Catterick Bridge is a hamlet in North Yorkshire, close to the village of Catterick and to Catterick Garrison which is a nearby military town and base.
The bridge itself is a Grade II listed structure and hosts the A6136. It was originally built in 1422 though has been rebuilt and modified at later dates. The Hamlet essentially consists of a hotel, and few houses and of course the racecourse. The Hotel is also a Grade II listed building.
The nearby Catterick Garrison is the largest British Army base anywhere in the world and is expected to grow further.
There are a couple of items close by that you might find worth a look
Catterick Racecourse stages both Flat Racing and National Hunt Racing on turf.
The Flat Course is a left-handed oval track of about a mile and a furlong with a run in of three furlongs. Races over 5f and 1m6f start on a spur which joins the main track at the top of the home straight. The track is both undulating and very sharp and an ability to lie handy is just about essential. It’s not uncommon for the field to track middle to stand side in softer ground.
The 5f course is around a slight dog-legged bend which suggests a potential advantage to those drawn low though the stats don’t back that up too heavily. The advantage is a little more pronounced when the ground is soft. The draw bias towards low drawn runners is far more significant over 6f.
The Jumps Course is similarly left-handed, sharp and undulating and also suiting handy types. The fences aren’t too difficult
Clerk of the course: Fiona Needham
Course telephone number: 01748 811478
Full address: The Racecourse, Catterick Bridge, Richmond, N Yorks, DL10 7PE
Catterick is 239 miles from Central London, 162 miles from Birmingham, 271 miles from Cardiff, 102 miles from Manchester and 170 miles from Edinburgh.
The course itself is close to the A1 on A6136.
The course post code is DL10 7PE.
Course parking is mainly free.
The nearest railway station is Darlington Station which is about 15 miles away.
There are two enclosures here. The main enclosure is the Grandstand and Paddock which features the parade ring, most of the food and drink facilities and ,if you fancy it, The Winning Streak Restaurant. Immediately the other side of the track is the Course Enclosure wgich has it’s own food and drink facilities and also includes a play area for children.
There isn’t any particular dress code.
The grandstand isn’t huge but seems ample for the attendance and offers a good view of proceedings. As with a few other venues, there are pillars at the front of the stand which I guess help to support it. Be careful they don’t obscure your vision. I found it ok to be fair.
Other than the Winning Streak Restaurant, there are a couple of other eating options. At the top of the grandstand in the bar there, they were doing freshly cooked Chilli Con Carne which looked great and I wish I’d taken that option now. I don’t think they have the facilities to do too much more but what they had did look nice.
There’s not really a huge amount more to report on Catterick really. That’s not a bad reflection on the course, far from it, I loved it here. It’s just nice and small and basic and that’s just wonderful.
I must say that I like this course very much. Compared to others, it is quite small but its easy to get to being just off the A1. The staff here in every quarter were very helpful and it’s appreciated.
My first shot in anger today came in the second race which I had a good look at the night before. I came down on the side of Baratineur, just about anyway. At the 11/2 available the night before, there was a semblance of value though this looked competitive enough to me. Well on the day the selection was backed down through all prices to 11/8F and wasn’t at any point on the day anything that represented true value to me. What I did do though was to get 1.42 on Betfair for it to finish in the first four which it duly did in finishing a close 2nd. Got things moving at least.
My joy didn’t last too long though. In the next race, a class 4 Novice Chase, I took an interest in Jack Devine. The Rose Dobbin trained 7yo had been well beaten at Newcastle last time on soft ground but had won three of his previous five on good ground (over hurdles) and I put the performance at Newcastle down to the ground. The going today was good with good to soft patches and I felt a return to winning ways was likely in this his 2nd race over the bigger obstacles. The Olly Murphy trained Piri Massini was well enough supported despite and inconspicuous debut over fences. In the end it was the Nicky Henderson (doesn’t have many runners here) Duke Debarry who came and took it up at the last to win well. My selkection was hampered by the fall of Piri Massini 5 out but was already beaten at the time having himself not jumped well at all.
Race 5 gave me an overdue return to the winners enclosure. The race, a class 4 Handicap Chase over 2m 3f was essentially a rematch between Eureu Du Boulay and Manwell. The pair had met here over course and distance a couple of weeks ago with the former coming out a winner by a cosy enough length and three quarters. On that occasion Manwell was conceding 1lb to the winner but had a turnaround in the weights today of 5lb though this was offset by a claimer on Eureu Du Boulay. The market suggested that the result would be the same though thankfully not. Manwell travelled well throughout the race and looked to be enjoying the better ground. He tracked the leaders throughout and always had the measure of the favourite and readily went clear on the run in from the last. My odds of reward were 9/4 and I’m more than happy with that.
I am getting to like these smaller venues more and more. There’s not always a great deal to them but what they do have is plenty adequate and has a real personal feel to it. That’s me done with the Yorkshire tracks and I loved everyone of them.
I just have seven left to do, including Towcester if they do in fact race again.