The Northamptonshire market town Towcester lies roughly halfway between Milton Keynes and Northampton and is just 10 miles from Silverstone Racetrack. Situated to the south of the town is Towcester Racecourse, which used to be part of Lord Hesketh’s Easton Neston estate.
Racing was first held at Towcester in 1876 with the racecourse and its distinctive Empress grandstand opening in 1928. The course held around 18 national hunt meetings per year at its peak, including a busy Boxing Day fixture and numerous summer jumps evenings. Racing organisers boosted popularity at the track by making the majority of fixtures free to attend from the turn of the century.
Both the chase and hurdles track were known for being particularly testing, with tight right-handed turns and an uphill finish to the winning post. Over the years, Towcester had some of the lowest percentages of winning favourites of any UK track as a result.
Financial difficulties led to Towcester racecourse selling a number of their annual fixtures to concentrate on construction of a new greyhound circuit at the track. This reduced the annual number of meetings to ten and included the loss of their Boxing Day card.
Further struggles led to administration in 2018. Towcester’s final meeting was held on Monday 21st May and despite racedays scheduled for October, November and December that year the course could not be saved and there has been no horse racing at the venue since.