Date of Review: 18th November 2022
Address: Catterick Bridge, Richmond, North Yorkshire, DL10 7PE
Phone: 01748 811478
Hotel Accommodation: https://www.booking.com/landmark/gb/catterick-racecourse.en-gb.html
Course Layout: (Image: courtesy of & acknowledged to At The Races)
Racing at Catterick Bridge began as early as the mid-17th century, and the first recorded meeting took place on April 22nd, 1783, but it was not until 1813 that a permanent course was created. Catterick Racecourse is a dual-purpose track with 28 meetings throughout the year. It hosts 17 flat meetings and 11 jumps. The Yorkshire Racing Year starts with the New Year's Day meeting and ends with its meeting on December 28th. Today, Catterick is a blend of old and new. The framework of the old 1906 stand is still evident in the present grandstand. (and you can tell!) However, a new and modern Dales Stand has been added which facilitates corporate hospitality as well as the owners, and trainers' stand.
Catterick is a dual-purpose left-handed, oval-shaped course of around nine furlongs in circumference and has a three-furlong straight. It is downhill all the way home from the 7-furlong post and has a sharp turn as the horses enter the straight for the run home. The sharp turns and undulations suit handy, types of horses who like to race prominently rather than long-striding, big horses. Take note of horses that have won previously, at this track, as course form is more significant than at a lot of other racecourses. Horses having their first run here often take time to adapt to the conditions. The National Hunt course features eight, easy fences, or five hurdles, per circuit.
Interestingly, Catterick has a fishing lake in the middle of the course where experienced carp fishermen hold regular competitions. Carp up to the size of 40lb have been landed. Also, the site hosts the Catterick Sunday market, which is officially the largest Sunday Market in the entire north of England. You only get this type of information from the famous Dave & Ray’s racecourse guide. No need to thank us. It’s what we do…
The Racecourse Advisor Guide to Catterick Bridge Racecourse:
By Road: The racecourse is very conveniently situated just off the A1, approximately 5 miles south of Scotch Corner, on the outskirts of Catterick Village. Coming from the north or south, exit the A1 at Junction 52 and follow the racecourse signs to Catterick Racecourse. It is very well signed once leaving the A1. Excellent access by car.
By Rail: It's not so easy to get to Catterick Racecourse by train. Darlington is the nearest railway station, some 15 miles from the track. The racecourse provides a free shuttle bus service every race day from Richmond town centre. The shuttle bus will leave from Richmond Market Place (opposite the bus stop near the Town Hall Pub) approximately 1 hour prior to the first race and will return again after the last race. The shuttle bus will make as many runs as necessary to bring all those wanting to be taken to the racecourse. Also, Arriva buses operate a regular service from Darlington railway station to Richmond town centre. Due to the difficulty of arriving by train, a point has been deducted from the score. Rating: 8/10.
Parking: There is ample free parking at the course, and the access is very good. The main car park is situated directly at the back of the course, just off the road. Entry and exit are both quick and easy. Rating: 9/10.
Pricing: £18.00 entrance fee (£15.00 if pre-booked online) to the grandstand, which enables access to all areas, is good value. A cheaper £5 ticket can be purchased, which gives access to the course enclosure only. Both cash and credit cards are accepted, which is a welcome bonus these days. The race card was £2.00. Locally produced, well laid out, and has some good information such as ‘the longest traveller" etc. Rating: 9/10.
Catering: As we both enjoy doing “racecourse reviews” and not restaurant reviews, or pretending to be food critics, our aim is to just give you an overall idea of what culinary options are available at the track on race days.
Unfortunately, it has to be said, that in our view, the catering at this track is not the best. There are several food outlets, such as the usual Burger Van set up, and a number of Café’s and eateries dotted around the course. The Winning Streak Restaurant serves a three-course meal with good views of the track & parade ring. Also, the Paddock Café and the Champion Bar & Buffet, but all seem to be offering “low end” food choices. Examples include a plated mince beef pie with chips and peas. We had a “pulled pork” sandwich for £9.00. Only the pork wasn’t pulled, it was sliced and not very tasty, even with the stuffing and apple sauce added. We also ordered both coffee and tea, but the water was only just lukewarm, which in our eyes is somewhat poor. There was no fish and chips on offer, and crucially, there was no ice cream van either – not good. However, as our visit was in the middle of November, we will give them some licence on this one. On the upside, there is a Theakston’s Bar, which sells Theakston’s ales exclusively, and also, as tradition dictates at a Yorkshire racecourse an old-fashioned sweet cabin strangely named “Sticky Fingers”. Rating: 5/10.
Guinness Standard: Happily, draught Guinness is available at £6.50 a pint, so it's not the cheapest. However, to be fair, it was more than a decent pint. Rating: 6/10.
Viewing: The Viewing of the races here is good. The horses can be seen approximately 80% of the time during all races. The far side of the track is prominently raised, which enables a good viewing experience. The main grandstand is well covered, and large enough to keep you dry when it rains. The downside is that it has no seating at all. Another minus is that there is the old, semi-derelict information display building opposite the main stands. It has two trees obscuring any information, if it could be displayed; sadly this building does block the viewing of a considerable amount of the long first bend on the back straight. Rating: 6/10.
Parade Ring / Winners Enclosure: This is located to the right of the main grandstand adjacent to the modern Dales stand which also houses the Owners & Trainer's bar. The winner's enclosure is placed centrally in the parade ring itself. While it does have raised viewing and seating at the front, it is somewhat tight and feels a little cramped at times. This is due to the fact that you only get to view the ring from one side, as there is a wall all the way along the far side denying access. It does have another separate raised platform for disabled / wheelchair users to its credit. Rating 5/10.
Bookmakers / Betting Facilities: The main bookmakers area is placed immediately in front of the main grandstand, with circa 20 pitches. There are plenty of Tote betting facilities located around the course, as well as a William Hill betting facility. Very easy to get a bet on and pick up. Rating: 8/10.
Friendliness of Course Staff: We didn’t encounter a lot of course staff, but the ones we did were cheery and more than helpful. No issues at all on this front. Rating: 9/10.
Pros & Cons: Catterick Racecourse is very well located, has easy access by car, and is well signed. However, overall, it does have a somewhat tired and dated feel about it. The catering is both limited, and poor, and somewhat expensive for the quality of the food served, in our opinion. Betting facilities are more than adequate. The parade ring viewing is good but a little cramped due to its position. The main grandstand does offer a good view of the races but lacks seating. The course staff are helpful. Catterick is somewhat unique due to its carp fishing lake slap bang in the middle of the course, which is the type of thing we like. Rating: 5/10
VIP Watch: No VIPs of any note were seen on the day. Although we did have a chat with Lizzie Quinlan, who had her first runner as a trainer here, and guess what? Even after saying that she was thinking of pulling the horse just 20 minutes before the off, due to unsuitable ground, it romped in at 14-1! All in all, a good day for the Quinlan family as her husband, Sean Quinlan landed a treble. A very talented jockey is Sean.
Overall Dave & Ray Rating: 7.1/10.
The full day's racing results can be found here: https://www.sportinglife.com/racing/meeting/2022-11-18/catterick/94358
Facilities & location layout of Catterick Racecourse
Aerial View of Catterick Racecourse
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