Newton Abbot is a popular National Hunt venue, situated on the north side of the River Teign in Devon.
Jumps events are hosted here all year round, though the main focus at Newton Abbot is on summer jumping. In fact, summer jumping is in focus to the point that the ‘Season Finale’ meeting is in October, this despite the fact that the normal National Hunt season runs right through the winter.
- Address – Newton Abbot Racecourse, Newton Road, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 3AF.
- Owner – Newton Abbot Races Ltd.
- TV Station – Sky Sports Racing.
- Type – National Hunt.
- Surface – Turf.
Newton Abbot is a tight, left-handed track. As such, those racing handily are often favoured. Those showing a good turn of foot and/or who like to lead do seem to have an advantage.
The fences appear to be fairly easy in all truth, allowing those quicker horses to keep lobbing away at the front, while there is also a short run-in.
Stamina is never the key issue here. This is the ideal track according to jump jockeys for those usual non-stayers to grab an advantage.
Your horse will need to be a good mover though, given those tight turns, as balance can be crucial. Many trainers like to go to Newton Abbot with their ex-Flat runners for this purpose.
While those of us who look from afar see the fences as being easy, riders see it differently from up top. The fences individually aren’t a problem, but they do come up quickly so a sound jumper is still thought of as a necessity. Non-stayers are OK, but regular dodgy jumpers should still be avoided.
Visiting Newton Abbot Racecourse
There are several areas to choose from when you enter Newton Abbot. The Paddock Enclosure is popular, giving racegoers the prime views of the track. This area includes access to the parade ring.
The Course Enclosure now includes a play area for the kids, making it ideal for a full family day out. There is a picnic area, fast food, bookmaking facilities and pool betting all made available.
Newton Abbot is seen as a very family-friendly racecourse and as such, accompanied children enter for free. Furthermore, if you book into the Course Enclosure but then want access to different facilities, upgrades are usually available on the day to the Paddock Enclosure.
How to Get to Newton Abbot
The racecourse is only a mile and a half north east of Newton Abbot centre using the A381 and B3195. The track is well within reach of the A38 linking Plymouth and Exeter, meaning it is easily accessible from both towns.
Where to Stay
Limited rooms are available in Newton Abbot, though the track is commutable from such towns as Exeter and Torquay, Paignton and Brixham on the coast.
About Newton Abbot Racecourse
The current location for Newton Abbot Racecourse was purchased in 1866 by local racing fans. The plan was to create more organised racing in the area.
After the track was laid out, the sport took off in a big way almost immediately. It grew in popularity, though there was a long wait for Newton Abbot to have a track with proper facilities for racegoers.
Since the 1860’s, racing has been regular and has only been stopped during the first and second World Wars. In fact, the end of WWII was celebrated here with a massive 17,500 crowd attending on August Bank Holiday.
The main grandstand was opened in 1969 by the Queen Mother. As the facilities continued to be improved, corporate rooms were put in place in 1990 and by 2016, the track was celebrating its 150th anniversary in a properly modern horse racing environment.
Newton Abbot Now
The track administrators have put in place a rolling winter redevelopment programme. The track therefore is always changing for the better, with those big summer jumping days offering something new every time. With facilities always improving, Newton Abbot is not being left behind which is very much to be celebrated.