Date of Review: 7th September 2022
Address: Wood Lane, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, ST14 8BD
Phone: 01889 562561
Hotel Accommodation: https://www.booking.com/landmark/gb/uttoxeter-racecourse.en-gb.html
Track Layout: (Image: credited & acknowledged to At The Races)
Uttoxeter Racecourse is a National Hunt track situated between Stoke-on-Trent and Derby. Racing at Uttoxeter has been conducted since 1907. The racecourse now has 25 meetings throughout the year, with the premium fixture being the Midlands Grand National, which is run in March. It is a sharp, left handed oval shaped track of 1 mile 2½ furlongs in circumference. The back straight has a dog-leg to the right and is undulating as it rises over Clump Hill.
The course continues with a downhill run around the far bend into the home straight. The home straight of four furlongs is flat and galloping, ensuring fair and competitive finishes to most races. The nature of the track often enables front-running tactics to pay off. In winter. it is known for its gruelling conditions. In 1982, Uttoxeter was the venue when John Francome, riding Buckmaster, gained his 800th overall winner and his 120th for the season to share the jump jockeys' title with Peter Scudamore.
An excellent and informative video ‘flyover’ of Uttoxeter racecourse can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfgnyQyFUdw
The Racecourse Advisor Guide to Uttoxeter Racecourse:
By Road: The racecourse is well situated with easy access just off the A50 between Burton on Trent and Stoke on Trent. The racecourse is clearly signposted from the A50, A515, A518, and Uttoxeter Town Centre. From the North: Take the M6 to Junction 15, then follow signs for A50 Uttoxeter/Derby. From the South: Take the M1 to Junction 23a, the A50 (Uttoxeter/Stoke).
By Rail: Uttoxeter Railway Station is adjacent to the racecourse and within a short walking distance of the track. Most intercity services run trains to Derby and Stoke-on-Trent. Then, from there, you can board a connecting train to Uttoxeter. A direct service also operates from Crewe.
We have marked the access down by a point due to the fact that the gate at the railway track, which gives direct access to the racetrack, was still locked at 10.0am in the morning for some unknown reason, and this resulted in a bit of acrobatic mountaineering over and through the fences to gain access. Members of the St. John's Ambulance Brigade also found themselves locked in or,out. Not good. Rating: 8/10.
Parking: There is ample free parking at the course, and the access is very good. The main car park is situated directly at the front of the course, near the railway station, and next to the stables. Entry and exits are quick and easy. There is also an additional over-spill car park for busy days. Rating: 9/10.
Pricing: £26.00 entrance fee to Grandstand, which enables access to all areas. This was the only ticket and price available on the day of our visit. Credit card only. No cash is accepted. The race card was another £3.00, locally produced, well laid out, and informative. The one off price of £26.00 is expensive. The Uttoxeter Racecourse website shows a £12.00 ticket, which enables entry into the centre of the course enclosure only for other fixtures. Rating: 7/10.
Catering: As we both enjoy doing "racecourse reviews" and not restaurant reviews, or pretending to be food critics, our aim is to just give you an overall idea of what culinary options are available at the track on race days.
The catering at this track is superb! From a Champagne Bar to a Fish & Chip shop and everything in between, including stone baked pizza, a pie shop, the gourmet grill, and tea and coffee outlets. The main grandstand also has a number of large bars. The bars charge £0.50p for a plastic glass (the £0.50p is knocked off the price of your next drink) for ‘eco reasons’ to save the planet. All of the money is then donated to local charities. The only downside of the catering is that the local ice cream van does not sell banana-flavoured ice-cream. Once again, it is with dismay that we have to report that this racecourse is 'credit card only.' No cash, which is not to our liking and from what we see and hear not to others' liking either. Rating: 9/10.
Guinness Standard: Draught Guinness is available (in eco-friendly glasses) for £5.80 a pint (not including the £0.50p surcharge). Which is one of the best value pints of the black stuff we have had to date. Rating: 8/10.
Viewing: The viewing of the races here is good. The horses can be seen for the vast majority of the time during all races. The main grandstand is large, well covered, and it will keep you dry when the rain the comes down. It also has seating at the rear. For a provincial track, it really is excellent. No complaints at all from us at this venue. Rating: 9/10.
Parade Ring / Winners Enclosure: The parade ring is well located to the left of the main grandstand with the winners enclosure immediately to the right. Raised viewing and seating at the front deliver an excellent view of the horses. It also has a full size hedge sculpture of a jockey on a horse next to it. A very nice touch. Rating: 9/10.
Bookmakers / Betting Facilities: The main bookmakers' area is immediately in front of the main stand. A decent sized area with circa 25 pitches. There are more than enough Tote betting facilities located around the course, and a couple of large BritBet concessions are situated in the main stand and near the Parade Ring. Absolutely no problem to get a bet on and pick up. Rating: 9/10.
Friendliness of Course Staff: Very friendly course staff who are always more than willing to offer help and have a chat in general. Really good. located at numerous points around the track. Helpful, cheery, and happy to offer information and advice. Rating: 9/10.
Pros & Cons: Overall, an excellent racecourse. Well located with easy access, and well signed. Absolutely superb catering facilities to suit all tastes and costs. Plenty of betting facilities, with a really good sized and appointed grandstand. Large parade ring with a good view, and helpful staff on hand if and when required. What’s not to like? The course also has an on-site caravan & camping park in the centre of the track, which can be used on racedays (but no entry or exit on race days), which is very handy. The only strange thing about Uttoxeter, the town, is that it appears to be the supermarket capital of the UK! For a town with a population of circa 13,000 people, there are superstore or megastore sized outlets for Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Lidl, and Aldi all within one mile of each other. Certainly, the place to do your weekly shop on your way home after the races… Rating: 9/10.
VIP Watch: No VIPs of any note were seen on the day. However, there was a bit of a kerfuffle when a helicopter landed, and the CEO of HomeServe PLC got out (they were the main sponsor of the race day). However, as nobody knew who he was, it doesn’t actually count as a VIP.
Overall Dave & Ray Rating: 8.5/10.
The full day's racing results can be found here: https://www.sportinglife.com/racing/meeting/2022-09-07/uttoxeter/93036
Facilities & location Layout of Uttoxeter Racecourse: (Image: credited & acknowledged to ARC Ltd.)
Aerial View of Uttoxeter Racecourse: (Image: credited to & acknowledged to Google Earth)
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