The historic Yorkshire course of Doncaster, also referred to as Town Moor, dates back to the 16th century and is today recognized as one of the oldest horse racing centers in the English North. Doncaster hosts both the first and last turf meeting of the season, which begins with the Lincoln around late March, early April and comes to a dramatic close with the November Handicap towards the year’s end.
Racing here can be either flat or over the jumps but the two biggest fixtures in Doncaster’s calendar are the two annual Group 1 flat races, the Futurity Trophy Stakes and the fifth and final classic of the British flat-racing season the St Leger Stakes, named after Anthony St Leger, an army officer who established the race in 1776.
Over the winter, Doncaster also hosts some top-quality jump racing including five grade 2 races plus two hurdled handicaps, one of which, the Great Yorkshire Chase, was first run in 1948. Other races to look out for are the Great Yorkshire Chase and the Doncaster Cup, which is the world’s oldest classic horse race.
Doncaster Race Course History
Racing at Doncaster dates back to the 16th century and has thrived here ever since. Unlike other courses in the UK whose origins are more in tune royalty and the English upper classes, Doncaster has far more working class routes and, in fact, efforts were once made to shut down all racing at Town Moor. This was due to regulatory bodies becoming concerned that the races were attracting the wrong element and that too many “ruffians” were in attendance.
Doncaster’s love for horse racing won out, though, and ultimately the races survived. By 1614, plans for an official racecourse were drawn up by the local Corporation, who ran the course for over three hundred years. Today, the track is owned by Arena Leisure, who own a number of the UK tracks.
Doncaster Race Course track configuration
One of the fairest courses in the UK
Slight uphill gradient about a mile and a quarter from the finish
Doncaster race track bias
The highest stall is nearest to the stand’s side it used to create a strong bias for horses drawn high, especially in races more than 5f in length. While that is still slightly the case, this has been largely diluted in recent years. However, high drawn bias remains true in longer races up to a mile. Over 1m 2f on the round course, low draws, especially in big fields, have traditionally worked best.
Low numbers have also worked well when soft, so watch out when there’s a big field on the straight course. On faster ground, the draw doesn’t seem to make a lot of difference.
Doncaster race track best trainers
Doncaster is one of the busiest racecourses around, hosting meetings in all twelve months of the year. It is also one of the world’s oldest tracks and home to the world’s two oldest classic races so this is a track of high prestige.
Because of this, trainers from all over the world bring their horses to Town Moor to taste victory at this famous old course. But who has fared better here in recent years?
Doncaster Top Flat Trainers
- S bin Suroor (37.84% win rate)
- L M Cumani (29.27% win rate)
- R Varian (25.74% win rate)
- W J Haggas (21.13% win rate)
- D M Simcock (20.63% win rate)
Doncaster Top Jump Trainers
- Miss E C Lavelle (38.89% win rate)
- B I Case (31.58% win rate)
- N J Henderson (30.77% win rate)
- Ben Pauling (27.27% win rate)
- P F Nicholls (22.22% win rate)
Doncaster race track best Jockeys
Because of its busy schedule, Jockeys of both codes, flat and National Hunt, need to learn all the natural obstacle that the course can throw up. That being said, Doncaster is one of the more straightforward tracks in the UK. The ground drains well and is soft more often not, and the course generally said to be fair.
Still, it helps to know which jump jockeys and which flat jockeys have done better at Town Moor in the last few seasons.
Doncaster Top Flat Jockeys
- R L Moore (26.53% win rate)
- Andrea Atzeni (23.53% win rate)
- J P Spencer (20.2% win rate)
- W Buick (18.92% win rate)
- Jim Crowley (17.33% win rate)
Doncaster Top Jump Jockeys
- Max Kendrick (36.36% win rate)
- L P Aspell (29.17% win rate)
- David Bass (26.67% win rate)
- Nico de Boinville (26.32% win rate)
- W T Kennedy (25% win rate)
Doncaster racing season
Famous for showcasing horse racing of the highest order, Doncaster is undoubtedly one of the finest and prominent race tracks in Europe, with facilities to match. The season here runs from January to December, covering both flat and jump racing as part of their 36 event calendar. Doncaster is home to two of the World’s oldest horse races, the Doncaster Cup and the St Leger Stakes as well as a further group one race the Futurity Trophy Stakes.
There are also five other Grade 2 races as well as seasonal highlights such as the Lincoln Handicap and the Great Yorkshire Chase which are run over the flat course. The Racing Post Trophy in October is the last Group 1 race of the British flat season, which also opens at Doncaster with the Lincoln Handicap in the spring. Doncaster then brings the curtain down on the British flat season with the November Handicap.
Doncaster race track stakes and Graded Stakes calendar for 2019
Wednesday 9th January 2019 – Jump – Afternoon – Turf
Friday 25th January 2019 – Jump – Afternoon – Turf
Saturday 26th January 2019 – Great Yorkshire Chase – Jump – Afternoon – Turf
Thursday 7th February 2019 – Jump – Afternoon – Turf
Wednesday 20th February 2019 – Jump – Afternoon – Turf
Friday 1st March 2019 – Jump – Afternoon – Turf
Saturday 30th March 2019 – Lincoln Handicap – Flat – Afternoon – Turf
Sunday 31st March 2019 – Flat – Afternoon – Turf
Friday 26th April 2019 – Flat – Afternoon – Turf
Saturday 27th April 2019- Flat – Evening – Turf
Saturday 4th May 2019 – Flat – Evening – Turf
Saturday 18th May 2019 – Flat – Evening – Turf
Friday 31st May 2019 – Flat – Evening – Turf
Saturday 1st June 2019 – Flat – Afternoon – Turf
Sunday 16th June 2019 – Flat – Afternoon – Turf
Friday 28th June 2019 – Flat – Afternoon – Turf|
Saturday 29th June 2019 – Flat – Evening – Turf
Friday 5th July 2019 – Flat – Afternoon – Turf
Thursday 11th July 2019 – Flat – Afternoon – Turf
Saturday 20th July 2019 – Flat – Evening – Turf
Thursday 25th July 2019 – Flat – Evening – Turf
Saturday 3rd August 2019 – Flat – Afternoon – Turf
Saturday 17th August 2019 – Flat – Afternoon – Turf
Wednesday 11th September 2019 – Flat – Afternoon – Turf
Thursday 12th September 2019 – Flat – Afternoon – Turf
Friday 13th September 2019 – Doncaster Cup – Flat – Afternoon – Turf
Saturday 14th September 2019 – St Leger Stakes – Flat – Afternoon – Turf
Friday 25th October 2019 – Flat – Afternoon – Turf
Saturday 26th October 2019 – The Futurity Trophy – Flat – Afternoon – Turf
Saturday 9th November 2019 – November Handicap – Flat – Afternoon – Turf
Friday 29th November 2019 – Jump – Afternoon – Turf
Saturday 30th November 2019 – Jump – Afternoon – Turf
Friday 13th December 2019 – Jump – Afternoon – Turf
Saturday 14th December 2019 – Jump – Afternoon – Turf
Sunday 29th December 2019 – Jump – Afternoon – Turf
Doncaster Race Course address and website
Doncaster Racecourse, Leger Way,
Doncaster, DN2 6BB, United Kingdom