An Essential Guide to Ripon Racecourse
Yorkshire is filled with a host of fantastic racecourses, York being the biggest and best served. Yet the area boasts a host of smaller, more intimate tracks that can provide an excellent race day or are great when combined with a weekend break. One of these is Ripon, nestled in the heart of North Yorkshire. Below, we give a short but essential guide to Ripon racecourse.
Preparing for the Event
One vital tip is to check the race card and the form of the horses before you go. As a thoroughbred racing venue, you will get many of the horses and jockeys here that go on to major events. This can give you a good indication of how well horses will do and have done in the past.
Events like the Grand National and the upcoming Cheltenham Festival are the big prizes, but Ripon is often a stepping stone to those moments. Favoured horses like Facile Vega, a 7/4 favorite for the Supreme Novices Hurdle, use courses like Ripon to build strength, stamina and gain experience. If you have a bet on Cheltenham 2023, your winners could later be racing at Ripon, or you may see a horse with promise here that runs later in the year. Check the form, then make a note for upcoming races. You can even get better odds by using Turbo Power Price offers, with horses such as 7/2 Gaillard Du Mesnil being offered at 5/1.
When it comes to amenities, anything you need will be available at the course itself. It has a variety of catering options and bars to keep you stocked with refreshments. That means you just need to dress for the weather, but even the grandstands are there to protect you from adverse conditions. You may wish to bring an umbrella if you prefer to be trackside, or binoculars if you like to watch action further away without the use of a video screen.
History of Ripon Racecourse
Racing has held a place in Ripon’s heart for a long time. Records dating back to 1664 show that events were held in the Bondgate area of the town around this time. The course is now situated at Boroughbridge, and racing in this area was believed to have started in 1900.
The racecourse also holds a special place in the history books. In 1723 it held the first race for female jockeys, carrying on a tradition which has endured to top-flight stars like Rachael Blackmore today. It was also used during the Second World War as an RAF airfield and has been used for civilian aircraft.
Today, Ripon racecourse is one of the most loved in the north. Being next to the Ripon City Wetlands nature reserve and the historic centre makes it a great attraction for visitors. For racing fans, it is also a stone’s throw from Pontefract and Thirsk, so can be a great trifecta of courses within easy reach of each other. A flat oval of 1 mile 5 furlongs, it is a tight course that makes for some spectacular running.
There are numerous days and events held at Ripon, with the opening of the season in August. Check the website and book in advance, then prepare yourself. With a little check of the form and the weather, you can be sure of a spectacular day out.