The historic city of York has form with racing that goes all the way to Roman times, during the reign of Emperor Severus over 2,000 years ago. Organised horse racing is recorded from the 1700s forward and it continues to this day at the legendary York Racecourse.
On this page we’re going to tell you what’s on offer at York, and give you everything you need to know for a day’s visit there. We’ll touch on everything from entertainment options to dress code, how to bet and how the industry is regulated in 2020.
York Racecourse today
On the same site that races were run over three centuries ago now stands the modern York Racecourse. The venue pulls in more than 350,000 fans every year to a huge calendar of flat track horse racing meets.
Of the UK’s premier tracks, only Ascot averages a greater prize pot per meeting than York. Fans can be accommodated in a number of impressive stands, including the Melrose Stand, the Knavesmire Stand and the Ebor Stand. These go along with the historic grandstand.
Famous meetings and festivals at York
Among the most famous horse races regularly held at York are the following:
- Dante Stakes
- Ebor Handicap
- International Stakes
- Nanthorpe Stakes
In terms of the regular festival events, look out for the Dante Festival in May, the John Smith’s Cup meeting in July, and the Yorkshire Ebor Festival in August. If you would like to combine passions for horse racing and music, then the Music Showcase Weekend in July would be perfect for you.
Can I bet real money at York Racecourse?
Yes you can, and that’s of course one of the main draws for fans attending the meets. Betting on horse racing is fully legal in the UK, providing you are aged 18 and the venue in question is licensed to provide gambling.
York Racecourse is fully licensed for this purpose and all bookmakers on site have the right to offer real money online betting for your pleasure. This industry is regulated by the UK Gambling Commission to ensure a good and fair service at all times.
How do I place a bet at York Racecourse?
You’ll find betting kiosks set up all over the venue for this very purpose. All you need do is visit one of these locations, choose you bet and fill out a betting slip to detail your stake and your chosen wager. It’s then simply a case of waiting to see whether your horse comes in or not!
You don’t even need to be at the track to bet. You can place a wager at a bookmaker elsewhere, or even online at an online sports betting website. If you want the full experience, however, we would absolutely recommend being right there as the result of your bet plays out on the track in front of you.
What kinds of bets can I place?
You’ll find a more detailed page about online betting on sports right here (insert link), but for the purpose of this summary we’ll look at the most popular types of bets to be made at York Racecourse. These are as follows:
- A bet to win involves picking a horse you think will come first in a given race. The odds of that horse winning determine your pay out should it eventually prevail, with the greater the odds, the more you stand to win. If you put £10 on a horse at 10-1, for example, you would win £100 plus your stake back if that came to pass.
- An each-way bet is where you’re betting on two things at the same time. Part of your stake goes towards a win, while the other part goes towards a “place” bet, where you are banking on your horse coming with a set number places of a win. You get paid more if your horse wins, but you still stand to be up if it comes close to a win.
- An accumulator bet is where you’re wagering on more than one race on the same slip. An example would be betting on three horses to win three races. Your odds are multiplied as the likelihood of picking all three winners is slim, but the pay off is higher as a result. Punters enjoy accumulators as you can win big amounts for a relatively small stake.
What’s the dress code at York Racecourse?
There is no strictly enforced dress code for the main areas, but tradition calls for wearing smart clothes and such items as t-shirts bearing slogans are not really acceptable. If you happen to be in the upmarket County Stand, gentlemen are required to wear shirt and tie. They make a point of suggesting you complete that look with suitably formal trousers and jacket.
How do I buy tickets for York Racecourse?
We would advise that you buy tickets in advance to ensure you get in the stand you want and benefit from any group discount that may be available. It’s possible to buy them on the day too, but we’d stress arriving early to avoid disappointment.
What’s on offer in terms of food and drinks?
There’s a great selection of restaurants and bars to enjoy at the track. They have six superb dining options, some of which may require booking in advance and come as part of a package for your day’s entertainment. If you really want to go for it, why not book a box and restaurant package for your group.
Would you recommend a day out at York?
It’s one for your bucket list in our opinion. York Racecourse is a stunning venue for a day out and has everything you could possibly need to enjoy the full horse racing experience.