People have found some historical references that suggest horse racing has been taking place in Ludlow since the fourteenth century, though the current course was not established until 1729. Like many National Hunt Courses, it originally staged flat racing. However, after staging both flat and jumps racing for some time, the jumps racing became so popular here that the course decided to dedicate itself to the National Hunt racing.
The course is located in a picturesque setting in the Shropshire countryside about two-miles outside Ludlow’s town centre, which is roughly 40 miles from Birmingham. The course is easily accessible from the A49 and attracts plenty of high-profile owners, trainers, and jockeys, as well as decent crowds. It has also attracted some high-profile horses over the years, including Punjabi who went on to win the 2009 Champion Hurdle.
Ludlow usually stages 16 meetings a season, with the season running from October to May. The course’s most famous race is the Forbra Gold Cup which is named after the famous horse Forbra who won the Grand National in 1932. If you’re looking to dress up and make a proper day of your trip to Ludlow Racecourse, you may wish to attend either the Jubilee Stand, the Plymouth Stand, or the Clive Pavilion.
Below are some key facts about Ludlow Racecourse.
Course Type: Jumps
Current Owner: Ludlow Race Club Ltd
Both the chase tracks at Ludlow are right-handed and mainly flat, though the hurdles course is slightly undulating in places. The chase course measures around 12 furlongs, and there is a run-in of about 250 yards after the final fence. The course is sharp in nature and tends to suit speedy types that jump well. The hurdles course is situated outside the chase course, meaning the bends are slightly easier.
Ludlow racecourse is renowned for holding a lot of charity horse racing meetings, but it also hosts fun meetings such as the Tanners Christmas Meeting and the Totepool Ladies Night, both of which are very popular with punters.
Meanwhile, its most famous races include the Prince of Wales Chase, the Attwood Memorial Handicap Chase, and the Forbra Gold Cup.
The Prince of Wales Chase, sometimes referred to as the His Royal Highness The Prince Of Wales Challenge Trophy Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase usually takes place in February and is run over a trip of 2 miles 7 furlongs and 171 yards. As the name suggests, it is a race open to amateur riders, and Mark Galligan rode the Henry Daly trained Goohar to victory in 2018.
The Attwood Memorial Handicap Chase is run over 2 miles 4 furlongs and 11 yards. The race was sadly abandoned in 2018, but was won by the Nicky Henderson trained Pougne Bobbi in 2017.
Meanwhile, the highlight of Ludlow’s season is the Forbra Gold Cup which usually takes place in late February or early March. It is run over three miles and recent winners have includes Marchilac and Top Wood. The 2015 winner Global Power was trained by Oliver Sherwood, brother of Ludlow’s general manager Simon Sherwood.
Ludlow Racecourse does not operate a formal dress code, instead choosing to provide racegoers with a list of clothing that is not permitted whilst attending a race meeting at the course.
If attending the Members Enclosure, a Box, Restaurant, or Hospitality Area, anyone wearing shorts, ripped denim, rugby or football shirts, or a vest, may not be admitted to these areas. The management may also refuse admission to any person wearing any other form of clothing that is deemed inappropriate.
Ex-jockey Simon Sherwood is now general manager and clerk of the course at Ludlow Racecourse.
Jockeys used to call the first fence “Trappy Trevor” because it used to catch lots of horses out, something which caused the fence to be relocated to make it easier to jump.
Address and Contact Details
Ludlow Racecourse, Bromfield, Ludlow SY8 2BT