Date of Review: 26th May 2022
Address: Boroughbridge Rd, North Yorkshire, Ripon HG4 1UG
Phone: 01765 530530
Course Information: (Image: credited & acknowledged to At The Races)
Ripon Racecourse is commonly known as "The Garden Racecourse" due to its immaculately kept grounds. The racetrack was officially opened in 1900, but horse racing has taken place in the area for over 300 years. Ripon is a summer- only racing venue and holds approximately 16 meetings a year, from April through to September.
Ripon is a little unusual as it is a right-handed track, when most English courses race left handed. Further to this, it is a flat racing course, and no National Hunt races are conducted here. The track is quite tight, but a long straight makes it a fair and decent test for most horses. The track is relatively flat and undulates slightly, but not enough to unsettle most horses.
The track facilitates a straight 6-furlong race, with all other races taking in one or two bends. The draw can be important, with a high draw if bends are to be negotiated and a low draw favorable for sprints on the straight course. Front runners seem to do well here but drop away quickly if headed.
The Racecourse Advisor Guide to Ripon Racecourse:
Course Access: The track is circa 2 miles from the centre of Ripon and around 8 miles off the A1 (junction 48 from the south and junction 50 from the north,) which takes about a 10-minute drive. The course is well signed and easy to find. The nearest railway stations are Harrogate (11 miles), Thirsk (11miles) and York (27 miles). Rating: 8/10.
Parking: Parking and access to the course are excellent. Free parking is available on a large, flat field immediately next to all racecourse entrances. When departing, the exit at the rear of the field can also be used. Rating: 10/10.
Pricing: £26.00 Club Stand entrance fee, which includes a free £3 race card. £17.00 in the Paddock Enclosure. Concessions are available for OAPs. Rating: 8/10.
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.
Excellent on course catering facilities in all areas and all enclosures. The Club Enclosure has the upmarket Club Dining Room and also access to the Silks & Saddle Bar. On the first floor is the St. Wilfred bar, which looked pretty popular when we were there.
The Paddock Enclosure has the Wakeman Bar and the Theakstons Terrace Bar, which has the Fountains Cafe, where traditional grub such as fish & chips can be had. Wood-fired pizzas are also available if a little bit of Italian cuisine takes your fancy. As is the tradition at virtually all Yorkshire racetracks, there is a sweet shop on the course as well. So, no complaints from us regarding the catering facilities available. Overall, it has a wide range of options to suit all tastes and pockets. Rating: 8/10.
Guinness Standard: £6.50 per pint. So pretty much standard racetrack pricing. It was a nice pint of Guinness, also. Rating: 6/10.
Parade Ring / Winners Enclosure: This is a very pretty, decorative, and well maintained enclosure with potted plants and flowers all around. A lot of effort has gone into this area, and it shows. It is well located immediately outside the owners' & trainers’ area, near the racetrack itself. Good access and excellent viewing for both pre-and-post-race activities. Rating: 9/10.
Bookmakers / Betting Facilities: Plenty of Tote betting facilities all around the course. Also, off course betting facilities are available (Coral) if preferred. The main betting ring is directly in front of the grandstand and paddock areas and has approximately 20 bookmaker pitches. Rating: 8/10.
Friendliness of Course Staff: A good, friendly Yorkshire welcome. Plenty of helpful staff are on hand if required for any reason. A relatively high number of staff members picking up litter, are also employed at the track. Rating: 10/10.
Pros & Cons: A well-located racecourse, but some distance from the A1 Road. However, it is easy to find with well signed entry and exits. Plenty of free parking is available very close to the racecourse's main entrance. Pricing is reasonable for both the grandstand and paddock areas.
The locally produced £3.00 race card is genuinely excellent: packed with interesting and relevant information regarding the races, horses, trainers and jockeys. It also highlights relevant trends and track statistics. The catering facilities are good, and easily accessible, and there are several picnic areas available for families. The viewing of the races is not good, with a restricted view on large sections of the track. The draw is important and should be considered. The track favours front running horses. Rating: 7/10.
VIP Watch: No VIPs were spotted by us during the day.
Overall Dave & Ray Rating: 8/10.
The full day's racing results can be found here: https://www.sportinglife.com/racing/meeting/2022-05-26/ripon/90908
Facilities & Location Layout of Ripon Racecourse: (Image: credited & acknowledged to The Ripon Race Company)
Aerial View of Ripon Racecourse: (Image: credited & acknowledged to Google Earth)
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