York Racecourse

York Racecourse, often referred to as the Knavesmire, after the area of land on which it was established in 1731, is situated southwest of York city centre. Originally a dual-purpose venue, National Hunt racing ceased in 1885 but, under the auspices of the York Racecourse Committee, the course has continued to flourish right up to the present day. Today, York Racecourse plays host to 16 Flat meetings between April and October.

 

Course Characteristics

The round course at York is left-handed, galloping oval, two miles in circumference, with a five-furlong home straight. The flatness and width of the racing surface, together with the sweeping turn into the straight, makes York one of the fairest racecourses in the country. The straight course, on which races up to six furlongs are run, shows no appreciable draw bias.

 

Track Facts

The longest priced winners of the John Smith’s Cup, run over 1 mile 2 furlongs and 88 yards in July, were Space King in 1964 and Achilles in 1999 (both 25/1).

The Juddmonte International Stakes, run over 1 mile 2 furlongs and 88 yards in August, is the most valuable race of the year at York.

The Juddmonte International Stakes was inaugurated as the Benson & Hedges Gold Cup in 1972. That year, Brigadier Gerard was defeated, for the one and only time in his career, by Roberto.

“Royal Ascot at York” replaced Royal Ascot during the redevelopment of the Berkshire track in 2005.

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