Royal Windsor Racecourse Guide

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Welcome to our official guide to Royal Windsor Racecourse.

We explore this great flat racecourse (sat in the shadow of Windsor Castle) in detail, looking at its royal history, the main races, a guide to this unique and quirky track, top local hotel picks, the racing fixtures, travel information and betting guides.

The Royal Windsor Racecourse was voted a must-visit Berkshire racecourse on the top 10 things to do in Berkshire.

If you are looking for the latest betting tips for Royal Windsor, check out our full guide to Royal Windsor Racecourse tips.

Find out more about Royal Windsor racecourse today:

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Windsor Racecourse Guide

Overview of Royal Windsor Racecourse

Royal Windsor racecourse is one of only two figure-of-eight courses in the UK, and is situated n 165 acres of stunning Berkshire countryside.

Horse racing, as a pursuit, has been linked with royalty for centuries and is known as the ‘Sport of Kings’. In keeping with this, racing at Windsor racecourse takes place just a short distance from Windsor Castle and is often frequented by members of the British Royal Family.

The course is located on the bank of the River Thames, sitting on a large island between the Thames Channel and the Clewer Mill Stream backwater passage.

Now a course for flat racing only (it used to host jumps as well), it is the only figure-of-eight flat course in the UK, as the one other, at Fontwell Park, is a national hunt track. As a course shaped as it is, Windsor racecourse is neither primarily left-handed or right – it is both!

Royal Windsor racecourse hosts five notable races a year but is an events venue in its own right, and hosts conferences, business meetings, wedding, occasions and music gigs.

The course’s extensive outdoor spaces in picturesque settings suit a variety of large trade shows, including car shows and festivals, and is unrivalled in the area as a photography spot for special occasions.

A quirky track, it only suits a certain type of horse and can throw off even the most experienced of racers if they’ve not run here before. The home straight is about five furlongs long, with a slight kink in the track three furlongs out. The bends are tight, and due to the layout of the track, the longest race it can accommodate is 1 mile 3 furlongs.

Alongside events, Royal Windsor Racecourse is used extensively for filming for TV and films; primarily due to its size and ability to accommodate large crews and sets.

It remains an extremely popular venue year-round – from both die-hard racing fans and those just hoping for a glimpse of royalty.

Royal Windsor Racecourse History

Windsor Great Park was ringfenced and preserved as a royal hunting ground 700 years ago, and when you visit and see the surroundings, it’s easy to understand why it’s been so enjoyed by royalty for so long.

Racing was recorded back at the site as long ago as 1600, and in the 18th Century, it was the home to the Egham Meeting: then more important than Royal Ascot.

Throughout the 1800s, the popularity in steeplechase racing rose and the course became a favourite amongst military and hosted professional racing meetings.

Windsor found its niche in not competing with the now more popular Ascot racecourse instead, it boasts a smaller and more relaxed atmosphere with its Monday night racing hugely popular throughout the summer.

It is a course hot on emerging horse talent where top trainers love to send their horses to “learn their trade”.

In 1923, before photo-finish cameras, one camera there managed to catch a triple ‘dead heat’ and the image remains a historical feat.

Three years later, Prime Minister Winston Churchill introduced a betting tax, and the independent bookmakers at Windsor refused to take bets from punters: going on strike. It wasn’t believed at the time that this would have any tangible impact, but it worked and the tax was withdrawn. Churchill even went on to buy and train horses!

During World War II, Windsor was the only course in the UK not to close – in fact, one ‘doodlebug’ bomb dropped on the course during racing! Thankfully, no lives were lost.

In 1998, Windsor finally curbed its national hunt racing in order to better preserve the track for flat. It was a well-advised move, and the course continues to boast world-class racing today.

Main Races and Events at Royal Windsor Racecourse

The main race to take place annually at Windsor Racecourse is the Royal Windsor Stakes, scheduled in May each year and run over 1 mile and 31 yards, it is a race for colts and geldings aged three years and over.

First run in the year 2000, it’s a fairly new event and has been abandoned three times in its history since, so isn’t quite yet at its 20-year anniversary!

The racing calendar is far from full at Windsor, as the venue is used for so much else, but you can also attend the Leisure Stakes, Midsummer Stakes, August Stakes and Winter Hill Stakes here.

Royal Windsor Racecourse Map

Below is a map of Windsor racecourse:

Windsor Racecourse Map
Courtesy of At The Races.

Royal Windsor racecourse is a unique flat track that forms a figure of eight, meaning that in certain races horses have to travel both left and right-handed.

The maximum race length held at the track is over 1m 3 furlongs.

Races up to 6 furlongs take place over the straight track. Although the home-straight is 5 furlongs it is generally considered to be a sharp track, suiting more speedy types.

s there a draw bias at Windsor Racecourse?

Yes, there is a draw bias at Windsor Racecourse.

In general, horses drawn high tend to have an advantage over distances of 5 and 6 furlongs, while low draws tend to be preferred over longer distances of 7 furlongs and 1 mile.

However, as with any bias, this can vary depending on the individual race conditions and other factors, such as the horse’s form and jockey tactics.

Therefore, it’s important to thoroughly analyse each race and consider all relevant factors when making betting decisions at Windsor Racecourse.

What is the Draw Bias at Windsor 5 Furlongs?

When it comes to the draw bias at Windsor over a distance of 5 furlongs, it’s difficult to make any strong conclusions due to the limited amount of data available.

However, it’s believed that being drawn high is a significant advantage when the ground is soft. Out of the three races that have been run over this distance, two were won by horses drawn high, which suggests that this bias is worth keeping an eye on.

Overall, there does appear to be a slight advantage to being drawn high and close to the fair rail at Windsor over 5 furlongs.

This may be due to the fact that the track at Windsor is situated next to the River Thames, and the high numbers may have a better angle to run downhill towards the finishing post.

What is the Draw Bias at Windsor 6 Furlongs?

When it comes to the draw bias at Windsor over a distance of 6 furlongs, there does appear to be a slight bias in favor of horses drawn high. However, this bias is not particularly significant and may not always hold true.

It’s worth noting that the track at Windsor is relatively flat, which may account for the small bias favouring high numbers.

Despite this, when the ground is soft, the draw bias at Windsor over 6 furlongs can become more pronounced. In these conditions, there can be a “golden highway” up the far rail that can give a significant advantage to horses drawn high.

This may be due to the fact that the softer ground provides less resistance, allowing horses to move more easily towards the finishing line.

What is the Draw Bias at Windsor 1 Mile?

When it comes to the draw bias at Windsor over 8 furlongs, also known as a mile, there is some belief that horses drawn high may hold a slight advantage in large fields.

While there may be a slight advantage to horses drawn high in larger fields, it’s important to consider all relevant factors when making betting decisions at Windsor over a distance of 8 furlongs.

Overall, it appears that draw bias is not a major factor to consider at this racecourse over this distance, and other factors such as horse form and jockey tactics may have a greater impact on race outcomes.

Windsor Racecourse Address

The official address for Royal Windsor racecourse is:

Windsor Racecourse
Maidenhead Road
Berkshire
SL4 5JJ

How To Get To Windsor Racecourse

The most popular ways to get to Windsor racecourse are:

  • On Foot – the course is just a mile and a half from Windsor town centre, the racecourse is easily accessible and well signposted by road.
  • Train – the nearest train station is Windsor and Eton Central, and taxis wait outside.
  • By Boat – as a racecourse situated on an island, it’s not unusual to attend by boat. Direct river taxi services run on-demand from the Barry Avenue Promenade and it is a unique and charming way to travel. A trip along the River Thames to the venue is enjoyed by many.
  • By Car – there is plenty of car parking spaces, the details for your sat nav are – Windsor Racecourse, Maidenhead Road, Berkshire sl4 5jj

Hotels Near Royal Windsor Racecourse

You won’t be surprised to hear that the accommodation options in Windsor are somewhat upper class but are definitely worth a visit for a special treat.

Notable hotels include:

  • The Sir Christopher Wren Spa
  • The Clarion Collection Harte
  • Garter Hotel
  • MGallery Castle Hotel

There is also a Travelodge in Windsor town centre, but it gets booked up far in advance.

Betting at Windsor Racecourse

There are lots of options when looking to place a bet at Windsor, the most popular are the below:

On-course Betting at Windsor

As well as more the modern method of online betting, you can still bet with traditional independent bookies on site.

Betting facilities are available in every enclosure at Royal Windsor Racecourse, at the side of the track (by the rails in the various enclosures).

There are also various betting kiosks and Tote betting options, should you fancy a Placepot or Quadpot.

It’s always worth a “bet on the rails” and is all part of the experience of going to the races.

Betting Shops Local to Windsor Racecourse

There are limited options should you wish to have a flutter away from the venue.

Windsor town centre only has a branch of Coral, but a short walk away you can find a William Hill. Neither are particularly popular or well-attended, however, so you may prefer to look online for competitive odds… or just wait until you arrive.

Royal Windsor Races 2024

Here is the horse racing calendar for Royal Windsor Races in 2024:

DateRacecourseWeekday
15/4/2024WindsorMonday
22/4/2024WindsorMonday
29/4/2024WindsorMonday
6/5/2024WindsorMonday
13/5/2024WindsorMonday
20/5/2024WindsorMonday
25/5/2024WindsorSaturday
3/6/2024WindsorMonday
10/6/2024WindsorMonday
17/6/2024WindsorMonday
24/6/2024WindsorMonday
29/6/2024WindsorSaturday
1/7/2024WindsorMonday
15/7/2024WindsorMonday
22/7/2024WindsorMonday
29/7/2024WindsorMonday
3/8/2024WindsorSaturday
12/8/2024WindsorMonday
15/8/2024WindsorThursday
19/8/2024WindsorMonday
24/8/2024WindsorSaturday
2/9/2024WindsorMonday
16/9/2024WindsorMonday
30/9/2024WindsorMonday
14/10/2024WindsorMonday
15/12/2024WindsorSunday

Check out our guide for the full list of UK horse racing calendar fixtures for 2024.

Windsor Racecard

The racecards for Pontefract races will be released the day before the races are set to happen. You can view full racecards in advance, check out  – tomorrow’s horse racing meetings and today’s horse racing meetings. In these, you will get an advance look at all the runners, trainers, form and riders.

You can also of course purchase a racecard from the track which carries much of the same useful information. Many like to keep these as souvenirs, especially from big horse racing events.

Other Events at Windsor Racecourse

The majority of occasions and events held at Windsor Racecourse are private attendance only, but there are some dates in the diary to which the public are invited.

These include a variety of charity fundraisers as well as a ‘Sounds of Ibiza’ festival run by notable nightclub group the Ministry of Sound, and annual jazz nights held in conjunction with Ronnie Scott’s.

As the course is the shadow of Windsor castle and set in the stunning Berkshire countryside it is popular for a wide range of events.

Popular Questions

✅What is the dress code for Windsor races?

The course operate a smart dress code.

Smart jeans are allowed as are tailored shorts.

Men are asked to wear a collared shirt, whilst t-shirts, sports attire, cargo style shorts and trainers are not permitted.

✅Can you take a picnic to Windsor Racecourse?

You can’t take a picnic inside the main racecourse but there are lots of excellent great food outlets.

✅How far is Windsor racecourse from Windsor train station?

The nearest train station is Windsor and Eton Central, and taxis wait outside.

It is about a 20-minute walk or 5-10 mins in a taxi.

✅What is the postcode of Windsor Racecourse?

The full address and postcode is:

Windsor Racecourse
Maidenhead Road
Windsor
SL4 5JJ

Royal Windsor Racecourse Summary

Royal Windsor Racecourse is a beautiful and unique course in the shadow of Windsor Castle and set in 165 acres of stunning and beautiful English countryside.

A small and compact layout means you always feel close to the action, with the pre-parade, parade and course all close together.

Hosting a range of summer evening meetings it’s easy to see why it is so popular with many people attending from London after a days work – often travelling by boat along the River Thames!

With great food options, friendly staff and a possible glimpse of the Royals – it’s a five-star course with a very English charm.

It made our Top 10 of racecourses and is highly recommended.