The Ultimate Guide to Ripon Racecourse

RiponRipon Racecourse, sometimes known as the “Garden Racecourse”, is set in open countryside on the eastern side of the cathedral city of Ripon in North Yorkshire, England, about 24 miles northwest of York. Ripon has an association with horse racing stretching back over 300 years.

The first recorded horse racing meeting in the area took place on Bondgate Green, less than a mile from the current site of the racecourse, in 1664. However, the racecourse did not move to its current location, on Boroughbridge Road, between the Ripon Canal and the River Ure, until 1900. Today, Ripon Racecourse plays host to 16 Flat fixtures between April and September.

For racegoers, Ripon Racecourse offers a choice of three enclosures, the Club Enclosure, the Paddock Enclosure and the Course Enclosure. Admission to the Course Enclosure costs £6, or £18 per car with up to four occupants, for all meetings, while admission to the Club Enclosure and the Paddock Enclosure costs £20 and £13, respectively, on “regular” racedays, rising to £23 and £15, respectively, on “feature” racedays. Concessions are available for senior citizens and students.

For corporate events, Ripon Racecourse offers an independent conference venue, run by Livius Events. The large conference suite, the Wakeman, offers nearly 3,000 square feet of floor space and is capable of accommodating up to 200 people in a cabaret or theatre style seating arrangement. A wide variety of smaller meeting and breakout rooms are also available. Free parking, free Wi-Fi access and full audiovisual equipment, large screens, flipcharts, pens and pencils are included in the price of venue hire.

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Getting there

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What's the Ripon course like?

ripon course
The round course at Ripon is a right-handed, fairly sharp oval, a mile and five furlongs around, with a five furlong straight. There are pronounced undulations in the straight which, together with tight bends, give the course a sharp, rather than galloping, character.

There is also a straight six-furlong course.

Notable Races and Events

Pepper LaneTwo of the most prestigious races on the Ripon calendar are the Great St. Wilfrid Stakes, a handicap run over 6 furlongs in August and worth £43,575 to the winner and its consolation race, the Silver Trophy Handicap, run on the same card and worth £12,450 to the winner.

In 2012, David O'Meara's 5-year-old Pepper Lane won the Great St. Wilfrid Stakes for the second year running, despite being 4lb higher in the weights than the previous year. Interestingly, the filly made all on the stands' side in 2011 and made all on the far side in 2012, proving that good horsescan win from any draw at Ripon.

Tim EasterbyThe other notable race at Ripon is the Ripon Champion Two-Year-Old Trophy, run over 6 furlongs on August Bank Holiday Monday and worth £15,312 to the winner. In 2012, the race was won by Tom Dascombe's Deauville Prince, who failed to win again in two subsequent starts as a juvenile, but did finish fourth in both the Group 3 Prix des Chenes at Longchamp and the Group 1 Gran Criterium at San Siro.

Top Owners, Jockeys and Trainers

Paul Hanagan is the leading jockey at Ripon over the last five seasons with 22 winners from 161 rides, although he's only two winners ahead of Silvestre De Sousa with 20 winners from 133 rides.

Naturally enough, Northern trainers dominate the trainers' table, with Tim Easterby leading the way with 36 winners from 318 runners, nine winners ahead of his North Yorkshire neighbour Richard Fahey, who's recorded 27 winners from 210 runners over the last five seasons. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum is the leading owner at Ripon over the last five seasons with 9 winners from 68 runners.

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