Chepstow Racecourse Guide

Welcome to our official guide to Chepstow Racecourse. In this section we explore this great jump and flat racing Welsh racecourse in detail, looking at its history, a guide to the track, the best local hotel picks, its packed fixture list, travel information, betting guides and even the weather!

Chepstow Racecourse

Overview of Chepstow

If you picture a racing meet in Wales, it’s safe to assume that thoughts will immediately turn to Chepstow. This famous course offers flat racing throughout the summer and National Hunt events during winter, most notably it is the home of Coral Welsh National.

Chepstow is the most prestigious racecourse in Wales, located in the historic town of the same name.

Chepstow is just 16 miles from Bristol, making it easy to access from England via the Severn Bridge. The racecourse, which covers 270 acres, is part of the Arena Racing Group. The track runs for around 2 miles, bending to the left. The racecourse hosts both flat and hurdle racing, with the events divided neatly by the calendar. The jumps season opens with a bang in October and runs through to April. Flat racing then commences in May, concluding in September of each year.

While flat racing was previously considered more prestigious, the arrival of the Welsh National made jump racing the highlight of Chepstow’s calendar, typically it is ran on December and the going is often tough and gruelling at the time of year making it a test of stamina for the horses. As the most prestigious equestrian event in Wales, countless visitors flock to the racecourse for this meet every festive season. Chepstow boasts many more events through the year, however, and is one of our favourite racecourses for its sense of fun and high-quality racing.

History of The Course

Chepstow endured a rocky start to life. The course was officially opened in 1926, and then almost immediately suffered foreclosure. It was kept open thanks to a substantial bank loan, but financial struggles continued for over a decade.

During WW2, due to the cessation of sporting events, the racecourse became an RAF outpost.

Following the signing of the Paris Peace Treaties to official conclude hostilities, the Welsh Grand National was moved to Chepstow in 1949. This breathed new life into the racecourse. On top of that the completion of the M4 and Severn Bridge provided a further boost making it more accessible to English equestrian enthusiasts as well as its homegrown fans.

The Main Races and Chepstow Meetings

Chepstow hosts 32 events each year, so it has quite a packed calendar, however, by far the most prestigious of these is the Welsh Grand National, which typically unfolds over the Christmas period. This is the richest race in Wales, with a prize fund of £150,000. The Welsh National has created many memorable stories over the decades, one of the most famous being Dream Alliance, the story of which was turned in a movie and won a Sundance Festival Award!

Chepstow hosts an annual Easter Raceday and party, depending on when Easter may fall in any given year, it is one of the most popular dates of their calendar and definitely worth a visit. Precise dates and times are subject to change based on weather, circumstances and the foibles of the calendar, so it’s always advisable to keep an eye out for any amendments. Unless otherwise stated by event organisers, Chepstow operates a smart-casual dress code.

Chepstow Racecourse Map – Flat and National Hunt

Chepstow Racecourse Map
Courtesy of At The Races

The flat racing course is left-handed and undulating in nature – when you look down the home straight you can clearly see them. The track is oval and is two miles around with a home straight of five furlongs. Races up to one mile run on the straight course. With its hilly nature stamina is normally needed and an ability to strongly see out a race are very important.

Chepstow Jumps Map
Courtesy of At The Races

The jumps course is obviously similar to the flat one in that it is left-handed, undulating and oval. The two-mile course has 11 fences per circuit and the run-in after the last is 250 yards (over a furlong). Conditions in winter can be very testing and the relatively long run after the last favours strong old fashioned national hunt type horses.

Chepstow Address

Chepstow Racecourse
NP16 6BE

How to Get There

  • By road – it is found on the A466, linked to the west end of the Severn Bridge. You can reach it by leaving the M4 East at Junction 21 or the M4 West at Junction 23, where you’ll find yourself on the M48. From here, just follow the many and plentiful road signs that direct visitors toward the racecourse.
  • By train – if you’re using public transport, the nearest train station – unsurprisingly – is Chepstow. This station is served directly from a number of major cities, though other travellers may need to change at Newport or Cheltenham Spa, depending on where the journey began.
  • By bus – once you arrive in Chepstow, take a ten-minute stroll to the town’s bus station. From here, regular shuttle services transport passengers to and from the racecourse for a mere pound. If you’d prefer, you can travel on the same service from Newport for a slightly higher fee.
  • By air – flying into Chepstow is a little more awkward. You’ll need to land in Bristol or Cardiff and travel from there. Where possible, it will be more cost- and time-efficient to travel by road or rail.

Hotels Near Chepstow Racecourse

The racecourse is a major attraction to the historic town that shares its name, so accommodation is plentiful. Look into The First Hurdle Guest House and the Beaufort Hotel first. Both of the venues are located within walking distance of the racecourse. The St. Pierre Marriott Hotel & Country Club is a little further afield but is a delightful venue.

One important thing to note is that Chepstow is a town, not a sprawling city. The popularity of the racecourse means that accommodation can quickly fill up, while visitors also flock to Chepstow for its many and varied historical attractions. It’s advisable to book well in advance where possible. If you need to base yourself further away, look at the neighbouring town of Tintern. You’ll find a range of B&Bs here. For the best deals and prices we recommend booking through as below:

Best Chesptow Online Betting Sites

At British Racecourses we often recommend betting online and via apps. This is because you can often get the best odds, great offers when signing up and you can place bets quickly and safely without having to queue.

If you are looking to bet online we recommend the following great deals that are available today:

Chepstow Racecourse Fixtures

    • January – two standard National Hunt meets.
    • February – two standard National Hunt meets.
    • March – two standard National Hunt meets.
    • April – Party Raceday to celebrate the Grand National, one evening National Hunt meet.
    • May – the first Flat Meeting of the year, and two further standard Flat meets.
    • June – three standard Flat meets, including one evening event.
    • July – two standard Flat meets (one daytime, one evening), in addition to Ladies Evening and Caribbean Night
    • August – two Flat standard meets (one daytime, one evening) and a Family Raceday on the August Bank Holiday
    • September – three standard Flat meets.
    • October – Jump Season Opener (spread over two days and nights) and one further standard meet. The Jump Season Opener doubles as a celebration of older horses, hosting such events as the Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle, Robert Mottram Memorial Trophy and Persian War Novices’ Hurdle.
    • November – two standard National Hunt meets.
    • December – Christmas Party Raceday and the Welsh Grand National.

Chepstow Weather

Punters and race-goers love to keep up with the weather to predict going conditions, as well as making sure what they wear is suitable. Here’s the current weather forecast for Chepstow:

Other Events Held at the Course

The Racecourse is one of few venues outside Cardiff to host musical performances from major artists – both domestic and international – in Wales. Notable past performers include UB40, Madness and Simply Red, as well as local heroes Feeder and Tom Jones. Celebrated mod pioneers The Jam are scheduled to close out the Jump Season Opener in October 2020. It can also be hired as an indoor venue. This makes it a popular wedding destination, as well as hosting private parties for other celebrations and corporate events.

Chepstow Races

Summary of Chepstow Racing

The home of the Welsh National and a whole of host of other great meetings throughout the year Chepstow is a fantastic racecourse and the jewel in the crown of Welsh racing. It’s a beautiful picturesque course where stamina is at a premium. Great facilities, customer service and a sense of fun make the course popular with people of all ages, as well as hardened racing fans as well as those just out for a good day out. It’s highly recommended by us!

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