Welcome to our official guide to Leicester Racecourse. In this section we explore this dual-purpose racecourse in detail, looking at its history, hotel picks, fixtures, travel information, betting guides and even the weather!
- 1 Overview
- 2 Racecourse History
- 3 Leicester Track Maps
- 4 Main Races and Events
- 5 Leicester Racecourse Address
- 6 How To Get To Leicester Racecourse
- 7 Hotels Near Leicester Racecourse
- 8 Betting Shops Local to Leicester Racecourse
- 9 Best Leicester Online Betting Sites
- 10 Other Events Held At The Racecourse
- 11 Leicester Racecourse Weather
- 12 Summary
- 13 Other Racecourses
Steeped in over a century of racing history, Leicester Racecourse is a reputed tough nut to crack – a tricky course and an air of historical prestige lend to this course’s stature.
Situated a couple of miles south of the East Midlands city of Leicester, Leicester Racecourse has made a name for itself on several occasions through the years.
The track itself is right handed and measures almost two miles and hosts both flat and National Hunt racing. Leicester Racecourse hosts a racing schedule of around 30 events a year, approximately two-thirds of which are flat. Leicester Racecourse’s facilities are ample and amongst the best in the UK, primarily because of the use of physical space on the course.
There are 108 stables available, and 6 with high-priority security features for those very high-profile runners!
Leicester Racecourse is well known as a tough course for horses and is very much seen as a stamina test for those racing here, particularly early in the season. On both soft and firm going the uphill finish is tough, and National Hunt runners face a formidable run-in. That said, the course’s fantastic facilities for horses, their trainers and jockeys, means that they are rarely injured here and the course’s record of dealing with injuries and accidents is superb.
Whilst no longer one of the most prominent racecourses in the UK racing calendar, Leicester Racecourse has, like many venues in the sport, diversified its offerings. Entertainment and conferencing venue ‘The Kube’ opened at Leicester Racecourse in 2014 and hosts a variety of events for both business and pleasure! This includes conferences and exhibitions as well as themed parties and occasion nights, and even weddings. With capacity up to 1,000 people, The Kube has quickly become a popular venue in the wider Leicester area.
Racing in Leicester is well documented from 1773, where it took place at Victoria Park; a venue closer to what is now the built-up city centre. Some 110 years later, in 1883, Leicester’s horseracing centre moved to what is Leicester Racecourse today, in Oadby, and has been situated there ever since.
It would be fair to say that Leicester Racecourse’s ‘heyday’ was in the last 19th Century, when it hosted some of the country’s most valuable races. This included The Portland Stakes and The Prince Of Wales Stakes, which, back in the 1880s, carried a higher prize fund than any of the UK’s five classic race meets.
Leicester Racecourse made headlines not just across the country but across the whole world in the 1980s when it was the venue for the Flockton Grey scandal: one of the largest betting scandals to ever hit Great Britain. As an unknown and undistinguished gelding, Flockton Grey made his debut at Leicester Racecourse in March 1982, and as such was priced at 10/1 odds. Some £20,000 was bet on Flockton Grey by just two people (spread across several bookmakers), and the horse was slyly replaced with a more successful runner, Good Hand – who was a year older and had a considerable weight advantage. Good Hand won the race easily, and the bookmakers became so suspicious that pay-outs were suspended. Investigations involving the course veterinarian and the study of official race photographs proved that the horse who raced was not Flockton Grey, and instead was traced back to the perpetrators. It remains a big scandal, although both those involved, Ken Richardson (owner) and Stephen Wiles (trainer) have popped up in other sports since!
Leicester Track Maps
The Leicester flat course is round course, right-handed track which is about a mile and three quarters around. It has a home-straight run-in of four and a half furlongs. The straight course (on which all races from 5-7 furlongs are run), is downhill to halfway, then a steep uphill finish over the final two furlongs. Although the track is galloping and aa stamina test, prominent racers also do well.
Like the flat track it is right-handed round course with an uphill finish of around three furlongs. The hurdle races are actually run on Flat course. There tends to be an advantage in taking wide routes over hurdles when the going is testing, possibly as that course is used all year round.
Main Races and Events
Leicester Racecourse is home to the listed race The King Richard III Stakes, run every April over seven furlongs by horses aged four or over. The race has been known as The King Richard III Stakes since 2013 when the body of the ex-monarch was uncovered and identified in a Leicester car park. Prior to that, it held several different names, including the Leicestershire Stakes, but sponsorships have come and gone over the years. The most successful horse at The King Richard III Stakes thus far is Warningford, who won in 1999, 2001 and 2002. Ladies Day is also a day not to be missed.
Leicester Racecourse Address
The official address is:
How To Get To Leicester Racecourse
- By road – Leicester Racecourse is easily accessible from the Midlands motorway network and is well sign-posted. Parking is free every day of the year bar Ladies Day. The info for you sat nav is Leicester LE2 4AL.
- Buses – buses run from Leicester to Oadby and stop just across the road from the racecourse entrance.
- By Train – the nearest train station, Leicester, is two miles away and is easily walkable, but there is a taxi rank outside that’s frequently patronised.
Hotels Near Leicester Racecourse
Leicester itself is no tourist destination, but as a well-situated city, there are plenty of accommodation options for those visiting. You’ll find most brand-name chains in the centre: Ramada Jarvis, Travelodge, Ibis, Marriott, Novotel, Holiday Inn, Mercure: and the course itself recommends the Hilton.
There aren’t many independent hotels in Leicester, but those hoping for something different can look at the Aparthotel Adagio – a quirky and arthouse style indie option. There are some excellent options to suit all budgets via Booking.com, check them out here:
Betting Shops Local to Leicester Racecourse
Leicester Racecourse has all the betting facilities you’d expect, but there’s not many local independent bookmakers about, so the choice available may be less than you’re used to. Mobile signal is fine for online betting, and in the nearby city centre are branches of Ladbrokes, Betfred, Paddpower, Megabet and Coral, as well as Mark Jarvis Bookmakers in Oadby itself (just a few minutes walk from the course!).
Best Leicester 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:
New Customers Only. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. Full T&C's Apply
New UK & NI customers only. 18+. Sign up using promo code ‘SPORTS60’. Deposit & place first sports bet at a minimum of £10 in one bet transaction at evens (2.0) +. £30 paid in free bets within 48 hours of bet settlement, expires 7-days after issue. Doesn’t apply to customers who place their first bet on the Virtual Grand National. E-Wallet & Prepaid Card restrictions apply. Your first bet must be settled within 60 days of bet placement. SMS validation may be required. Game restrictions apply. Maximum 30 Free Spins on selected games. Free Spins expire after 7 days. Full T&Cs apply. Full T&C's Apply
18+ New UK+IRE customers. PayPal and certain deposit and bet types excluded. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply. Full T&C's Apply
18+ New UK+IRE customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 4 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply. Full T&C's Apply
New William Hill online customers only. Min. unit stake of £10/€10 at odds of 1/2 or greater. Only the “win” part from EW bets will count. Free bet terms, payment method & country restrictions apply. Free bets credited as 3 x £10/€10. Free bet stakes are not returned as part of the settlement of successful free bets. All Free Bets must be wagered within 30 days. Full T&C's Apply
New customers only. 18+, BeGambleAware.org. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus. Wagering requirements: Sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), Casino 25x. Only one bonus can be used at a time, Sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the Casino, unless the bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in. Full T&C's Apply
Other Events Held At The Racecourse
‘The Kube’ venue onsite at Leicester Racecourse has been exceedingly popular since its inception and now hosts lots of events year-round. The biggest public events held The Kube are their Christmas themed evenings and parties, which are well-known in the local area for being a great night out full of fantastic food and drink. Perhaps the best-attended non-racing events at Leicester Racecourse though are the weddings held there – including many beautifully ornate and celebratory Asian civil ceremonies!
Leicester Racecourse Weather
It’s always good to keep up to date with the weather so you can make sure what you wear is right for the race day, check out the current weather in Leicester today:
Leicester is a lively and buzzy track. Busy throughout the year, hosting flat and national hunt racing, the racing is of good quality and the track is known for its steep uphill finish. It’s definitely worth a visit if you are looking for an enjoyable afternoon or evening at any time of year!
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