Hereford Racecourse Guide
Situated close to the town centre, Hereford has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity since the track reopened and the track has become a firm favourite of West Country and Lambourn trainers where they often send novices to learn their racing trade. The track may not be the most glamorous or well-known but it continues to play an important role in the jumps racing calendar with a good number of meetings each year.
Hereford Major Meetings
The unfortunate break experienced by the track between 2012 and 2016 haven’t helped Hereford in attracting any major races and the Covid-19 pandemic has since halted the track’s recovery. As such racing at Hereford is fairly low-level fare with many races for novices and while none rattle the cage of the major racing calendar the fixtures are well-attended locally including their popular Ladies’ Day fixture.
Hereford Track Characteristics
Hereford’s racecourse forms almost a perfect square and is right-handed and generally flat with fairly easy bends, although the turn into the home-straight is much sharper and runs downhill. A circuit of the track measures around a mile and a half and the going in winter can become quite testing.
The obstacles at Hereford are fair and not too difficult although the final obstacle in the home straight can catch a few out especially when horses are tiring in softer ground given many races here are strongly run affairs. However it can be difficult for runners to make up ground in the home straight as it is a relatively short run-in and those in front can often poach a lead on the downhill run into the straight.
Hereford Leading Trainers
Since the course reopened in 2016 Hereford has been a decent venue for a number of trainers to saddle a few winners, especially Paul Nicholls and Jonjo O’Neill; while Dan Skelton and Kim Bailey also do well here with their horses. Backing both Jonjo O’Neill and Kim Bailey’s runners throughout the period would have seen punters in profit. Venetia Williams has had the most runners at the track in the five year period since the track reopened and while the trainer operates at a strike-rate just north of 20% her runners would have punters in the red if backing them all.
More recently and looking at the season just gone, the 2021/22 campaign saw Sam Thomas return an impressive strike-rate, winning with all but one of his six runners at the track for a healthy profit return; while Jonjo O’Neill continued his good relationship with Hereford, winning with two of every three runners and also turning a solid profit for backers. Gary Moore and Neil Mulholland were also trainers to follow last term.
Hereford Leading Jockeys
No jockey has ridden Hereford better in the past five years than Aidan Coleman who has won on almost half of his rides at the track for a profit of almost 50 points; while Sam Twiston-Davies, Harry Skelton and David Bass have all also proven adept riding at the track with all three riders showing a profit from their respective rides.
Looking at the 2021/22 campaign Sam Twiston-Davies continued to ride Hereford well, returning a profit from his rides of more than 20 points; while Jonjo O’Neill Jr rode at Hereford eleven times last campaign with seven winners. Tom Scudamore and Gavin Sheehan along with Harry Bannister also posted respective strike-rates at the track of more than 25% last season.
Hereford Track History
Racing at Hereford can be traced as far back as 1771 although the the track was initially used for flat racing and it wasn’t until 1840 when the course introduced jumps racing. The course operated as a dual-purpose track until September 1883 when Hereford ran its’ final flat race.
After a dispute over the lease, Hereford’s owners took the decision to close the course in 2012 having failed to negotiate and secure a renewal with Herefordshire Council. While closed the course still hosted Arab Racing and Point-to-Point fixtures before owners ARC Racing reopened the doors to jumps racing in October 2016.
Hereford has been the scene of several firsts with top trainer Paul Nicholls sending out his first winner as a trainer when Olveston won at the track in 1991; while former champion jockey and now-retired Richard Johnson rode his first career winner at Hereford, steering Rusty Bridge to victory in a Hunters’ Chase while riding as a conditional back in April 1994.
Hereford Racecourse Address
The official racecourse address for Hereford racecourse is:
How To get to Hereford Racecourse
If you’re planning a trip to Hereford Park Racecourse here’s how to get there:
By road: Hereford racecourse is easily reachable by road with the course situated just two miles from the city centre off the A49. The course is around 30 minutes from the M50, exit from either Junction 2 or 3 depending on direction of travel. Hereford has plenty of car-parking which is free and there is no need to prebook.
By rail: Travellers heading to Hereford racecourse are well served with a number of routes connecting through the city from major locations including Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff and London. The railway station at Hereford is only one mile from the course. Taxis are available at the station, alternatively take the 72B bus-route to the course.
By air: Birmingham International Airport is a 90 minute drive from the course; while helicopters can land at the course if pre-arranged.