Donaster Racecourse

The history of Doncaster Racecourse, in South Yorkshire, can be traced back to 1614, when the local corporation acknowledged its failure to ban horseracing and, instead, marked out a racecourse. The fifth and oldest Classic, the St. Leger, was first run on Town Moor in 1778 and, nowadays, forms the highlight of the four-day St. Leger Festival in September each year. In recent years, Doncaster Racecourse has undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment and is, in every way, a modern racecourse. It is also the busiest turf racecourse in the country, staging a total of 35 Flat and National Hunt fixtures throughout the year.

 

Course Characteristics

The round course at Doncaster is left-handed, galloping, flat track, approximately one mile and seven furlongs around and pear-shaped, with the winning post at the tapered end. The lack of pronounced undulations, the width of the track and the 4½-furlong home straight make Doncaster one of the fairest racecourses in the country. Over Jumps, there are eleven, fairly stiff fences, or seven flights of hurdles, per circuit and a run-in of just over a furlong. Excellent drainage means that the going at Doncaster rarely comes up testing, even in the depths of winter.

 

Track Facts

Doncaster officially opens the Flat season with the Lincoln Handicap in March and officially closes it with the November Handicap.

The Lincoln Handicap, formerly the Lincolnshire Handicap, was transferred to Doncaster following the closure of Lincoln racecourse in 1965.

In 1992, Doncaster hosted the first ever Sunday meeting held on a British racecourse.

Lester Piggott won the St. Leger eight times during his career, but still isn’t the most successful jockey in the history of the race; that distinction belongs to William “Bill” Scott, who won the St. Leger nine times in the mid-19th century.

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