Ffos Las racecourse
|Location|| Ffos Las near Carway and Trimsaran,|
|Owned by||Ffos Las Ltd.|
|Date opened||18 June 2009|
|Course type||Flat and National Hunt|
The Ffos Las racecourse (strictly: Ffos Las Racecourse & Conference Centre) is a horse racing, equestrian sports and conferencing venue situated just off the B4317 road, opposite the Glyn Abbey Golf Club, in a rural area called Ffos Las between Trimsaran and Carway and is about 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Llanelli. The Ffos Las racecourse was built at the site of an open cast coal mine after mining operations ceased.
After the completion of the first phase of construction for a first race meeting in June 2009, the Ffos Las racecourse became the first new National Hunt racecourse to be built in the United Kingdom for 80 years, and Wales's third racecourse. Ffos Las Racecourse was built at a cost of £20 million. The racecourse development site is about 600 acres (2.4 km2) in size and is located in a natural amphitheatre setting. The racetrack itself is an oval which is 12 furlongs in length and has a flat topography.
The initial phase of the development was completed in 2009 and features:
- Enclosure & Grandstand
- Hotel, pub, restaurant, etc
- Technical Facilities
- Betting Facilities
- Residential Development for racing staff
The Ffos Las Racecourse opened on 18 June 2009 when it held its first race meeting to a sell-out crowd of 10,000. It was an evening National Hunt meeting which included a Ladies Night. The first ever race at Ffos Las was won by 15-8 second favourite Plunkett ridden by Donal Fahy, trained by Evan Williams, and owned by Hywel Jones. The first race at Ffos Las to feature Arabians was held on 27 June 2009.
The first ever flat race at Ffos Las, the EBF/Jamie Yeates Memorial Maiden Stakes, was held on 21 July 2009. The race was dedicated to schoolboy and aspiring jockey Jamie Yeates from nearby Llanelli, who died under tragic circumstances the previous January. The winner of the race was Dream Queen ridden by Michael Hills. Dream Queen was trained by Barry Hills.
The official opening ceremony, conducted by racing commentator Sir Peter O'Sullevan, was held on 28 August 2009, with an audience of over 12,000. Following the final race of the day, there was concert with Cerys Matthews performing.
The first ever race meeting featuring harness racing will be held on 9 May 2010.
In 2010, there will be 28 race meetings (12 flat and 16 jumps) including a three day Flat programme in August and a two mile £60,000 conditions race on 9 January 2010. The racecourse owners intend to introduce a new Celtic Festival in future years to be held around St. David's Day. The racecourse developers plan for the venue to have a capacity for 20,000 people and there will be 120 horse boxes.
Future developments at the racecourse will include:
- Development of Hotel & Leisure Facilities
- Racecourse Training Establishment
- Live/work small holdings
First Cymru operate a bus between Llanelli and Carmarthen, number 197 from Monday to Saturday, which stops at the racecourse entrance. The Ffos Las racecourse offers a dedicated shuttle bus service on race days between Llanelli railway station and the racecourse.
By sea, Pembroke Dock is about 1 hour away to the west and Fishguard is about 1 hour 15 minutes away to the west. Ferries from both Pembroke Dock and Fishguard sail to and from Rosslare in the Republic of Ireland. Irish Ferry operator Fastnet Line operate the Swansea Cork ferry between Swansea Docks and the port of Cork in Ireland. Swansea docks is about 45 minutes away by road.
Pembrey Airport, which handles private and charter flights, is a 10 minute drive away to the west. Helicopters can land at the racecourse by arrangement with the racecourse management.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Times Online: Dai Walters digs deep to develop seam of opportunity at evolving Ffos Las
- ↑ FT.com - If you build it, will they come?
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 News Wales - New Wales racecourse goes flat out
- ↑ Horse & Hound: New Welsh racecourse Ffos Las to open today with a sell-out crowd
- ↑ Ffos Las Racecourse
- ↑ Racing Post: Vocal crowd greet first Ffos Las winner
- ↑ Wales Online - Horse racing: Arabian racing at Ffos Las
- ↑ Racecourse tribute to schoolboy
- ↑ Guardian.co.uk - High praise for Ffos Las after first Flat meeting
- ↑ Times Online - Barry Hills receives boost with landmark triumph at Ffos Las
- ↑ MailOnline - THE CAPTAIN'S LOG: Kempton's orchestrated publicity pays off with tuba-playing jockey
- ↑ South Wales Evening Post, 28 August 2009
- ↑ The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald - Racing - Jimmy Styles is a decent bet for Goodwood
- ↑ - Ffos Las Racecourse - Harness Racing
- ↑ BBC Sport: Horse Racing: Ffos Las starts at a gallop
- ↑ UKTI Today: New racecourse a sell-out success
- ↑ Racing Post - Ffos Las ready to join ranks of busiest courses
- ↑ RTE Sport: Ffos Las ready for action
- ↑ Wales Online: New Racecourse Plan for Wales
- ↑ Discover Carmarthenshire - Ffos Las Racecourse