Towcester Racecourse Officially Closes as Fixtures are Sold to Arena Racing Company
Hopes that Towcester Racecourse may make a comeback into the British racing calendar were dashed on Tuesday when the course sold their 2020 fixtures to Arena Racing Company. This put an end to hopes that racing under rules would come back to the venue which closed last year, although there is hope that it will either re-form and come back in the future or hold other events at the track.
Talks are on-going regarding the possibility to point-to-point racing being held at the track, which is the amateur version of jumps racing and a place where many horses are spotted as youngsters and sold. It is an important part of the British breeding industry, and attracts many fans throughout the season, although that is all nothing compared to full, professional racing.
There is also talks of greyhound racing making a return to the track, something that was added to the venue a few years ago. The course was so well received in greyhound circles that it held the Greyhound Derby, although this was moved to Nottingham earlier this year and will go back to the Midlands venue for 2020, so there are no signs that if Towcester does come back as a greyhound track, it will be able to re-gain control of the sport’s centrepiece.
Since the closure of the track, other courses have been buying the fixtures off Towcester and hosting them, and that is the case for two fixtures towards the end of 2019. This always felt like a temporary measure, with hopes that the track would be able to come back on board and go forward with the fixtures it held onto. The two big racecourse owners, Arc and The Jockey Club have reportedly held discussions about buying the track to bring racing back to the venue but in the end both of them pulled out due to it not being financially viable.
Then on the back of those discussions ending, the news came on Tuesday that Arena Racing Company had bought all 10 fixtures for 2020 off Towcester, ruling out racing next year and closing the doors on the track.
It has yet to be announced which of the ARC racecourses will receive the 10 fixtures for next season, and we are still waiting to see where the two will go that they bought earlier in the year for the end of 2019, all of which is scheduled to be announced shortly.
As for the Towcester track itself, this will be the first track to close since 2012 when both Folkestone and Hereford were closed, although Hereford has since re-opened. Both of these situations are possibilities for Towcester and if there is some kind of racing held there in the near future, whether this is greyhound racing or point-to-point racing then that will help the course remain on the map and hopefully make a come back.
Towcester Racecourse first held action back in 1876 and it has seen some highlights of the sport over those years. The biggest of them all was the 4000th win for the greatest jockey of all time Sir AP McCoy, who rode the landmark winner in front of a huge crowd back in 2013.
For now at least though, the doors are firmly closed on a return to horse racing under rules at Towcester Racecourse, with the likelihood being that if anything does happen, it will be years down the line.