Yorkshire’s Racing Royalty: A Look into the Prestigious Tracks of the North

8 April 2024

Yorkshire, alongside Berkshire and Suffolk, boasts one of England’s most significant and illustrious histories of horse racing, a legacy that continues to captivate and inspire horse racing enthusiasts.

Yorkshire, a thrilling haven for horse enthusiasts, is home to a staggering nine world-class courses, a number that surpasses any other location in the UK. This abundance of racing venues, coupled with over 170 meetings annually, solidifies Yorkshire’s status as the home of racing royalty, promising an exhilarating experience for all.

For those seeking a diverse and thrilling horse racing experience, Yorkshire offers an array of top-notch racing courses. From the flat courses of York, Redcar, Ripon, Beverley, Thirsk, and Pontefract to the dual courses of Doncaster, Catterick, and Wetherby, there’s something for every racing enthusiast.

Yorkshire is the proud host of some of the world’s most prestigious horse racing events. The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor meeting and the world-renowned St. Leger at Doncaster are not just races but grand spectacles that embody this region’s racing excellence. We cordially invite you to witness this grandeur as we delve into the prestigious Yorkshire tracks in today’s article.

Yorkshire Racecourses: A Brief History

The systematic breeding and horse racing practice in Yorkshire dates back to around the 1500s. The earliest depiction of a racetrack in Doncaster was recorded on a map in 1595. The first documented regulations for racing were established at Kiplingcotes in 1619.

The St Leger, a race steeped in history and the oldest Classic race in the world, holds a special place in Yorkshire’s horse racing history. It made its debut in the region in 1776, marking a significant milestone in the sport’s evolution and inviting a sense of reverence for Yorkshire’s rich horse racing heritage.

Over time, Middleham has increasingly drawn trainers and stud farms, establishing itself as a prominent training facility that continues to house notable trainers like Charlie Johnston and others. Malton also emerged as a significant training ground.

Wetherby Racecourse was established in 1842, and other racecourses of a higher standard were subsequently established around the county.

Yorkshire currently hosts five of Britain’s prestigious Group 1 races, two at Doncaster and three at York. The Juddmonte International at York is consistently regarded as one of the premier races in the world each year.

Yorkshire Racecourses: How Many Are There?

Yorkshire has nine racecourses. Geographically, they span from Redcar in the northeast to Doncaster in the south.

Out of Yorkshire’s nine racetracks, no one is exclusively dedicated to jumps racing after Wetherby started hosting occasional Flat meets.

Three courses have a dual purpose, providing both Flat and jump races, while the other six tracks are only for Flat races.


Racing in Beverley has been held on the Westwood, a picturesque tract of common ground, since 1690. The Westwood is conveniently located within walking distance of the market town.

Beverley Racecourse is renowned for its picturesque setting, high-quality horse racing, amiable personnel, modern amenities, delectable cuisine, and hospitable atmosphere, establishing itself as one of Northern England’s most delightful racecourses. The season starts in April and extends until late September, offering a diverse array of themed gatherings to cater to all attendees, ranging from family-oriented events incorporating petting zoos and singalongs to sophisticated evening meetings.

Admission begins at a mere £5, and anyone under 18 may enter without charge. However, this doesn’t prevent over-18s from dabbling in a wager or two, as bookies will be scattered around the track to take your bet. Alternatively, fans often utilise online UK free bet offers from their mobile devices.

Beverley Racecourse is the only racecourse in the East Riding of Yorkshire. It is conveniently situated about 10 miles from the coastal city of Hull and a short 13 miles from the M62. It is easily accessible and has abundant free parking facilities.


Situated in the historic city’s centre, the York racetrack has existed for more than two centuries, and its immense popularity is readily apparent. Due to its scenic position next to the city’s mediaeval walls and the impressive York Minster Cathedral in the background, it isn’t difficult to understand how this course is considered one of the top tracks in the nation.

York is renowned for its esteemed Ebor Festival, an annual event held in August. During this festival, several organisations give complimentary horse racing bets to attract the most customers and maximise their profits. It is considered one of Britain’s most important four-day horse racing events, maybe only overshadowed by events like Cheltenham and the Grand National. Here, the top horses race for a portion of millions of pounds in prize money.

The racecourse holds several esteemed events throughout the year, including the Dante Stakes, Yorkshire Oaks, and the Juddmonte International.


Now, we will discuss Doncaster. While Donny Racecourse may not rival the stunning landscapes highlighted before, it nonetheless provides great enjoyment for racing fans. Its establishment dates back to 1776; it undeniably boasts a significant and enduring history. In addition to regularly holding sporting events, this venue is the location of the oldest traditional race, the St Leger Stakes, which takes place annually in September. The event that concludes the Triple Crown, after the Epsom Derby and the 2000 Guineas, is known for attracting the most exceptional three-year-old horses.

The course, also known as Town Moor, has a substantial historical background that extends far into the past. In terms of its surface area, it is the most expansive racecourse in Britain. The venue has an exquisite grandstand, a spacious paddock capable of hosting a crowd of up to 10,000 people, and a vibrant ambience that really embodies the spirit of Yorkshire’s warm and welcoming hospitality.


Ripon, often known as Yorkshires Garden Racecourse, has been the venue for thrilling and esteemed horse racing events for almost three centuries. The racecourse is situated in one of the country’s most picturesque and charming towns, with an impressive backdrop. Due to its status as one of the oldest cities in England, the market town is an excellent destination to explore.

Featuring 16 flat meetings from April to September, including notable events like Ladies’ Day, Family Day, and the ‘Great St Wilfrid Stakes’ in mid-August, this racecourse is a hidden treasure in Yorkshire.

For almost 300 years, Ripon has been the venue for the nation’s most exhilarating, esteemed, and pleasurable horse racing events. Year after year, it consistently impresses with its stunning backdrop and exhilarating mood. Ripon strives to enhance and expand the spectator experience, making it a destination with a multitude of offerings.


Catterick has 27 race meetings annually, making it the second most prolific racing host after Doncaster. However, it is not only the number that sets Catterick apart but also the fact that it offers many high-quality races. Catterick Racecourse, one of only two tracks in Yorkshire that provides both flat and National Hunt racing, has monthly meetings. It starts the racing season with the first jumps gathering of the year on New Year’s Day.

Established in 1783, Catterick Racecourse is located in the hamlet of Catterick Bridge, near the Catterick Garrison. The Garrison is the biggest British Army garrison in the world and houses over 12,000 troops. The location, close to the A1, also hosts the Catterick Sunday market, which is the most extensive market in the northern region of England.

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