Horse racing has been taking place in Nottingham since 1773, but it was not until 119 years later that the Current Nottingham Racecourse opened in the picturesque setting of Colwick Park. It currently stages over 20 flat racing meetings each season between April and November. However, it used to also stage jumps meetings until 1996.
When the jumps tracks shut, it was converted into a second flat racing track, one of which is used in the first part of the season, whilst the other is used in the second-half of the season. This policy has allowed the course to attract a number of classic hopefuls from top stables, who often use maidens here as stepping stones to bigger things. Oh So Sharp, Slip Anchor, and Oath all won here prior to classic success.
However, one of the most popular horses ever to have run at Nottingham racecourse was the Barry Hills’ trained Further Flight, who won twice here in his career, as well as being the only horse to win the same pattern race for five consecutive seasons, which was the Jockey Club Cup
Course Type: Flat
Current Owner: Jockey Club Racecourses
Bot courses at Nottingham are similar in nature, with both being left-handed and relatively flat. However, they are slightly undulating between the two-furlong and four-furlong markers. Both also have sharp bends. Sprints run over five and six furlongs take place on the straight course, where front-runner can often be favoured, especially on the inner course. There is no significant draw bias in races over most distances, though races at nine furlongs and 10 furlongs often favour those drawn low. That is because horses drawn-wide have to expend a lot of energy to get to the lead from a high-draw or often tuck in behind runners that are drawn lower.
Nottingham hosts a variety of standards of racing during its 23 meetings a season, with the highlights being the Further Flight Stakes, the Kilvington Fillies’ Stakes, and the Nottinghamshire Oaks.
The Further Flight Stakes is Nottingham’s best-known race, and it is a Listed Race run over 14 furlongs. It is named after the popular stayer Further Flight who won two renewals of this race when it was known under a different name. The only horse to have run the race twice since is Alcazar, whilst other popular winners include Opinion Poll and Flying officer.
Another popular race is the Kilvington Fillies’ Stakes, a Listed Race run over six furlongs. First run in 2000, its most well-known winners include Kind and Firenze.
Nottingham also inherited a race when Warwick Racecourse decided to no longer stage flat racing in 2013. This race is now known as the Nottinghamshire Oaks and it is a Listed race run over 10 furlongs and 50 yards. Its most popular winners have included Secret Gesture, Elbereth, and Wilamina.
Smart Casual is a good guide as to what to wear when heading to the races at Nottingham Racecourse. If attending the Premier Enclosure, Hospitality Boxes, and Restaurants, please be aware that people wearing fancy dress, trainers, non-tailored shorts, t-shirts, and any other form of undesirable attire will not be permitted.
If attending the Grandstand Enclosure, there is currently no strict dress code.
Up until 1996, Nottingham racecourse staged both flat racing and national hunt racing.
When the course announced it was going to stop staging jumps racing, AP McCoy decided to add a Nottingham winner to his name, riding The Boiler White to success in 1995.
Stan Mellor became the first jumps jockey to break through the 1,000-winner barrier when he steered Ouzo to success at Nottingham Racecourse in 1971.
The final jumps winner at Nottingham was ridden by Timmy Murphy, with the subsequent Grand National winning jockey only an apprentice jockey at the time.
Nottingham Racecourse, Colwick Park, Nottingham, NG2 4BE