Racing at York dates back to Roman times, with more than 400 years of history on the famous Yorkshire turf. The current racecourse location in the south-west of the city dates back to the 1700s and is known the world over as ‘The Knavesmire‘.
York is one of Britain’s most picturesque and expansive racecourse settings, the big wide stretch of racing ground giving it the feel of being a very ‘fair’ track where every horse should have the chance to shine.
Located in the historic city of York, it offers racegoers the chance to sample top-class sporting action alongside the wonderful heritage of the famous Yorkshire city.
York racecourse has developed their facilities since the late 20th century, with the five-tier Grandstand now supported by the Melrose Stand, the Knavesmire Stand and the Ebor Stand – ensuring the course has the capacity to host 60,000 spectators per race day.
The York highlight, racing-wise, is York Ebor Festival held in August every year, which takes its name from the Ebor Handicap, one of the richest held in Europe annually. The Ebor, run over 1m6f, dates back to 1843 and in 2019, it became the first British handicap to boast prize-money of £1 million. It is open to horses aged four-years and older.
The meeting also plays host to York’s three Group 1 races on the calendar – the Juddmonte International, the Nunthorpe Stakes and the Yorkshire Oaks.
The Juddmonte International over 1m2f is a key late-summer tussle between the Classic 3-year-old generation and their older rivals and has existed since 1972. Similarly, the Yorkshire Oaks offers the Classic generation a chance to step out against older horses, and the Epsom Oaks protagonists can often land here in mid-August.
The Nunthorpe is one of the most spectacular races in the calendar, run over the flying five-furlongs, and is amongst the most prestigious sprints in Britain. In 2022, it will celebrate its 100th anniversary and it has been a Group 1 contest since 1984.
Racing at York takes place each season from May-October, with the course being exclusive to flat racing. The Spring Festival includes such races as the Musidora Stakes, the Yorkshire Cup and The Dante – a key Epsom Derby trial race. There’s a two-day Finale meeting each year in October to sign off the season on the Knavesmire.
It’s widely agreed that the raceday experience for spectators/punters at York is amongst the most enjoyable in Britain. The course promotes a relaxed yet stylish setting for patrons and it helps to make York one of the favourites amongst the British racing public.
York has lots to offer on raceday. There are a wide range of facilities for spectators offering food & drink, family-friendly areas, disability access and everything needed to get the most from a day at the races. Pick the right mix to make your day at York a memorable occasion.
The County Stand is York’s premier enclosure and includes a racecard plus access to the Grandstand & Paddock and Clocktower Enclosure facilities. Racegoers can enjoy:
Grandstand & Paddock
York’s largest enclosure and a great place to really immerse yourself in the buzz of a big raceday on the Knavesmire, the Grandstand & Paddock enclosure also includes access to the Clocktower Enclosure facilities. Racegoers can enjoy:
York’s most relaxed racecourse experience offers views of the stands and track from a grassy picnic area that is the ideal base for an informal family day at the races. Racegoers can enjoy: