Nestled in between the bright lights of Manchester and Liverpool, Haydock Racecourse attracts bumper crowds. That’s no surprise, as Haydock puts on some spectacular flat racing and National Hunt racing. The biggest races at Haydock include the Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup on the flat and the Betfair Chase over jumps. Such races have enabled Haydock to attracts some of the biggest names from both codes, including the likes of Dream Ahead, Harry Angel, and The Tin Man on the flat. Meanwhile, over jumps, Kauto Star, Imperial Commander, Silviniaco Conti, and Cue Card have all graced Haydock with their memorable presence.
Below are some key facts about Haydock Racecourse.
Course Type: Flat and Jumps
Current Owner: Jockey Club
All the courses at Haydock are left-handed and oval-shaped. The flat course measures around 13-furlongs and has a long home straight of four-and-a-half furlongs. However, races run over five furlongs and six furlongs are run on a straight course that starts in a special chute. Runners in races around one or more bends tend to stay towards the far rail in the straight, though jockeys often opt to tack over to the stands rail if the ground is riding heavy.
Meanwhile, gruelling is often the word jockeys use for the heavy winter ground that often prevails at Haydock’s jumps meetings and, though the course is considered speedy in nature, stamina will usually win the day in such conditions. However, if underfoot conditions are decent, speedy front-running types will often dominate as it’s hard to make up ground, with times very quick compared to some courses. The fences are quite stiff but very fair.
Haydock racecourse offers racing on around 30 days each year and, as a dual-purpose racecourse, it hosts racing in every month of the year.
The flat season kicks-off in April, though the course still hosts a mixed card in May that features the Swinton Hurdle. Meanwhile, the first big flat race of the season is traditionally the Temple Stakes, a Group 2 Race run over five furlongs that has been won by the likes of Sharpo, Dayjur, Airwave, Sole Power, and Battaash.
The course also hosts a trio of popular group races in June, which are the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes, the Group 2 Pinnacle Stakes, and the Group 3 John of Gaunt Stakes. There are then two more famous races in July, which are the Lancashire Oaks and the Old Newton Cup Handicap.
The undisputed highlight of the flat season though is the Haydock Sprint Cup, which is run in September. The Group 3 Superior Mile also takes place on the same card.
Despite the magnitude of Haydock’s flat season, its jumps meetings are arguably even more popular. The Betfair Chase remains the biggest highlight. Kauto Star won it four times, Cue Card, three times, and Silviniaco Conti twice. Meanwhile, Bristol De Mai’s 50+ lengths demolition job in 2017 will take some topping. The race is also the first-leg of a £1 Million Bonus for any winner that can go onto win that season’s King George at Kempton and the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Other crowd pleasers include the Tommy Whittle Chase in December and the Peter Marsh Chase in January. The Betfred Grand National Trial in February is another massive crowd puller, which has been won by Gold Cup winners such as Master Oats and Grand National winners like Party Politics.
Haydock Park operates a dress code for some of its enclosures, and visitors adhere to these. It also encourages you to dress smart wherever you have tickets for – so feel free to dress to impress.
Racegoers who choose to frequent the Premier Enclosure are requested to dress smartly, with the dress code for the Park Suite, Harry’s Bistro, and the Premier Suite including smart trousers, jacket and tie for men, whilst ladies are requested to wear their a best-day wear.
The County Enclosure is a little more relaxed, with smart casual often the order of the day. Men are encouraged to wear a collared shirt and smart trousers. Smart jeans are permitted, but fancy dress, sportswear, and trainers are not permitted.
There is no dress code for either the Be Friendly Enclosure or the Grandstand and Paddock Enclosure. That includes fancy dress, but anyone wearing anything that may be offensive to other racegoers may be refused admission.
Haydock earned the accolade of being voted racecourse of the year in the UK in both 1998 and 2000.
Address and Contact Details
Haydock Park Racecourse, Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, WA12 0HQ
01942 725 963