Thirsk

The racecourse is located in a town by the same name within the Hambleton district of North Yorkshire County, England. It is a flat type course, left handed oval, owned by the Thirsk Racecourse Ltd.

History

The course has been hosting races since 1612, with the most remarkable story of its early days being James I’s prize of a gold cup in that year’s race. The present track has been operational since 1855 when Squire Frederick Bell organised a meeting on the estate.

In 1940, in the thick of the World War, the course hosted the St. Leger Stakes, a 1-mile six furlong race that was normally run at the Doncaster track.

The course

Thirsk is a flat type course with a gentle gradient. It has fair turns all round, allowing race horses to exploit speed at any point of a race. The area is picturesque in its architecture and maintenance, with flowered lawns whose manicured is pleasingly standout.

Racegoers can access the course by rail, road or air, with helicopter hauled patrons allowed to land on the cricket pitch in the course up to half an hour before the first race. Landing is not allowed once races are underway.

Races

The track gets a good galloping between April and September, when 17 flat races are run here. The Thirsk hunt Cup is the main race here. The calendar runs between April and September, starting with the Opening Meet and Culminating with the Ladies’ Day Finale.

In between, the May Totepool Thirsk Hunt Cup and the Irish Day headline a host of other afternoon and evening races that attract fans in scores. The Totepool returns as the Summer Cup in August.

Other events

Thirsk boasts exquisite facilities and service for other events that can be held with the races in the background; weddings, conferences, concerts, exhibitions and banqueting, which makes it a prime spot for crowds.

Taunton Racecourse

Taunton Racecourse is located in the countryside area of Orchard Portman in Taunton town of Somerset County, South West England. It is a National Hunt type course owned by Taunton Racecourse Limited, with races televised on At The Races.

History

Taunton is the youngest jump track in England, but is just shy of a century’s existence. It came into operation in 1927, and remained the youngest track of all types in England until 2008, when Great Leighs was opened. The Shoreditch Selling Hurdle was the inaugural race at the course, and was won by Mr. Rayson’s Baalbek.

The course

The course hosts jump races only, meaning it is only active at the start and close of the year. It is a right handed track, 1-mile 2-furlongs long dotted with fences and ditches. It has no complication to it, just a long straight on each side of sharp turns.

Dress code is only strictly enforced in the members’ area, although racegoers are advised to have comfort wear for long hours of standings. A great view of the Blackwood Hills can be had from the course. There is a courtesy bus that ferries visitors to and from the railway station one hour before the first race and 30 minutes after racing ends.

Races

The track hosts around 15 race meetings a year. It’s sharp bends call for agility in the competing horse, and makes it an ideal warm up track for major jump races. The Totepool Autum, Totepool Christmas and the St Patricks day are headline races at the Taunton.

Tony McCoy the legendary jockey who rode a record 4358 winning horses, is now based at the Taunton, where he is an assistant trainer to Martin Pipe.

 

Other events

The facilities at Taunton are used for activities like conferences and concerts when racing is not in session. The June 11 2017 UB40 concert at the park, with Billy Ocean as a special act, is one of the venue’s most publicised non race events.

Stratford-on-Avon

Stratford-on-Avon, commonly referred to as Stratford-upon-Avon, is a small-jumps racecourse located in the parish town by the same name within the landlocked county of Warwickshire, West Midlands, England. It is owned by the Stratford-on-Avon Racecourse company, with action televised on At The races.

History

The course has been in operation since 1755. Racing was initially held in a meadow without much control of the racing area. This led to a complaint by farmers to the local council about ruin to crops during races, causing a closure threat. The races stopped for close to a century, only resuming in 1839 in a more organised structure.

Much of the improvement on the current course was done after 1950, during which a grandstand and decent restaurants came up. More land was bough to open up the borders of the circuit in 1969, and a water jump introduced just outside the stands.

The course

The racing circuit is a triangle with soft edges. It is relatively flat and wide, but there are sharp turns at short intervals requiring skill and concentration to be at best during races.

It is considered a small course, although it does contain Touring Park within its borders where there is a 192-grass-pitch campsite. At the middle is the larger area used for rallies and other events. June’s Motorhome and Caravan car show and August’s Blue Rodeo and Camra Beer Festival are standout events here.

Access by road or rail is most ideal. The town’s railway station is a short five-minute cab journey, and under half an hour by foot.

Races

There are 18 race meetings on Stratford’s calendar fixture. Chase races are most common here, consequently earning the course the title ‘home of Hunter-Chasing.’ May’s Intrum Justita Champion Hunters Chase is arguably the most popular race at the course. The Garrick Jubilee Cup,Corbet Cup and the Roddy Baker Gold Cup are also popular races here.

Races at Stratford are held between March and November.