Uttoxeter Racecourse is located on the edge of Uttoxeter’s market town, which stands on the border of Derbyshire and Staffordshire. It staged just five meetings in the first year it opened over 110 years ago, but now proudly hosts around 25 exciting fixtures each season. Marston’s has been one of the course’s biggest sponsors in recent seasons and puts its name to two of Uttoxeter’s most enjoyable meetings, the Marston’s Beer Festival Meeting in November and the Marston’s Pedigree Summer Cup in June. However, the course’s most renowned race is the Midlands Grand National.
When racing is not taking place, the course is also a popular venue for business meetings, events, concerts, weddings, Christmas parties, and other celebrations.
Course Type: Jumps
Current Owner: Arena Racing Company
Uttoxeter is quite a unique racecourse as it is naturally sharp on decent ground, suiting horses that can travel prominently on the bridle throughout the race. However, whilst it still suits that sort of horse on softer ground, stamina really becomes paramount in the final stages, as the ground can become really testing here, especially in races like the Midlands National. However, the fences are relatively easy to jump compared to some of the higher-profile jumps tracks, and most casualties usually come down when tired towards the end of the race.
The course is left-handed, but has a little dog-leg on the far side where horses are asked to veer right over Clump Hill. Don’t worry if your course appears to be running wide here, as they soon find themselves back on the rail when the course veers left again.
The Midlands Grand National was first run in 1969, and now takes place in March, usually the day after Gold Cup Day at the Cheltenham Festival. It takes place over 4 miles 1½ furlongs and is potentially a stepping stone to the Grand National. Rag Trade did the double, but not in the same year, as he won the Midlands National in 1975 before winning the Grand National in 1976. However, Lord Gyllene finished second in the Midlands National in 1997 before winning the Grand National in the same year by a massive 20-lengths. Other notable winners include dual Welsh National winner Bonanza Boy, whilst The Thinker and Synchronized both won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in their careers.
Uttoxeter’s other big race is the Summer Cup, which takes place over 3 miles 2 furlongs and 13 yards. First run in 2000, it continues to attract a better field each year, with recent winners including Shuil Royale, Drop Out Joe, and Virgillio.
Uttoxeter Racecourse does not operate a formal dress code, though many racegoers that frequent the hospitality areas and restaurants love to dress up for the occasion. People definitely make more of an effort for days such as Gentleman’s Day and Ladies’ Day, with prizes for the best dressed in both categories.
However, on many days, smart jeans, and even tailored shorts on hot days, are very much the fashion with many visitors. However, the advice is often to dress with the weather in mind. Please note, people wearing non-tailored shorts, ripped denims, and white trainers will not be permitted.
When it comes to footwear, most of the public areas are suitable for all forms of footwear including high heels. However, some of the areas in the Centre Course are grass and can become wet and muddy in inclement weather.
In 2002, AP McCoy rode Mighty Montefalco to victory to record his 1,700th win as a jockey, making him the winning most jockey of all-time, at that time. He went on to ride several more winners at Uttoxeter before retiring with 4,348 winners.
Uttoxeter Racecourse, Wood Lane, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, ST14 8BD