Exeter

Hoofing It

Circuit

Exeter

Race Types

National Hunt

Approx no. of meetings

approx. 20

Getting There

Rail from London (2 hours)

Railway station to Racecourse (10 miles)

Taxis – Plentiful in town, but pre-book on race days and for return

Website

www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/exeter

Facilities

Two main stands, one for owners and trainers (both standing).  Several corporate suites and a number of rooms which were available for premier ticket holders such as the Denham room, but seating space was in short supply.

Staying over

There are a large number of hotels in Exeter itself, but beware the course is in the Haldon Hills near the Go Ape and as such is not easy to travel to directly without a car or pre-booked public transport.

Tickets

Premier package, Grandstand and paddock and also dining packages.

Rating

(1) Return after challenge completed

The Day

1st January 2019– Tracks Visited:  UK (57), Ireland (4), France (1), Barbados (1)

The drive down from Wiliton to Exeter could not have been more perfect with the top down on the car on a crisp and sunny January 1st.  The excesses of the night before long forgotten after a good breakfast, we decided arrival at the track early would be a good idea as it often is on big public holidays.   The track is one of the easier to find, not only thanks for a working Sat Nav but also that we had previously walked in the Haldon Hills and the course is just off the main Plymouth Road approximately 10 miles from town. 


The track is laid out in a very accessible way with plentiful parking in the middle of the track with easy access and the ability to leave between races if you wish to miss the inevitable scrum after the last race.  As the day turned cold and darker, we took the option to escape after 5 races as it was an hour or more to return to our B&B.  This did however give us plenty of time to evaluate and enjoy the track and to see some first-class racing.


Although it was again a busy day, like Taunton two days before, in this instance, everything seemed better organised and the track coped very well with the high number of punters.   The parade and pre-parade rings are in front of the owners and Trainers stand and as such there is no “tidal flow” between races, but it did make it harder to see the horses as people were want to sit at the parade ring for several races.  As I say, even with a “full house” we were able to be served both food and drinks at the bars and this was a pleasant experience even as the day got colder and people gravitated inside between races.


My biggest issue with what is a picturesque and well-run track is the lack of visibility.   With very limited grandstand space and only one repeater screen, there are large amount of the track that are invisible to the general public, although I am sure those in the restaurants and boxes could see.  I think a further taller stand with seating with really add to the experience for the average racegoer.   This is however a small gripe and one that did not reduce our enjoyment of our 57th UK track.  Madam Hoof commented when we finally rank them all, this will go in the top quarter, which is something in itself.  I would add, you can also tell it is Jockey Club track as the organisation was excellent (event if the food prices were a little high).   Thank you all for a great day.


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