Towcester Racecourse Guide

Imagine a sporting equivalent of Russian dolls. Instead of finding another doll within the first one you instead find one sporting venue inside another one. You’ve just imagined Towcester Greyhound Stadium. The racing venue is actually located inside the track of Towcester Racecourse, meaning you get two sporting arenas for the price of one.

The amazing setting isn’t only exciting thing about racing at Towcester Greyhound Stadium. Within the confines of the venue there’s also a load of restaurants that have delicious menus. If that sounds a bit too formal to you then you might prefer to head to Bar 4000. As well as serving plenty of different drinks, the bar on the ground floor of the stadium’s Empress Stand also boasts an indoor BBQ.

Towcester Racecourse Enters Administration on 16th August 2018

In a shock announcement Towcester Races has gone into administration. A rescue package is currently being sought but all racing has been cancelled until further notice. We will update this page as the situation develops.

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Race Days & Times

Greyhound racing is available at three meetings at Towcester over two days. The first is on a Tuesday evening, with another taking place on Saturday morning. The main event is unquestionably Saturday night, as that’s when the real party crowd head there to enjoy themselves.

Timing-wise, the doors open at 5.45pm on both a Tuesday and Saturday evening. The first race starts at 7.15pm for night meetings and the last race sets off at 10.30pm on a Tuesday and 10.45pm on Saturday. The Saturday morning racing starts at 9.30am and the last race is at 11.40am, with the doors tending to open at about 8am.

Visiting

  • Ticket Prices: As things currently stand, it is free to watch the racing at Towcester, regardless of which day you attend. Your admission does not include a Race Card, however, so expect to pay £2.50 for that.
  • Getting There: As you’d expect considering the course’s name, the stadium is not far from Towcester. It’s located on the A5 itself and is about eleven miles from both Milton Keynes and Northampton Train Stations. Buses don’t stop all that close, but if you get the 86, the 89, the 90 or the X89, then you’ll be heading in the right direction!
  • Parking The car park is large enough to accommodate up to 50 coaches and 1500 cars. You can even leave your car there overnight if you fancy a drink, collecting it from 8am the following day.

History

When Towcester Greyhound Stadium opened its doors for the first time on the 6th of December, 2014 it became the first greyhound track to open for business since Harlow Stadium and Central Park Stadium in Sittingbourne opened in 1995. It was all thanks to the owner of Towcester Racecourse, Lord Hesketh, and its chief executive, Kevin Ackerman. They were the ones who lighted upon the notion of opening a greyhound stadium within a horse racing track in the first place.

Kennels were built in some horse stables that were going unused and around 60,000 tonnes of soil was laid to ensure that the greyhound surface is level with the horse racing track at the home straight. That involves a rise of six-metres over the duration of the course, but any fears about the well being of the dogs will have been allayed by the fact that veterinarians were consulted to ensure the perfect track. Given that the complex cost £1.8 million to construct it’s not really a surprise, of course.

The track has been deliberately built with wider bends than in most other venues around the country. That is in part to ensure that the dogs don’t need to break their stride or put a strain on their limbs when taking the corners. It’s also because Towcester hosts eight dog meetings. Some of the most respected trainers in the business love this, with Paul Hennessy, who has won Derbies in the past, declaring it to be his ambition to win an eight-dog race here.

The English Greyhound Derby is arguably the most prestigious of all races in the greyhound calendar. It was first run at White City Stadium in 1927 before moving to Wimbledon Stadium in 1985. From 2017 onwards, its home is Towcester Greyhound Stadium and the winner will be rewarded with £175,000. The fact that the total prize money for the event is in excess of £350,000 means that it is the richest greyhound race anywhere in the world.

Despite only having been open for a few years, Towcester Greyhound Stadium has already managed a number of notable achievements. In March of 2015, for example, their trainer Kevin Hutton won the Trainers Championship. Perhaps even more impressively, he retained the title the following year and became one of only a handful of trainers to win it more than once, let alone back-to-back. The venue’s first ever race was won one of its own trainers, with the Mark Wallis trained Fairest Royal coming home at 4/1.

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