York Races make for a fantastic day out and caters for everyone from couples to parties and even families. In the article we find out more on the history of York Races and what you can expect today from such a well known event in York’s calendar!
Based on the well known Knavesmire, York Races is easy to access from the city centre but also main routes into the city.
Racing in York has been around since the Roman times, with archaeological digs uncovering evidence that there may have been horse related activities that could have included forms of racing on the site of the Knavesmire as early as neolithic times. The city corporation supported the sport from 1530 and, in 1607, racing is actually took place on the frozen River Ouse, between Micklegate Tower and Skeldergate Postern.
York’s most important meeting is the Ebor Festival held annually in August. The feature of this meeting is the Ebor Handicap, one of Europe’s premier handicap races.
The Juddmonte International meeting is another important date in York’s racing calendar, home to the Juddmonte International Stakes.
In 2005, York Racecourse acted as a replacement host to the Royal Ascot meeting, due to its usual home at Ascot Racecourse being closed for redevelopment priced at £185m. In 2006, it also hosted the St Leger.
York’s highest attendance for a race meeting was recorded in 1851, when a crowd estimated at 150,000 saw The Flying Dutchman, winner of the Derby and St Leger in 1849, beat Voltigeur, who took both races the following year, in the so-called Great Match. The highest record in more recent times is the 42,586 who attended one July Saturday in 2010.
As well as racing, York races hold a variety of conferences and music events. For example, this year you will be able to see Olly Murs perform live at the racecourse.
We highly recommend a visit to York Races when you are staying in York. Whether you are having a flutter or just soaking up the atmosphere, you won’t be disappointed!