Ripon is a city in North Yorkshire and is the third smallest city with a population of around 17000. The city was founded by St Wilfrid and dates back over 1300 years.
Ripon has known conflict for much of it’s history having suffered under the Vikings and later the Normans. During the reformation, Ripon along with much of the North of England were unhappy at Henry VIIIs plan to break from Rome, rebelled and ultimately failed. During the English Civil War, Ripon remained loyal to Charles I though there was little fighting at the city.
The city attracts thousands of tourists annually, not just for the cathedral but also for its proximity to a UNESCO world heritage site which includes Fountains Abbey. I had the pleasure of visiting the cathedral this morning and can only recommend anyone to spend some time here, it’s stunning.
As I mentioned in my blog at Pontefract, Yorkshire has much to offer visitors. Here are a few things worth looking at around Ripon:
The city seems well served by good watering holes and eateries. A quick check of Trip Advisor shows me that there is plenty of accommodation for all visitors and all budgets. Thankfully I can enjoy the hospitality of family in Harrogate.
Ripon is relatively close to the historic city of York, to Harrogate and to Leeds.
Ripon is a right-handed, 1m5f oval with slight undulations and tight bends and with a home straight of 5f run. There is an extension to the home straight for races run over 6f.
In sprint races, high numbers are well favoured in smaller fields when the ground rides good or firm. There seems to be no bias in sprints on softer ground. In races of a mile, there is a large bias towards low drawn horses, particularly due to the tight bends into the straight. Ripon has long been considered to be a front runners track and a horse drawn anywhere who can get an uncontested lead enjoys an outstanding opportunity.
Clerk of the course is J M Hutchinson
Racecourse telephone 01765 530530
Ripon is 35 miles from Leeds, 26 miles from York, 82 miles from Manchester, 68 miles from Newcastle, 145 miles from Birmingham and 220 miles from Central London.
The racecourse is a couple of miles SE of town on B6265 Boroughbridge Road. The post code for Satnav is HG4 1UG.
The nearest railway station is in Harrogate, some 12 miles away. Bus number 36 takes you to Ripon.
There is a free shuttle bus service from the coach park opposite Ripon Bus Station.
There are three enclosures at Ripon, The Club Enclosure, The Paddock Enclosure and The Course Enclosure. The dress code in The Club Enclosure is smart casual. All enclosures are well equipped with bars and eateries. The view of the course is very good from all enclosures particularly as Ripon has only slight undulations.
The menu for the Club Restaurant looked pretty good to me and wasn’t anything like as expensive as similar facilities at other racecourses I have seen. I visited the Silks and Saddles Bar to get a drink and was quite impressed by the framed owners colours around the walls.
It also offered what looked like a fairly decent meat and seafood buffet.
As with lots of courses, there is plenty of different food and drink available to suit all tastes scattered throughout the course.
My Day Today
This was my first ever visit to Ripon Racecourse and I quite enjoyed the place, It’s a very friendly racecourse. It’s my 23rd racecourse visit on this project but the first time I encountered rain so I’ve been very fortunate to be fair. Luckily, I managed to avoid what showers there were today. Hopefully it won’t continue and soften the ground too much for Thirsk tomorrow.
From last night, I was always going to back ‘Mrs Hoo’ in the second race, that is until a few minutes before the race. She was trading at around 6/5 at the time which just felt a bit short for me. There were a few nibbles for Karl Burkes newcomer ‘Delectable’ and for Archie Watsons ‘Nina Petrovna’ and as it was I didn’t have a bet. ‘Mrs Hoo’ wore down ‘Nina Petrovna’ inside the final furlong to win by half a length.
I suppose when you have doubts the right decision is not to bet, so no regrets really.
The only other race I was interested in was the fourth race, a 0-95 handicap for 3yo over a mile. My selection here was the seemingly progressive ‘Restive Spirit’. Last time out he had been 5th in a class 2 handicap at Goodwood and the time before had quite easily won a maiden on this track. His trainer William Haggas has his horses in pretty good nick at the moment. His rival for favouritism was ‘Three Saints Bay’ who had won both his previous two, both at Beverley, going up a total of 12lb for the two victories. ‘Restive Spirit’ joined the favourite half a furlong out and kept on to win by three quarters of a length.
That was enough for me and with rain threatening, back to base.