Prospect of floodlit horse racing on turf mooted by Chelmsford City racecourse

Chelmsford City will join Lingfield (pictured) and Kempton by hosting racing on an all-weather surface in the south east in 2015. Pic: Courtesy of ARC.

Chelmsford City racecourse will join Lingfield (pictured) and Kempton by hosting racing on an all-weather surface in the south east in 2015. Pic: Courtesy of ARC.

By Simon Jackson.

The prospect of floodlit horse racing on turf in 2016 has been mooted by a representative of Chelmsford City racecourse which opens next year.

The chances of racing returning to Essex became a reality when the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) offered the Essex track 12 start-up fixtures on their all-weather track from January.

The request for fixtures for the 2015 season on the synthetic course was submitted by Great Leighs Estates Limited (GLEL) for the new Chelmsford City racecourse, on the site of the former Great Leighs racecourse.

Great Leighs, located near Chelmsford, was the first new racecourse in the UK for over 80 years when it opened in 2008 but went into administration the next year after just 44 meetings and has since been sold to the current owners.

The all-weather track surrounds a turf course that GLEL general manager Phil Sier said will also be utilised in the future.

Unique

“We’ve got a turf track here, which not many people know, and it will come into play in due course,” Sier said (the Racing Post report).

“It would give us turf racing under floodlights which would be totally unique and something we are looking to develop.”

“We are really determined to prove we can create a world class track [all-weather and grass] and I’m pretty confident we’ll do that.

“I don’t think you have seen anything yet. I’m delighted with what we have done because this is an asset for the whole of British racing.”

Read ‘Horse Talk with Simon Jackson’ at London24 for the latest horse racing news.

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