There’s a proud tradition of horse racing in Yorkshire with a long line of success both over the jumps and on the Flat. I love a day at the races. The atmosphere is always good, racehorses are staggeringly beautiful (go to the parade ring before the race and admire them at close quarters) and I like a flutter. My top tip is to set a budget for bets and don’t expect to win. If you do it’s a bonus, not to mention a huge thrill. When dressing for the races, always take something warm unless it’s a scorching hot day and don’t wear heels – they sink in the mud. Wedges or flats are best.
Yorkshire is blessed with nine racecourses and they are all excellent. The next big meeting is the Lincoln Handicap, a famous old cavalry charge of a contest, at Doncaster on March 24. It heralds the start of the turf Flat season. There’s another day of racing at “Donny” on Sunday, March 25, when the course hosts its spring family fun day.
I can highly recommend it, though top of the list of my favourite tracks are Thirsk and Ripon. Thirsk kicks off its season of fixtures on Saturday, April 21. You get really close to the action at Thirsk as it’s small and friendly and the facilities are excellent.
, Ripon, which is known as the Garden Racecourse, has its opening fixture on Thursday, April 19, and there are regular meetings each month through until late September. Other smaller tracks I can recommend for a day out include Pontefract and Catterick, while beautiful Beverley is among the more scenic in the country.
York racecourse is very much the jewel in our crown. It has been voted Racecourse of the Year in both 2016 and 2017 by the Racegoers Club and it really is the perfect day out, especially if you like watching Group One action with the very best horses doing battle. The three-day Dante meeting starts on May 16 and, looking further afield, there is also the Ebor meeting in August. One site we like is Racing Up North, which has information about all the Yorkshire courses and their fixtures, and also has some informative interviews and articles.