Approx no. of meetings
17. Many themed nights and special event days.
Rail from London but not close by racetrack (Approx. 3 hours)
We travelled by car and there was plenty of free car parking space
Taxis plentiful, but expensive during the festival
Two main stands, one for the club and one for paddock tickets. The club stand had fabulous drop down seats and was everything a graceful countryside racetrack should have. There was a third area to go and that was in the middle of the track. Multiple bars, including a champagne and seafood bar. Riponbet replaced the tote, which is a shame as there were no "Swinger" bets.
We found it quite difficult to book anywhere in Ripon and found the nearest appropriate town was going to be Harrogate. For this reason, as seeing as how we were on a two day trip including Thirsk the next day, we stayedin the town of Thirsk at Fantinps (Book early, nice place)..
2 classes of ticket available with concessions on the day. The Club tickets were 23 in advance and offered a complimentary programme, which made a nice change at UK tracks. .
(2) Return before challenge complete
29 April 2017– UK Tracks Visited (23)
Before we start on specifics, lets state a few facts. Ripon is out of town and so is a car or taxi ride away from the town itself, however, this is not the biggest issue in the world and making the effort to get there is really worthwhile. Firstly. It is a really well organised track. Three sort of ticket/location. Centre of the track looked great for camping and caravans/RVs. Then there was paddock premier tickets that both used the main (free) car park.
The building as you walk in have an iconic pale yellow and green paint scheme (Yes, there is probably a name for this and I will get Madam Hoof to look it up). The buildings are more picturesque than most racetracks we have visited except our recent trip to Compiegne in France. The layout is easy to manoeuvre and practical for racing. The clever use of crossing gates allows the horses to come and go to both parade ring and winners circle effortlessly. The pre-parade ring is also easy to view.
Now, like Chester, there is no Tote here. Why is this a problem? Well, firstly, the bet names are different. There are many equivalents bets, but not all the same. Also, the Placepot, is not linked to the main Tote placepot, so you do not benefit from being part of a bigger pot for bigger wins. Secondly, rather like certain Irish tracks, there is no quad pot and not Swinger.
Best places to drink? Well, ok, Madam Hoof and I have a tiny whinge about Ripon and that is the drink prices. When you are expected to pay more for a small coffee than a large one in Starbucks (this is not common at racetracks), we find it difficult. The other aspect that is hard is the champagne. So, you have a champagne bar, great. The prices are not unreasonable, but, not champagne by the glass? When racing is trying to stop public drunkenness, this seems odd. Having been to a French race track the weekend before and seen the Coupe de Champagne in every bar, this seems somewhat remiss.
Don’t misunderstand us. We loved Ripon. It was a special place and we can see why it wins awards. I would love to go back at some point and once again view the magic view of horses as they round the lack and hit the final straight.