Yorkshire is a historic hub of horse racing, and there are many top-class events taking place in the region. While there is no main facility in Harrogate itself, a short car or rail journey will lead to many important meetings close by.
As we reach the second half of 2023, here are some of the best destinations for racegoers in the weeks ahead.
Racing at Ripon
Ripon racecourse is closest to Harrogate, and there are lots to look forward to between now and the end of the year. August and September are especially busy with no fewer than seven race days across those two months.
Once referred to as the sport of kings, horse racing was once dominated by a small group of owners. In the present day, the sport is more widely open thanks to the advent of racing syndicates. This is a more cost-effective way of getting involved, and courses such as Ripon will feature many such syndicates. Owners, trainers, jockeys and anyone holding racehorse shares will be looking at the Great St Wilfrid Handicap which is the prestige event at this course.
A sprint race held over six furlongs, the Great St Wilfrid Handicap will take place this year on Saturday August 19th. Away from this event, there are additional August meetings on the 7th, 8th, 28th and 29th. Moving into September, race days at Ripon are held on the 5th and 30th of the month.
York’s Grand Finale
The next few months will also host a number of entertaining meetings at York racecourse. For those not planning to drive, a short train ride will take racegoers into the city’s main station where taxis and buses congregate.
The main event is the Ebor Festival, which is one of the most important dates in the entire UK racing calendar. In 2023, the Ebor will run for four days from the 23rd to the 26th of August. There are several Group One renewals taking place across the meeting, and the biggest of these are the Ebor Handicap, the International, the Yorkshire Oaks and the Nunthorpe Stakes.
York racecourse will be at its busiest at this time but, for those who want a quieter day at the races, there are more dates for the diary. The venue moves into September with the YorkMix Family Sunday on the 10th of the month. Along with a packed racing card, there will be entertainment laid on for the kids.
Autumn Saturday is scheduled for the 23rd of September, while the year at York comes to a close with the October Finale across Friday the 13th and Saturday the 14th.
Best of the Rest
Ripon and York provide the main highlights, but there are more meetings to enjoy around Harrogate in 2023. Catterick is one of the busiest racecourses in the county, and there are Flat and National Hunt meetings right up until the 28th of December.
Wetherby, Redcar, Doncaster, Thirsk, Beverley and Pontefract complete the list of nine courses in Yorkshire, and each one has something in store. Check the websites for dates, make some travel plans and look ahead to some first class horse racing between now and the end of the year.