Wales has been home to a number of racecourses over the centuries, many of which have long been closed down. Ely Racecourse in Cardiff (established 1855), for example, was the original home of the Welsh National Chase when the race was introduced in 1895. This venue held up to 40,000 spectators and drew crowds until its closure in 1939. Today, Chepstow Racecourse in Monmouthshire stages the Welsh National. Chepstow is one of the most popular racecourses in Wales; however its reputation as the top course of the region might be in jeopardy. On 18th June 2009 a new kid appeared on the racecourse block when Ffos Las Racecourse opened its doors to the public. This state of the art racing facility has the self-proclaimed mission to bring top class racing back to West Wales. This course offers themed days and regular fixtures, and it is sure to reinstate the passion for racing in the Welsh nationals. The third racecourse offering Flat and National Hunt Races in Wales is the areas longest-standing operational racecourse, Bangor-On-Dee. Since 1859 Bangor-On-Dee has provided the Welsh public with high quality racing, including classic meetings such as the Wrexham Race Day.
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However, and this is a fact that often escapes passionate Flat and National Hunt racing fans, while Wales has only three courses for the traditional races, it sports a startling 27 racecourses specialised in the sport of harness racing. Although some of them are small and offer few of the comforts we have grown to expect from the world of commercial racing, they offer something special: a grassroots movement of harness races conducted for the love of the sport rather than for the love of prestige. For old-school harness race meetings check out the following locations in scenic Wales