Ffos Las Racecourse History

It was in 2002 that open mining land was purchased by the Walters Group, led by Dai Walters, with the express intention of creating a superb racecourse to serve the West of Wales. Five years later, in April 2007, Carmarthen County Council approved the planning application to construct the racecourse, and within a year Northern Racing Group was selected to manage the course. Ffos Las, located near the town of Trimsaran in the West of the Wales, became the third racecourse in the country when it held its inaugural meeting on Thursday 18th June 2009, (see scan of racecard below) with Jon Williams selected to manage the course. A crowd in excess of 10,000 witnessed the Evan Williams trained Plunkett win the opener at 15/8. Tuesday 21st July 2009 was the first Flat meeting staged at the new course. (see scan of racecard below) when the opener, the EBF/Jamie Yeates Memorial Maiden Stakes, went to the 10/11 favourite Our Dream Queen. The first official meeting was held on Friday 28th August 2009 when Sir Peter O'Sullevan opened the course. Within a year the management outlined plans to hold a 'Celtic Festival' in early March to take advantage of the Irish horses and punters arriving for the nearby Cheltenham Festival. The racecourse boasts an all-weather course with a running circumference of 12 furlongs. It enjoys the luxury of being able to host Flat and National Hunt meetings and has a grandstand capable of housing 1000 punters, fully seated.

Currently it holds 21 fixtures annually.

Thursday 18th June 2009
Freebets.co.uk National Hunt Novices Hurdle

1. Plunkett (15/8), owned by Hywel Jones, trained by Evan Williams and ridden by Donal Fahy
2. Older and Wiser (9/1)
3. Ballyvesey (7/1)
The winner of the first Flat meeting on Tuesday 21st July 2009 was the 10/11 favourite Our Dream Queen, defeating Going French (10/1).

Although Ffos Las remains a thriving racecourse, nearby Haverfordwest closed its gates for the final time in 1862.

The earliest recorded race meeting to take place in Haverfordwest, the county town of Pembrokeshire, was in 1768 ‘to cater for gentry pursuits’. Meetings continued annually and five years later a meeting was held on Tuesday 29th June 1773 on Portfield, or Poorfield, a large area of common land just outside the town. Celebrations at that festival meeting extended over a 5 day period to include 3 days of horse racing, a boat race and a yacht race. By 1839 the meeting had moved to a new location bisected by the B4327 Dale Road and the former racecourse was taken over by the Cricket Club, the oldest Cricket Club in Wales, being founded in 1824. The final meeting took place on Thursday 20th November 1862, although both Flat racing and National Hunt racing were thought to have been revived between 1887 and 1901.

Tuesday 29th June 1773
Haverfordwest Hunters Purse
1. Garret, chestnut gelding owned by Mr Bowen
2. Crab, owned by Sir William Mansel
3. Childers, owned by Mr Thomas

I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the 1830 map shown below.
The racecard shown below is from the inaugural meeting held at the track on Thursday 18th June 2009.
Ffos Las 1.JPG (35544 bytes)
The racecard shown below is from the first Flat race meeting held on Tuesday 21st July 2009.
Ffos Las 2.JPG (59215 bytes)
2009 Member 2010 Member 2011 Member 2012 Member 2013 Member

The Welsh Champion Hurdle, over 2 miles, was first run at Chepstow in 1969 when won by Persian War trained by Colin Davies and ridden by Jimmy Uttley. The race was abandoned between 2003 and 2010, but in 2011 Dai Walters’ managed to resurrect the Champion Hurdle at his beloved Ffos Las. He was rewarded when his Oscar Whisky (2/7 fav), trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Barry Geraghty, won the inaugural running at the course.
2013 The Welsh Champion Hurdle was won by Medinas trained by Alan King and ridden by Wayne Hutchinson
2014 The Welsh Champion Hurdle was won by Saphir Du Rheu, trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Harry Derham
2015 The Welsh Champion Hurdle was won by Silsol, trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Jack Sherwood
2016 The Welsh Champion Hurdle was won by Garde La Victoire, trained by Philip Hobbs and ridden by Richard Johnson

     
2014 Member 2015 Member      

ISBN 978-0-9957632-0-3

652 pages

774 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-1-0

352 pages

400 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-2-7

180 pages

140 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-3-4

264 pages

235 former courses

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