Bath Racecourse Guide
Situated atop Lansdown Hill and looking across the famous Roman spa city, Bath Racecourse is the highest flat racing track in the country at 780 feet above sea-level. The course is one of the most picturesque in the country and has been hosting flat racing for many years throughout the summer; however a mixture of altitude and a lack of watering facilities means the ground at Bath can become very dry leading to abandonments of the track’s scheduled fixtures.
Bath Major Meetings
Bath Racecourse might not hold the same allure as the likes of Ascot, Newmarket or Epsom but its’ contributions to the racing calendar can’t be underestimated and its’ feature race of the Listed Lansdown Fillies’ Stakes has thrown up some classy winners in its’ time. The track also hosts the Beckford Stakes which is a recently formed Listed contest and it was once the home of the Dick Hern Fillies’ Stakes until 2011 when the race was moved to Haydock.
Bath Track Characteristics
Shaped like a kidney-bean the course at Bath is a galloping left-handed oval measuring one mile and four furlongs to a complete circuit. The turns at Bath are sharp and the four-furlong run-in is on a slight turn throughout as well as featuring a steady climb all the way to the line so it presents a very stiff finish for horses. The course suits galloping types who are strong stayers and front-runners do well here.
The ground can often be firm due to the altitude of the track and lack of watering; while the exposed track can be subject to winds which place an additional demand on horses’ stamina.
Bath Draw Bias
Despite Bath being a left-handed track and its’ sprints starting from a chute where the stalls are most commonly placed on the stands’ rail it can pay to defy logic of siding with low-drawn horses and instead side with those runners who boast high draws especially those who like to race prominently.
This is true regardless of the ground with softer ground having little apparent effect on the draw.
Bath Leading Trainers
Top trainers Clive Cox and Mark Johnston are the trainers to keep onside when it comes to finding winners at Bath with both trainers boasting profits from their respective runners and strike-rates each approaching 30%. Rod Millman meanwhile also returns a healthy profit from his runners despite a much more modest strike-rate.
Bath Leading Jockeys
When it comes to the leading jockeys over the past five years, both Tom Marquand and Charles Bishop show profits from their respective rides despite modest and similar strike-rates; while veteran jockey Franny Norton boasts the best strike-rate of the top jockeys at the track but the rider does operate at a loss currently over the time period.
Bath Track History
Racing has been taking place at Bath since 1728 although not always at the racecourse where it is now. The first major fixture to be held at Bath took place in 1811 with the fixture unfolding over two days. The number of meetings has grown steadily and the now-defunct Somerset Stakes was the track’s biggest race.
The track was repurposed as a landing area for the RAF during World War Two, named RAF North Stoke and the track was the scene for a planned betting sting in 1953 where a gang of criminals replaced a horse with one with identical looks but with more ability.
The criminals also caused intentional damage to the power supply at the track, denying bookmakers the opportunity to change the horse’s 10-1 odds despite some heavy bets on the now-substituted horse. The horse duly won but bookmakers were suspicious and police were called with the criminals ultimately arrested.
The racecourse underwent significant development in 2015/2016 with a new grandstand and roof garden opened in 2016.
Bath Racecourse Address
The official racecourse address for Bath racecourse is:
How to get to Bath Racecourse
If you’re planning to visit Bath Racecourse here’s how you can get there.
By car: Bath Racecourse is situated two miles out of Bath City Centre and easily accessible by all major road routes where the course is well sign-posted from the M4. Parking is free with plenty of capacity. Taking a taxi from the city centre takes around 25 minutes, traffic dependent.
By bus: Bath operates a racecourse shuttle on race-days, picking up nearby to Bath Spa railway station.
By rail: Bath Spa Station is only a short train journey Bristol Temple Meads Station making it very accessible from both Manchester and London. There is also regular connections from Cardiff and Birmingham to both Bath Spa and Bristol Temple Meads.
By air: Bath Racecourse is only 20 miles from Bristol International Airport.