Ripon is in North Yorkshire and is sometimes referred to as the Garden Course because of its idyllic setting. The racecourse is on the B6265 south east of Ripon town centre. Road travellers from the south should take the A1M to the Ripon exit and follow signs to the Cathedral and on towards the racecourse.
Those arriving from the North should leave the A1 at the A61 junction (Ripon bypass). There is a free shuttle bus from the coach park opposite Ripon Bus Station on race days. The nearest rail station is Harrogate which is eleven miles from the racecourse and has a connecting bus service.
Tips For Ripon Races
Ripon is a sharp, right handed oval track of almost a mile and three-quarters. It has a sharp bend approaching the five furlong run-in with a chute forming a straight six furlong sprint course.
One of our best Ripon horse racing tips for today is to take note of front runners. Despite having one of the longest home straights in the country, horses who like to make the pace do particularly well here. Runners that are given a soft lead are very difficult to peg back when quickening inside the final quarter of a mile.
The draw has a big influence on the outcome in sprint races on good or fast ground. Horses drawn high have fared significantly better than those drawn low. This bias is virtually cancelled out in soft or heavy ground.
Ripon Horse Racing History
Horse racing has taken place in the Ripon area since 1664 when it was held at Bondgate. Ripon was well ahead of its time when staging a race exclusively for lady riders as far back as 1723. Racing officially began on the current Boroughbridge Road site in 1900.
The Racegoers Club voted Ripon the Best Small Racecourse in the North in 2011, 2014 and 2015. The course attracted extra media interest when Olympic Gold Medallist Victoria Pendleton made her debut as a jockey here in 2015, eventually finishing second.
Go Racing In Yorkshire Festival
The racecourse stages several popular summer meetings including Ripon’s Night Out, Ladies Day and Family Day. Ripon also kick starts the Go Racing in Yorkshire festival in July.
The biggest meetings are Great St Wilfrid Day and the Ripon Champion Two-year-old Trophy in August. There are currently seventeen meetings per season.
The Great St Wilfrid Stakes is a valuable six furlong sprint handicap for three-year-olds and upwards over six furlongs. It is named after the patron saint of Ripon and the trophy depicts St Wilfrid on horseback. It is the richest race held at the course and often attracts runners from Royal Ascot’s Wokingham Stakes. The form of that race is usually a good guide for Ripon tips for this race. The Ayr Gold Cup and Portland Handicap are also on the radar for horses that run well in the Great St Wilfrid.
The Listed Two-year-old Trophy is run on the August Bank Holiday and is also over six furlongs. The Gold Trophy for the race was presented to the racecourse by Jim Joel, successful as an owner in the Derby and the Grand National. The Two-year-old Trophy regularly attracts juveniles from the leading training establishments of Newmarket and Lambourn. Other popular betting races at Ripon include the Ripon Rowels Handicap, the Horn Blower Stakes and the Bell Ringer Stakes.
Ripon Famous Races and Racehorses
There are always plenty of Ripon racing tips for the Great St Wilfrid Stakes. It was won by the well-backed favourite Catherines Well in 1986, trained by Mick Easterby and ridden by Gary Carter. There have been several other notable gambles in the Great St Wilfrid Stakes including Golden Ancona (1988), Thornfield Boy (1989), Antonio Canova (2001) and Markab (2009). Other popular winners include Hard to Figure (1993), Double Blue (1995), Cadeaux Cher (1998).
Smokin Beau won this race in 2004, the most successful racehorse sired by Cigar who was a son of the ill-fated Shergar. Richard Fahey has a good recent record in the Great St Wilfrid, Baccarat (2013) and Don’t Touch (2015) both landing big gambles. Don’t Touch was one of three winners for owners Nicholas Wrigley and Kevin Hart on the same card. Bookmakers were spared a massive pay-out when Innocent Touch was defeated to thwart a sensational four-timer.
Baccarat was later purchased by Godolphin and campaigned successfully in Dubai. He returned to Ripon for the 2016 renewal and finished a close third to Nameitwhatyoulike. Pepper Lane (2011 and 2012) became the first horse to win two Great St Wilfrid’s. He was trained by David O’Meara who claimed a third success with Out Do in 2014, all ridden by Daniel Tudhope.
The Ripon Champion Two-year-old Trophy was first run in 1988 when Wonder Dancer won for Alan Bailey and Kevin Darley. John Dunlop won the race three times in the 1990’s with Kahir Almaydan (1995), Indian Rocket (1996) and Invincible Spirit (1999). Sir Michael Stoute won with Auditorium in 2003 and Brian Meehan struck with Hold Your Colour (2009) and Gerfalcon (2011).
There were plenty of Ripon horse racing tips for Lake Volta in 2017, backed down to 5-4 favourite. He finished third to second favourite Enjazaat and Tip To Win. The third horse finished second to Saxon Warrior in the 2018 2000 Guineas at Newmarket as a 50-1 outsider.
Ripon Betting Tips
Tim Easterby and Richard Fahey lead the training ranks here numerically and in terms of prize money won. Mark Johnston is also right up there and returns a reasonable 17% strike rate. Whenever Roger Varian or William Haggas send runners up north it is worth taking note. Haggas has an impressive 40% strike rate but his runners. They are usually well supported so punters need to be quick off the mark to obtain the best value.
One of the best horse racing tips for Ripon races today is to follow trainer Ruth Carr. She shows a remarkable 100% level stake profit from her runners over the past three seasons. Silvestre de Sousa is the jockey to follow at Ripon. He has a strike rate of 36.5% with a healthy level stake profit. Franny Norton is also worth noting here, particularly when booked on a lightly weighted handicapper.