Located right in the city of Worcester is popular National Hunt racing venue Worcester Racecourse.
Racing has been taking place in the area since 1718, including Flat racing until the mid-60’s, though now not only jumping but specifically summer jumping is hosted here.
Beautifully situated right on the River Severn, the area the racecourse sits on is The Pitchcroft which is what many locals still refer to the course as.
- Address – Worcester Racecourse, Pitchcroft, Worcester, WR1 3EJ.
- Owner – Worcester City Council (leased to and run by Arena Racing Company).
- TV Station – Sky Sports Racing.
- Type – National Hunt.
- Surface – Turf.
Worcester’s track is left-handed, pretty flat and features nice and easy turns.
The fences here are portable and don’t take a whole lot of clearing, so this allied with usually fast ground during the summer jumping means that races can be pretty quick and momentum is usually maintained by runners.
There is a long home straight at Worcester which many believe gives those in behind plenty of opportunity to gain momentum and make up ground. However, results tell us that on sound ground those racing handily still do best and can maintain leads going up the straight.
Though we’d love to see winter jumping at Worcester, its proximity to the river means this is not possible as many meetings would be lost.
Some very good jockeys have ridden around Worcester as it has a lovely reputation, most coming away with good memories of the place so we can say that the track remains fair.
Jockeys label this one as galloping in nature, with easy turns and simple fences. With this is mind, rather than looking for those with good speed figures, i.e., a sharp turn of foot, strong gallopers who like to race right near the front are the ones to concentrate on it seems.
Visiting Worcester Racecourse
When you book tickets for Worcester races, you can go either into the Centre Course Enclosure or the County Enclosure.
The Centre Course opens for the bulk but not all of the year, as ground in the middle of the track needs time to recover.
The County Enclosure is where most people go, an area providing great views of the action and allowing close contact with the horses. Bars, food outlets, the parade ring and the winner’s enclosure are all within this enclosure.
How to Get to Worcester
Driving to Worcester Racecourse is simple. From either the north or the south, use junction 6 of the M5 and then follow the A449 in the direction of Worcester city centre. From the west, take the A443 or the A44 as both get you into the city centre. The race track is well signposted within the city.
Train links are provided to Worcester Foregate Street Station. The station is a 10-minute walk away from the racecourse or a very short taxi ride. The other option is to look for tickets into Worcester Shrubhill Station which is a 20-minute walk. Taxies are usually readily available.
If you need to fly in, then Worcester Racecourse is under an hour away from Birmingham Airport by road.
Where to Stay
Generally speaking, there will be enough rooms to cope with demand in and around Worcester. Cheltenham is 25 miles south however, and the centre of Birmingham is 32 miles to the north providing another option.
About Worcester Racecourse
One of the oldest racecourses in Britain, Worcester first staged racing when the track was officially known as Pitchcroft back in 1718.
Since then, so much has happened within those 100 acres. Boxing was staged there as well as other sports over the course of 300 years while, incredibly, during a racing fixture in 1965 there were an average of 28 runners in each event with eight races taking place in total.
Given the high risk of flooding in the winter months, Worcester has become a known summer jumping racecourse. There are around 20 fixtures granted to Worcester each year in the spring, summer and autumn. Ladies Day takes place in June, while Worcester’s famous Family Fun Days also attract big summer crowds.
Given that the local council leases the track to Arena Racing (ARC), Worcester is in the same ownership stable as many other top tracks including Doncaster and Newcastle.
While no top-class races are staged at Worcester, the track remains popular with owners, trainers and jockeys who support it well, with the crowds backing up the good service offered here too.