Welcome to our official guide to Doncaster Racecourse. In this section we explore this superb flat and jumping racecourse in detail, looking at its history, the big races, a guide to the track, hotel picks, fixture list, travel information, betting guides and even the weather!
- 1 Overview
- 2 Racecourse History
- 3 Main Races and Events
- 4 Doncaster Racecourse Map
- 5 Doncaster Racecourse Address
- 6 How To Get To Doncaster Racecourse
- 7 Hotels near Doncaster Racecourse
- 8 Best Doncaster Races Betting Sites
- 9 Betting Shops Local to Doncaster Racecourse
- 10 Doncaster Race Fixtures Upcoming
- 11 Doncaster Racecourse Weather
- 12 Other Events
- 13 Summary
- 14 Other racecourses
One of nine racing courses in Yorkshire, Doncaster is one of the oldest and (in terms of audience capacity) largest racecourses in the UK! Also known as the Town Moor Course, Doncaster or ‘Donny’, if you’re local, is home to two of Britain’s thirty-six annual Group 1 flat races.
Doncaster Racecourse comprises a left-handed, pear-shaped track that measures approximately 1 mile and 7 ½ furlongs, mainly entirely flat (with main races including the Lincoln Handicap and St Leger) but also with facilities for National Hunt racing (main races including the Yorkshire Chase).
It hosts 36 racing meetings a year and starts and ends the flat season, as well as being one of South Yorkshire’s most popular events venues.
Having enjoyed a £34million redevelopment in recent years, the course now boasts an impressive five-storey grandstand alongside a myriad of hospitality, conferencing and family facilities to really make its mark on the map.
With a stabling capacity of 147 horses and having won the title of BetView Racecourse of the Year in 2013 alongside the RCA Showcase Award for Operational Excellence the year before, Doncaster is well-considered amongst owners and trainers and is known for its customer service team who strive to meet (and exceed) the needs of all attendees.
The town of Doncaster boasts some of the oldest records of race meetings in the country, dating back to the 16th Century, with a map of nearby Town Moor showing a crude track as far back as 1595. In 1600, the local authorities attempted to discourage and bracing from the area because of the amount of ‘undesirables’ it attracted, but less than a decade later they admitted failure and instead began planning for a formal racecourse to take shape.
Indeed, even today, Doncaster Racecourse hosts two of the world’s oldest races: The Doncaster Cup and The St Leger Stakes.
Whilst The Doncaster Cup was first run in 1766 over Cantley Common and is the oldest continuing regulated horse race on the planet! It forms one part of Britain’s Stayers Triple Crown for long-distance running horses along with the Goodwood Cup and the Ascot Gold Cup. The St Leger Stakes was founded back in 1776 by Captain Anthony St Leger, with five horses competing, remaining the world’s oldest classic horse race still today and the final leg of UK triple crown (with the Guineas and Derby).
During the first world war, however, Doncaster was closed to house military personnel, and so replacement races were run at Newmarket Racecourse for three years.
Doncaster continued to make history and in 1992 held the first Sunday race meeting in the UK. Over 23,000 people attended, despite there being no betting to partake in! The racecourse continues to thrive as a multi-purpose venue and is now owned by the Arena Racing Company, who are the largest operator of racing venues in the UK.
Main Races and Events
The most important races in the Doncaster Racecourse calendar are, as above, the Doncaster Cup and The St Leger Stakes (Group 1). Both are currently sponsored by Betfair and run in September.
The four day St Leger Festival attracts racegoers from all over the country and further afield, and is recognised as the Autumn’s premier sporting occasion. The leading jockey at St Leger is Bill Scott, who has won 8 times, and the leading trainer John Scott, who has won 16. As the last of the classic races to take place in the year, it marks the end of the summer flat racing season in the UK.
Other main races throughout the year include the Lincoln Handicap, The Racing Post Trophy and Yorkshire chase.
Doncaster Racecourse Map
Doncaster is known as a fair galloping track, with both a straight mile course (which the Lincoln Handicap is run over) and a round mile. It is essentially a two-mile circuit with a climb and descent down the back straight over what is known as Rose Hill. The track is known to drain well which is why it’s able to hold race meetings throughout the whole year.
Doncaster Racecourse Address
How To Get To Doncaster Racecourse
- By car – Doncaster Racecourse offers free parking across all car parks on non-racedays and paid-for parking on racedays. It boasts excellent road links to the M1, M18 and M62 and is easy to find by car.
- Shuttle bus – a shuttle bus runs from the Doncaster Interchange rail station race days and major coach companies offer seasonal services from all over the UK.
- By Air – The Doncaster-Sheffield Robin Hood Airport is less than seven miles from the racecourse and is served by plenty of UK internal flights, so there’s plenty of scope for those facing a longer journey to arrive easily.
Hotels near Doncaster Racecourse
Although Donny is a town and not a city, it’s a fairly big one and there’s plenty of accommodation options in the nearby area. Budget options include:
- The Ramada Jarvis
- Best Western
- Premier Inn
- Hilton Garden Inn (literally on the racecourse and our fav pick),
- Rossington Hall
- Owston Hall
Doncaster also has lots of serviced apartments, so why not extend your stay for a proper explore around the local area away from the racecourse too? Checking out Booking.com below for a whole range of options:
Best Doncaster Races Betting Sites
At British Racecourses we often recommend betting online and via apps. This is because you can often get the best odds, great offers when signing up and you can place bets quickly and safely without having to queue. If you are looking to bet online we recommend the following great deals for new customers:
Betting Shops Local to Doncaster Racecourse
Betting facilities within the racecourse include Tote options and independent bookmakers close to the track and parade ring. You’ll find all of the main betting brands in the town centre, though – with branches of:
- William Hill
Doncaster Racecourse is particularly friendly to first-time race-goers and those that haven’t bet on the horses before, so if you’d like to have a flutter but don’t understand the ins and outs, read the guides on their website for more info.
Doncaster Race Fixtures Upcoming
- Sun, 14th June, 2020
- Fri, 26th June, 2020
- Sat, 27th June, 2020 (E)
- Fri, 3rd July, 2020
- Thu, 9th July, 2020
- Sat, 18th July, 2020 (E)
- Thu, 23rd July, 2020 (E)
- Sat, 1st August, 2020
- Sat, 15th August, 2020
- Wed, 9th September, 2020
- Thu, 10th September, 2020
- Fri, 11th September, 2020
- Sat, 12th September, 2020
- Fri, 23rd October, 2020
- Sat, 24th October, 2020
- Sat, 7th November, 2020
- Fri, 27th November, 2020
- Sat, 28th November, 2020
- Fri, 11th December, 2020
- Sat, 12th December, 2020
- Tue, 29th December, 2020
Doncaster Racecourse Weather
Punters and race-goers love to keep up with the weather to predict going conditions, as well as making sure what they wear is suitable. Here’s the current weather forecast for Doncaster:
With a jam-packed calendar of 36 races, there’s always something on at Doncaster! Other notable races include the Great Yorkshire Chase, the Doncaster Mile Chase, the Vertem Futurity Trophy and the November Handicap. The course also hosts a variety of charity and themed race days – including one based around gin and prosecco, for a boozy brunch and day out!
Doncaster Racecourse is very much a full events venue and also offers lots of music gigs and themed parties year-round.
Doncaster is a wonderful racecourse, steeped in both history yet forward-looking, the course is stunning, hosts top-class racing and boasts brilliant customer service. A fair galloping track, which opens and closes the flat season, it is a jewel in Yorkshire’s crowd and is well worth a visit at any time of the year. We love Donnie!
Our team as of February 2021 have reviewed these racecourse that are definitely worth a visit:
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