our guide to Southwell racecourse.

Key Races at Southwell


- All-Weather Championships Fast-Track Qualifiers

Racing at Southwell can be traced back as far as the 1840s, where pony races took place regularly in the town as well as at nearby Newark.

The busiest events at Southwell are undoubtedly their summer Ladies' Day and winter Gentlemen's Day, which are popular with locals and tourists alike.

The All-Weather Championships offer the very best of British All-Weather racing and Southwell joins the likes of Chelmsford City, Kempton Park, Lingfield Park, Newcastle and Wolverhampton in hosting the annual series from October-April.

The Championships aim to improve the quality and reputation of All-Weather racing and encourage owners and trainers to keep their horses in training during the winter months as they get the chance to contest races with excellent prize money on offer in one of the six designated categories.

Track Layout 

Southwell Racecourse has been hosting horse racing meetings since 1898. The racecourse now holds over 50 fixtures a year, both on the flat all-weather track and the National Hunt turf course.

The all-weather track is a left-handed oval with tight bends at either end and 3f straight on the run in. 

It runs around the outside of the National Hunt turf course. The Oval is a mile-and-a-quarter for the round course with the bends having a slight camber built into them. The second longest All-Weather straight in the country after Newcastle's one mile straight allows Southwell to stage straight 5f sprint races.

Up until 2021, Southwell used Fibresand, the only AW venue in Britain to do so. This quirky surface wasn't to everyone's liking and quite often resulted in slow motion finishes. 

It has now been replaced by Tapeta and, during that upgrade, Southwell became the first racecourse in the UK to be floodlit with LED technology ensuring the East Midlands course can now stage evening racing during the winter months in line with the other all-weather course in Britain and Ireland. 

The jumps track is left-handed and tight. The character of the course changes dramatically depending on underfoot conditions. The fences are of the portable variety and are quite stiff as jumping tests. The brush-type hurdles penalise less-fluent jumping more than the traditional variety as they are less forgiving. 

Southwell is regarded as a good jumping course and is praised as one of the best-maintained turf courses in Britain, providing safe jumping ground throughout the summer and winter months.

Visiting Southwell

The priority at Southwell is making sure that patrons have a comfortable and enjoyable experience at the races. The dress code is relaxed, though in line with most AW venues, racegoers are reminded that meetings at Southwell are predominantly outdoor events, and that they are mindful of the weather when deciding what to wear.

Enclosures & Hospitality include the Seasons Restaurant, where racegoers often choose to adopt a smarter style, while the Grandstand offers plenty of concessions including the Sherwood Bar, the Minstrel Bar and a Fish And Chip Shop.

Southwell Golf Club is also located on the resort, with the opening nine holes intertwined with the racecourse.

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