Beverley Racecourse

Address:
The Grandstand, York Road, Beverley, E Yorkshire, HU17 8QZ - Map & Directions
Telephone:
01482 867488
Beverley Racecourse	Entrance
Beverley Racecourse Entrance (Ian S / geograph.org.uk)

Beverley racecourse has stood proudly in its place in the East Riding of Yorkshire since 1690, although racing wasn’t properly established there until 1767. A flat course, there are generally around 19 days of racing at Beverley each year. Interestingly, a horse named Rapid Lad won 12 races at Beverley between 1983 and 1989 but never won anywhere else. As a result, a race at Beverley – The Rapid Lad Handicap – is run there every year in recognition of this unusual achievement.

A lot of money has been invested in Beverley over a number of years, with £75,000 being spent on a solar panel system in an effort to make the course more environmentally friendly and to improve the facilities in general. Similarly, £300,000 was spent on a new sprinkler system to keep the grass in the best possible condition, so the quality of racing is consistently at a very high standard. The first grandstand at Beverley was opened in 1767 when the racing first started there, at a cost of £1,000. A second stand was introduced in 1968 for a more costly sum of £90,000.

Beverley is very accessible as the racecourse is located just one mile from Beverley town centre and only ten miles from the next closest city – Hull. Not only are there local buses which take spectators directly form the station, but there are also buses that regularly serve those travelling form York, Hull and Leeds so it is not difficult to get to no matter what direction you’re travelling from.

The Grand Stand at Beverley Racecourse
The Grand Stand at Beverley Racecourse (Paul Glazzard / geograph.org.uk)

Ticket Prices

If getting there wasn’t convenient enough, then the generous ticket prices will be very welcome. With entry to premier facilities costing as little as £20, you’ll be able to experience high quality service even if you’re on a budget.

With grandstand tickets costing just £13 or only £5 if you just want to enter the course, Beverley really is an affordable and fun day out. Under-18s go free when accompanied by a full paying adult but note that administration fees apply when purchasing tickets online.

The Course

Beverley Racecourse Map

Stretching over 1m3f, Beverley is a right-handed galloping course featuring a steady downhill section before an uphill final bend and then a continued stiff climb to the line. The two and a half furlong run-in, which is a constant steady rise, adds to the excitement of the closing stages, as it’s easy for tired horses to fall short in longer contests. The dip coming into the run-in is so deep the horses are invisible to those watching in the stands but they always emerge to the sound of a roar from the hopeful spectators.

Bias No Secret

Close to the final bend on Beverley’s round course is a chute that hosts the start of five furlong sprints. It’s a track that rises throughout but its most distinctive feature is the dog-leg which has produced one of the strongest draw biases of any racecourse in the country.

When looking at the figures, it’s simply an irrefutable fact by this point that those drawn low, by the inside rail, have a massive advantage. The further you are out, the worse your chances are as they start further down the hill, making it far harder take up an advantageous position.

To show you just how significant the draw is over five furlongs, let’s take a look at data taken between 2005 and 2009 for handicaps featuring at least 10 runners. The top third of the draw won 51.7% of races, the middle third 34.5% and the bottom third just 13.8%. Surprisingly, the bias appeared to disappear in 2011 as Beverley tinkered with the position of stalls and watering procedures. It took very little time before returning though, albeit not quite to the extreme extent as before.

The only trouble with the bias is that it’s one of racing’s worst kept secrets. There won’t be a single bookie on site who is not aware of the advantage low drawn runners have and it’s something always built into the price of runners. They’ve not been factoring it in quite enough though judging by the level stakes profit/loss on high drawn runners. The analysis of 86 races between August 2014 and 2019 shows that high drawn runners posted a monstrous £157 loss on a level stakes bet compared to just a £1 loss for mid-drawn runners.

Enterprise Pays Off

While regular patrons of Beverley have seen their fair share of flagging horses being picked off down the home straight, front runners generally fare very well in races between 7 and 12 furlongs. Data taken from handicaps across UK and Ireland over a three year period show that early front runners, or nearly front runners went on to win 55%, 53% and 52% races across 7.5f, 8.5f and 9.9f respectively. At Beverley, however, the figures posted were all above average with 62%, 67% and 66% of prominently raced horses going on to secure victory across the three separate distances.

Sandown is another course with a strong bias towards horses that take an early position near the front of the pack. Why it’s such a successful tactic at Beverley is open to discussion but in part it could be that jockeys overestimate the stiffness of the run-in and end up saving too much energy prior to it.

Another reason could be that any horse stuck towards the back may need to take the final bend wide in order to create space for themselves heading into the relatively short run-in. While it may get jockeys out of the traffic, the width and length of the last turn puts horses at a significant disadvantage. This would seem the more logical explanation to us but regardless of the “why”, looking for well-drawn front-runners certainly seems the way to success at Beverly.

Major Meetings at Beverley

The Parade Ring at Beverley Racecourse
The Parade Ring at Beverley Racecourse (Ian S / geograph.org.uk)

It is often debated which of Beverley’s biggest two race is more important – The Beverley Bullet Sprint Stakes or the Hilary Needler Trophy. Both races are run over 5f and both are very popular among spectators, taking place in September and May respectively.

Dining and Hospitality

There are a number of affordable luxury hospitality packages available when visiting Beverley. If you are looking for a suite package, there are three available. The Breeze Up package is the cheapest of the three, priced at just £80 + VAT per person. The Yorkshire package is available for £98 + VAT per person, whilst the most expensive of the three is the Thoroughbred Package, which is £115 + VAT per person.

If you are just looking for luxury food then Beverley also offers two separate types of race day package for £42.50 or £23 – either a buffet or the chef’s special take away food, as well as a selection of champagne, wines and beers.

As well as all this, there is the option of dining in the Attractions restaurant, where you can hire a table for your party for the entire day for just £10 per person, with the option of a three-course meal for a further £30 per person. Also available is the opportunity to hire conference suites for business functions, weddings and exhibitions.

Map

Swap Start/End

Grudge Matches