Leicester Racecourse Guide

The Parade Ring at Leicester Racecourse
The Parade Ring at Leicester Racecourse (Richard Humphrey / geograph.org.uk)

Just south east of Leicester’s city centre, in the small town of Oadby, you will find Leicester Racecourse. Its dual-purpose track isn’t as popular as it was in the late nineteenth century but it still continues to draw in good crowds on a regular basis.

With 31 meetings a year, 20 flat and 11 National Hunt, Leicester is a track that hosts a lot of racing. These fixtures run all year round so you never have to wait very long to catch some live action here.

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The Course

Leicester does have a long straight track capable of hosting flat races between five and seven furlongs. In softer conditions, watch out for jockeys who take their horses to the far side as the surface can often be far more advantageous there. The bulk of the racing however takes place on the round course that’s around a mile and three quarters long. The right-handed oval course is galloping in nature and one that requires a good degree of stamina, especially for two-year-olds.

The jumps course, just like the flat, is undulating with a rise towards the finishing post. The fences aren’t as challenging as they were previously but they still offer a real challenge, especially the two open ditches. There are 10 fences around the track in total and good jumping ability is needed to tackle them. Falls are seen fairly frequently especially as the fields can quite often be bunched together during chases.

Major Races

The big flat race is April’s King Richard III Stakes, a name it was given in 2013, the year that the king’s skeleton was discovered in Leicester. It welcomes horses over four years of age that are without a Group 1 or 2 win in the current or previous season. With a £50,000 prize purse, the seven furlong contest is Leicester’s most lucrative race of the year.

In the colder months one of the big events is the Silver Fox Handicap Chase which usually features just after Christmas. The Class 3 race is one that stretches a touch over two and a half miles and was part of the Challenger Middle Distance Chase Series in 2015.


Leicester Racecourse
Leicester Racecourse (Richard Humphrey / geograph.org.uk)

In the warmer months the Leicester course likes to hold a good selection of evening races which can be ideal for those unable to make the midweek afternoon meetings.

Useful Info

Dress Code

No strict dress code is enforced so you will be fine with most items of clothing. Football shirts and vests are deemed to be inappropriate in all hospitality areas however. Dressing up is encouraged particularly on Ladies Day when many hats and fascinators are on show.

Ticket Prices

Admission to the general enclosure for most race days is priced at £14 but on slightly more popular days it can be increased to £16-£20 and £30 on Ladies Day.

The prices mentioned are for early bookings and for some meetings tickets will be £2 more expensive on the day. Entry with a three course meal in the Club Suite Restaurant tends to cost between £49 and £55 but again, increases for the more high profile meetings.

Most tickets at Leicester come with a rainy day guarantee which means that if it rains for more than an hour between the first and last race, you will be entitled to enter the next fixture free of charge (excludes Ladies Day).


Annual membership at Leicester gives you access to a lot of racing, with over 40 reciprocal fixtures on top of their own. You will enter the course through the members’ only turnstile and be directed to an exclusive room. The cost is £250 and that covers the whole calendar year.

Getting There

Being based south east of Leicester, you can face a bit of traffic if travelling from the opposite side of the city, especially in peak hours. To avoid this, you can catch the train to Leicester Station which is two miles from the course.

From here, it’s either a walk, a taxi ride or a bus journey. The best bus to take is the Arriva Sapphire 31 or 31A which both stop at Oadby Glebe Road, opposite the track.


The grassy main car park by the front of the course is free of charge. Racegoers do also have the option during the flat season of paying £44 (per vehicle) for a spot in the picnic car park which lets you enjoy a picnic in a prime spot just next to the track.


Victoria Park
Victoria Park, Formerly the Racecourse in Leicester until 1883 (Ashley Dace / geograph.org.uk)

Originally, the home of racing in Leicester was Victoria Park as pictured in this section. Racing had been organised there since 1773 but the course was later moved its current site in Oadby in 1883. It was soon after where things really took off and it was a period when Oadby was hosting some of the most prestigious races in the country, namely The Prince of Wales Stakes and The Portland Stakes. In 1889 they carried more prize money than any of the five Classic races.

Leicester wasn’t able to make this claim for very long though and soon the big money began to go elsewhere. It enjoyed a fairly quiet 20th century with the exception of the infamous Flockton Ringer case in March 1982, one of the biggest betting scandals ever to hit British racing.


Since the completion of the glass fronted grandstand in 1997, the course has enjoyed somewhat of a mini revival. Further investment followed leading to overall modernisation, the opening of the Nelson Suite Restaurant with its panoramic views and also the Club Room in 2006.