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 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
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.
|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|
|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|