Catterick Racecourse is a dual purpose track one mile north west of the hamlet of Catterick Bridge in North Yorkshire. It is just five miles south of Scotch Corner just off the A1. Road travellers should exit at Junction 52 and follow signs to the racecourse. Darlington Railway Station is 15 miles from the track. There is a regular bus service to Richmond with a free shuttle bus from the town centre on race days.
Catterick is a sharp, left handed track of just over a mile. It is an undulating course with a downhill run in of three furlongs. The course benefits from a gravel subsoil which usually provides good racing ground. The nature of the track lends itself to the smaller, speed horses rather than long striding immature animals. It is a very difficult course on which to make up lost ground, over fences and on the level. Previous course form is well worth considering for your Catterick betting tips.
The best horse racing tips for Catterick today should certainly take the draw into account. There is a slight draw bias in favour of low numbers in six furlong races on good ground. This changes dramatically as the going gets softer with high numbers favoured.
Catterick Horse Racing History
Racing first took place at Catterick on 22nd April 1783 with a permanent course being established thirty years’ later. The stand was built in 1906 after several cottages were demolished to make way for it. It has been upgraded since but still retains its original design features.
The Catterick Racecourse Company was created in 1923 to develop and improve facilities at the track. In 1962, Willie Carson rode his very first winner aboard Pinker’s Pond in a seven furlong apprentice handicap here. He would go on to be Champion Jockey on five occasions and ride nearly 4,000 winners.
Another jockey to ride his first winner at Catterick was popular jump jockey Ridley Lamb. He won on White Speck in 1971 and would go on to win the 1987 Cheltenham Gold Cup aboard The Thinker. In 2015, Catterick gained planning permission to create a floodlit all-weather track and alter the layout of the existing National Hunt course.
Catterick Bridge Meetings
Catterick stages a mixture of flat and National Hunt meetings throughout year. It is regarded as one of the friendliest racecourses to visit in the UK with a relaxed and informal atmosphere. There are eighteen flat meetings, opening with the Easter Family Day at the start of April. Summer events include The Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival in July and a Ladies’ Evening in August. There are also Family Days and a Go Racing In Yorkshire Winter Festival. The course also hosts the first meeting of the New Year in Yorkshire on New Years’ Day.
The richest race currently held at the venue is the £30,000 Catterick Dash in October. The Dash is the feature race on the richest day’s racing of the season with £80,000 on offer across the seven races. It is the penultimate flat race meeting before the jumping gets under way towards the end of the month.
The most important jumps race held here is the North Yorkshire Grand National in January. It is the longest and most valuable National Hunt race at Catterick with prize money of £26,000. It is over three and three-quarter miles and the winner receives the Denys Smith Memorial Trophy. Smith trained Red Alligator to win the 1968 Grand National and trained 146 winners at Catterick during his career.
Famous Races and Racehorses at Catterick
Alan Swinbank’s Collier Hill won on his racecourse debut at Catterick in March 2002. The son of Dr Devious had originally been stabled at John Gosden’s Newmarket yard but eventually made his debut in a bumper. His victory prompted Swinbank to run him on the flat where he progressed from being a 58-rated handicapper to a three times Group 1 winner. His victories included the 2005 Irish St Leger, 2006 Canadian International and the 2006 Hong Kong Vase.
In 2006, Mighty Moon won a mile and three-quarters handicap at Catterick by 27 lengths. It was a record winning margin in Britain and Ireland for a flat race handicap until Allegio won by 33 lengths at Cork in 2016. The handicapper raised Mighty Moon 24lbs in the weights and he could finish only sixth of eight at Lingfield next time.
Grand National winning Trainer Sue Smith features among our Catterick racing tips. She won the North Yorkshire Grand National for three successive seasons with Lackamon (2016), Straidnahanna (2017) and I Just Know (2018). Lackamon’s victory was also notable for being the stable’s 1,000th winner under rules.
Straidnahanna and I Just Know both carried the colours of South Yorkshire farmer Ray Scholey and his wife Margaret. Smith trains at High Eldwick near Baildon and saddled Aurora’s Encore to win the 2013 Aintree Grand National at odds of 66-1. I Just Know attempted to follow in that horse’s footsteps in the 2018 National but fell at the sixth fence.
In January 2018, Solo Saxophone became the first horse sired by Frankel to win a race over hurdles when winning a juvenile race here. The horse had been in training in Ireland with Dermot Weld, being placed in his first four races on the flat. He joined Dan Skelton’s stable in November 2017 and won at Catterick and Wetherby. His target was the valuable Fred Winter Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival where he finished a respectable sixth behind Veneer of Charm.
The high class hurdler High Bridge won a National Hunt Flat race at Catterick for John Ferguson in 2015. He then finished sixth in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham before briefly racing in the blue of Godolphin. He then joined Ben Pauling and returned to Catterick to beat Top Tug by nine lengths over hurdles in 2017. High Bridge won the Listed Gerry Feilden Stakes at Newbury later that season.
Catterick Betting Tips
Richard Fahey dominates our Catterick horse racing tips as the leading flat trainer. He tops the ratings numerically, in prize money and a strike rate of 21% over the past three seasons. John Quinn is his closest pursuer while Ruth Carr is also a frequent visitor to the winners’ enclosure. PJ McDonald and Paul Mulrennan are the leading flat jockeys at the track and Jack Garrity has provided his followers with a level stakes profit.
Sue Smith is the National Hunt trainer to follow at Catterick Bridge, particularly over the larger obstacles. She has recorded an impressive 48% strike rate in chases compared to 14% over hurdles. Donald McCain’s runners are consistent over hurdles and fences and another name to watch for is Guiseley trainer Samantha England.
The young trainer made a flying start when her first runner, Star Presenter, won at Catterick in January 2016. She does well with her limited number of runners here. Jockey Danny Cook rounds off our Catterick tips as the leading jump jockey at the track while Brian Hughes can always be relied upon to give you a run for your money.