Doncaster Racecourse

Doncaster Racecourse

One of the stars of Yorkshire racing and one of the oldest tracks anywhere in the world, Doncaster has various claims to fame.

As well as hosting the St Leger in September, it traditionally both opens and closes the turf season on the flat in Britain. From the Lincoln Handicap in March to the November Handicap later in the year, there are various top-class handicaps to get stuck into on what is known as Town Moor.

Doncaster Track Details

Doncaster Racecourse Grandstand

Doncaster is left-handed and a classic galloping track. Very fair in nature, the course here is basically flat all the way apart from a slight uphill patch way round the back of the track at Rose Hill.

Being near the rails is an advantage here on the flat, despite the track’s fair reputation. On the round course that of course means having a low draw, although even here horses can get into rather a heap to look out for the better jockeys who know how to ride Doncaster well.

On the straight course, especially in major betting races such as the Portland, a higher draw is better putting a horse on or at least not too far from the stands side rail.

As for the jumps, jockeys report that it is advantageous to be sitting on a good traveller as the race can get away from you in the middle portion.

When the ground is fast, look out for those with decent time figures over the relevant distance as they’ll need to be in the front rank, though you can rely a little more on stamina when the ground gets softer.

Top Trainers and Jockeys at Doncaster

Doncaster Racecourse The Hill

Whether it is down to skill, luck or geography, Doncaster like any track in the UK has its better performers and it can pay to keep them onside when betting in tough handicaps.

The trainers at Doncaster with the best strike-rates are:

  • Saeed bin Suroor*
  • Sir Michael Stoute*
  • Roger Varian*
  • John Gosden*
  • Andrew Balding*
  • Nicky Richards
  • Nicky Henderson
  • Charlie Longsdon
  • Nigel Twiston-Davies
  • Emma Lavelle
  • Amy Murphy

The better-performing jockeys at the track are:

  • Frankie Dettori*
  • Jim Crowley*
  • Jamie Spencer*
  • Ryan Moore*
  • Andrea Atzeni*
  • Aidan Coleman
  • Henry Brooke
  • Danny Cook
  • Leighton Aspell
  • Nico De Boinville
  • David Bass

* Flat racing, others are National Hunt

Major Doncaster Handicaps

There are five Grade 2 jumps races at Doncaster, while the world’s oldest classic the St Leger as well as fellow Group 1 event the Futurity Trophy take place on the flat.

Despite this, the biggest betting events at Doncaster are the major handicaps, with the Lincoln particularly important as it forms part of the traditional Spring Double along with the Grand National at Aintree.


Race Meeting Grade Distance
Lincoln Handicap Lincoln Meeting, March Class 2 1 mile
Portland Handicap St Leger Meeting, September Class 2 5 miles, 140 yards
November Handicap November Meeting Class 2 1 mile, 4 furlongs


Race Meeting Grade Distance
SkyBet Chase (Great Yorkshire Chase) SkyBet Chase Meeting, January Listed Race 3 miles
Grimthorpe Chase Grimthorpe Chase Meeting, March Class 2 3 miles, 2 furlongs

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