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Musselburgh Races

Last Updated: October 23, 2018

Horse racing has been taking place at Musselburgh Racecourse for over 200 years and it is widely regarded as Scotland’s second biggest racecourse after Ayr. It stages both flat racing and National Hunt racing, and the course frequently attracts runners from many top stables, as its seaside location means it developed a good habit of avoiding the frost and cold snaps that many other courses have to endure. 

The course stages around 28 meetings a year, with racing taking place in every month, and it puts on a variety of themed meetings to suit different tastes. Highlights on the flat include the Scottish Sprint Cup and the Maggie Dickinson Stakes, whilst the jumps highlights include the two-day Scottish Cheltenham Trials Meeting. 

Meanwhile, Musselburgh’s Queens Stand is an extremely popular venue for racegoers on race days and corporate entertaining and social events at other times. Its panoramic views make it an ideal venue for wedding receptions and other major celebrations.  

Key Facts

Below are some key facts about the Musselburgh racecourse:

Established: 1816

Course Type: Flat and Jumps

Current Owner: East Lothian Council


Both the flat and jumps courses at Musselburgh are flat, right-handed course that have two longish straights with sharpish bends at either end. Races of up to 2 miles 2 furlongs and 37 yards are run on the round course, though five-furlong races start in a special chute that allows them to be run on a straight course. A draw near the stands rail if often seen as an advantage on sprints though, if there’s too much early pace, closers can often come down the middle of the track to land the spoils.

The jumps track measures around 10 furlongs to a circuit, with the chase course having eight fences to a circuit and the hurdle course six. The obstacles are equally divided between the two straights. The race to the line tends to suit quick horses that race up near the pace so, if you see a horse come from behind, it can often pay to follow such horses in their next few runs. However, when the ground is testing, jockeys are often more patient.

Notable Races

With 28 meetings a year, Musselburgh Racecourse draws some sizeable crowds, with its most notable meetings including its two-day Scottish Cheltenham Trials Meeting, the Goliath Cup Raceday, the Stobo Castle Ladies Day, the Family Day Featuring the Archerfield Cup, and the Caledonian Cup Raceday. The course also stages meetings at Easter, Christmas, and New Year. 

In 2017, Musselburgh introduced the Maggie Dickinson Stakes, a Listed Race for fillies and mares run over 7 furlongs and 33 yards. Winners have included Unforgettable Filly and Pepita. The course also stages the Scottish Sprint Cup, a five-furlong handicap with a prize fund of £100,000. Recent winners have included Hoofalong, Line Of Reason, and Caspian Prince. Meanwhile, Book Of Dreams is a recent winner of the Royal Mile handicap. 

Over jumps, two of the highlights are the Scottish Triumph Hurdle Trial which has been won by the likes of Forth Bridge and We Have A Dream, whilst the Scottish County Hurdle has been won by Dear Sire and Diego Du Charmil. Both races where sponsored by Bet365 in 2018. 

Dress Code 

Musselburgh Racecourse does not operate a strict dress code, instead encouraging racegoers to dress appropriately for the weather. Racegoers are encouraged to explore all that Musselburgh Racecourse has to offer and all areas are paved and suitable for any footwear including high heels. 

Two meetings where racegoers tend to make an extra effort to look good are the prestigious Edinburgh Cup Day and Ladies Day, with prizes available for the best dressed ladies during the latter.

People wearing fancy dress will be admitted as a general rule, but anyone wearing offensive outfits will be refused admission. 

Interesting Facts

The Royal Musselburgh Golf Club is situated in the middle of Musselburgh Racecourse and this nine-hole course has been there since 1774. 

Jumps Racing wasn’t introduced at Musselburgh Racecourse until 1987

Contact Details

Musselburgh Racecourse, Linkfield Road, Musselburgh East Lothian, EH21 7RG
0131 665 2859

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