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Windsor Racecourse is situated on the banks of the River Thames in Berkshire. It is easily accessed by car from junction 6 on the M4 and junction 3 on the M3. Windsor and Eton Central Station are the nearest to the racecourse with direct trains from London Waterloo. Taxis are readily available at both stations.
Windsor is a figure of eight course, the only such flat racing track in the UK. This means that races over a mile and a half require the runners to run both right and left handed. Windsor is a flat, sharp track so better suited to front runners than horses coming from well off the pace.
One of the best Windsor horse racing tips today is to take notice of the draw. A high draw can be a big advantage in sprints, especially when the going is soft. There may be a slight advantage for a high draw over a mile.
There are links to horse racing at Windsor going back to the times of Henry VIII but the first recorded meeting took place here in 1866. The existing site was established by John Frail who would go on to own several more racecourses. In 1923 Windsor was the scene of an unusual triple dead-heat, although this was well before accurate photo-finishes were possible.
A controversial betting tax was introduced by Home Secretary Winston Churchill in 1926. Bookmakers went on strike at Windsor Racecourse on the first day it was introduced. The tax was eventually scrapped and Churchill would be successful as an owner at Windsor with Colonist II in 1949. Windsor was one of the few courses to continue to race throughout the Second World War, a flying bomb falling on the course during one such meeting. Fortunately, there were no fatalities.
They raced under both Flat and National Hunt rules here until 1998 when the jumps course was abandoned. Evening meetings were introduced at the course in the 1960’s. There have always been strong Royal connections with Windsor. Her Majesty The Queen Mother often attended to watch her horses race here. In 2018, Prince Harry held his Stag Do at the Royal Ale Race night at Windsor on May 14th, ahead of his marriage to Meghan Markle.
On 15th October 2012, jockey Richard Hughes rode the winner of seven of the eight races on the card. The accumulative odds of all seven winners was a massive 10,168-1. He was the first jockey to ride seven winners at a single meeting since Frankie Dettori’s “Magnificent Seven” at Ascot in 1996. His winners were Pivotal Moment (13-8), East Texas Red (5-2), Embankment (7-1), Magic Secret (4-1), Links Drive Lady (5-2), Duke of Clarence (7-4) and Mama Quilla (15-8). He was denied an eight-timer with the defeat of Ever Fortune in the sixth race.
The Winter Hill Stakes is the only Group race to take place at Windsor and is staged on the August Bank Holiday weekend. There are 27 fixtures at Windsor between April and October.
The August Stakes is one of four Listed races, completed by the Royal Windsor Stakes and Leisure Stakes in May and the Midsummer Stakes in July. Windsor holds regular evening meetings throughout the summer. These include the 3-day Best of British Festival and a special Ladies Evening. They have thirteen consecutive Monday evening meetings that are always well attended.
The Winter Hill Stakes is Windsor’s most prestigious race and is for three-year-olds and upwards over ten furlongs. It was promoted from Listed status in 1995. The Royal Windsor Stakes is a Listed race over an extended mile and can attract horses that were not far short of Classic standard as three-year-olds.
The Leisure Stakes is a six furlong sprint which fits into the schedule of horses being aimed at Royal Ascot. It used to be held at Lingfield Park but was moved to Windsor in 2000. The one-mile Midsummer Stakes also regularly attracts a good quality field.
Annus Mirabilis won the Winter Hill Stakes for three successive seasons between 1996 and 1998. Frankie Dettori rode him to two of those victories and was also successful on Naheef (2002), Campanologist (2009) and Planteur (2013).
Saeed bin Suroor is the leading trainer in the race with eight winners, the most recent being Racing History in 2015. The highest rated horse to win it was Al Kazeem in 2014, trained by Roger Charlton and ridden by George Baker. He won the Eclipse (2013), the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (2013) and the Tattersalls Gold Cup (2013 and 2015).
Geoff Wragg saddled Swallow Flight to win the first two runnings of the Royal Windsor Stakes in 2000 and 2001. Ordnance Row (2008 and 2009) also had two victories in the race. The Royal Windsor Stakes was lost to slippery ground in 2016 and 2017 and the 2018 renewal was won by Arod. Midsummer Stakes winners include the useful Thistle Bird (2012), French Navy (2013) and Gabrial (2016).
The Tin Man has won the Leisure Stakes twice for James Fanshawe, using the race to complete his Royal Ascot preparation. Other notable winners since 2000 include Bated Breath (2011) and Tropics (2015).
Clive Cox and Roger Varian are the trainers to follow here. Varian has maintained a strike rate of 32% over the past three seasons while only Richard Hannon has trained more winners here than Cox. Hannon only returns a 13% strike rate as opposed to 22% for Cox who also shows a small level stakes profit. John Gosden is another trainer who returns a healthy percentage of winners here.
Adam Kirby is the leading jockey here with 36 winners in the same three-year period. Only Andrea Atzeni has a marginally better strike rate than Kirby but has only had half as many rides. The top value jockey here is David Probert, who often features among the best horse racing tips for Windsor. Following Probert to a level stake would have yielded a very healthy profit.
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