Racing, like so many of ours sporting events, has suffered throughout the pandemic. While things are very slowly returning, it is far from business as usual.

We do though want to give a little ‘shout out’ to our three courses and give some SOUTH WALES LIFE support to some upcoming fixtures. Obviously, under the current environment, everything is subject to change, cancellation, or anything else Covid throws our way.

FFOS LAS

Ffos Las have tentatively announced the return of GENTLEMAN’S DAY and the WELSH CHAMPIONS HURDLE, one of their big events of the season. We say tentatively, as they are still waiting for final guidance from the Welsh Government on crowds for the day.

But let’s be hopeful and keep everything crossed that things will go ahead as planned.

This is one of the highlights of the Welsh Racing Calendar, and includes the big one, The Welsh Champion Hurdle. With £100,000 prize money up for grabs there’s no wonder some of the best Trainers and up and coming runners can be seen on the day. Previous Winners at this fixture include; Oscar Whisky, Saphir Du Rheu, Silsol, Garde La Victoire, The New One, as well as 2018’s Silver Streak.

As well as seven exciting jump races Ffos Las ensure us this day is about swagger. Racegoers are encouraged to take their style to the next level with waistcoats, suits and flat caps, Bond or Shelby you decide but remember there is a prize for the ‘Best Dressed Male’.

The Ladies always do this incredibly well on their day, and we’re certain the guys will do their best to dress appropriately. Let’s be honest, after months of lockdown we all need something special to look forward to, and do.

There will be a Male Voice Choir performing the Welsh National Anthem prior to this race. And there’ll be live music after racing with the band to be confirmed. When we know, we’ll let you know too.

As usual with these events, the soone you buy, the more you save. The Early Bird in advance Tickets are now on sale for just £15, with a limited number available at this price. On the day tickets will be £22.

It won’t be like this for a while yet.

If you are getting a load of your mates or work colleagues together, they are giving a 15% discount for group bookings of 10 or more.

There’s the Complete Raceday Package for £26 in advance, which includes your admission ticket, two drinks (pint of beer, glass of wine or soft drink), and a Racecard.

You can also enjoy the raceday in Hospitality from the glass fronted Ministry Graphics Bridles Restaurant overlooking all the racing action with a delicious four-course meal, a welcome drink, reserved table for the day, hospitality admission ticket, racecard, tipster talk and private bar and betting facilities. That comes in at £115 per person, in advance.

For full details, and tickets, go here. FFOS LAS

Ffos Las Racecourse may be the new kid on the racking block, having opened its doors in June 2009. In fact they have just celebrated their 11th anniversary. It was originally named after the farm that once occupied the site and lies between the old mining villages of Trimsaran and Carway, the translation of Ffos Las to English is known as ‘blue ditch’.

The racecourse was built at the site of an open cast coal mine after mining operations were ceased, surrounded by rolling hills and countryside, the racecourse has spectacular views down the Gwendraeth Valley to Carmarthen Bay which makes it hard to believe that Ffos Las was once an open cast. Ffos Las Racecourse became the first new National Hunt racecourse to be built in the United Kingdom for 80 years and is Wales’s third racecourse along with Chepstow and Bangor-On-Dee.

Ffos Las has more events lined up including Afternoon Jump Racing in November and Christmas Jumper Raceday in December. With social distancing guidance still changing, we thought we’d wait a while before telling you about those.

They do however have The Kaiser Chiefs in the diary for next year which really be one amazing night. Obviously race times and the like are a long way from being confirmed, but the band are in the diary, it’s a Saturday too, so hopefully no work the next day. All in all, we reckon it’s one to get into the diary now.

If ever there was a band to enjoy in the great outdoors, then it has to be the KAISER CHIEFS. With a stable (see what we did there) of massive, anthemic hits they will undoubtedly blow the metaphorical roof off. Come on, you can picture it now cant’ you?

I think what we love about the guys is their originality, of course, but also that hint of late 70s, early 80s punk about them. Each album has been a belter, from Employment (2005), Yours Truly, Angry Mob (2007), Off with Their Heads (2008), The Future Is Medieval (2011), Education, Education, Education & War (2014), Stay Together (2016), and Duck (2019). There was of course the obligatory ‘hits’ album: Souvenir: The Singles 2004–2012 and a boat load of hit singles along the way.

In fact the debut album Employment, was not only a critical success and sold over three million copies sold. It won the band three Brit Awards, including the award for Best British Group, a NME award for Best Album, and was shortlisted for that years Mercury Prize.

Just in case you’ve forgotten, here’s a few more hits to get you in the mood.

Advanced Admission Etickets are now on sale at £37.50 for the big event, Children’s tickets (Aged 17 & under) are £20 each and are available to purchase on the day from the racecourse with proof of age.

As you can imagine, there is a lot of hospitality packages on offer. Ministry Graphics Bridles Restaurant is located on the first floor of the Grandstand offering fabulous food with exquisite views across the racecourse. The package includes: Restaurant admission ticket, Welcome Drink, Four-course menu, Raceday programme, Exclusive outdoor viewing balcony Table service drinks (cash bar), Totepool betting facility, Reserved table for the Evening for £135 per person.

Alternatively, they have availability in our McCoy’s Suite, where you can enjoy the best view in the house for Kaiser Chief’s LIVE. This package will include an Hospitality ticket, Welcome Drink, Four course Grande Buffet, Racenight programme and Host for the evening all for £135+VAT per person.

They also have private Hospitality options available just give the course a call on 01554-811092 for further information.

The KAISER CHIEFS get to Ffos Las Racecourse on Saturday 29th May 2021. For more details, go here. CHIEFS

CHEPSTOW

Chepstow’s have been racing ‘behind closed doors’ for a little while now and like Ffos Las are awaiting further guideline from the Government. In the meantime they have the following events coming up.

Day One of the October Jump Season Opener – an afternoon of top quality racing to launch the winter jump season. Again this is all dependant on Government guidelines.

The feature race is the Grade Two, Persian War Novices’ Hurdle.

Early bird tickets for this one enclosure meeting are just £17. There is also a discount of 15% on this price for bookings of ten or more so get a group together and come racing!

They also have a great value Complete Race Day package for £28 which includes a ticket, drink (pint of beer, glass of wine or soft drink), £5 food voucher and race day programme. This one is advance bookings only.

They once again have a range of hospitality packages and you can find out more, right here. OPENER

Day Two of the Jump Season Opener is another afternoon of top class jump racing. The feature race is the Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle.

Early bird advance tickets for the Grandstand and Paddock Enclosure are £23. Early bird advance tickets for the Premier Enclosure are £28 in advance.

Concession tickets will be available on the day and prices will be released nearer the time. The timings for gates opening and the first race are TBC. Details for day two can be found here. JUMPS

Chepstow Racecourse opened its gates in the early 1920’s and has since blossomed into a bustling track that is home to the Welsh Grand National. From just a pretty park, this venue is now home to racing fixtures and music events throughout the year, as well as being available to hire for weddings, conferences and events.

HEREFORD

TUESDAY 13th OCTOBER

Hereford’s season opener as the 2020/21 jumps season gets underway! 

A General Admission ticket allows you to enjoy excellent views of the racetrack, as well as access to all of the public areas of the racecourse including viewing of the parade ring, various bar, food and betting outlets. Ticket price on the gate is £18. If you buy 10 tickets you’ll get the 11th ticket free! Advance tickets available to purchase until 11.59pm Monday 12th October.

They also have a range of hospitality on offer, including…….

Box Restaurant Silver

Enjoy a three course meal, top quality service and a fantastic atmosphere in the hospitality suite restaurant (please note there is no lift access to this restaurant). This package includes: 

  • Reserved table for the day
  • Admission ticket
  • Three course served luncheon
  • Complimentary racecard
  • Waiter/Waitress service
  • Courier betting facilities
  • Cloakroom facilities
Box Restaurant Gold

Enjoy a three course meal, top quality service and a fantastic atmosphere in the hospitality suite restaurant (please note there is no lift access to this restaurant). This package includes; 

  • Reserved table for the day
  • Admission ticket
  • Glass of Prosecco on arrival
  • Three course served luncheon
  • Afternoon cheese board or afternoon tea
  • Complimentary racecard
  • Waiter/Waitress service
  • Courier betting facilities
  • Cloakroom facilities
Orchard Hospitality Package

If you’re looking to enjoy a relaxed dining experience, perfect for groups, events and celebrations then the Orchard Hospitality Package is for you. Minimum 12 guests per box. Orchard Hospitality Package Includes: 

  • Private box for the day
  • Admission ticket
  • 2 course hot buffet
  • Balcony views over the finishing straight
  • Complimentary racecards
  • Waiter/Waitress service
  • Courier betting facilities
  • Cloakroom facilities
Cathedral Hospitality Package

The private hospitality boxes ensure you the very best raceday experience at Hereford, with your private box located on the first floor of the grandstand overlooking the racecourse and finishing straight. Minimum 12 guests per box. This package includes: 

  • Private box for the day
  • Admission ticket
  • 2 course deluxe hot & cold buffet
  • Balcony views over the finishing straight
  • Complimentary racecards
  • Waiter/Waitress service
  • Courier betting facilities
  • Cloakroom facilities
Taste of Hereford Hospitality Package

This also includes a private hospitality box to ensure you the very best raceday experience at Hereford, with your private box located on the first floor of the grandstand overlooking the racecourse and finishing straight. Minimum 12 guests per box. This package includes: 

  • Private box for the day
  • Admission ticket
  • Four course plated lunch
  • Glass of Champagne on arrival
  • Balcony views over the finishing straight
  • Complimentary racecards
  • Waiter/Waitress service
  • Courier betting facilities
  • Cloakroom facilities

The hospitality prices range from £75 to £115. If you’d like full details on the season opener on Tuesday 13th October, just go here. HEREFORD

MONDAY 2nd NOVEMBER

A General Admission ticket allows you to enjoy excellent views of the racetrack, as well as access to all of the public areas of the racecourse including viewing of the parade ring, various bar, food and betting outlets. Ticket price on the gate is £18. Buy 10 tickets and receive the 11th ticket free! Advance tickets available to purchase until 11.59pm Sunday 1st November.

For full details of the day, go here. NOVEMBER

TUESDAY 10th NOVEMBER

A General Admission ticket allows you to enjoy excellent views of the racetrack, as well as access to all of the public areas of the racecourse including viewing of the parade ring, various bar, food and betting outlets. Ticket price on the gate is £18. Buy 10 tickets and receive the 11th ticket free! Advance tickets available to purchase until 11.59pm Monday 9th November.

For details of this one, go here. TUESDAY

FROST FAIR – 14th & 15th NOVEMBER

Still quite early for this one, so not a lot of information. This really is a great way to start your Christmas shopping in style.

There will be an extensive collection of gifts for the family, home and original crafts as well as fine food and drinks. You can savour and enjoy the festive atmosphere and entertainment including Father Christmas and local choirs with morning coffee, lunches and afternoon teas available.

Open 10:00am to 5pm each day with free parking. There are discounted advance tickets available from here FROST They will be £6 on the day, accompanied children under 16, £1.50.

Hereford is a popular racecourse for trainers starting their horse’s careers, and to prep ahead of prestigious festivals later in the season. Operated by Arena Racing Company, the track itself is almost rectangular in shape which a length of 1m 3f and is widely regarded as a fair, galloping track.

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