Wolverhampton has hosted horse race meetings since 1887. The racecourse moved to the current Dunstall Park venue at the end of the 1920’s, originally hosting both jump and Flat Racing on the turf.
In 1993 there was a complete overhaul of the track and a Fibresand surface was laid alongside the turf track. Floodlights were also added to allow for evening racing. History was made when the first ever British horse race took place under those floodlights in 1993.
In 2004 the Fibresand and turf tracks were replaced by a Polytrack surface. The course is an oval of just over 1m in circumference with tight left-handed turns and a short run in. The course also has additional chutes for 6f and 7f races.
A new Tapeta surface was installed in August 2014. At the time, this was the first Tapeta racing surface in Europe and its introduction has been widely praised by trainers and jockeys who report it to be a safe and fair surface for horses. Such was the success at Wolverhampton that Tapeta was chosen for Newcastle’s new all-weather surface which opened in 2016.
Tapeta uses a selection of specifically blended fibres, waxes, PVC and sand to a depth of up to seven inches. The first Tapeta surface was pioneered by Michael Dickinson and his wife Joan Wakefield over fifteen years ago. Four other racecourses use Tapeta: Newcastle in the UK, Golden Gate Fields and Presque Isle Downs in the USA and Tapeta Park in Tasmania.