Horse Racing has unofficially been taking part in Thirsk for over 200 years, with the current course set to celebrate its centenary in 2023. The course stages flat racing, with a fixture list of around 16 afternoon and evening meetings each season. Notable meetings include Thirsk Hunt Cup Day, Irish Day, Afternoon Racing Featuring Royal Ascot, Go Racing In Yorkshire Festival Day, William Hill Summer Cup Day, All Creatures Great and Small Family Day, Pirates Family Day, and Ladies Day.
Thirsk’s most notable races include the Thirsk Hunt Cup, The Michael Foster Conditions Stakes, and the William Hill Summer Cup Handicap.
Thirsk is also renowned for its choice of food, with fun packages like the Fodder & Ale package available in the Paddock Enclosure, whilst a Seafood & Champagne package is available in the Premier Enclosure. There are also a number of fine dining restaurants such as the Thomas Lord Restaurant and the Hambleton Dining Room. There’s even a Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea Package.
These facilities also make Thirsk Racecourse a popular venue for Christmas parties, corporate events, and weddings.
Course Type: Flat
Current Owner: Thirsk Racecourse Limited
Thirsk Racecourse is a left-handed oval-shaped track that measures around 10 furlongs in length. The round course has a run-in of around four furlongs, whilst a separate chute enables sprint races over five and six furlongs to be run on a straight course. This chute also provides the starting point for two-mile races. The round course is generally flat, but the course is slightly undulating in the home straight. Both courses tend to suit sharp, well-balanced horses, whilst the stands rail is often the place to be in sprint races.
Thirsk’s most notable race is the Thirsk Hunt Cup, which normally takes place in late April or early May over a trip of just short of a mile. The aim of the race is to attract high-class mile handicappers from stables based in both the North and the South, and it regularly achieves this. The most famous recent winner is the 2012 winner Farhh, with the Godolphin owned horse a subsequent Group 1 winner, as well as famously being runner-up to Frankel in the Juddmonte International at York. Meanwhile, other recent winners include Osteopathic Remedy, Finn Class and Cote D’azur.
Another notable race at Thirsk is the Michael Foster Conditions Stakes, a seven-furlongs race that normally takes place in April. Recent winners have included Kimberella, Rene Mathis, Heavens Guest, and Markab. The course also stages the William Hill Summer Cup Handicap in August, with recent winners including Mikmak, who was trained by local trainer Tim Easterby.
Thirsk Racecourse offers tickets for a variety of enclosures, so make sure you’re dressed appropriately for whatever enclosure you are attending. If attending the Premier Enclosure, men are requested to wear shoes, long smart trousers and a collared shirt. Jackets and ties are not compulsory, but many men opt for the smarter option. Ladies are asked to dress smartly too, and many opt for a stylish outfit accompanied by a hat or fascinator. Anyone wearing trainers, ripped clothing, shorts, fancy dress, or other items of undesirable clothing will not be permitted to the Premier Enclosure.
However, a dress code is not in operation in either the Family Enclosure or the Paddock Enclosure. In these areas, racegoers are urged to dress appropriately for the weather.
Thirsk Racecourse staged a substitute race for the St Leger in 1940, during World War II.
Thirsk Racecourse, Station Road, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, YO7 1QL