Newbury Racecourse Guide

Newbury Track
Newbury Track (Stuart Logan /

Newbury Racecourse is situated in the civil parish of Greenham which lies just outside the North Wessex Downs, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The wonderful views just outside the course are matched by those inside as Newbury is a track known for its excellent, well-maintained track and top class facilities.

Not so long ago the racecourse made the headlines as it was the venue for Queen Elizabeth’s 86th birthday celebrations. She had two competing horses that day, both ridden by Ryan Moore, but neither were able to give Her Royal Highness a birthday victory.

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The Course

Newbury hosts both flat and National Hunt racing throughout the year and it’s a track which attracts a lot of top names. The long galloping nature of both left-handed tracks are part of the reason they are so popular and you’ll struggle to find many fairer tests of a horse’s ability than here. The almost oval-shaped track features three bends, two on the far side which are quite sweeping and another, a much tighter one, situated just after the finishing post, used for races of two miles or greater.

The flat track features a long straight that stems out of the final bend and can accommodate races up to one mile. There are slight undulations throughout this straight but there is no real draw bias to contend with as runners are no worse off staying down the middle of the track. One mile races can also start in the spur and then the draw does become important as there’s the sweeping corner to take approximately two and a half furlongs after the off. Longer races will see horses start down the back straight, with the exception of two miles, and it’s a stretch which is often rather softer than the rest of the course.

Newbury once had some very tricky fences but nowadays the obstacles aren’t quite as stiff as they used to be. Now it’s a place where novices can get a taste of chase experience at a good level without the run being too testing. The shape of the track means that jockeying for position in the early stages isn’t really necessary but being in the lead into the run-in definitely has value.

Major Races

Newbury is known for its regular high quality racing so it’s no surprise that its racing calendar is filled with Class 1 events all year round. It’s two major races are undoubtedly the Hennessy Gold Cup Chase and the Lockinge Stakes, which take place in late November/early December and May respectively.

With a Grade 3 rating, the Hennessy Gold Cup isn’t Newbury’s highest classed jump event but it is certainly their crown jewel. The three mile, two and a half furlong handicap, made its Newbury debut in 1960 and regularly attracts big fields of talented chasers. Winners of the race have been known to go onto win the Cheltenham Gold Cup later in the season such as Bobs Worth and Denman.

The Lockinge Stakes is a one mile flat affair which carried a generous £350,000 purse in 2016. Its list of winners boasts some truly fine names including Frankel who stormed home in 2012. It’s the second of eight, mile long races that are part of the prestigious British Champions Series and winners of it are often strong contenders in the third instalment, the Queen Anne Stakes.


Grandstand at Newbury Racecourse
Grandstand at Newbury Racecourse (Rosalind Mitchell /

Despite the first-class facilities at Newbury, it is by no means an exclusive racecourse and everyone is welcome to enjoy the action.

Useful Info

Dress Code

In the Grandstand Enclosure and Racegoers Restaurant, casual wear is accepted but there are a few things not permitted such as sportswear, ripped denim and bare chests, which seems reasonable enough!

Smarter clothing is required for anyone in the Premier Enclosure, Hospitality and the Hennessy Restaurant. For the gents, this includes a collared shirt, with or without a tie and while denim and shorts are allowed, denim must be smart and shorts tailored. No dress code applies to children under 12 anywhere in the racecourse.

Ticket Prices

There are a range of tickets available for Newbury with prices varying significantly depending on which meeting you go to. Generally you can expect Grandstand tickets to be between £19 and £35 on the day and Premier Enclosure tickets between £20 and £50. 

The vast majority of tickets will receive a 10% reduction if purchased at least 14 days prior and selected Friday meetings have Grandstand tickets available in advance for £10. Bumper Packages are available for both enclosures and these provide you with a £2 Totepool bet, a racecard voucher and a £10 food/drinks voucher.

The Grandstand Bumper Package starts from £27 while the Premier Bumper Package begins at £35. Students, the over 60s, the disabled & carers can receive £5 off a ticket on the gate and armed forces & emergency services personnel are eligible for 10% off Premier entry when pre-booked by phone. 

Group discounts are available for all meetings and Newbury also offers you a free ticket to a fixture which falls on your birthday, just e-mail the course with your details, at least seven days beforehand.


Full membership at Newbury costs £340 for adults over 24 and £120 for those aged between 18-24. The three other membership options are the same price regardless of age and these include membership for the 11 weekend fixtures at a cost of £200, flat season membership for £240 and jump season membership for £170. Dual membership discounts are available for two people living at the same address.

Getting There

If travelling by car, you should find that Newbury is well sign posted and very close to Junction 13 of the M4. Travelling by train to Newbury is a popular choice as it has its very own station.

On the biggest racedays, trains will run direct to and from London Paddington but for the other meetings, the direct service only goes as far as Reading. If travelling by plane, both Southampton and Heathrow airports are less than an hour’s drive away.


Premier Enclosure ticket holders can park inside the course in Car Park 1 while Grandstand ticket holders can park just outside in Car Park 5. All parking at Newbury is free of charge.


Golden Miller
Golden Miller Made His Debut at Newbury Racecourse (

The first evidence of racing at Newbury dates back to 1805 for the annual two day ‘Newbury Races’ meeting. The action took place at Endborne Heath until 1811 before being moved to Woodhay Heath for the next four years. Newbury had to wait 90 years for its first racecourse though and it owes it to the persistence of Kingsclere trainer John Porter.

Porter had made several proposals for a new racecourse but was rejected each time by the Jockey Club and their strict requirements. When he happened to bump into King Edward VII however, the King was happy to support his application and this was enough to secure its approval.

Newbury Racecourse Company

The Newbury Racecourse Company was formed in 1904 and work began on buildings and stables on the recently acquired land. A year later and the first ever meeting took place on 26th and 27th September. John Porter even managed to saddle a winner on the second day, during the Regulation Plate, in what would be his last season of racing before retirement. The course started off as a flat racing venue only but National Hunt was brought in just a year later.

Champions at Newbury

In the years that followed, more and more fixtures were added to the annual schedule and many great champions featured here, including Golden Miller, as photographed in this section. The five time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner made his chase debut at Newbury but was disqualified after winning for carrying the wrong weight. He was able to put things right shortly after, however, when winning the Reading Chase in December on his next Newbury appearance.