Wetherby racecourse is one of the few racecourses that host both National Hunt and Flat races in England. It is located in Wetherby town, West Yorkshire, only about 19km from the city center of Leeds. It was opened way back in 1891, and hosts a total of 20 fixtures each year, all spread between January and December. The racecourse is widely known to be the leading jump track in the whole country. Racegoers always flock Wetherby just to enjoy the thrill brought about by steeplechase. It staged its first flat race in 2015. Today, flat racing takes place every May and June.
Wetherby racecourse’s first venue was at Scaur Bank, which is widely known as George V playing fields today. In 1891, the racecourse moved to a new venue, off York road. This was after the rent of Scaur Bank grounds was raised, forcing the committee to look for an alternative venue. The first race meeting at its new venue took place on the 30th of March, 1891. It was served by the Wetherby railway station between 1920 and 1950, before closing down. A new grandstand was opened in 1906, but racing was put to a sudden halt in 1915 due to wars. In 1920, the Wetherby Race Company was formed, just after everything had come back to normal. The race company oversaw purchase of the course lease.
Towton Novices’ Chase and the Wetherby Mares Hurdle are the two most notable races held at Wetherby. The Towton Chase takes place every late January or early February, and was inaugurated in 1996. It was named after Towton town, which is located to the south of Wetherby. The race requires horses to compete over a distance
of 4,869 miles, with the jumping of 19 fences. Wetherby Hurdle on the other hand covers a total distance of 3,219 meters. It is sponsored by OLBG.com, and takes place every October or November.
The sport of kings has been sadly missed by fans of racing over the past few months, but now must watch races are coming thick and fast, and there can be none more highly anticipated than the 2020 Investec Derby. This year’s pool of three year old talent see’s the likes of current favourite English King, take on his nearest rivals in the betting market, Kameko and Russia Emperor.
One person cheering on Kameko and jockey Oisin Murphy will no doubt be his trainer Andrew Balding. He’ll hope to both add the Derby to his list of major wins, but also emulate his Father Ian Balding’s 1971 Derby winning achievement with Mill Reef. Kameko recently handily won the 2,000 Guineas and so this may well be Balding’s golden opportunity to achieve his dream.
“I think any person training flat horses would have a void in their CV if they finish their career and they haven’t won the Derby” said the hopeful trainer to Betway. In a few days time, we’ll know whether it’s a case of job done for Balding, or back to the drawing board. Don’t miss it!
Last year’s Derby winner was Anthony Van Dyck, ridden by Seamie Heffernan and trained by Aidan O’Brien. He won at starting odds of 13/2 with prize money of £921,538 for the winner.
Catterick racecourse is a thoroughbred racing track located in Catterick, North Yorkshire, England. It is also known as Catterick Bridge Racecourse since its location is near Catterick Bridge. The left-handed track was opened in the year 1783, and hosts both flat and National Hunt races. Each year, the racecourse holds a total of twenty seven race meetings, putting it second in the quantity of races it hosts, after Doncaster. It is one of the two racetracks in Yorkshire that hosts both flat and National Hunt races. The racecourse is easily accessible from the A1, and offers free and adequate parking space to all racegoers.
The most notable of all races held in Catterick is the Catterick Sunday Market. It is the largest of all Sunday markets in North England. Races usually begin on the 1st of January. A series of six National Hunt races take place from January all the way to March. The flat racing season then takes off from April to October, with a total of seventeen meetings taking place. This year, the racecourse is set to hold a number of fixtures, most of which have already taken place. For example, on the 14th of May will be the Annual Badge Holders Guest Day. A total of 7 races are scheduled to take place during the event. Race 1 will start at 2:10 pm and the final one at 17:25 pm. Badge holders will be allowed to come in with complimentary guests to the event. Tickets go from 14 Euros, depending on the package one chooses. Racing Careers Day is another fixture for this year scheduled to take place on the 1st of June. Besides racing, the event will give people a platform to learn about different careers and roles in the racing industry.
There are two enclosures (Grandstand and paddock enclosure) for the racegoers to enjoy the races from. This allows them to enjoy various hospitality packages offered.