Bath Racecourse is one of the most picturesque in England, with the track sitting atop Lansdown Hill which overlooks the world-famous Roman spa city. In fact, at 780 feet above sea level, it’s one of the highest racecourses in the UK. Only Hexham and Exeter are higher but these are both National Hunt courses.
This Somerset track has been hosting horse racing meetings for over 200 years and today the annual calendar is packed with 21 flat racing fixtures between April and October including a mixture of weekend, weekday and evening race meetings.
During the Second World War, Bath Racecourse was utilised as a landing field by the Royal Air Force, but is now wholly a thoroughbred horse racing venue.
Prior to 2011, Bath played host to the Dick Hern Fillies’ Stakes, a Listed flat horse race open to fillies and mares aged three years and older. The race was named after Dick Hern, a much celebrated English racehorse trainer. But in 2011, the race was moved to Haydock Park, with Bath losing its only race with Listed status.
The highlight of Bath’s racing calendar is now its increasingly popular Ladies Day, as well as its Bank Holiday Family Fun Day.
A sharp left-handed track, Bath Racecourse is approximately 1 mile 4 furlongs in distance. The final bend into the home straight is notoriously narrow, followed by a steady uphill ride for the final four furlongs. For sprint races there is an extension to the end of the home straight.
Visitors to Bath will note that viewing facilities are pretty impressive due to the narrow oval course.
GeeGeez says: “Bath is the UK’s only racecourse that doesn’t have watering facilities and as a consequence the going is often very fast and can be too much for some horses.“The track favours front-runners that can gain a prominent early position in the race. The uncompromising uphill finish can catch out many runners and riders, as can the gusty headwinds that whip around the top of Lansdown Hill.
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