Ripon

Ripon is a flat-type racecourse located in the cathedral town by the same name in the County of North Yorkshire, North East England. It is owned by the Ripon Race Company and races are televised on At The Races

History

Racing in the Ripon regionhas been alive since the 16th Century, but the first recorded meet was recorded in 1664 at the Bondgate Green. There was a historic racing moment in 1723, when the first ever competition exclusive to female riders was staged.

The course shifted to its present Boroughbridge Road location in 1900, where the first race took place on 6th August. The course has undergone tremendous improvement since then, and currently boasts being the area’s sporting flagship. It has won several accolades in its time, most recent being the Racegoers’ Club ‘Best Small Racecourse in Northern England’ in 2016.

The course

The course is right-handed oval, undulating over a length of 1-mile five furlongs. The turns in most parts of the course are fair, allowing racehorses to hit top speeds. The section just before the home stretch however has one sharp bend that calls for an agile turn. The home straight of five furlongs is arguably on the list of the longer ones.

The course is highly rated for family activity, and picked as an ideal place for the budding racegoer.

Road is the best means to access Ripon. The nearest train station is Harrogate and Thirsk, 11 miles away.

Races

The course hosts roughly 17 race days in a calendar year, all flat. The six-furlong William Hill Handicap is a major attraction for participants. This makes for a tough and closely contested race which is many times not easy to call. The competition has seen it draw large numbers of viewers over time. August’s Bank Holiday Monday races are also very popular family events, with the EBF Champion two-year-old Trophy listed race of particular interest.

Redcar

Redcar is a flat type course located in Trees Valley within the county of North Yorkshire, England. It is owned by the Redcar Racing Company and is listed for screening by Racing UK.

History

The course was opened in the first half of the 1870s. A permanent course was laid three years later, and there have been no major closures since then. That included a new grandstand, which replaced a temporary one that had been put up –and was charged by- a Mr. Adamson.

Part of the land was sold in 1981 in order to raise funds for another upgrade under the chairmanship and management of Lord Zetland.

A 2006 upgrade saw the course scoop the Neil Wyatt Groundstaff award, a feat that has seen it grow the number of visiting racegoers in the past decade.

Course

The course is oval shaped, flat from start to finish. It stretches for a distance of 1-mile 4-furlongs, with banked tight bends which call for a sudden deceleration during races. This is made up for by the 1-mile straight stretch; the only ‘straight and flat complete mile’ in the UK.

Prior to the 2017 season, the course received a £200,000 facelift, expected to improve both viewer and racer experience.

Access is easy by rail or road, given the clear signposting from the A1 and the short distance –five-minutes’ walk- from the closest train station. Admission is free for racegoers aged 17 and under, and the prices are varied for age categories from 17 years upward. Redcar say they don’thave a dress code, but ‘encourage’ smart casual and do not admit people in sports clothing or ‘untidy’ dressing.

Races

There are between 17 and 20 meetings in a calendar year, running between early April and mid-October. The Two-Year-Old Trophy, Guisborough Stakes and the Zetland Gold Cup are the headline races at the Redcar.

Under a mile races often descend on Redcar in order to exploit the ‘straight mile.’

Pontefract Racecourse

Pontefract is located within the market town by the same name in the metropolitan county of West Yorkshire, England. It is a flat-race type course owned by Pontefract Park Race Company Ltd, who have races listed on Racing UK.

History

Racing at Pontefract was introduced by townspeople in 1801, putting a professional touch to a sport that had existed in the town since the 15th century. In 1802, the course management sold £50 silver badges to racegoers, which would allow them to go to races for 20 years. The money raised was used to build the first grandstand.

The course opened a new grandstand in 1922 as it resumed hosting competitions after the World War I closure. It was one of few courses to remain open during the second World War, when it was used as an alternative venue for Lincoln Handicap and November Handicap.

Pontefract was the first course in England to introduce dope testing.

The course

The track is left handed flat, with a length slightly over two miles. It is the longest continuous flat track throughout Great Britain. It has a sharp turn and a five-furlong uphill towards the finish, challenging horses to develop their finishing kick.

Access is manly by road and rail, with the closest of three train stations in the town just 0.3 miles away. Traditionally, Pontefract started its races later that other courses in the country, to allow coal miners from an adjacent colliery to be in time for competitions after their morning shift. The colliery is now closed, and kick off times have been since re-adjusted.

2017 will see Pontefract offer the largest prize money package in their records, with a total of £1.13m up for grabs.

Races

Competition is active between April and October, the flat races period across the UK. 16 race days appear on its calendar, headlined by races like the Pontefract Castle Stakes, Flying Filly, Pipalong and Silver tankard.