Thirsk Racecourse Guide

Guide to Thirsk Racecourse

Thirsk Racecourse News from Eclipse

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Thirsk Racecourse News

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About Thirsk Racecourse


King James I

Thirsk Racecourse has a long racing history, hosting its first recorded race in 1612 on the Hambleton Hills when King James I awarded a Gold Cup to the winner. In 1740 the course became one of only three ‘official’ racecourses in Britain after an act was passed giving only Newmarket, York and Hambleton the right to run ‘proper’ races.

Current Location

Racing moved to its current location at Thirsk Hall in 1855 after Squire Frederick Bell, a local landowner, started organising races on his estate and the Hunt Cup was inaugurated in 1862. Thirsk Racecourse was formally recognised in 1875. The Royal Stand, nicknamed The Royal Pavilion, was built in the centre of the course for Edward, the Prince of Wales’s visit to the course on 17th and 18th October.


In 1940 Thirsk hosted the St Leger – won by Turkhan – after Doncaster was closed for WWII. Located near the busy training centres of Malton and Middleham, the course is a regular choice for many leading Northern trainers. The Bell family still own Thirsk Racecourse, with John Bell currently holding a position as director.

Important Races/Festivals

  • May – Thirsk Hunt Cup
  • August – The Summer Cup


  • Road: The course is to the west of the town, on the A61 Thirsk to Ripon road.
  • Rail: The course is about 10 minutes’ walk from Thirsk station.
  • Website:
  • Telephone: 01845 522276

The Thirsk Racecourse Directory - Local Services

Travelling to Thirsk Races? Want to know where to stay, where to eat, where to get your hair and nails done? How about where the best pubs are and the name of a reliable taxi? We can help. Check back frequently – this section is updated on a regular basis. 

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