Catterick Racecourse is situated in North Yorkshire.
Known to some as Catterick Bridge, the track is one of nine courses within the Go Racing in Yorkshire initiative along with Beverley, Doncaster, Pontefract, Redcar, Ripon, Thirsk, Wetherby and York.
Racing has been held in the area since 1783, making Catterick one of the oldest horse racing territories in Britain.
- Address – Catterick Bridge, Richmond, North Yorkshire, DL10 7PE.
- Owner – The Catterick Racecourse Company Ltd.
- TV Station – Racing TV.
- Type – Flat and National Hunt.
- Surface – Turf.
Catterick is a dual-purpose track covering both Flat and National Hunt, though its bigger crowds tend to turn up for races on the level over the summer months.
The round course is left-handed, sharp in nature and about nine furlongs in length. There is a downhill run from the six-furlong pole, on the turn the whole way, to around three from the finish.
The undulating nature of Catterick and its tightness around the turns make the venue very tricky for bigger, long-striding types. Instead, speedier, “racier” horses are favoured here and even more so when they can break fast and get to the front without expending too much energy.
While six-furlong sprints are staged on the turn, there is a five-furlong chute featuring only a slight dogleg. Races over the minimum trip are very fast, going downhill for the first couple of furlongs before then hitting the ridged straight.
Flat Track Analysis
Many a horse from so-called major yards has been beaten at short odds at Catterick.
That’s largely because they may have built their reputations on much more conventional tracks, while jockeys tend to feed back that Catterick has so many ridges and undulations that it can catch a visiting jockey or horse out easily.
Jockeys agree that tactical speed is needed. Those going forward tend to do best and big leads gained going into the straight will be hard to peg back.
As with the Flat course, the jumps track here is left-handed, still sharp and features this time smaller undulations.
Fences here don’t have a fearsome reputation in and of themselves, however given the nature of the track some runners do tend to go off at a fast pace which means there are still fallers, so what that jump will always be at an advantage.
Jumps Track Analysis
Yet again, National Hunt jockeys tend to say that what you need at Catterick is a horse with good tactical speed – a horse that can really “travel”.
As we’ve seen with other tight circuits in Britain, if you are off the bridle and having to jump a circuit’s worth of obstacles at Catterick then you basically have no chance, barring the bad luck of everything else in the race.
Front-runners or at least those willing to race prominently from the off tend to have an advantage, unless a couple have gone off too quick on rain-softened ground and/or something very well handicapped or special is further back in the pack.
Visiting Catterick Racecourse
Catterick is in a part of the country filled with history and beautiful open-air spaces. The advice is to get to the races at Catterick, but see other parts of North Yorkshire while you travel.
How to Get to Catterick
By road, you can get to Catterick Racecourse from the A1. The track is only around five miles south of Scotch Corner near Catterick Village. From both the north and south, come off at junction 52 and follow the signage to the track.
If you want to arrive by train, the nearest station is at Darlington. That however is 15 miles from the track, though there are bus services from the station to Richmond, meaning a taxi will be required from there (4 miles).
Where to Stay
Numerous rooms are available in hotels, B&B’s and rental properties in and around Catterick, Ripon, Thirsk, Richmond, Darlington and also Barnard Castle if you can see your way clear to get there.
Catterick Racecourse Fixtures
|Tuesday||19th Dec 2023||Afternoon||Jump / Turf|
|Thursday||28th Dec 2023||Afternoon||Jump / Turf|
Racing at Catterick
Catterick Racecourse is a busy old track. Across its Flat and National Hunt fixtures, some 28 meetings are scheduled yearly.
Catterick does get good support, owing in part to being situated within one of horse racing’s heartlands as well as being part of the Go Racing in Yorkshire initiative.
Around 17 Flat meetings and 11 National Hunt fixtures are on the calendar, including the very popular New Year’s Day meeting.
About Catterick Racecourse
There has been racing noted at Catterick Bridge since at least the mid-17th century. The first public meeting to be recorded was in April 1783, though a permanent course wasn’t installed until 1813.
Catterick today likes to keep a blend of the old and the new. The original framework of the 1906 stand is still evident in the main grandstand, though of course the structure has been modernised many times over since then.
Although Catterick race all year as a dual-purpose course, their focus is not on quantity but on the quality of its atmosphere. Known to be one of the friendliest racing venues in the country, Catterick remains well worth a visit.