Listed Charnwood Forest Mares’ Chase Preview

There’s Listed action to look forward to, on Tuesday, in the shape of the Charnwood Forest Mares’ Chase at Leicester. The race has attracted some interesting entries.

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La Vaticane

Tom Scudamore has been booked to ride David Pipe’s 8-year-old, a Turgeon-sired grey that hails from France. She was a little unfortunate to lose to Desert Queen, in the Listed Bud Booth Mares’ Chase, having been both bumped and hampered by her sharp-elbowed rival. A blunder cost her any chance in the Grand Sefton Handicap Chase (Aintree), but she stayed on well to win a Class 3 race at Doncaster during Christmas week. In with a shout.

Desert Queen

Hasn’t really kicked on from that Market Rasen win and looked beaten in the Lady Godiva Mares’ Novices’ Chase even before a poor jump at the last sealed her fate. She stepped down in class, at Wincanton, but fell at the 3rd when under no pressure. Last seen at Sandown, just over a fortnight ago, in another Listed encounter and did not leap with confidence on her way to 4th place. Needs to rediscover her form and is probably best just watched.


Made her chasing debut at Huntingdon in November and beat The Organist by 5 lengths – despite hitting the 3rd from home and briefly losing the lead. There were more signs of inexperience at Exeter, but she narrowly won again despite a whole catalogue of errors. Paul Nicholls’ inmate still looks a very raw talent (as a chaser) and it will be interesting to see if she is really ready to take on a field of this quality yet.

Strong performances can also be expected from Creswell Breeze, Kilronan High and Treaty Girl.

Racing At Leicester

Leicester Racecourse is actually located in the small town of Oadby – on the perimeter of this famous old city. At just under two miles, this is an oval course which holds both flat and jumps races.

The racecourse has been operational for over 240 years, having been first opened in 1773. However, events first took place at a nearby site on Victoria Park. The switch to a piece of land at Oadby did not take place until the early 1880s. Famous horses to have run at Leicester include Time Charter, Silver Buck and Diminuendo.

Recent Modernisation

Leicester is considered to be a very modern racecourse and one that has benefited from considerable investment in recent years. Recent projects include the construction of a new Grandstand, the building of the Club Room and significant modernisation of the older structures.

As both National Hunt and flat racing are held at Leicester Racecourse, the action takes place all year round. There are thirty-two race days in the calendar, significantly more than at the majority of UK race tracks.

The Leicestershire Stakes is amongst the most eagerly-awaited contests to be held at Leicester. This is a 7f flat race and horses must be at least 4 years of age. It is a Listed race which takes place in the Spring (April).

Getting There

The racecourse can be easily reached by bus, from the city-centre. Leicester is close to both the M1, A1 and M6 motorways. Free parking is available at the racecourse.


There are two restaurants at the venue. The Choice Restaurant caters for those on a budget and serves a variety of set dishes. For those who want to push the boat out a little, the A La Carte Restaurant offers up fine-dining at reasonable prices.

There are executive boxes and these can be hired with or without catering. This means that you can bring your own food and drink, if you prefer.

The Club Room can be hired for much larger events. It has a capacity of 120 people, has a private bar, and a terrace that allows guests to mingle with trainers, owners and other connections.

Leicester offers racing fans a great day out at reasonable prices. There is no formal dress-code but, as with many East Midlands racing venues, some of the locals do like to dress up a little. However, this is a down-to-earth and friendly venue that should prove enjoyable at any time of the year.

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