Beverley Racecourse

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Published: 06/08/2013

As the only horseracing venue in East Yorkshire, Beverley Racecourse is located on York Road in picturesque Beverley Westwood, which is just a mile from the Beverley town centre, ten miles from Hull and thirteen miles from the M62 motorway. The track is a predominantly flat, right-handed oval with tight turns measuring one mile and three furlongs, and it includes a stiff uphill run in of a quarter of a mile. The annual flat racing season here features 19~20 fixtures and takes place between April and September.

The Pride of East Yorkshire

For more than 300 years, Beverley Racecourse has been part of the historic market town of Beverley. The first reported racing dates back to 1690. In 1752, the Jockey Club was founded and fifteen years later the first grandstand was built at a cost of £1,000, leading to regular meetings from 1767 onward. In the early 19th century from his base in nearby Bishop Burton, Squire Richard Watt bred and trained no fewer than four St. Leger winners, including the famous Altisidora (1813), Barefoot (1823), Memnon (1825) and Rockingham (1833).

By the 20th century, Beverley’s racecourse was rivaling York’s in terms of popularity. The course has frequently been extended and modernised to offer racegoers top quality racing and excellent facilities. For example, in 1968 a new stand was opened in Tattersalls enclosure at a cost of £90,000. In 2013, the new Lavender Lawn was launched, complete with a driftwood sculpture horse and locally made pork pies.

One of the more important events inaugurated here was the Hilary Needler Trophy race, a five-furlong sprint for fillies conducted each May. For a time, the race attained Listed status and even up to this day, unlisted since 2011, it is still seen as a valuable stepping-stone towards Royal Ascot. Other major events added to the calendar over the years include June’s Brian Yeardley Continental Two-Year-Old Trophy and August’s Beverley Bullet Sprint, a mad dash over 5 furlongs for three-year-olds and up. There’s also the Rapid Lad Handicap held in April, a Class 5 race created to celebrate Rapid Lad, who won a dozen races at this course.

It has been well documented that the Beverley Racecourse has “the most pronounced ‘draw bias’ on a UK racecourse.” The 5-furlong sprints strongly favour low numbers, owing to the sharp right-hand bend and ground running away to the left, while high numbers have the advantage in races up to a mile in duration that incorporate soft ground and the course’s tough uphill run. Trainers that have done well here include Richard Fahey, who is based in nearby Malton, while the top jockeys at Beverley are Paul Hanagan and Neil Callan.

Racing at Beverley Today

The highlights of the season at Beverley Racecourse range from “Lucky In Love Night” in May with the running of the Hilary Needler Trophy to Journal Ladies’ Day and Beverley Bullet Day in August. Also of great interest are June’s “A Very British Raceday,” July’s Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival Evening and Newcomers’ Day, also in July. With good facilities and a buzzing atmosphere, the three scheduled evening meetings are particularly well attended.

The Premier Enclosure offers patrons exclusive use of the 1690 Bar and Buffet, the Terrace Bar and the Whistlejackets Café, as well as the Attractions Restaurant, where an a la carte menu is available and the dress code is smart/casual. The Grandstand & Paddock is the largest enclosure on the course and features on-course bookmakers, access to the paddock and dining/drinks at four bars, along with the “Cod Bless This Plaice” fish & chip shop. Family picnics can be enjoyed as well as a drink and a bite to eat at The Hurn Bar with in the Course Enclosure.

Adult tickets start at £5 and range upwards to £25 for feature race days. Punter`s Packages from £22 are available, and Posh Packages, including a Premier Enclosure ticket, seafood platter, strawberries & champagne, a £5 Tote betting voucher and raceday programme, are priced at £40 to £42.50 each. Accompanied under 18s get in free into all enclosures.

Published on: 06/08/2013

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