Ludlow Racecourse is a National Hunt only venue situated in Bromfield, Shropshire.
Close to the town of Ludlow, this track has some unique features including the fact that the road that takes you to the track, the B4365, actually crosses through the course at three separate points! This causes traffic to be stopped when racing is on.
The track sits between Bromfield and Stanton Lacy in an area known locally as the Old Field. Ludlow hosts around 16 meetings each year in the traditional jumps season between the start of October and the middle of May.
The big race at Ludlow is the Forbra Gold Cup in February, a competitive race albeit at Class 3 level. Some real good ones have appeared at Ludlow down the years however, including 2007 Ryanair Chase winner Taranis and 2009 Champion Hurdle hero Punjabi.
- Address – Ludlow Race Club Ltd, Bromfield, Ludlow, Shropshire, SY8 2BT.
- Owner – Ludlow Race Club.
- TV Station – Racing TV.
- Type – National Hunt.
- Surface – Turf.
Ludlow is known to be a sharp track. A right-handed oval, the course features nine fences on the chase track which is around 1½ miles around, with just a 250-yard run-in. The fences aren’t particularly stiff here.
The hurdle course is a little wider and runs around the outside of the chase course. The turns are easier, though there are some undulations for runners to deal with on the hurdles course that the chasers don’t have to face on their flatter track.
Ludlow Track Analysis
Because of Ludlow’s easy fences and the lack of a severe need to stay, some top trainers have sent horses here. The analysis seems to be that you can win without much stamina, at least over two miles, and that the course presents novices with a lovely introduction before they go onto more difficult things.
In the past, the first fence in the straight used to catch out many a chaser while the rest were jumped as though they weren’t there. Even that fence has been moved slightly now and doesn’t offer too many problems, so speed and not stamina or out-and-out jumping ability remains the name of the game at Ludlow.
Visiting Ludlow Racecourse
Very much a country track and picturesque in nature, Ludlow Racecourse sits right off the A49 near Bromfield in Shropshire. It does attract some good support for its best meetings, but can be a little out of the way for many racegoers.
How to Get to Ludlow Racecourse
From around Birmingham, although Ludlow is almost due west, the quickest route is to move north-west out of the city via the Walsall, Wolverhampton and West Bromwich areas.
Taking the M54, head to junction 6 for the B4368. This will take you to the track, around 60 miles in total from Birmingham.
From Worcester the racecourse is around an hour away, or 35 miles. From there, head north up the A449 then onto the A456 west towards Ludlow. The racecourse is signposted. Ludlow Racecourse is also around 60 miles from Cheltenham using the M5, the A449 and the A456.
The nearest train station to Ludlow Racecourse is Ludlow station. The station is around two-and-a-half miles from the track, a short taxi ride, and is served by trains coming from Wales at Milford Haven, Carmarthen and Holyhead.
There is also a crucial line down the west from Manchester Piccadilly. This allows many racegoers from other areas to access the track almost directly.
Where to Stay
For the size of this racecourse and its capacity, the rooms in Ludlow should always suffice. Given the train and road links to other major towns and cities however, it may prove just as good to stay outside of the area and travel in for the races from Birmingham, Worcester and beyond.
Ludlow Racecourse Fixtures
|Wednesday||6th Dec 2023||Afternoon||Jump / Turf|
|Wednesday||20th Dec 2023||Afternoon||Jump / Turf|
Major Events at Ludlow
Ludlow is a lovely racecourse to visit, but while some future stars may well make an appearance it isn’t known for higher grade races.
The feature of the season however is definitely the Forbra Gold Cup.
Run in February, the race is named after Forbra, the winner of the 1932 Grand National at 50/1 whose owner was based at Ludlow.
Often competitive, the Forbra Gold Cup is a Class 3 handicap chase for those aged 5+, run over 2 miles, 7½ furlongs. The prize fund stands at a cool £20,000.
About Ludlow Racecourse
Ludlow has a number of things that make it stand out, one of which being the fact that it is one of precious few privately owned racecourses in the country.
There is known to have been racing in the Ludlow area since around 1725. That’s in terms of the sport being recorded, though there are suggestions that soldiers as far back as the 1300’s matched their horses in races at Ludlow Castle so it’s likely racing started much earlier in one form or another.
Keeping its Edwardian features, the racecourse now hosts jump racing having started as a Flat course. National Hunt races have been happening here since the mid-1800’s.
Ludlow is known to be a very friendly racecourse with a club atmosphere, something they are clearly proud of and rightly so.
Those at Ludlow are also unashamedly proud of the jumps trainers they attract throughout each season, with £1 million in prize money being given out each year which is impressive.
Such names as Nicky Henderson, Philip Hobbs, champion trainer Paul Nicholls, Kim Bailey, Harry Cobden, Tom Scudamore and Aidan Coleman have trained or ridden horses at Ludlow in recent times.
While many tracks segregate not only the punters from the jockeys but also racegoers from each other according to the price of their ticket, no such boundaries exist at Ludlow which is a very redeeming feature.
There are no official boundaries meaning that, as long as everyone behaves themselves which they invariably do here, supporters can wander around any part of the racecourse and get close to the trainers, jockeys and owners.
Though not well known to casual observers of the sport, Ludlow is run just as horse racing should be.