York Racecourse

The Racecourse, York, YO23 1EX - Map & Directions
01904 620911
Meeting at York Racecourse
Meeting at York Racecourse (Scott Cormie / geograph.org.uk)

Located in North Yorkshire, York is the third most lucrative racecourse in the UK in terms of prize money available. Around 350,000 people visit York each year to watch racing and it stages three of the UK’s 31 group one races. Racing first took place on the current site, also known as the Knavesmire in 1731, so it is also one of the oldest courses still in use in Britain. There used to be just two meetings per year in the 19th century but the course has undergone remarkable improvements and modernisations and is now seen as one of the best racecourses in the world. There are four stands at York – the initial five-tier grandstand, along with the Melrose Stand, the Knavesmire Stand and the Ebor Stand, opened in 2003. The course now has a capacity of over 60,000 and was the location for the start of the second day of the 2014 Tour de France as part of Yorkshire’s successful Grand Depart.

York racecourse is located less than a mile from the A64, and customers are encouraged to take exit 44 of the A1(M) and follow the signs to York racecourse. For those travelling by train, York railway station is just 1.5 miles from the course and is easily within walking distance. Alternatively, a bus service from the station is in operation, whilst a taxi rank is also positioned outside. York station is one of the busiest in the country and is served by direct services from London King’s Cross, Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham.

Ticket Prices

There are a number of different ticketing options at York, with access to the county stand starting from just £25, whilst entry to the Melrose club lounge is a bit pricier at £79. Access to the grandstand and paddock stand starts from £12 whilst the course enclosure is the cheapest section available, with tickets priced at as little as £5, meaning there are options to suit all budgets.

These prices are the cheapest available for their respective areas and will vary in price depending on the popularity of the race meeting. There are also early bird options available on the website which are even cheaper than the prices listed. Customers under the age of 18 are allowed access to most areas free of charge if they are accompanied by an, although age verification/ID may be required.

The Course

A Race Taking Place at York
A Race Taking Place at York (John Armitstead / geograph.org.uk)

The course at York is listed as grade 1 and flat races are run left-handed over a 1m7f oval. The back straight features a dogleg and measures 7f, whilst the home straight is slightly shorter at just 5f. The course has some undulations and some inclines over the straights.

The sharp bends would generally not suit gallopers, however the wide track tends to eradicate this issue. Three chutes are available and are often used as the start point for races of varying distances. There is no significant advantage in the draw and it is also fair to all types of horse, with no major bias towards front runners as was once thought to be the case.

Major Meetings at York

York Racecourse Melrose Stand
York Racecourse Melrose Stand (David Hebb / geograph.org.uk)

The major festival held each year at York is the Ebor Festival, which takes place each August. The feature race at the festival is undoubtedly the Ebor Handicap, a race that was established in 1843 and is run over 1m6f. The race – and festival - was named after Eboracum, which is the Roman translation of York and it is regarded as the most valuable flat handicap in Europe, with a total purse of over £265,000.

Another popular race at York is the Juddmonte International Stakes, which is also run at the Ebor Festival, with the 2012 race being won by the unbeaten Frankel. In 2005 York Hosted Royal Ascot due to redevelopments taking place at Ascot, meaning they were unable to host their yearly festival. Other important races at York include the Yorkshire Oaks, Lonsdale Cup and Summer Stakes.

Dining and Hospitality

Private hospitality suites at York are available in three of the four stands. Boxes in the Knavesmire Stand and Melrose Stand start from £1400 + VAT, whilst suites in the Ebor stand only offer prices upon application. All suites vary in menu and capacity and more information is available by contacting the racecourse directly. There are also a good range of dining and drinking facilities at the course.


Swap Start/End

Grudge Matches