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Doncaster Racecourse

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1851 engraving
1851 engraving
Doncaster Racecourse Grandstand
Doncaster Racecourse Grandstand
Doncaster Racecourse
Doncaster Racecourse

Doncaster Racecourse (also known as the Town Moor course) is a racecourse in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England. It hosts two of Great Britain's 36 annual Group 1 flat races, the St Leger Stakes and the Racing Post Trophy.

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Doncaster is one of the oldest (and in terms of physical capacity – largest) established centres for horse racing in Britain, with records of regular race meetings going back to the 16th century. A map of 1595 already shows a racecourse at Town Moor.[1] In 1600 the corporation tried to put an end to the races because of the number of ruffians they attracted, but by 1614 it acknowledged failure and instead marked out a racecourse.

Doncaster is home to two of the World's oldest horse races: –

The Doncaster Cup

The earliest important race in Doncaster's history was the Doncaster Gold Cup, first run over Cantley Common in 1766. The Doncaster Cup is the oldest continuing regulated horse race in the world. Together with the 2 miles (3,200 m) Goodwood Cup and 2 12 miles (4,000 m) Ascot Gold Cup, the Doncaster Cup is part of Britain's Stayers' Triple Crown for horses capable of running longer distances.

The St Leger Stakes

Ten years later the Racecourse moved to its present location and in 1776 Colonel Anthony St. Leger founded a race in which five horses ran. This race has remained in existence and become the world's oldest classic horse race. During the first world war the racecourse was used for military purposes and substitute races were run at Newmarket from 1915 to 1918.

Doncaster has the distinction of both starting and ending the flat season on turf. Every September, Doncaster hosts the prestigious four-day William Hill St. Leger Festival, which is acclaimed as the premier sporting occasion of the Autumn calendar. Doncaster has also taken over events whose traditional homes have closed, such as the Lincoln Cup in 1965. More history was made at Doncaster in 1992 when it staged the first ever Sunday meeting on a British racecourse. A crowd of 23,000 turned up despite the absence of betting.

The racecourse is used for other functions. It regularly hosts conventions such as the Tattoo Festival and business meetings such as Doncaster Dynamites BNI every Wednesday. The current membership committee of that BNI chapter comprises local Doncaster business people Michael Reeder, Ailsa Watson, James Criddle, Mark Appleyard, Jason Cole, Ian Smith and Andrew Isaacs.

Today the St. Leger Stakes remains the world's oldest Classic Horse Race and features in the Horse Racing calendar as the fifth and final Classic of the British Flat racing season. This takes place every September.


Doncaster is a left-handed, pear-shaped track of around 1 mile 7½ furlongs which is mostly flat. There are courses for Flat racing and National Hunt racing. The racecourse is easily accessible by road, railway and air.

Notable races

Month DOW Race Name Type Grade Distance Age/Sex
January Saturday Great Yorkshire Chase Chase Handicap 3m 5yo +
January Saturday Doncaster Mares' Hurdle Hurdle Grade 2 2m 110y 4yo + m
January Saturday River Don Novices' Hurdle Hurdle Grade 2 3m 110y 4yo +
January Saturday Lightning Novices' Chase Chase Grade 2 2m 110y 5yo +
March Saturday Grimthorpe Handicap Chase Chase Handicap 3m 2f 5yo +
March Saturday Brocklesby Stakes Flat Conditions 5f 2yo only
March Saturday Cammidge Trophy Flat Listed 6f 3yo+
March Saturday Doncaster Mile Stakes Flat Listed 1m 4yo +
March Saturday Lincoln Handicap Flat Handicap 1m 4yo +
September Friday Flying Scotsman Stakes Flat Conditions 7f 2yo only
September Wednesday Scarbrough Stakes Flat Conditions 5f 2yo+
September Thursday Sceptre Stakes Flat Group 3 7f 3yo + f
September Thursday Park Hill Stakes Flat Group 2 1m 6f 132y 3yo + f
September Friday Flying Childers Stakes Flat Group 2 5f 2yo only
September Friday Doncaster Cup Flat Group 2 2m 2f 3yo +
September Friday May Hill Stakes Flat Group 2 1m 2yo only f
September Saturday St. Leger Stakes Flat Group 1 1m 6f 132y 3yo only
September Saturday Champagne Stakes Flat Group 2 7f 2yo only
September Saturday Portland Handicap Flat Handicap 5f 140y 3yo +
September Saturday Park Stakes Flat Group 2 7f 3yo +
October Saturday Vertem Futurity Trophy Flat Group 1 1m 2yo only
November Saturday November Handicap Flat Handicap 1m 4f 3yo +
December Saturday Summit Juvenile Hurdle Hurdle Grade 2 2m 110y 3yo only
December Saturday December Novices' Chase Chase Grade 2 3m 4yo +

Other races


  1. ^ Barrett 1995, p. 8.


  • Barrett, Norman, ed. (1995). The Daily Telegraph Chronicle of Horse Racing. Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Publishing. |access-date= requires |url= (help)

External links

This page was last edited on 5 January 2019, at 09:29
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