Known by the locals as Haldon Racecourse, due to its location on top of the Haldon Hills, this progressive track at Kenford was long referred to as 'Devon and Exeter' before finally becoming known as Exeter Racecourse in the 1990s. It is home to the Cheltenham Preview Evening and has recently completed a £2 million redevelopment, leaving it with almost double the facilities and plenty of room for all in attendance to come out to play.
Address: Exeter Racecourse, Kenford, Exeter, Devon EX6 7XS
Phone: 01392 832 599
Charles II is credited with bringing the horse racing tradition into fruition at Exeter in the mid-1600s. Thanks to his enthusiasm for the sport, Devon now is the proud home of the highest racecourse of the United Kingdom, as Exeter Racecourse towers at 850 feet.
However, it is only since the formation of the Jockey Club, established in 1750, that the racing at Exeter obeys standardised rules and regulations. Today Exeter plays host to a number of eye-popping National Hunt races, on a courses prepared for Hurdles as well as Steeple Chases.
The absolute highlight of the Exeter season is the Haldon Gold Cup, a Grade 2 National Hunt Steeple Chase open to horses aged four and older. This race reached notoriety in 2005, when Best Mate - a legendary National Hunt champion and three-time winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup - died on course after being pulled from the race by his jockey. In his honour, Exeter Racecourse holds the annual Best Mate Novice Chase Day in October.
This November race, also known as the William Hill Gold Cup Chase after its current sponsor, is run over a distance of 2 miles and 1 ½ furlongs. Furthermore Exeter stages the Valentine's Raceday, a meeting on Devon National Day, the Publican's Day and a Season Grand Finale not to be missed.
Note: A free bus runs from Exeter's St Davids Station to the racecourse on race days. Direct connections to Exeter St Davids are available from Gloucester and Cardiff, from London over Newport and from Bristol via Severn Tunnel Junction.
Exeter Racecourse is atop Haldon Hill. Take the A38 Exeter to Plymouth Road, 5 miles from the end of the southbound M5. The racecourse is clearly signposted from all directions.
Special Occasions: Exeter hosts an annual Children's Day, allowing children to take a look through the stables and chat with the jockeys. It also, of course, holds a fashion-fantastic Ladies' Day including 'Best Dressed' awards, six live races and live music.
Private Hospitality: Exeter offers private hospitality packages from £55 per person. They include use of a private suite for the race day, one of many available menus, Haldon Premier enclosure admission, racecards and parking.
Desert Orchid Restaurant: From £51.30 + VAT, you are welcome to relax and indulge in Exeter's beautiful on course restaurant, the Desert Orchid. With a reserved table in the afternoon, a three-course lunch and betting facilities at your fingertips, this venue is sure to make it a special day.