Jockey Club Estates have announced plans to submit a planning application for a four-and-a-half furlong uphill gallop on the Racecourse Side of Newmarket just off Hamilton Road in a bid to provide a boost to the town.

Expected to cost in the range of £10 million, the 4.5 metre wide all-weather gallop will start below ground level on a part elevated bridge and have a 2.7 metre-wide emergency access track running alongside it. There will be a 30 metre climb until the end of the gallop at a 10 metre man-made embankment.

It is anticipated that these proposals will make the Racecourse Side more appealing to trainers and owners providing a much needed boost to a side of a town which operates at a far lower capacity than it’s counterpart Bury Side. Essentially, it will remove the need for trainers to walk their horses across the town in search of an incline, saving time and money in the process.

Matthew Hancock, MP for West Suffolk has commended the work that has gone into getting the hill gallop project off the ground which it is hoped will strengthen and maintain Newmarket’s status as a world-class centre for the training of racehorses.

He said: “Newmarket is going from strength to strength, with record horses in training and yards on Bury Side full to the brim.

“The proposed new hill gallop will cement Newmarket’s place as the premier training centre in the country, and provide a further boost to the town.”

Currently, the occupancy rates of training yards on the Racecourse Side is 30% below that of the Bury Side which sits at around 90%, the reason cited to be it’s proximity to the world-renown Warren Hill which sees over 2,000 horses passing on a busy day up it’s 40 metre incline.

The Jockey Club initially couldn’t find a solution to the problem given the unsuitable terrain on the Racecourse Side. The turning point came after a fact-finding trip to Japan where they saw gallops built on man-made inclines.

With the Bury Side already nearing full capacity as growth in the number of horses in Newmarket rises at a rate of 2% per annum, the area just off Hamilton Road is deemed to have scope for expansion.

“At present, the growth in numbers of horses trained in Newmarket shows little sign of slowing,” reflected William Gittus, Managing Director of Jockey Club Estates.

It already possesses fantastic facilities but lacks an uphill gallop for conditioning horses

“The increases have undoubtedly played a key role in the horseracing industry’s contribution to the local economy exceeding £210m per annum, and providing over 8,500 jobs. However, at 90% occupancy, the capacity of Bury Side to meet future demand is limited.

“This exciting announcement of our Racecourse Side Uphill Gallop project is a key part of a wider masterplan to make Racecourse Side more attractive to trainers. It already possesses fantastic facilities but lacks an uphill gallop for conditioning horses, which is seen by many as an essential part of the trainer’s toolkit for equine fitness and welfare.”

A large team assembled to pull together a credible planning application including a Design Committee, trainers and vets, each of whom have played an integral role.