Catterick prepares for North Yorkshire Grand National

Catterick Racecourse’s national hunt season continues on Thursday, January 10, with the North Yorkshire Grand National.

There will be a seven race card on the day which gets underway at 12.25pm, while the gates will be open to the public from 10.25am onwards.

The Watt Fences North Yorkshire Grand National Handicap Steeple Chase is scheduled for 2.45pm and is Catterick’s most valuable national hunt race with the runners competing for more than £26,000 prize money over three miles and six furlongs.

Fiona Needham, clerk of the course and general manager, said: “The North Yorkshire Grand National is a race we look forward to every year, it’s a real test of stamina and jumping ability and it’s always exciting to see horses go on from success in this race to take part in the Grand National at Aintree.”

The race tends to attract runners from some of the leading trainers in the UK, while a trainer well worth watching out for is the Yorkshire based Sue Smith, who has won the race for the past three years.

Last year, Smith won with I Just Know, ridden by Sean Quinlan, who then went on to compete in the 2018 Grand National at Aintree.

Previously, the partnership of Sue Smith and jockey Danny Cook have enjoyed back to back victories with Straidnahanna in 2017 and Lackamon in 2016.

The winning owner of the North Yorkshire Grand National will receive the Denys Smith Memorial Trophy.

Denys Smith, who trained Red Alligator to win the 1968 Grand National at Aintree, was a leading dual-purpose trainer who recorded a remarkable 146 winners at Catterick.

Racegoers will be able to get a true idea of what the horses and jockeys experience during a race by visiting the parade ring, where a section of a steeple chase fence has been positioned.

Sending their ‘Steeplechase Selfie’ to the racecourse could also earn them a chance to win tickets to a future meeting at Catterick Races!

A big screen will be at the course on the day to give racegoers the best views of all the action.

A free shuttle bus will be running to take racegoers from Richmond Market Place to the racecourse approximately one hour prior to the first race, and will return again after the last race.