Yorkshire Horse Racing: A New Home for the Sport of Kings?
With no less than nine world class racecourses inside Yorkshire, its links with horse racing are strong and embedded into the sporting fabric of the county. And although the sport’s most illustrious locations might currently remain Ascot, Epsom and Aintree, Yorkshire – with York racecourse at the forefront – can lay claims to be the sport’s new spiritual home.
In Yorkshire there is Doncaster, which hosts the oldest Classic, the St Leger, along with Beverley, Catterick, Pontefract, Redcar, Ripon, Thirsk and Wetherby. All stage world class racing – and York’s recently-run Ebor Festival is ranking alongside Royal Ascot as the country’s premium meeting. Indeed, it supersedes Ascot in terms of pure prize money.
On Sunday September 6th another high quality card at York sees seven races, including the six furlong, £40,000 purse Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Garrowby Stakes. In 2019 the race was won by Dakota Gold ridden by Connor Beasley and trained by Michael Dods.
You can take a closer look at the odds of this great meet, as well as the runners and riders with this York horse racing betting preview.
Official going is good to soft, good in places – but with rain forecast over the next few days and on Sunday, the ground could well be soft.
The races will be shown on RacingTV and the race schedule looks like this:
1.00pm Sky Bet British EBF Novice Stakes (Plus 10 race), Class 3, £11,500 – Five & a half furlongs
1.30pm Judith Marshall Memorial Stakes – Handicap, Class 3, £12,000 – One & a quarter miles
2.00pm Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Garrowby Stakes Listed, Class 3+, £40,000 – Six furlongs
2.30pm British Stallion Studs EBF Future Stayers’ Novice Stakes, Class 3, £18,500 – Seven furlongs
3.05pm Little Green Rascals Children’s Nurseries Stakes – Handicap, Class 4, £10,000 – Two miles
3.40pm Sky Bet Club Stakes – Handicap, Class 3, £12,000 – Six furlongs
4.10pm Sky Bet Apprentice Stakes (Apprentice Handicap, Class 4, £10,000 – One & a half miles
York racecourse is a winner of the Flat Racecourse of the Year award for three consecutive years and The Times recently named it top in a survey of Britain’s top racecourses. It has also played host to Royal Ascot at York in 2005 and The Ladbrokes St Leger in 2006.
Members of the Racegoers Club, the official supporters club for British Racing fans, voted for the course on Knavesmire to win the title, with some members singling out staff for special praise.
“The staff at York are the most welcoming and helpful on any racecourse,” said one member.” We went to three days of the Ebor Festival and each day was enhanced by the wonderful staff.”
It is the ninth time that York has been awarded the title.
Course chief executive and clerk William Derby said: “To be ranked as number one by some of the most knowledgeable visitors to Britain’s many great racecourses is a real honour. To retain the accolade of ‘Racecourse of the Year’ for three consecutive seasons is such a huge tribute to the hard work of so many that make racing at York such a special experience. We shall, of course, be doing our very best to retain the crown when racing returns.”
Of course, with punters and bookies still not permitted into the racecourse the behind-closed-doors meeting will be a completely different atmosphere from recent years – but racing has dealt with the new enforced circumstances better than most sports. In fact, interest has increased in some quarters.
Elsewhere in Yorkshire, horse racing goes from strength to strength – let’s have a look at how other Yorkshire courses are faring:
- Wetherby will be hosting their traditional curtain raiser for the jump season in October, with a further seven fixtures before Christmas. At the moment, the course is hoping that some punters will be allowed on to the course, although this is being assessed.
- Thirsk has been staging successful behind-closed-doors meets all season, with a final run out going ahead on 14th September.
- Yorkshire’s ‘Garden Racecourse’ in Ripon, with its stunning backdrop, has one behind-closed-doors meeting left this season on 26th September.
- Up in Redcar there’s still four event meetings to come on 15th and 23rd September and 3rd and 16th October.
- Pontefract Racecourse has successfully held behind-closed-doors meetings throughout the summer and is now on pause until 2021.
- Catterick still has a full fixture list, with six meetings coming up including the start of jump season on 20th November.
- Finally, Beverley Racecourse has just staged their big meet of the season, the William Hill Beverley Bullet Racecard on 27 August.
All of which means horse racing is alive and very well in Yorkshire – proving that Yorkshire is indeed the spiritual home of the Sport of Kings. Make sure you get your betting hats on and have a punt on some of Yorkshire’s finest races, beginning with the September 6th meeting in York.