Racing at Catterick started in the seventeenth century, with the first official meeting taking place in 1783. 20 years later, a permanent course was established. Since then, a steady supply of flat racing and jumps racing meetings continue to provide all-year-round entertainment for the many owners, trainers, jockeys, and racegoers that support the course and enjoy its fun, friendly and informal atmosphere.
Two of the course’s most popular meeting are the North Yorkshire Grand National Meeting in January and the Catterick Dash Meeting in October.
Below are some key facts about Catterick Racecourse.
Course Type: Flat and Jumps
Current Owner: The Catterick Racecourse Company Limited
The flat track at Catterick is a sharp, left-handed, oval-shaped track measuring just nine furlongs. It is very undulating in parts with the three furlongs run-in downhill all the way to the line. The course has two different chutes which enable races to take place at a variety of distances from 5 furlongs up to 1 mile 7 furlongs and 117 yards. It’s a course that some horses take to and some horses don’t, and those that do are usually speedy types rather than long-striding galloping sorts. Front-runners often have a significant advantage as, if they can set their own fractions and kick off the final bend, it can be very hard for hold-up horses to catch them from behind.
The chase and hurdles tracks are also left-handed and sharp in nature, whilst the fences on the chase track are regarded as some of the easiest in the country to jump. However, they still catch many chasers out due to the fast pace that many chases are run at. Both courses again suit speedy types that can hold a prominent early position and travel on the bridal until the latter stages of a race.
Catterick’s most famous and lucrative jumps race is the North Yorkshire Grand National, which takes place over 3 miles and 6 furlongs. It is run in January and has been dominated by trainer Sue Smith in recent years. She trained Lackamon, Straidnahanna, and I just Know to respectively win the 2016, 2017, and 2018 editions.
Meanwhile, Catterick’s most high-profile and richest flat race is the Catterick Dash. Run over 5 furlongs, it usually takes place in October at the appropriately named Catterick Dash Meeting. Kingsgate Choice is a past winner of the race.
There is no official dress code at Catterick Racecourse, but you may notice a difference in the kind of attire people prefer to wear in the course’s two enclosures. People buying tickets for the Grandstand and Paddock enclosure often tend to choose to dress up for the occasion, and this enclosure is frequented by racegoers that often like to dine at one of the on-course restaurants. However, this area still promotes a relaxed and informal atmosphere.
By comparison, the Course Enclosure is the area where racegoers are invited to bring their own picnics and alcohol (limited), so many people dress casually for a day of sitting on picnic blankets or fold-away chairs.
Collier Hill, a horse that won a Hong Kong Vase, Canadian International, and an Irish St Leger, actually started his racing career at Catterick. Even more surprising is the fact he made his winning debut in a national hunt bumper, before he went on to be a star on the flat.
Five-times British Champion Flat Jockey Willie Carson, who went on to ride 3,828 winners, including the winners of 17 English Classics, broke his duck at Catterick as an apprentice aboard a horse called Pinker’s Pond in 1962.
Address and Contact Details
The Catterick Racecourse Co Ltd – Catterick Bridge, Richmond, North Yorkshire, DL10 7PE