Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse, known to many simply as Bangor, is essentially the sister track to Chester with the former concentrating on jumps racing while the latter stages high-class flat racing.
What is unique about this pairing is that while Chester is in England, nearby Bangor Racecourse is in Wales. Famously, the course doesn’t have a grandstand but remains very popular with racegoers.
- Address – Althrey Court, Bangor-on-Dee, Wrexham, LL13 0DA.
- Owner – Chester Race Company Ltd.
- TV Station – Sky Sports Racing.
- Type – National Hunt.
- Surface – Turf.
Relatively unique to jumps racing is the fact that at Bangor-on-Dee, the runners are almost always on the turn as they race.
Some top-class horses have taken in Bangor en route to bigger and better things with many trainers feeling that the track helps on their way up the National Hunt ladder.
Bangor is left-handed, pretty sharp in nature and features a few undulations around the track.
Given that fields are almost always turning, pace is crucial at Bangor-on-Dee with events tending to be well run. This is especially true of hurdle events in which runners can maintain their forward momentum better.
In chase races, the fences are thought of as being pretty stiff but this is down to colloquial chat rather than hard evidence, the course actually having a very good safety record for such races.
Races over 2½ miles and four miles begin at the furthest point from the crowd at the top end of the course. From there, four fences feature to the side of the course, there are two after the final turn and another three up the other side of the track.
Bangor Track Analysis
Noted by race riders as being one of the fastest tracks on the jump circuit, Bangor-on-Dee is labelled as such but that is perhaps only a real issue when the ground is on the quicker side of good.
The camber of the track, it has been said, gives jockeys the feel of running downhill. This is not factually correct, but that will not stop the feeling from the saddle that jocks don’t want to be left behind so you may need a horse that is more than comfortable up on the front end.
There is evidence for this being true. On lots of occasions, those coming off the bridle early don’t tend to stay on to good enough effect to change results, so true hold-up types and/or those needing every yard of an advertised race distance may not be suited by this venue.
The fences at Bangor do indeed present a good test of a chaser. Rather than them actually being very stiff however, this can be because of the associated pace of races here but either way, you may need a clever, accurate jumper and so one with a poor jumping record should be treated with plenty of caution.
Visiting Bangor Racecourse
Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse really does run as an all-purpose venue. If you want to get a feel of the place, many events other than horse racing take place here including conferences, parties and outdoor exhibitions.
For racegoers, the visiting area is split into the Paddock Enclosure and the Open Course.
The Paddock Enclosure allows access to pre-race and post-race procedures, presentations, the parade ring and the winner’s enclosure.
The Open Course features a grass bank in a natural amphitheatre, making it ideal for a more relaxed racecourse visit perhaps with family.
How to Get to Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse
The track is just off Bangor Road, close to the River Dee.
From Wrexham, follow the A525 and the track is less than six miles away. Trains are available from Wrexham as well, the closest station being ‘Racecourse’ which is just a 3-minute walk from the track.
Trains are available from Chester via Wrexham, while driving directly from Chester down the A483 will take just half an hour for the 20-mile journey.
Where to Stay
Bangor and Wrexham provide close accommodation, though given the ease of travel between the two places many will choose to stay in Chester which provides even more hotel rooms, bars, restaurants and other amenities.
Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse Fixtures
|Friday||15th Dec 2023||Afternoon||Jump / Turf|
Major Events at Bangor-on-Dee
Unlike its sister venue Chester on the flat, Bangor isn’t known for staging high-class races. That’s not to say the track doesn’t attract its share of good horses however.
The best of Bangor-on-Dee’s jumps races are:
|Handicap Chase||Handicap Chase, Class 3||3m||July|
|Handicap Hurdle||Handicap Hurdle, Class 3||2m7f||August|
|Handicap Chase||Handicap Chase, Class 3||3m||August|
|Handicap Chase||Handicap Chase, Class 3||2m4½f||August|
|Mares’ Novices’ Chase||Novices’ Chase, Mares Only, Listed Race||2m1½f||November|
|Handicap Chase||Handicap Chase, Class 2||3m||November|
|Handicap Hurdle||Handicap Hurdle, Class 2||2m3½f||November|
|Golden Spurs Handicap Chase||Handicap Chase, Class 3||3m||December|
About Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse
The racecourse at Bangor-on-Dee is situated in some of the most attractive and scenic countryside in Britain, encompassed by the Welsh hillside.
Bangor is known for being the only racecourse in the country not to have a grandstand, though its facilities remain excellent with reviews from racegoers always remaining positive.
Though it has a rich history, Bangor these days is a popular stop-off for some top trainers looking to get a good racing education into their jumpers.
Trainers of the calibre of Paul Nicholls, Philip Hobbs, Donald McCain, Jonjo O’Neill and Nicky Henderson are regulars at Bangor which also hosts point-to-point races as well as those under rules.
Bangor is the sister track of Chester Racecourse, another picturesque venue famed for the Chester Cup and May’s important classic trials. Chester, like Bangor, is right near the England-Wales border near the River Dee.
A diverse venue, Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse hosts rules racing, point-to-points, weddings, exhibitions and events with visitors usually in awe of the scenery.
The track is owned by the Chester Race Company. As well as Chester and Bangor Racecourses, the company now operates Musselburgh Racecourse in the east of Scotland and has extended its profile to include Chester’s on-site hotel, restaurants and bars.
Bangor-on-Dee’s left-handed turf race track was established back in February, 1859. Unique in character, the track was popular right from the off.
The inaugural steeplechase meeting took place on February 25th, 1859 using a layout that pretty much stands to this day.
In 2006 Bangor began hosting amateur point-to-point races. The PTP track is on the inside of the main National Hunt circuit with races being run right-handed.
In May 2012, the Chester Race Company began its own pool betting operation to the replace the Tote on its tracks. bangorBET therefore is an in-house betting system which means profit from on-course bets stays within the organisation.
After a numbers of years with Racing UK/Racing TV, Chester and Bangor recently switched television providers and so can these days be seen on Sky Sports Racing.