My Local Racecourse - Beverley

Features | 1st July 2022

Beverley is one of the nine racecourses in Yorkshire and it is among the most popular venues with
racing fans

Three Centuries Of Racing

Beverley lies on the outskirts of the pretty market town at Westwood, where racing can be traced back more than 300 years. 

The right‐handed course, which hosts Flat racing, has a reputation for being one of the friendliest tracks in the country. It has a notoriously stiff uphill finish that was put to another use during WWII. The track served as an airbase and the home straight was used as the runway. These days the course and its feature races have been the launchpad for the career of several top racehorses. 

The early juvenile stars get to push their Royal Ascot claims at the course’s big May meeting. The Hilary Needler Trophy – named after the original race sponsor and enthusiastic supporter of Beverley – has been won by some brilliant two‐year‐old fillies. 

None were better than Attraction. 

Trained across Yorkshire at Middleham by Mark Johnston, she went on to win the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot a few weeks later. The following year she landed the 1000 Guineas, Irish 1000 Guineas, Coronation Stakes and Sun Chariot Stakes. The colts’ equivalent is the Two‐Year‐Old Trophy held over the same five‐furlong distance and on the same afternoon.

The Bullet and a Refurb

Beverley’s big race of the season is also run over five furlongs. The Beverley Bullet – usually run in late August – has been won by some top‐class sprinters. 

Borderlescott and Alpha Delphini both won the Bullet within the last 10 years. They enjoyed their finest hours 30 miles up the road at York when winning the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes. The course’s demanding climb to the winning line gives rise to plenty of course specialists. 

None of them loved Beverley more than Rapid Lad. He won a dozen times at his favourite course in the 1980s and he has bar named after him. There is also a race run in his honour to remember his exploits. 

Racing has taken place in Beverley at its current location since 1752. An annual meeting was created 15 years later in the early days of the Jockey Club. When the first grandstand was built in 1767 to give racegoers a comfortable place to view the racing it cost £1,000. 

The cost of a planned refurbishment of the main stand ‐ put on the back burner due to the covid‐19 pandemic – was estimated at rather more. Quite understandably, given it was more than 250 years later, the project was predicted to come in at £3.6million.

TV Stars

The track hosts an evening meeting in the popular Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival in July. 

Regular commentator Malcolm Tomlinson takes great pleasure in calling the races at his local course. He first developed his love of racing at Beverley when taken to the course by his father, who was a clockmaker in the town and had the job of winding the grandstand clock.

Malcolm’s actress daughter Eleanor, who played Demelza in the BBC adaptation of Poldark, is a regular visitor. 

Whether you’re a famous TV star or a first‐time visitor, you’re guaranteed a warm welcome at Beverley.

Visit Beverley or racecourses near you by popping your postcode into our #EveryonesTurf site which will show you when there is racing on near you