Ffos Las Racecourse is one of the newest racecourses in the United Kingdom having only been established in 2009. It is located between the old mining towns of Carway and Trimsaran, and was once the site of one of Europe’s biggest coalmines. However, this 600-acre site is now a picturesque setting nestled between open countryside and rolling hills. The course stages all-year-round racing on the flat and over jumps, and its flat nature has earned it favourable comparisons with Newbury Racecourse.
The course is most famous for staging the Welsh Champion Hurdle, though the most famous horse to have run here is the dual Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Sprinter Sacre, who sauntered to a 10-lengths win in a novice hurdle here in 2011.
Below are some key facts about Ffos Las Racecourse.
Course Type: Flat and Jumps
Current Owner: Arena Racing Company
The flat track at Ffos Las Racecourse is a flat, left-handed galloping track that measures about a mile and a half in length. Meanwhile, an additional chute allows races over five-furlongs and six-furlongs to be run on a straight course. Sweeping bends and a long run-in measuring four-furlongs make it an ideal track for long-striding types, whilst there are no reasons why there should be any hard luck stories. When the going gets soft, horses often race up the middle of the track in search of the best ground.
The jumps track is very similar in configuration to the flat track, though the run-ins after the last obstacles aren’t the longest. The stiff fences also take some jumping whilst, when the ground rides heavy, the emphasis is firmly on stamina in long-distance races. Indeed, backing any horses with stamina doubts on heavy ground at Ffos Las is madness, as the winners in such circumstances need the heart of a lion.
The flagship race of the whole season at Ffos Las is the Welsh Champion Hurdle. It used to be run at Chepstow but was changed to a limited handicap and moved to its current home in 2010. However, the first edition was abandoned. The 2011 Welsh Champion Hurdle was then won by Oscar Whiskey, racing in the colours of one of Wales’s racing stalwarts Dai Walters. Since then, the other renewals have been won by Medinas, Saphir du Rheu, Silsol, and Garde La Victoire. However, the most famous winner so far was the 2017 winner The New One.
The other major race at Ffos Las is the Siddell Environmental Services West Wales National Handicap Chase, which is run over a stamina sapping 3 miles 3 furlongs and 208 yards. The winner of the 2018 edition was Henri Pari Morgan who, in winning the first prize for local trainer Peter Bowen, made sure the prize stayed in Wales.
Ffos Las racecourse does not appear to operate a dress code, but does operate a strict alcohol and drugs policy. Drugs will not be tolerated under any circumstances, whilst staff may refuse to serve any racegoer alcohol if they are spoiling any other racegoers enjoyment. However, many racegoers choose to dress to impress ay many of the course’s all-round year fixtures, especially on Ladies Day. The weather in West Wales also covers a broad spectrum, so it’s a good idea to take the weather forecast into consideration when choosing your outfit, especially your footwear.
When the course opened it 2009, it became the first new National Hunt Racecourse to open in 80 years.
Address and Contact Details
Ffos Las Racecourse, Trimsaran, Carmarthenshire, SA17 4DE