Yorkshire Racecourses: Home to Horseracing Action Every Other Day of the Year
Did you know that Yorkshire is arguably the hotbed of British horseracing? With nine racecourses, this county has more venues than any other county in the country. In fact, racing has become just as big an attraction in Yorkshire as its plethora of picturesque golf courses.
Between these race tracks, you’ll have access to 180 days of race meetings throughout the year – that’s the equivalent of a race meeting every other day.
On occasion, the biggest race meetings in Yorkshire will also attract significant television and bookmaker attention. So much so that there’ll often be a string of bookmaker free bet offers on the headline races, giving you a chance to get more bang for your buck whether you’re at the racetrack or watching at home.
If you’d like to find out a little more about the racecourses of ‘God’s Own County’, read on as we provide an insight into all nine venues near you.
Beverley Racecourse is situated a stone’s throw from Beverley town centre, making it an easy place to venture for a day at the races in East Riding.
Beverley has hosted horse racing events for over three centuries, with its right-handed track having one of the most notable draw biases in UK racing. The sloping track, which runs away to the left hands, is a big advantage to those with a low draw.
Established in 1783, Catterick Racecourse has been delighting the North Yorkshire public for generations. Although it’s not considered the most glamorous of horseracing venues in Yorkshire, it certainly offers a stiff test of jockeys and thoroughbreds alike.
The North Yorkshire Grand National is held here annually each January.
Doncaster Racecourse is home to one of the so-called ‘Classics’ of British horseracing. The St Leger Stakes is one of two Group 1 flat races held here annually, along with the Racing Post Trophy.
Doncaster appeals to many horseracing fans throughout the year as it boasts a flat racing track as well as a National Hunt racing track.
The West Yorkshire town of Pontefract is home to another historic racecourse. It’s said that horseracing dates back as far as the mid-17th century here, although it wasn’t until much later that the racecourse was used rather than the nearby meadows.
Like Beverley racecourse, the sharp bend on its home straight also favours low draws.
Redcar Racecourse is one of the newer arrivals to horseracing in Yorkshire. Established in 1872, Redcar is now owned by International Racecourse Management.
Some of its most notable races include the Zetland Gold Cup and the Guisborough Stakes. It also has a 1-mile course that is said to be the only genuinely straight track in UK racing.
Ripon Racecourse is known as the “Garden Racecourse”. Horseracing has been present at this venue since the summer of 1900. However, the sport has a history in the town dating back to the mid-to-late 17th century.
The Great St. Wilfrid Stakes is the biggest race at Ripon throughout the season, while its Family and Ladies Days also prove hugely popular with the locals.
North Yorkshire is also spoilt to have Thirsk Racecourse on its doorstep. This left-handed oval circuit has been racing here since 1923, although its old course had been in operation some two centuries earlier.
During the Second World War, Thirsk was used as the venue for the St. Leger Stakes.
The Thirsk Hunt Cup is the current main attraction at Thirsk.
The West Yorkshire racecourse of Wetherby has long been a National Hunt favourite. However, more recently, it started to stage flat race meetings, with its first back in April 2015.
The Castleford Chase and the Charlie Hall Chase are the most notable races here, with the former staged two days after Christmas.
York Racecourse is the last, but by no means least, important racecourse featured here. In fact, it’s the third most valuable racecourse in the UK based on the value of prize money offered throughout the season.
It attracts 350,000-plus spectators annually and has three of the 36 Group 1 races here, including the Nunthorpe Stakes and the Juddmonte International Stakes.