Chelmsford City racecourse is in Great Leighs, just five miles north of Chelmsford, Essex. It is clearly sign-posted from the A131, A120 and M11 and car parking is free to all vehicles. The car park is at the main entrance, off the A131 bypass. There are frequent train services from London Liverpool Street to Chelmsford Station, 15 minutes from the course. Braintree station is 10 minutes away from the racecourse and taxis run from both stations.
Chelmsford Racing Tips
Chelmsford is a left handed, oval track of just over a mile with a two furlong home straight. An extended chute also provides a straight seven furlongs. Take note of whether they are racing on the straight or the round course when considering your Chelmsford horse racing tips. They race on polytrack and the surface has been widely acclaimed. Mutakayyef and Jack Hobbs are among the horses to have been taken to Chelmsford for vital workouts ahead of big race targets.
There is a perception that a low draw has an advantage at Chelmsford City but this is not backed up by statistics. One of the best horse racing tips for Chelmsford today must be that the track favours front runners. Efforts have been made to make this as fair a course as possible but the relatively short home straight means it is very difficult to come from off the pace.
Chelmsford Horse Racing History
The original Chelmsford Racecourse at Galleywood was open between 1759 and 1935. National Hunt racing took place there from 1892 with the great Golden Miller winning twice over hurdles in 1931. He would go on to win a record five successive Cheltenham Gold Cups. The track was now running at a loss due to dwindling crowds and was closed for the final time in April 1935.
Chelmsford City racecourse originally opened in 2008 under the name of Great Leighs. It was the first completely new track to be opened in the UK for over 80 years.
Entrepreneur John Holmes and his son, Jonathan, developed the course in the hope of filling a perceived void in the layout of the UK’s racecourses. There was no racecourse in Essex or neighbouring Hertfordshire which have a combined population of 2.6milion.
The course had been due to open in 2006 but it was delayed until 20th May 2008. Racing finally got under way with Temple of Thebes winning the opening race. Great Leighs received mixed reviews and the attendance figures were disappointing. The course went into administration in 2009 and it was six years before the course was resurrected under its current name.
In 2013 the track was purchased by a syndicate headed by Betfred’s proprietor, Fred Done. The course was granted a licence for 2015 under the new name of Chelmsford City with 12 fixtures allocated. This was later extended to 58 meetings and the track re-opened on 11th January 2015.
The initial meeting was in front of an invited audience of 800 spectators with the first public meeting taking place 11 days later. TV cameras were present for the Christmas meeting on 27th December 2017 as a substitute for the abandoned Welsh National meeting at Chepstow. In the same year, plans were announced to build a casino with a new turf course inside the all-weather track. The turf track is expected to open in 2020 and will be the first floodlit grass track in Europe.
Queen Charlotte Stakes
The Listed Queen Charlotte Stakes is the feature race of the richest evening meeting in Britain. The first meeting on June 21st, 2018 offered over £230,000 in prize money. There are also valuable handicaps on the card over ten furlongs, five furlongs and a mile and six furlongs.
Chelmsford was awarded 63 meetings in 2018, an increase of eleven on the previous year. They had faced increased competition in 2017 with the opening of Newcastle’s all-weather track.
The first Listed race to take place at Chelmsford City is the £75,000 Listed Queen Charlotte Fillies’ Stakes. It is restricted to fillies and mares aged four-years and upwards and takes place in June. The race commemorates the Queen Charlotte Plate that used to take place in the 18th and 19th centuries at the old Chelmsford Racecourse. The racecourse had to ask permission from the Royal family to use the title as Queen Charlotte was the grandmother of Queen Victoria.
Chelmsford City Famous Races and Racehorses
The inaugural running of the Queen Charlotte Stakes was won by Carolinae, trained by Charlie Fellowes and ridden by Stephen Donohoe. The six-year-old mare beat Irish raider Belle Boyd by a neck with Marie Of Lyon back in third place. The three big handicaps on the supporting card went to Melting Dew, Storm Over and Lady Bergamot.
Great Leighs opening meeting in April 2008 started with Stevie Donohoe winning on Temple of Thebes. He was very popular among Chelmsford tips and started favourite for Ed Dunlop. The card was well supported by several leading trainers, John Gosden saddling Escape Route to win the feature race under Jimmy Fortune.
The re-opening of the track in January 2015 produced a treble for Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation. Tryster won the opening race despite ducking sharply to his left in the closing stages. He was trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by Adam Kirby. Blue Aegean and Tempus Temporis rounded off an excellent day for Godolphin.
Tryster became an all-weather specialist, returning here later in his career to win a Conditions race. He also won the All-Weather Championships, the Winter Derby and Group 3 and Group 1 races in Dubai. 2015 Royal Ascot Coventry Stakes winner Buratino made a winning debut for Mark Johnston at Chelmsford. He was also placed in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes and Middle Park Stakes as a two-year-old.
Chelmsford Betting Tips
Mark Johnston leads the trainers table statistically at Chelmsford but shows a big level stakes loss. For those seeking better value from their Chelmsford racing tips, Saeed bin Suroor and William Haggas are the trainers to note. Bin Suroor has won with one third of his representatives here over the past three seasons with Haggas not far behind on 29%.
It is a similar story for the jockeys. Luke Morris has had almost double the number or rides as his closest pursuer, Adam Kirby. His 57 winners have come at the level stakes loss of a massive 285 points. Top among the jockeys for Chelmsford betting tips is Ryan Moore. He has a phenomenal record with a 42% strike rate and level stakes profit of almost 50%.