Spring into the flat season at Doncaster Racecourse

As the Daffodils bloom and the football season hots up the renowned Doncaster Racecourse begins preparations for the start of its hugely popular flat season racing.


The famous Betway Lincoln is traditionally  the first fixture that marks the return of the flat and one that is enjoyed by racing enthusiasts from all over the country. The Heritage Handicap which traces its roots back to 1853, runs over a straight mile and is open to horses aged four and over. First past the post last year was Secret Brief, owned by Godophin, trained by Charlie Appleby and rode by William Buick. This year the race is on Saturday 1st April and will not only commence the first race of the flat season but the first race in which the social scene hots up and visitors dress to impress as the weather warms up too.


And, for all type of sports enthusiasts, there will be a large screen in the Grandstand featuring live football. For those of you who like to get more ‘hands on’ – there’s a chance to take on the legend that is John Lowe, a World Champion Darts player. He will be putting his skills to the test by taking on anyone that is game for a 9 Dart Challenge. The winner will receive tickets to the Betway Premier League Darts on 4th May at Sheffield Arena.

And, after a fun packed day of sporting fixtures and socialising what better way to round it off than with entertainment from Take That 2, the UK’s most popular Take That tribute band.

Half Term Happiness – Where to find it!


 Already the first school holiday of the year is almost upon us and the thoughts of grownups across the UK will be encountering that age old question – How can we entertain the kids?

Well the good news is that Doncaster, and the wider county of Yorkshire, have lots of activities to keep children young and old amused and sometimes, you don’t even have to leave your home to have a day to remember.

We did a little straw poll in our offices at Doncaster Racecourse one gloomy January afternoon, and now have the pleasure of sharing our favourites with you. We hope you enjoy them!


The seaside – Yes, we know it’s cold but, providing the rain isn’t sideways, a wintry day out at the seaside is huge fun. Wrap up warm, walk on the beach, drink Yorkshire tea and have a go on traditional seaside rides and slot machines. Guaranteed to make even the grownups join in! And, with 45 miles of Yorkshire coastline to explore, you should be able to find somewhere to go!


At home with tradition – Many of us, and now our children, remember fondly the days at home with parents and grandparents in the holidays. No need to rush about –  just a day packed with simple pleasures. Watching favourite films, baking, learning crafts such as painting, sewing, woodwork and gardening and colouring all featured heavily in happy childhood memories so this half term why not create a few of your own.


Fitness Fun – When the weather is cool and chilly it is sometimes great to burn off some excess energy. There are lots of sporting activities for families to get involved in with lots in Doncaster including swimming, ice skating, walking and cycle trails, badminton and horse riding. For those who require something a little less energetic organise a group of you and challenge friends and family to Ten-Pin Bowling, a fun couple of hours for everyone!


A day at the Races – We know we might just be a tad biased but it really is great fun and less expensive than you might think!  Children under 18 can visit for free as long as they are accompanied by an adult over the age of 18 and one adult can admit up to six children. (Small costs may apply at some of our music live events) Our family enclosure has a fantastic lawned area perfect for warming picnics and often there are attractions just for the children (The details of each meeting should be checked). Don’t forget that on Wednesday 22nd February we have a family fun day at Doncaster Racecourse where there will be lots of children’s activities such as fairground rides, face painting and an interactive disco as well as a packed race card.

To find out what’s on in Yorkshire this half term visit http://www.yorkshire.com/ and to book tickets for our event visit http://www.doncaster-racecourse.co.uk/whats-on/fixture/betbright-raceday-2/

Festival of British Railway Modelling celebrate its 21st year

The Festival of British Railway Modelling will celebrate its 21st year with modelling enthusiasts at Doncaster Racecoursedoncaster-2017.This is a great day out for all the family with many diverse types of modelling to admire plus traders selling must-have items in a variety of major scales, era and gauges. Children’s step stools are available so they can watch over 30 working train sets and ask any questions.

Visit the children’s area for a colouring competition with prizes from Hornby, a ‘guess the layout’ sheet and a railway themed wordsearch.

There will be experts offering a range of advice, tips & superb demonstrations including model building, soldering skills, airbrushing, tree making, lighting & special effects etc. giving you an opportunity to enhance your modelling skills.

Booking in advance will ensure you save up to £2 on your entry, have 30 minutes’ early entry and receive a free show guide on arrival.

A FREE shuttle bus service will be running approximately every 30 minutes on Saturday and Sunday between Doncaster Railway station (Doncaster Interchange C6) and the venue. Times 8.30am to 5.15pm each day.

For more information & to book visit: – www.model-railway-shows.co.uk

Bigbadjohn favourite as 16 run in Saturday’s Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster


Ante-post favourite Bidbadjohn (Rebecca Curtis/Jonathan Burke, 10st 10lb) heads a field of 16 for the £80,000 Listed Sky Bet Chase (3.40pm) at Doncaster on Saturday, January 28.

The prestigious three-mile handicap chase is the richest Jump race of the year at Doncaster and Sky Bet are offering five places for each-way punters.

Bigbadjohn, the 9/2 favourite with Sky Bet is making his handicap debut over fences. He beat Our Kaempfer, an impressive winner at Kempton Park recently, by six lengths in a novices’ chase at Newbury on November 3 and was far from disgraced when beaten eight lengths by Thistlecrack in a G2 contest for novices at the same course on November 26.

Stablemate Potters Cross (Paul Townend, 10st 13lb, 16/1), successful in the Mandarin Handicap Chase at Newbury on his latest outing, also runs.

Second-season chaser Southfield Royale (Neil Mulholland/James King (5), 11st 7lb, 7/1) is set for his first start of the campaign.

He was the impressive 13-length winner of the G2 December Novices’ Chase over the course and distance last season and subsequently finished fourth in a high-class renewal of the four-mile National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

But the seven-year-old disappointed behind Zabana on his latest start in a G1 novices’ chase at Punchestown in April, trailing home a well-beaten seventh.

Mulholland, who trains near Bath, said today: “Southfield Royale is as ready as we can get him at home. We haven’t had the most straightforward of preparations but he has schooled well and we are happy with him.

“He won twice on testing ground last season but that is just the way the ground was. He is a Presenting and his breeding suggests the better ground on Saturday should suit.

“We have the likes of the Bet365 Gold Cup and Scottish Grand National as possible targets in the spring. We will get Saturday out of the way first and see where we go.”

Gloucestershire-based trainer Jonjo O’Neill has an excellent record in staying handicap chases but is yet to win the Sky Bet Chase. He saddles Another Hero (Aidan Coleman, 10st 10lb, 9/1), who was fourth in valuable Listed handicap chase at Ascot on December 17, and joint top-weight Holywell (Killian Moore (3), 11st 12lb, 20/1).


Last year’s winner Ziga Boy (Alan King/Tom Bellamy, 10st 11lb, 10/1) and runner-up Coologue (Charlie Longsdon/Brian Hughes, 11st 5lb, 9/1) line up again. Ziga Boy is aiming to become the first dual winner of the Sky Bet Chase.

Nicky Richards is represented by two unexposed chasers in Ballyboker Breeze (Craig Nichol, 11st, 12/1) and Looking Well (Ryan Day, 10st 6lb, 20/1), while Warren Greatrex is hoping Out Sam (Andrew Tinkler, 10st 10lb, 8/1) can build on a promising third at Kempton Park last time out.

Champion Jump trainer Paul Nicholls has won two of the last nine renewals of the Sky Bet Chase. The Somerset handler relies on Scottish Grand National hero Vicente (Sean Bowen, 11st 9lb, 10/1) and Caid Du Berlais (Sam Twiston-Davies, 11st 6lb, 14/1).

Long Lunch (Charlie Longsdon/Graham Watters (3), 11st 5lb, 16/1), who was just touched off over the course and distance last time out, Katachenko (Donald McCain/Will Kennedy, 10st 7lb, 40/1) and the other top-weights Tenor Nivernais (Venetia Williams/Liam Treadwell, 18/1) and Third Intention (Colin Tizzard/Brendan Powell, 11st 12lb) complete the field.

Michael Shinners, Racing PR Manager at Sky Bet, said today: “The Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster on Saturday looks a typically ultra-competitive renewal.

“Sky Bet is happy to offer five places on the Sky Bet Chase, given the competitive nature of the race.

“All eyes will be on 9/2 favourite Bigbadjohn as he makes his handicap debut after chasing home Thistlecrack last time out.”

Sky Bet Chase – Sky Bet prices: 9/2 Bigbadjohn; 7/1 Southfield Royale; 8/1 Out Sam; 9/1 Another Hero, Coologue; 10/1 Vicente, Ziga Boy; 12/1 Ballyboker Breeze; 14/1 Caid Du Berlais; 16/1 Long Lunch, Potters Cross; 18/1 Tenor Nivernais; 20/1 Holywell, Looking Well, Third Intention; 40/1 Katachenko

Each-way 1/4 odds 1-2-3-4-5

Doncaster’s seven-race card on Saturday starts at 12.50pm and finishes at 4.15pm.

Sky Bet also supports the £50,000 Sky Bet First Race Special Handicap Chase (1.20pm) and the £35,000 Grade Two Sky Bet Lightning Novices’ Chase (1.55pm), both run over an extended two miles and runners for those and the other races on Saturday will be known tomorrow.

Nicky Richards has two bullets to fire at Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster on Saturday

Trainer Nicky Richards is hoping to run both Ballyboker Breeze and Looking Well in the £80,000 Listed Sky Bet Chase (3.40pm, 22 confirmations) at Doncaster on Saturday, January 28.

Sky Bet is offering non-runner, no bet on the Sky Bet Chase, with five places for each-way punters. The prestigious three-mile handicap chase is the richest Jump race of the year at Doncaster and the feature of an exciting seven-race card.

Sky Bet also supports the £50,000 Sky Bet First Race Special Handicap Chase (1.20pm) and the £35,000 Grade Two Sky Bet Lightning Novices’ Chase (1.55pm), both run over an extended two miles.

Unexposed chaser Ballyboker Breeze (11st) is a 10/1 shot with Sky Bet after a comfortable success by four and a half lengths of a three-mile handicap chase at Bangor on December 9, taking his record over fences to two wins from three starts.

Looking Well (10st 6lb) is also lightly-raced over fences with five starts, although he has not run since staying on stoutly to win a three and a quarter mile handicap chase by 13 lengths at Kelso in May. He is a 16/1 chance with Sky Bet.

Richards said today: “The plan is to run both Ballyboker Breeze and Looking Well in the Sky Bet Chase.

“Ballyboker Breeze has been fine since Bangor. He is training well and is probably an improving horse I hope.

“He travelled and jumped well at Bangor, and saw the trip out very well. I thought he was fairly impressive on the day.

“Experience is always a slight concern in a race like this but he does jump well. I think there are a lot more plusses than minuses regarding his chance.

“Looking Well is very well. I haven’t run him yet this season because he wants a bit of decent ground, which it looks like he will get at the weekend.

“He runs well when he is fresh and looks great at the moment. Hopefully, he will run a good one.

“They are both progressive horses and, even if one of them doesn’t win on Saturday, I think there are good races to be won with both.”

Bigbadjohn (Rebecca Curtis, 10st 10lb), the 5/1 favourite with Sky Bet, is in line to make his handicap debut over fences. He beat subsequent winner Our Kaempfer in a novices’ chase at Newbury on November 3 before going down by eight lengths to Thistlecrack in a G2 contest at the same course on November 26.

Southfield Royale (Neil Mulholland, 11st 7lb, 7/1 with Sky Bet) could return to the scene of his biggest success, having beat Coologue (Charlie Longsdon, 11st 5lb, 10/1) by 13 lengths in a G2 novices’ chase over the course and distance last season.

Ziga Boy (Alan King, 10st 11lb, 10/1) is out to become the first dual winner of the Sky Bet Chase. He defeated Coologue by three and a quarter lengths in 2016 and warmed up for this year’s renewal with an encouraging third at Doncaster in December.

The 22 confirmations also feature Regal Encore (Anthony Honeyball, 11st 10lb, 8/1), who captured a valuable handicap chase at Ascot last time out, and Kempton Park runner-up Go Conquer (Jonjo O’Neill, 10st 11lb, 12/1), plus the Paul Nicholls-trained trio of Vicente (11st 9lb, 11/1), Just A Par (11st 8lb, 20/1) and Caid Du Berlais (11st 6lb, 16/1).

Tenor Nivernais (Venetia Williams, 16/1), Third Intention (Colin Tizzard, 20/1) and Holywell (Jonjo O’Neill, 16/1) are joint top-weights with 11st 12lb.

Sky Bet Chase – Sky Bet prices: 5/1 Bigbadjohn; 7/1 Southfield Royale; 8/1 Regal Encore; 10/1 Another Hero, Ballyboker Breeze, Coologue, Ziga Boy; 11/1 Out Sam, Vicente; 12/1 Go Conquer, Long Lunch, Rock The Kasbah; 14/1 Potters Corner; 16/1 Caid Du Berlais, Holywell, Looking Well, Tenor Nivernais, Wakanda; 20/1 Just A Par, Third Intention; 28/1 Katachenko, Sun Cloud

Non-runner, no bet

Each-way 1/4 odds 1-2-3-4-5

Michael Shinners, Racing PR Manager at Sky Bet, said today: “The 2017 Sky Bet Chase promises to be another cracking contest and, with all the main contenders among the 22 confirmations, it shall be as competitive as ever.

“Sky Bet is offering non-runner, no bet and customers can also take advantage of our five places offer.”

Additional Race for Stable Staff in Racing Staff Week, 1st – 8th July 2017

Celebrating the role of Racing’s Workforce for the Second Year
Sponsored by Betfair


 Following on from the popularity of last year’s charity race exclusively for stable staff, the Betfair Clock Tower Cup, at Doncaster, a second race for staff is being organised at Lingfield Park in 2017.  The two races will enable staff from flat and jumps yards to be nominated to ride by their trainers in recognition of their hard work and commitment.

The Betfair Three Feathers Cup will launch the 2017 Racing Staff Week and take place at Lingfield Park on Saturday 1st July over 1 mile 4 furlongs.  The Betfair Clock Tower Cup, over 7 furlongs at Doncaster on Friday 7th July, will be the feature of the Racing Welfare Charity Raceday which includes a special fundraising lunch.

Andrew Perkins, Executive Director of Lingfield Park Resort, said the Surrey course was delighted to be supporting Racing Staff Week with the additional race:  “This will take place on one of our celebrated Hooves & Grooves nights with an Abba tribute band playing after racing, so we hope for a big crowd to watch the stable staff experience the thrill of race riding.”

Racing Staff Week is again generously sponsored by Betfair who will also sponsor the two stable staff races. Betfair will once more fund a scholarship prize to the winner of the race to attend a course at the British Racing School or the Northern Racing College to undertake an Amateur Jockeys Licence course or another course which will help them to progress their career within the racing industry.

Racing Staff Week aims to bring the racing industry together to inform and engage horseracing followers and supporters about the passion, skill and dedication required to work with racehorses. The success of the inaugural Stable Staff Week in 2016 has prompted unanimous support from the Racing industry to build on the first year and deliver another week of activities that will put racing staff in the spotlight.

The week has been renamed Racing Staff Week to reflect that Racing Welfare supports all of Racing’s workforce and the week will applaud and highlight the role of all racing staff, including stud staff and racecourse groundstaff.

The initiative, developed by Racing Welfare, in collaboration with the Racing industry, will again celebrate the role of racing’s workforce as well as generate awareness and funds for the charity.

Dawn Goodfellow, Chief Executive of Racing Welfare comments: “Last year’s Stable Staff Week was an outstanding success in terms of engaging the whole industry and the media to celebrate the role of stable staff week and increasing awareness about Racing Welfare.  We are extremely grateful to Betfair for their continued support and look forward to working with the industry to make Racing Staff Week 2017 even better.”

James Midmer, Betfair’s Head of Communications adds:  “We were delighted to support the inaugural ‘Stable Staff Week’ last year and look forward to continuing this into ‘Racing Staff Week’ in 2017. Racing Welfare play a hugely important role supporting all areas of the Sport, and we are always impressed with the talent, drive and commitment shown in raising awareness of the role played by racing staff.”

To register interest in taking part in either of the Stable Staff Races, or about taking a table at the lunch on the 7th July, please contact Mary-Ann Sandercock 07790 844887 or email msandercock@racingwelfare.co.uk.

Opening Hours Across the Festive Break

Executive Director Tim Banfield and the team at Doncaster Racecourse would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Date Office Opening Hours Events The Old Weighing Room Restaurant & Bar
Monday 19th Dec 9am until 5pm    
Tuesday 20th Dec 9am until 5pm    
Wednesday 21st Dec 9am until 5pm    
Thursday 22nd Dec 9am until 5pm   Festive Menu

6pm until late

Friday 23rd Dec 9am – 1pm   Festive Menu

6pm until late

Saturday 24th Dec Closed   Festive Menu

6pm until late

Sunday 25th Dec Closed    
Monday 26th Dec Closed    
Tuesday 27th Dec 9am – 5pm Giant Antique & Collectors Fair

9.30am – 4.30pm

Wednesday 28th Dec 9am – 5pm Giant Antique & Collectors Fair

9.30am – 4.30pm

Thursday 29th Dec 8am – 5pm Twixmas Winter Jump Raceday

Gates 10.30am, first race 12.25pm

Friday 30th Dec Closed BP Toy Collectors Fair 10.30am – 3.30pm  
Saturday 31st Dec Closed New Year’s Eve event from 7pm


New Year’s Eve event from 7pm
Sunday 1st Jan Closed    
Monday 2nd Jan Closed    
Tuesday 3rd Jan 8am – 6pm