Redcar Racecourse is a Flat racing only venue in North Yorkshire. The track attracts crowds from the North Yorkshire coast, the Middlesbrough area from as far away as Leeds and Newcastle. The track was opened in 1872.
A summer racing venue, Redcar hosts a number of fixtures which are notably well supported by Yorkshireman and Newmarket trainer William Haggas.
The highlights, as well as the Zetland Gold Cup, are the track’s two Class A Listed contests, the Two Year Old Trophy and the Guisborough Stakes.
Redcar is part of the ‘Go Racing in Yorkshire’ initiative alongside Beverley, Catterick, Doncaster, Pontefract, Ripon, Thirsk, Wetherby and York.
- Address – Redcar Racecourse, Redcar, TS10 2BY.
- Owner – International Racecourse Management.
- TV Station – Racing TV.
- Type – Flat Racing.
- Surface – Turf.
Redcar is not only pretty tight, but is also a very narrow track, partly due to its proximity to many houses, shops and other buildings.
A left-handed track, the round course is around a mile and three quarters in length, though contests between five furlongs and a mile are staged on the straight track.
Though often listed as a perfectly flat course, in fact there are just one or two undulations at Redcar but nothing to worry jockeys, let alone punters.
The two bends are sharp, though the course is generally seen as being very fair so you won’t need a Chester style specialist there to be doing well. When conditions are particularly quick however, not too many will be coming from far back so front-runners can do well.
Jockeys to have ridden at Redcar have reported the increasingly uneven surface down the years, but that is compared to the fact that it was once completely flat so the undulations to have appeared there are still very minor indeed.
Some riders find the turns a little hard to navigate horses around, so as well as looking for the right type of horse, you may also want to find the right jockey. It’s not simply a matter of journey time when William Haggas for example jocks up Steve Donohoe or Danny Tudhope there rather than a Newmarket-based rider.
The straight is very long here. If one looks as though it’s got away – don’t panic! The complexion of the race can change several times in the last half-mile or so.
Visiting Redcar Racecourse
If you’re making a special trip to Redcar, then you can combine this with heading to one or more of the North Yorkshire coastal towns. Very nearby is Saltburn, while a little further down the coast will find extremely beautiful places such as Staithes, Robin Hood’s Bay and Whitby.
The track is friendly and well run, meaning that even on Redcar’s more ordinary day’s it is a racing day out to be recommended.
How to Get to Redcar
If you’re driving to Redcar races, these are the roads you need:
From Scarborough/the coast – head north up the A171 all the way to Redcar. From there, follow signs to the racecourse close to the centre of town.
From Middlesbrough – head east on the A66, then use the A1085 towards Redcar until you see signs for the track.
From Newcastle – use either the A19 or the A1 heading south then near Middlesbrough, take the A66 going east and follow the same instructions as above.
From Leeds – head north up the A1(M) until it links with the A19. Head north up the A19 until reaching the A174. Follow signs first to Redcar, then to the racecourse.
Where to Stay
Rooms are available in Redcar if you wish to be near the racecourse, though Middlesbrough provides a larger option and the North Yorkshire coastal towns provide some wonderful scenery for your stay.
If you’re heading in via train and taxi, then Newcastle is also just 50 miles away.
Best Races at Redcar
Redcar runs some pretty competitive races during the year, with decent novices and well handicapped types from Newmarket and Middleham often on show. In terms of status however, these races are the key yearly events at the track:
|Zetland Gold Cup||3yo+, Handicap, Class 2||1m2f||May|
|Champion Two Year Old Trophy||2yo Only, Listed Race||6f||September/October|
|Guisborough Stakes||3yo+, Listed Race||7f||September/October|
About Redcar Racecourse
Like so many coastal places, especially over in Ireland, racing at Redcar actually began on the beach.
Racing on the Redcar beach sands was known to have taken place in the early 1700’s in fact, with the final meeting there taking place in 1870.
Work began then on bringing racing more inland into the town and, in 1872, Redcar Racecourse as we know it now was opened up. A grandstand followed for watchers in 1876. The new building and course was a success and, from 1913 to 1923, Redcar Football Club also based itself at the racecourse.
Like many courses, Redcar was used during the First and Second World Wars as an army and airfield camp. After the War, the course was looking worse for wear but was revamped by Major Leslie Petch who managed it back to health.
An innovative period followed, with Redcar becoming the first British racecourse to have a timing clock, as well as the first to feature furlong posts. A new grandstand was built in 1964 and is still in use today.
After Major Petch departed, the Zetland family took over the running of the racecourse and it was Lord Zetland who introduced the now very well supported Two Year Old Trophy. Some top juveniles have won that race over the years including Group 1 sort Limato.
The Zetlands sold off part of the racecourse land to a supermarket chain and, in 1996, International Racecourse Management took over the racecourse on a permanent basis. Despite this, there is a link to the past with John Sanderson, Major Leslie Petch’s nephew, becoming racecourse chairman in 2018.
As mentioned, Newmarket trainer William Haggas sends horses to Redcar regularly and is probably the trainer to support the track best of all outside of the regular Yorkshire-based handlers.