Beverley Racecourse is situated on a hillside in an area of common land, known as the Beverley Westwood, above the market town of Beverley in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The racecourse offers views of Beverley Minster, which is one of the best examples of medieval Gothic architecture in the country. Beverley Westwood has been a centre for recreation and sport for centuries. Evidence for the first permanent racecourse in the area dates from 1690, although the first grandstand wasn't built until 1767, at a cost of £1,000. Much more recently, in 2008, Beverley Racecourse received investment of over £100,000 to improve its facilities and track. Nowadays, Beverley boasts modern stands, has a crowd capacity of approximately 12,000 and hosts 21 Flat racing fixtures a year between April and September.
For racegoers, Beverley Racecourse offers a choice of the Premier Enclosure at £20 per person, the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure at £13 per person and the Course Enclosure at £5 per person or £5 per car. Race day hospitality suites, comfortably furnished, with a balcony overlooking the winning post, a flat screen television and a private bar, are also available. Hospitality suites are capable of accommodating up to 10 people fully seated or up to 15 people for a finger buffet with occasional seating.
For corporate events, including conferences, exhibitions and parties, Beverley Racecourse offers a range of rooms and suites capable of accommodating up to 300 people. The recently refurbished Rapid Lad Bar and the Owners and Trainers Lounge both offer large, open spaces for corporate entertaining, with the possibility of adding a marquee for larger, outdoor events during the summer months. The corporate facilities overlook the historic Beverley Westwood and a dedicated events team provides support throughout the day for all corporate events.
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What's unique about the course at Beverley?
The round course at Beverley is a right-handed, essentially galloping oval approximately 11 furlongs around, with a relatively short, 2½-furlong straight. The downhill turn into the straight and the short straight, itself, mean that the round course is less galloping than it otherwise would be.
The five-furlong course is uphill all the way, making it a tough test under any conditions, but particularly on soft going. The bend after 2½ furlongs offers horses racing against the inside rail a significant advantage over horses racing on the outside over 5 furlongs, perhaps more so than on any other racecourse in the country, with the exception of Chester.[/column][end_columns]
Notable Races and Events
The highlights of the season at Beverley include the Hilary Needler Trophy, run over 5 furlongs in May, the Brian Yeardley Continental Two Year Old Trophy, run over 5 furlongs in June and the Listed Betfred Beverley Bullet Sprint Stakes, run over 5 furlongs in September. In 2012, the Beverley Bullet was won by Robin Bastiman's 10-year-old Borderlescott, erstwhile winner of the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes in 2008 and 2009, while in 2011 it was won by Bryan Smart's 6-year-old Tangerine Trees, who went on to win the Group 1 Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp on his very next start.
In May 2011, Alan McCabe's Caspar Netscher made his racecourse debut at Beverley and duly landed a huge gamble from 20/1 to 100/30 favourite, drawing clear to win by 2¼ lengths despite being denied a clear run with two furlongs to go. He failed to add to his tally in five subsequent starts, but won the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes at York and the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury later the same season, before finishing fifth, beaten by just 1¼ lengths, in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket on his final start as a 2-year-old.
Rapid Lad, after whom the Rapid Lad Bar and the Rapid Lad Handicap are named, was a handicapper trained by John Spearing at Kinnersley in Worcestershire. If ever a horse epitomised the phrase “horses for courses” it was Rapid Lad who, between 1983 and 1989, won a total of twelve races at Beverley, but failed to win on any other racecourse in the country. He won his last race at Beverley, a handicap over 1 mile 2 furlongs, as an 11-year-old in 1989 under David “Dandy” Nicholls. His owners, Steve and Pam Borsberry, traditionally present the trophy to the winning owner of the race run in his honour.
Top Owners, Jockeys and Trainers
Brazilian-born Silvestre De Sousa, who finished runner-up in the British Flat Jockeys' Championship in 2011 and 2012, is far and away the leading jockey at Beverley over the last five seasons with 44 winners from 204 rides. Ironically, Paul Hanagan, who won the British Flat Jockeys' Championship in 2011, is only in second place at Beverley with 28 winners from 204 rides. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum is the leading owner in the same period with 23 winners from 60 runners and Middleham Moor handler Mark Johnston tops the trainers' table with 55 winners from 183 runners.
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