Thirsk Racecourse is situated in the wonderful old cobbled market town of Thirsk, North Yorkshire, forever immortalised as ‘Darrowby’ in the literary works of the World’s most famous veterinary author, James Herriot; who, interestingly, occasionally found himself detailed to work at the Racecourse on racedays!
The Thirsk Racecourse facilities have benefited from huge and widespread investment over the past few years, not least the latest edition of the new Owners & Trainers facility, The Chestnut Room.
Numerous options to partake in light (or not so light!) refreshments are spread far and wide around the Racecourse. Experience fine dining a la carte in the historic Hambleton Dining Room; or Dine & View in style in the luxuriously appointed Thomas Lord Restaurant. Savour a delicious seafood platter with fine champagne in their new bar ‘The Shrimp’; or grab some delicious Yorkshire fish & chips outside the James Herriot Hall, with the new Haddock in the Paddock Package. There really is something to suit every pallet and every pocket!
Renowned for its beautifully maintained paddock, Thirsk Racecourse has an idyllic country charm about it, yet it is a thoroughly modern venue with outstanding facilities; not least free Wi-Fi for everyone! Thirsk is ever popular across the generations and really is suitable for anyone, from the most seasoned racing ‘nut’ to the first time racegoer.
In 2019, Thirsk stages 16 days of fabulous, competitive flat racing between April and September and the season gets off to a big start on 13th April with the first of its Saturday afternoon meetings launching proceedings. We have five more Saturday meetings to enjoy, including The historic Thirsk Hunt Cup which is back after its transfer to Wetherby Racecourse last year. Another Saturday favourite is the ever popular Irish Day in May, the fantastic William Hill Thirsk Summer Cup in August and of course – Ladies’ Day on Saturday 7th September.
Race forward to the summer months where there are more opportunities to enjoy the exciting Thirsk action from among the charming and beautiful surrounds of one of the country’s prettiest racecourses. These include: Tuesday 18th June, featuring all the Royal Ascot action (broadcast live in-between each Thirsk race); An evening in support of The ABF The Soldiers Charity on Saturday 11th May; the Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival comes to Thirsk on Friday 26th July; and the summer highlight – The William Hill Thirsk Summer Cup Day, which will be run on Saturday 4th August.
Encouraging families to make the most of the ‘kids go free’ value on offer, the Summer Cup Day action is rapidly followed by some wonderful Family Days, complete with lots of fun to keep the children entertained through the summer holidays and include the James Herriot All Creatures Great & Small Family Day on Friday 9th August; and Pirates Family Day on Friday 30th August.
But, we save the best ‘til last! A frenzy of fashion awaits, with the famed annual Thirsk Ladies’ Day on Saturday 7th September. And what a day this is – where fashion meets the flat and the girls (and boys) never disappoint! Colour, champagne, hats, competitions, flirting and fun define this fabulous occasion and is one of the highlights of the North Yorkshire social calendar. It’s the day we all look forward to all season long and tickets sell fast, so be sure to book yours now!
A warm welcome awaits you at Thirsk in 2019 – where the racing, facilities and friendly staff will make your visit a winning one, whatever the outcome on the track itself, you’ll enjoy your day with us at Thirsk Races.
totepool Thirsk Hunt Cup Day – Saturday 4th May
Irish Day – Saturday 18th June
totepool Thirsk Summer Cup – Saturday 3rd August
Ladies’ Day – Saturday 7th September.
Racing on the present site at Thirsk began on 15 March 1855 on what was then the Thirsk Hall Estate of Squire Frederick Bell, and indeed remains in the Bell Family to this day. Royal patronage was first welcomed at Thirsk in 1895 when the Prince of Wales – the future King Edward VII – attended the autumn meeting, for which a special grandstand was built as the Royal Pavilion, which stood on the Racecourse for some thirty years. Thirsk Racecourse is also a ‘Classic’ venue having staged the 1940 renewal of the St. Leger Stakes (the world’s oldest classic race) which was won by the Aga Khan’s Turkham and ridden by the greatest jockey of that era, Sir Gordon Richards.
Apart from James Herriot, Thirsk has another very accomplished son in Thomas Lord, who was born there in 1755. An accomplished cricketer himself, Lord founded the world’s most famous cricket ground, Lord’s. His old house in Thirsk is now the Town Museum.