York Racecourse Guide

Known to locals as "The Knavesmire", York racecourse is one of Britain's most famous horse racing venues.

York is regarded as one of the fairest tracks in the country. A track where the cream usually rises to the top. The biggest meeting of the flat season held at York is the Ebor Festival, where a handful of prestigious Group One prizes are handed out.

Ebor Festival Tips

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York Major Meetings

The highlight of the season for York racecourse is the Ebor Festival. The Ebor Festival lasts for four days in the middle of August. The first three cards are headlined by Group One races - the Juddmonte International Stakes, the Yorkshire Oaks and the Nunthorpe Stakes. Saturday's card features the historic Ebor Handicap, one of Europe's richest handicap races.

Two key trials for the Epsom Classics, the Dante Stakes and the Musidora Stakes are held at York during the Spring. York's John Smith's Cup meeting, held during July, also attracts a capacity crowd. 

York Racecourse Characteristics

As we mentioned earlier, York provides runners with an extremely fair test. The track is left-handed and U-shaped. It's flat with very few undulations, so you don't get many hard-luck stories when you watch races at York.

There's a six-furlong chute leading onto the home straight, which is used for many of the big sprint handicaps. There's also a chute for races up to 1m 6f.

York Draw Bias

Horses can win from all over the track at York. Front-runners can get away from the field, but if the pace does collapse then there's plenty of room for runners to come off the pace and claim victory.

While there is no obvious draw bias over most distances, in large-field handicap sprints, it pays to be up with the pace early, as the flat nature of the track helps front-runners maintain their early speed.

York Leading Trainers

Locally-based trainers, Richard Fahey and Tim Easterby have had more winners than any other trainer at York over the past five years. However, they also send far more horses to York than other trainers, and both only strike at around 8%.

In contrast, John Gosden boasts a 30% strike rate from his runners at York since 2017. William Haggas and Mark Johnston also boast more impressive strike rates than both Fahey and Easterby.

York Leading Jockeys

Given his bosses' impressive record here at York, it's no surprise to see that Frankie Dettori is the most jockey around York in the last five years.

Dettori has struck at 27% around York since 2017. Tom Marquand, Oisin Murphy and Danny Tudhope are also worth following whenever they make an appearance at York.

York Track History

York is historically linked with horse racing. Evidence has been found to suggest that the Romans raced horses on the site of the Knavesmire as far back as 1530.

York racecourse was officially opened in the 1730s and crowds of passionate racegoers flock to the Knavesmire whenever a meeting is held. In 1851, the famous match race between Voltigeur and The Flying Dutchman attracted a record crowd of 150,000 spectators.

The track at York has remained largely untouched during its long history. A minor change did occur in the 1970s, when the straight course was reduced from seven furlongs to six furlongs, and the new seven-furlong chute was built to accommodate the new ring round that was opened in York.

The first running of the famous Ebor Handicap took place in 1842, with the Yorkshire Oaks taking place for the first time in 1849. The Nunthorpe Stakes, Juddmonte International Stakes and the Dante Stakes were created in the 1900s.

York Racecourse Address

The Racecourse
YO23 1EX

York Racecourse Directions

By Road - York racecourse sits just one mile south of York town centre. Ticket holders wanting to drive to the course can just follow the signposts for York.

By Rail - Racegoers can travel to York train stations from most major train stations around the country. Once in the town centre, visitors can either walk to the racecourse or make the one mile journey via bus or taxi.

By Air - The closest airports to York racecourse are Leeds and Bradford, which are around 25 miles away from York racecourse.