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:
- Turf National Hunt & flat racing
- Enclosure & Grandstand
- Hotel, pub, restaurant, etc
- Technical Facilities
- Betting Facilities
- Residential Development for racing staff
The Ffos Las Racecourse opened on 18th 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 flat race at Ffos Las will be held on 21 July 2009. The official opening ceremony will be held on 28 August 2009. The British Horseracing Board confirmed a programme of eight race meetings for 2009.
In 2010, there will be 28 race meetings 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
- Equestrian Centre, Eventing, Point-to-Point
- Racecourse Training Establishment
- Live/work small holdings
First Buses 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, charter flights and fueling facilities 24/7. It is a 10 minute drive away from the racecourse with a restaurant and seven miles of blue ribbon beach. Helicopters can land at the racecourse by arrangement with the racecourse management and refuel at the airport if required.