It’s time to dress to impress as Catterick Racecourse prepares for Ladies’ Day on Wednesday 28 August. Amongst the racing action, there will be fashion competitions, live music and complimentary cocktails!

The gates open at 12.20pm on Wednesday 28 August and racegoers will be keen to arrive early as the first 100 ladies to visit the Yorkshire Dales Distillery stand will be treated to a complimentary Rhubarb Gin or Bramble Berry Gin cocktail on arrival.

The first race gets under starters orders at 2.20pm, while the feature race, the Ernest Norris (1919 – 1992) Memorial Handicap Stakes is scheduled for 3.50pm.

In between races, racegoers can enjoy live music performed by Elena Larkin, a 21-year old singer-songwriter from Hartlepool and the fashion stakes are high as ladies (and gents!) have the chance to take part in fashion competitions during the afternoon and be in with the chance of winning some fabulous prizes!

Firstly, the Best Dressed Lady on the day will win a £500 voucher for a bespoke La Fille Rouge outfit of their choice. Based on a farm near Northallerton, Yvonne at La Fille Rouge makes bespoke and unique clothing, using 100% wool tweed from a Yorkshire based mill. In addition, the Best Dressed Lady will be given the opportunity to represent Catterick at the Go Racing in Yorkshire Grand Final in Doncaster on Saturday 26 October.

Kindly sponsored by the Secret Spa, near Bedale, the lady wearing the Best Hat on the day will receive a couple’s spa package worth £130 which includes two and a half hours private use of all the facilities which opened in September 2018.

Finally, there’s a new addition to the fashion programme this year as racegoers are invited to enter the Best Dressed Couple competition for a chance to win a voucher for a two-course dinner for two people at The Black Bull Inn, Moulton.

Emma Binnian, Sales & Marketing Manager said: “The style stakes are always high when it comes to Ladies’ Day; we’re very grateful to our sponsors for offering some wonderful prizes and are looking forward to seeing the fashions this year!”

With the meeting falling in the last week of the school holidays, it’s worth noting that there will be free children’s entertainment in the Course Enclosure during the afternoon and remember accompanied under 18’s race free at all of Catterick’s fixtures!

Adult tickets start at just £5 for the Course Enclosure, or £15 for the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure. Tickets are available to purchase on the day, while advanced booking discounts are available online on

There is a free shuttle bus which brings racegoers to the racecourse from Richmond Market Place. The bus leaves approximately one hour before the first race and will return after the last race.

Statue of Racing Legend to be unveiled at York

A statue of racing legend, Lester Piggott, will be unveiled at York Racecourse on the opening day of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival, Wednesday 21 August.

Though born in Wantage, the Piggott family trace their roots back to the north and the eleven time champion jockey often described York as his favourite track.

It was also a successful venue for the man often known as “the Long Fellow”; with five victories in the Group One Juddmonte International, four in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks and seven in the fastest race of the season, the Coolmore Nunthorpe, all forming part of a career total of 4,493 wins.

The life size bronze, by sculptor William Newton, will be set in front of the Edwardian Weighing Room; the base for his rides on great horses such as Dahlia and Rodrigo de Triano.

The statue was commissioned by David and Christopher St George for whose family Piggott rode many top-class horses including dual Gold Cup at Royal Ascot winner Ardross, a fine stayer that also brought two Yorkshire Cups his way.

Racing journalist and broadcaster Brough Scott reported on the many highs of a career that saw winners spread over six decades and has been a key part of the project to see a permanent memory of Piggott on display at nine courses around the country, he said; ”Lester loved York, the crowd understood a good horse and a good ride, generous in their praise and astute in any criticism. Bringing home Jupiter Island as a 9/1 winner of the Ebor went down well in these parts”.

With the man himself due to be in attendance, it will be a pleasant duty for York Racecourse Chairman, Lord Grimthorpe, to unveil the statue; he commented, “as well as the many pattern race successes Lester enjoyed here, I have fond memories of the summer of ’69 when he partnered My Swannee to victories in a brace of traditionally competitive Knavesmire Handicaps, including the  Magnet Cup of that year”.

VRC and York in Global Partnership

The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) and York Racecourse are to celebrate their close ties with the announcement of a new exciting initiative to further cement their global partnership.

The VRC will provide the winning connections of the £1 million Sky Bet Ebor Handicap with a once-in-a-lifetime experience for two to the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival. The package includes business class flights, accommodation and money-can’t-buy invitations to special events during Cup Week in Melbourne.

Similarly, York will conduct a public raffle throughout the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival to raise funds for local re-training and re-homing racehorse charity New Beginnings, with the star prize being a once-in-a-lifetime trip for two to Melbourne to enjoy the thrill of Cup Week racing.

The VRC’s celebrated Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour will visit York for the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival on 21-24 August as part of the iconic trophy’s annual journey across Australia and the globe.

VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott and the Cup will be there to officially mark the new partnership and present the winners with their prizes alongside York Racecourse.

Mrs Elliott said she was delighted to strengthen the VRC’s bond with York Racecourse and the Sky Bet Ebor Handicap.

“The Melbourne Cup Carnival and the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival are both icons of world racing, and our relationship has always been a strong one,” Mrs Elliott said

“The Ebor Handicap has built a reputation as an important international pathway to the Lexus Melbourne Cup.

“Four of the past five Ebor Handicap winners have gone on to run with tremendous credit in the Cup and we hope to see the 2019 winner at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.”

Mrs Elliott also said the experiences on offer were like no other.

“It is hard to describe the atmosphere at Flemington on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day.

“I’m delighted that four people will get to experience the magic of Cup Week and I thank York Racecourse Chairman Lord Grimthorpe and York Racecourse Chief Executive William Derby for embracing this global partnership between York and the VRC so enthusiastically.”

Chairman of York Racecourse, Lord Grimthorpe, said, “The Lexus Melbourne Cup and Sky Bet Ebor are both steeped in history and heritage and are central to very special weeks in the global racing calendar.

“For the connections of the winning horse in the Sky Bet Ebor to experience Flemington and Melbourne during Cup Week will provide a memory for a lifetime. Similarly, the lucky winner of the New Beginnings raffle will have an amazing reward for their support of a fantastic local equine charity.

“The links between the VRC and York were already strong, yet this initiative takes the partnership to a new level. I am grateful to Victoria Racing Club Chairman Amanda Elliott and her team at the VRC for all their support and we look forward to welcoming them and the Lexus Melbourne Cup to York for the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival next week.”