Chelmsford City Racecourse Guide

Guide to Chelmsford City Racecourse

Chelmsford City Racecourse was originally known as Great Leighs and was the first new racecourse that had been built in the UK since Taunton Racecourse in 1927.

Chelmsford City Races News from Eclipse

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Chelmsford City Racecourse News

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About Chelmsford City Racecourse

All Weather

Originally called Great Leighs

Chelmsford City Racecourse was originally named Great Leighs. Entrepreneur John Holmes saw the potential of a large Essex population and no racecourse in the county, the nearest being Newmarket 50 miles away. He took the plunge, building the course on the site of the former Essex County Showground. This was the first new racecourse in the UK that had been built since Taunton in 1927.

License withdrawn

After opening on 20th April 2008 the racecourse license was later withdrawn by the BHA due to incomplete facilities, and it went into administration in 2009.

BetFred Ownership

It remained closed until a syndicate headed by Fred Done (BetFred) bought the track, brought it up to scratch and rebranded it as Chelmsford City Racecourse. It reopened in 2015 and has gone on to be one of the busiest racecourses in the UK.

Important Races/Festivals

August – The Chelmsford City Cup


  • Road: The course is five miles north of Chelmsford on the A131.
  • Rail: A bus takes racegoers to the course from Chelmsford Station on racedays.
  • Website:
  • Telephone: 01245 360300.

The Chelmsford City Directory - Local Services

Travelling to Chelmsford City Races? Want to know where to stay, where to eat, where to get your hair and nails done? How about where the best pubs are and the name of a reliable taxi? We can help. Check back frequently – this section is updated on a regular basis. 

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