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Top 5 Horse Racing Tracks in the Northeast

ByDave Stopher

Jun 21, 2024

Top 5 Horse Racing Tracks in the Northeast
Sports are big business in the Northeast of England. Visit the region on any weekend, and it’s impossible to escape the locals’ love affair with sports. Soccer shines brightest, with thousands of supporters watching the best teams compete in the English Premier League, Championship, and FA Cup. Rugby is another major attraction, with games broadcast live on television, while the area enjoys a healthy boxing and mixed martial arts scene.
Which is your favorite sport and team to follow in the Northeast? You can visit the stadium and rub shoulders with fellow sports fanatics or enjoy the show on television from the comfort of your home. Study the stats, make predictions, and wager at the best legal sportsbooks. Horse racing continues to thrive in the Northeast, and you can gamble on the top races using the best horse betting apps. Bet smart, and you could use your passion for racing to land a welcome profit.
The Northeast of England is a hotbed of thoroughbred horse racing. Followers have several prominent tracks to choose from when planning a day at the races. You can stick to your favorite track or branch out and try something new. But which is the best, and which should feature near the top of your must-visit list? We explain all in this article as our sports content team highlights five racetracks you should visit this year.
There are more than five options, but we focus only on the cream of the crop. Keep reading as we introduce you to Newcastle, Redcar, Sedgefield, Catterick, and Thirsk. There’s also information on the biggest races run at each course to help you organize your visit so you enjoy the best day possible.
Newcastle Racecourse
Location: Gosforth Park, Newcastle upon Tyne
Overview: Newcastle Racecourse, set in the scenic 812-acre High Gosforth Park, is one of the premier racing venues in the Northeast. It boasts a rich history dating back to the 1880s and has evolved into a modern facility that accommodates both flat and National Hunt racing. The course features a left-handed, oval-shaped all-weather track, making it versatile and capable of hosting races in various conditions.
Key Races:
  • · Northumberland Plate: Often referred to as the “Pitmen’s Derby,” this is one of the most prestigious flat races in the UK. Held annually in late June or early July, it attracts top-quality stayers from around the country. The race is a handicap event run over a distance of 2 miles and 56 yards.
  • · Fighting Fifth Hurdle: This Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race takes place in late November or early December. It’s a key race in the lead-up to the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham and has seen many legendary hurdlers compete.
  • · All-Weather Championships: Newcastle is a significant venue for the All-Weather Championships, particularly on Good Friday when the finals are held. The course’s Tapeta surface ensures top-class racing action.
Redcar Racecourse
Location: Redcar, North Yorkshire
Overview: Redcar Racecourse is renowned for its friendly atmosphere and its beautiful setting near the coast. The course itself is a left-handed, oval-shaped flat track, and it has been a fixture in the region since 1872. Redcar is particularly known for its family-friendly environment, making it a popular destination for a day out.
Key Races:
  • · Two-Year-Old Trophy: This race is one of the highlights of Redcar’s calendar, taking place in early October. It’s a listed race that is over 6 furlongs and attracts some of the best juvenile horses from around the UK and Ireland.
  • · Zetland Gold Cup: Held in late May, this valuable handicap race is over 1 mile and 2 furlongs. It is named after the Zetland family, which has historical ties to the area.
  • · Guisborough Stakes: Another significant event in October, this Listed race over 7 furlongs draws high-quality runners aiming for late-season glory.
Sedgefield Racecourse
Location: Sedgefield, County Durham
Overview: Sedgefield Racecourse is a charming National Hunt track set in picturesque County Durham countryside. The course has been operational since the 18th century and offers a right-handed circuit that provides a true test of jumping ability. Known for its welcoming and intimate atmosphere, Sedgefield is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
Key Races:
  • · Durham National: This is the standout race at Sedgefield, taking place in October. It’s a long-distance handicap chase run over 3 miles and 5 furlongs, attracting stayers who relish a stamina test.
  • · The Durham County Handicap Hurdle: Held in January, this race is part of Sedgefield’s winter schedule and often features competitive fields.
  • · Betfred Novices’ Hurdle: A race that takes place in March, showcasing some of the up-and-coming hurdling talents.
Catterick Racecourse
Location: Catterick Bridge, North Yorkshire
Overview: Catterick Racecourse is one of the busiest tracks in the region, hosting a mix of flat and National Hunt racing. The course is left-handed with sharp bends, requiring tactical racing and agile horses. Its origins date back to 1783, making it one of the oldest tracks in England.
Key Races:
  • · North Yorkshire Grand National: This is a key event in Catterick’s calendar, taking place in January. It’s a marathon handicap chase over 3 miles and 6 furlongs, attracting some of the best staying chasers.
  • · Catterick Dash: Held in October, this is a fast-paced sprint over 5 furlongs that sees some of the quickest horses in action.
  • · The Catterick Bridge Stakes: A flat race in the summer that draws competitive fields and offers good prize money.
Thirsk Racecourse
Location: Thirsk, North Yorkshire
Overview: Thirsk Racecourse is famed for its scenic countryside location and competitive flat racing. The course is left-handed and oval, known for its fair track that provides good racing ground. Established in 1855, Thirsk has a long-standing tradition of hosting high-quality racing events.
Key Races:
  • · Thirsk Hunt Cup: One of the most prestigious races at Thirsk, this event is held in early May. It’s a handicap race over a mile and draws top horses from across the country.
  • · Summer Cup: Taking place in July, this race is part of Thirsk’s summer festival and features competitive fields.
  • · The Classic Trial: Held in April, this race often features horses with potential for the classic season, making it an important fixture for trainers and owners.