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Doncaster Racecourse

Published on: 03/09/2016

Located in South Yorkshire, Doncaster racecourse is one of England’s best known horse racing venues. Sometimes it is referred to as the Town Moor course and it is one of the biggest and oldest racing venues in the country. Its left-handed track is pear shaped and mostly flat, covering a distance of one mile and seven-and-a-half furlongs. Doncaster racecourse hosts both National Hunt and Flat racing events and is home to the four-day St. Leger Festival, which is organised every September. Visitors have plenty of travel options as the racecourse is accessible via a major motorway network, the Doncaster railway line or Robin Hood Airport.

Historical records show race meetings taking place at Doncaster as far back as the 16th century, making it one of the oldest horse racing centres in Britain. In 1614, an approved racecourse was created and its first major race was the Doncaster Gold Cup. A decade later, the course was moved to its present site, where the Doncaster Gold Cup remains an important event. In fact, the race is the oldest consecutively organized horse race in the world. Today, the race is known as the Doncaster Cup with a cash prize worth £100,000.

In 1776, Colonel Anthony St. Leger arranged a special race between five horses at the course. The race was a success and is still inexistence today. In fact, it is the oldest classic horse race in the world. The St. Leger Stakes covers a mile, six furlongs and 193 yards long and has become the highlight of the annual festival of the same name.

In 1800, a horse called Champion won both the St. Leger and the Derby flat races leading to national recognition for the Doncaster race. An extremely fast and spirited horse called West Australian better this achievement in 1853, by claiming the first ever triple crown victory (2000 Guineas, the Derby and the St. Leger).

The Town Moor Course has been responsible for initiating other important contests such as the Champagne Stakes (1823), the Park Hill Stakes (1839) and the Portland Handicap (1855). Over the years, other famous races have relocated to the course from elsewhere such as the five-furlong Brocklesby Stakes (1849), which traditionally marks the beginning of the British Flat Racing season. Other noteworthy transfers include the Lincoln Handicap (1853) and the November Handicap (1876) which marks the end of the flat racing calendar.

Newer additions to the Doncaster racing calendar include the Racing Post Trophy (1961), Flying Childers Stakes (1967), May Hill Stakes (1976) and the Park Stakes (1978). A National Hunt race known as the River Don Novices’ Hurdle was inaugurated as a Grade 2 hurdle race in 1991. Doncaster racecourse was Britain’s first-ever racing venue to organise a Sunday meeting. The event welcomed crowds of more than 23,000 despite there being no actual betting opportunities.

Doncaster Racecourse hosts a mixture of National Hunt and Flat race meetings every year. The St. Leger Festival, which takes place in September is an obvious favourite, with its classic race and Elegant Ladies Day. Another popular fixture is the Racing Post Trophy Day in October, which features the last Group 1 race of the season. Another is the Finale of the Flat in November, which decides the year’s champion jockey. January sees the running of the Sky Bet Chase Weekend, while March offers the William Hill Grimthorpe Chase and the Lincoln weekend. Doncaster Racecourse has four individual enclosures, the Premier, the County, the Grandstand and the Family enclosure. They all offer food and drink facilities along with fast food stalls and pop-up bars. The Lincoln Restaurant and Premier Bar are accessible for those in possession of Premier badges. The Grandstand Enclosure has several bars and eateries. The County Enclosure has two restaurants and half a dozen bars on-site. The Family Enclosure allows for picnics and also includes the Silver Patriarch Bar.

Tickets and package prices vary according to which event and enclosures are chosen although there are options available to suit a wide range of budgets.

Published on: 03/09/2016 © Bet Bind
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