Southwell Racecourse set to celebrate three decades of all-weather racing
The 30th anniversary of all-weather track racing at Southwell Racecourse is fast approaching, marking three decades since one of racing’s biggest personalities rode the first ever flat winner on the Fibresand surface.
Frankie Dettori, the greatest flat jockey of modern times, rode Crystal Pool to victory on November 8, 1989.
The course will celebrate its 30th birthday on November 8 and 9, with a celebration dinner and race meeting under its new floodlights, which were first switched on this spring.
Celebrations begin with an anniversary dinner on November 8, hosted by Derek Thompson and Bob Champion, and continue with an Irish Night on November 9, when stars of yesteryear will be on parade including 15-times fibres and winner General Tufto, and Alpha Tauri.
The racecourse has gone from strength to strength since floods in 2007, 2009 and 2012, after 4km of new defences were created.
Now state-of-the-art lighting and the re-opening of its training centre have put the course back in racing’s headlines in its landmark year.
The first winner on the Southwell Fibresand actually came over jumps, when Zulu, trained by Martin Pipe and ridden by Jonathan Lower, took a novice hurdle on November 1, 1989 but National Hunt action on the all-weather track was short-lived.
Southwell became synonymous with flat racing and has been graced by an impressive roll call of equine and human stars ever since.
The sport’s most decorated female rider, Hayley Turner, a Southwell girl, began her career at the track with then resident trainer Mark Polglase.
The stables he used have now been refurbished and occupied by Scott Dixon, who has over 30 horses in the trackside barns. His father Paul Dixon remains the most successful owner on Fibresand with over 60 wins to his name.
For more information, or to buy tickets visit www.southwell-racecourse.co.uk
More by this authorJulia Jones