Sedgefield Racecourse is a National Hunt venue situated near Sedgefield in County Durham.
The track is owned, much like nearby Newcastle, by ARC and stages a number of jumps fixtures throughout the season.
- Address – Sedgefield Racecourse, Racecourse Road, Sedgefield, County Durham, TS21 2HW.
- Owner – Arena Racing Company.
- TV Station – Sky Sports Racing.
- Type – National Hunt.
- Surface – Turf.
While not producing top-class racing, the course itself at Sedgefield is a lovely one.
A left-handed oval featuring undulations and quite sharp bends, Sedgefield has pretty easy fences for chasers with just one on the side of the course, two down the back and two in the home straight.
While the finish in the front of the stands is uphill, it isn’t too severe and doesn’t always mean stamina is too much to the fore.
The reasons for this are numerous. The bends are sharp enough that a speedy type is often more favoured overall than a scopey, long-striding type, while there is also a short run-in especially for hurdlers which means after landing there’s not enough time for the order of the race to significantly change before the post.
Regular riders at Sedgefield have tended to feed back that a quick jumper is required. The fences are regarded as pretty easy, so the speedier types are able to skip over them and keep their momentum going. This is especially true on quicker ground, which we do see during the warmer months here.
Clever jockeys tend to drift over to the stands rail in hurdle races when the ground is soft. As a punter however, we can’t predict that, so simply keep in mind that stamina naturally comes into play a little more on rain-softened ground.
Visiting Sedgefield Racecourse
Sedgefield caters for racegoers very well. As well as drifting around the course to check out the action, you can choose from the Pavilion Private Boxes, various restaurants and suites, or even the Centre Course on which you can bring a caravan to stay in.
How to Get to Sedgefield
Sedgefield is one of a number of racecourses visible from the A1. The track is a five-minute drive from junction 60 of the A1(M) and is well signposted all the way. All drivers should simply get onto the A1 and take this route.
By train, you can access Sedgefield from Darlington and Durham stations with both being around a 20-minute taxi ride away. Both stations are on the East Coast Mainline.
By air, the closest airport is Durham Tees Valley but routes there are very limited. You can fly into Newcastle Airport, then take a 35-minute drive or use the Metro from within the terminal to reach Newcastle Central Station, taking a train to Durham or Darlington.
Where to Stay
The track is 28 miles from Newcastle and 15 from Durham to the north and 15 miles from Hartlepool to the east. It is within easy driving distance to many other towns in and around County Durham, Teesside and Tyne & Wear, all of which offer plenty of hotels, B&B’s and rental properties.
Sedgefield Racecourse Fixtures
|Friday||8th Dec 2023||Afternoon||Jump / Turf|
|Tuesday||26th Dec 2023||Afternoon||Jump / Turf|
The Durham National
Though formerly run much earlier in the year and therefore later in the jumps season, the Durham National is now a popular autumn race at Sedgefield.
The race is staged in October and is run over 3 miles, 5 furlongs and there are some 24 fences to jump over the course of the race.
Prize money tends to be around the £25,000 mark and the Durham National is a Class 2 handicap chase for those rated 0-145, easily the best race staged at this track and a good one in its own right.
About Sedgefield Racecourse
There has been racing in the Sedgefield area since 1732 at least. It was much later however in 1846 that meetings here were made official.
Initially, a two-day fixture each March was staged until World War I while after that point more racing was staged including a hugely popular bank holiday meeting.
After a new company was founded to run the racecourse in 1927, fixtures increased at Sedgefield and slowly but surely the facilities were improved for racegoers over the years.
Sedgefield has been close to the brink on a number of occasions, often because of finances. In 2001 it was purchased by Northern Racing with over half a million pounds being invested by the company over the years.
Now under the stewardship of Arena Racing, Sedgefield sits within the same ownership stable as Bath, Brighton, Chepstow, Doncaster, Ffos Las, Fontwell, Hereford, Lingfield, Newcastle, Southwell, Uttoxeter, Windsor, Wolverhampton, Worcester and Yarmouth.