Thirsk Racecourse

The Racecourse, Station Road, Thirsk, N Yorkshire, YO7 1QL - Map & Directions
01845 522276
Entrance to Thirsk Racecourse
Entrance to Thirsk Racecourse (JThomas /

Located in North Yorkshire, racing has been held at Thirsk for well over 200 years, but the current course did not officially open and host a meeting until 1923. Conveniently located amidst the picturesque settings of the North Yorkshire Moors and the Yorkshire Dales, Thirsk is undoubtedly regarded as one of the most tranquil, relaxing and aesthetically pleasing racecourses to visit throughout the entirety of the British Isles.

For those travelling by train, Thirsk racecourse is just half a mile from Thirsk station, with a free shuttle bus in operation on race days to take visitors to and from the station. For those wishing to travel by car, the racecourse is located to the west of Thirsk town centre on the A61 Thirsk/Ripon road. Satellite navigation users should note the Y07 1QL postcode. Parking at the racecourse is free of charge and all in all Thirsk is very easy to reach.

Ticket Prices

There are two enclosures accessible to visitors to Thirsk racecourse – entry to the Premier enclosure is available for £16, whilst customers can access the family enclosure for as little as £7. OAPs are able to receive a significant discount, whilst customers under the age of 18 are allowed in all enclosures free of charge when if they are accompanied by a paying adult, whilst proof of age may be necessary.

The Course

Thirsk Flat Racecourse Map

Thirsk is home exclusively to flat race meetings and contests are run left-handed over an oval shaped course, with the total distance measuring a modest 1m2f. Although the bends at each end of the oval are tight, the track is reasonably easy and for the most part, perfectly flat. An adjoining chute produces a straight course that can stage races up to 6f. This part of the course features slight undulations throughout.

The top bend is known to catch some horses out, as it’s here when the previously flat ground begins to undulate. Keeping your balance at this point is crucial especially as there’s a ridge capable of throwing you out to the right if not met well. Should a horse pass the test smoothly though, they stand perfectly placed to kick on and launch a real attack down the long straight.

Low Draw a Disadvantage

Our analysis of draw bias at Thirsk reveals that over every distance, up to and including one mile, low drawn horses are worse off, although not to an extreme extent. Taking a look at races with at least 10 or more horses between April 2010 and September 2019, we can see the disparity between low and high drawn runners by comparing winning percentages.

In races of five furlongs, they are 6% and 10% respectively, whilst over six furlongs the numbers read 7% v 9%. Over seven furlongs it is a similar picture once again at 7% v 10% and going up to one mile sees the stats at 6% and 8%. The only minor anomaly is seen during one mile tests as here mid-drawn runners actually fare the best, although once again there isn’t all that much in it.

It’s really the same story across the disciplines even though only five and six furlong races take place on a straight course. The safe assumption is that better ground lies towards the stands’ side rail and it appears jockeys would agree as they tend to head this way in sprints.

By combining all the distances we can see just how great an impact this has on results for both horse and punter. Those drawn high posted a return on investment of -14%, by no means great, clearly, but miles better than the whopping -33% mustered by low drawn runners.

Easterby’s Unhappy Hunting Ground

North Yorkshire-based Tim Easterby is an absolutely regular at nearby Thirsk, with nearly 10% of his runners between September 2014 and 2019 featuring there. Highly convenient due to its proximity to his stables, it makes a lot of sense why the Habton Grange trainer keeps coming back to the track.

That said, it is a place his runners have rather underperformed at when one analyses the stats, with his all-time strike rate, as of September 2019, a mere 8%. What’s worse though is his quite eye-watering level stakes loss which reads -585.75. So often entering horses that fail to live up to expectation, you ought to have a few doubts about an Easterby runner before you part with your cash.

Major Meetings at Thirsk

Thirsk Grandstand
Thirsk Grandstand (David P Howard /

Racing at Thirsk has been constant since the conception of the course, besides a brief hiatus during the Second World War. Thirsk hosts an average of 14 flat race meetings each calendar year, between the months of April and September.

The most famous race at Thirsk is arguably the Thirsk Hunt Cup, which is run over 1m and generally takes place at the beginning of May each year. The race was established and first run in 1997, with the most recent winner being Fort Bastian in 2014, with famous jockey James P. Sullivan in the saddle.

Dining and Hospitality

Thirsk Racecourse
Thirsk Racecourse (JThomas /

Thirsk racecourse has put a lot of time, money and effort into ensuring their private boxes and hospitality suites are luxurious, comfortable and worth every penny that customers spend to enjoy a much classier and enjoyable race day experience. The private boxes, balconies and suites on offer are designed to accommodate between 10 and 40 guests, with trackside hospitality marquees also available, the latter able to house between 30 and 400 people.

The private boxes are easily the most popular option among those that choose to experience Thirsk’s hospitality privileges and they start from just £750, although prices will vary and increase for those who wish to house a higher number of guests, as well as a difference in price between a sit down meal and buffet style catering. For more information, contact the racecourse directly.


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