Redcar Racecourse

Published: 03/08/2013

The perfectly flat, left-handed track of Redcar Racecourse covers an oval distance of one mile and six furlongs on the North Yorkshire coast in the seaside resort town of Redcar. Thanks to the fair, wide galloping circuit, big fields and competitive racing is ensured for 18 annual raceday in a flat season running from April through November. The year’s main event is Two-Year-Old Trophy Day, featuring the £150,000 title race, the listed Guisborough Stakes and the final of the Straight Mile Championship Series.

An Impressive History

Only a handful races took place in the early 18th century when racing first got under way on Redcar Beach. A temporary grandstand was erected by a local joiner, Mr. Adamson, along with the winning and starting posts, and John Hikeley, who owned the Lobster Inn in Coatham, served as Chairman for the course.

After the new Jockey Club became involved in 1870, the course was moved away from the sands to its present location on 80 acres of land in the centre of the town. Fences for hurdles were built and a parade ring was made in 1872. Those structures were followed by a permanent grandstand, “second to none in the Kingdom,” in 1875, and then a second stand and stables were added, too.

During the World War One, the Redcar course served as an airfield for flight training, used by the Royal Naval Air Service. In the World War Two, it became an army camp and the track was neglected. Renovations began in earnest in 1953, leading to the introduction of several unique innovations, such as the first closed-circuit television, a timing clock and first furlong posts. In 1964, the new Grandstand was constructed

The next large building programme began in 1981 with the creation of a luxury stable block and a new hostel for overnight accommodation. Then, new Paddock Rooms were added, leading up to the inauguration of the prestigious Two-Year-Old Trophy race in October 1989. Another popular event placed on the annual calendar was the Zetland Gold Cup, conducted on a Bank Holiday each May.

Paul Hanagan has proven to be one of the top jockeys at this racecourse in recent years. Among trainers that favour this course are Tim Easterby and Richard Fahey, particularly for the relatively tight banked bends of its left-handed oval. There is also a three-furlong chute that joins the track at the intersection of the top bend and the straight, making for a one-mile straight course that is said to be the only “Straight Mile” in the U.K. that is truly straight and level.

Racing at Redcar Today

Highlights of the flat racing season at Redcar Racecourse include the traditional Easter Monday raceday for families and friends to get together, the iconic Zetland Gold Cup Day and Ladies’ Day in June, with its full card of seven races plus the Best Dressed Lady and Best Hat competitions taking place during the afternoon. The Yorkshire Summer Racing Festival in July supports charities, Caribbean Carnival Day in August is all about family fun, Redcar’s red carpet event is Ladies’ & Gents’ Evening in August, and Two-Year-Old Trophy Day caps the Autumn racing season in October.

On feature days, the price of admission is £15 for the Grandstand Enclosure and £5 for the Course Enclosure. Inclusive entrance packages are also available, starting from £13.50 up to £37.50 per person, and children under 16 are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Picnics (with a limited amount of alcohol) are permitted in the Centre Course Enclosure, but only food and drink purchased within the racecourse can be consumed within the Grandstand Enclosure.

Redcar Racecourse is also a full time conference and events centre, offering an excellent venue for wedding receptions, birthday parties, conferences, training days, seminars, dinners and team building days. The Stable Lodge facilities with a well maintained stable yard featuring 143 stables are available for Pony Club or Riding Club camps, too.

Published on: 03/08/2013

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