London Road, Towcester, Northants.
LOCATED————————————One mile south of Towcester town centre just off the A5 trunk road.
ORIGINAL SITE——————————Infield of the Horse Racecourse.
DATE CONSTRUCTED———————2014 cost 1.8 million to construct.
DATE VENUE OPENED——————-December 2014.
Meaning other sports may have taken place prior to the arrival of Greyhound Racing.
FIRST MEETING—————————–Inaugural meeting December 6th 2014 won by Fairest Royal. Official opening December 13th 214 went live on Sky TV. Closed August 12th 2018, but reopened June 14th 2020.
Greyhound Racing only.
LICENSED OR INDEPENDENT———-NGRC.
All venues covered would have to be be licensed with the government, licensed suggested in this section would refere to tracks operating under NGRC Rules.
INSIDE OR OUTSIDE HARE TYPE——Outside Swaffham.
Please note that the Electric Hare suggested is only a guidance and would have been in operation for a certain amount of time at this venue. Although it is not necessarily guaranteed that it was operational all the time, as other types of lure may have been used and updated as time progressed.
DISTANCES———————————–260, 480, 655, 686 and 906 metres.
Please note that most racing venues distances had become varied throughout the years, the ones given above were at once point set and offers only a guidence to the track size.
Please note that alterations at most racing venues throughout its existence would see that the circumference of the track would vary, the one shown above offers only a guidance to the track size.
BIG RACE NAMES—————————The English Greyhound Derby.
STADIUM SHARED WITH——————Horse Racing.
LAST MEETING——————————-Ballpark won the last race on August 12th 2018. Re-opened June 14th 2020.
Greyhound Racing only.
STADIUM CLOSURE DATE—————-Still operating.
Meaning other sports may have taken place after Greyhound Racing had ceased.
STADIUM DEMOLITION——————–Still there.
BUILT ON SITE——————————–N/A
In some cases Buildings that were constructed over the venue after the stadium had been demolished may have been themselves demolished too, so the one described, is more likely to be the one which now presently covers the site.
EVIDENCE LEFT TODAY——————–Greyhound track still there.
FURTHER COMMENTS———————The official opening meeting was shown on Sky TV but amazingly the hare broke down in the first race at the first bend in an eight dog race event. Towcester Racecourse Company went in to administration during August 2018, prompting the cancellation of all sporting events.134 of its 137 staff were made redundant.
The Greyhound Racing venue at Towcester became the first NGRC purpose-built greyhound track to open in the UK since the new stadium at Harlow had opened in March 1995. The town of Towcester itself is located in the county of Northamptonshire and is more well known for its Horse Racing circuit, yet within its the boundaries lies the defunct circuit of a state-of-the-art greyhound track.
The Horse Racecourse is easy accessible along the side the A5 trunk road, situated about one mile south of the town. Unknown to many, Greyhound Racing had already made an appearance in the town once before, back in 1967 when a temporary track operated just off Brackley road, three quarters a mile west of the town. But Towcester’s new greyhound track was far more advanced than the one fifty years previous, with designers of greyhound tracks across the world using every bit of today’s technology to produce the best running surface. Drainage and viewing were taken into consideration which meant 60,000 tons of soil being laid before construction of the track began, raising the level of its base by as much as six metres in some places, so that the track was level with the Horse Racing circuit.
The all-sanded track which has a circumference of 420 metres had been designed with welfare of the racing greyhound in mind, seeing easy wide bends laid out, with the intention to reduce crowding. Once complete, the new track and all its facilities added up to a cost 1.5 million, which included a new tote system and the refurbishment of some old stables into kennels, which would now accommodate the racing greyhounds. But unlike other greyhound tracks it had one downfall, that is the location of the track being too far away from the main stand and its viewing areas, but to compensate a huge screen was erected to assist those who required a better view. The design of the track had seen Towcester offer eight dog racing, but more generally offered six greyhounds contesting over the distances of 260, 480, 655, 686 and 906 metres, with the hounds once chasing an outside Swaffham type hare.
With the blessing of every greyhound racing fan in Britain, Towcester staged its first ever meeting on the 6th of December 2014, with an impressive 4,000 racegoers who were there who gave it a good send off. The meeting went ahead almost perfectly with a greyhound called the Fairest Royal trained by Mark Wallis, winning the first ever race. Towcester began operations after signing a BAGS contract, with the view of offering an excellent standard of racing greyhounds, mainly due to the high standard of trainers that it had signed deals with.
The quality and standard of racing grew immensely, and before long the venue was rewarded by staging the 2017 English Greyhound Derby, after the closure of the Wimbledon Stadium in March 2017. The event was staged once again the following year, but disaster struck two months later, when it was announced that The Towcester Racecourse company had gone into administration, which in turn witnessed all sporting events to be suspended, with 134 of the 137 staff being made redundant.
Towcester’s final meeting had come on Sunday the 12th August with a hound called Ballpark winning the very last race. The greyhound racing world was in shock with its flagship track now gone, having lasted for just a brief spell of less than four years.
The venue remained idle for almost two years, but even after the disruption of the Covid 19 outbreak, Towcester was back racing greyhounds once again on the 14th of June 2020.
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