- Which Enclosure should I choose?
- Newcastle Racecourse has two Enclosures on a Raceday, the Premier Enclosure and the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure. The Premier Enclosure has the prime viewing position on the racecourse on the winning line and the most comprehensive facilities. You have access to the Parade Ring, Winners' Enclosure, Brandling House and the Colonel Porter Stand. You can also dine in the Gosforth Park Suite Restaurant (advance booking is strongly recommended) and enjoy a drink on the Premier Lawn.
The Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure is the slightly bigger enclosure and has excellent facilities and viewing areas. Ideal for families and groups you have access to the main Grandstand and seating area, extensive bar and betting facilities as well as the Family Food Hall. You can also access the Parade Ring, Winners' Enclosure and the picnic area.
- How do I book tickets?
- Tickets and admission packages can either be booked online or by calling the Racecourse Office 0191 236 2020. Although it is not compulsory to book in advance, we do recommend it.
- What discounts do you offer to groups?
- Horseracing is the prefect event to enjoy with family and friends, and group booking discounts are offered to parties of 15 or more (excludes festival racemeetings).
Coach drivers are admitted free of charge on production of valid ID.
- Is Newcastle Racecourse suitable for children and families?
- All children 18 and under are admitted free and on selected days, we also provide a variety of entertainment and attractions to appeal to all ages - from live music to jugglers and face painting to fairground rides.
We also provide parent and baby changing rooms in both enclosures.
- Are there facilities for people with disabilities?
- Newcastle Racecourse aims to provide an accessible environment for all our racegoers, particularly those with disabilities. We provide disabled parking spaces and ramped access to each public Enclosure. Disabled toilets are available in both the Premier and Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure.
- Is there a dress code?
- The Premier Enclosure allows access to all public areas of the racecourse. The official dress code is smart casual and smart attire is preferred. We do not allow ripped jeans, sportswear or trainers. Smart jeans and tailored shorts are acceptable. Jacket and tie is not obligatory.
The Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure provides restricted access to public areas of the course. There is no dress code in this enclosure, however the removal of shirts is not permitted. Fancy dress is also allowed, so long as it's decent!
Both enclosures include bar, food and betting facilities as well as superb racecourse views.
- Can I bring my dog to the Racecourse?
- With the exception of Guide Dogs of the Blind, dogs are only permitted in the main car park and must be kept on leads and secured to the vehicle at all times.
- Can I bring a picnic?
- Picnics are allowed in the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure where picnic tables and chairs are provided during the Summer months. Please note that no alcoholic beverages are to be brought onsite.
- Do I have to pay for parking?
- No, all car parking is free of charge.
- Can I bring a coach?
- Coach parties are always welcome to Newcastle Racecourse and coach drivers are admitted for free on production of valid ID.
- Can I transfer between Enclosures?
- You can upgrade your Grandstand & Paddock ticket to gain access to the Premier Enclosure for £6 on the day of racing at the racecourse office or at the front of Brandling House. Please note the dress code in the Premier Enclosure.
- Where can I get food and drink?
- Both Enclosures have a wide range of catering facilities and bars offering a variety of hot and cold food including burgers, fish and chips, hot dogs, curries, hog roast, sandwiches, snacks, cakes and beverages.
Within the Premier Enclosure the Gosforth Park Suite Restaurant serves a superb three course meal for just £66 and includes, admission, racecard, 3-course lunch, waitress bar service, Tote courier service and reserved, covered, grandstand seating.
- Is there a cash machine at the Racecourse?
- There is a cash machine located on the Ground Floor of Brandling House. Please note there is a transaction fee when you use this cash machine.
- Is there seating available?
- Limited seating is available in both enclosures and in all bar areas.
- Does the weather affect the Racing?
- The weather is probably the single most important factor as to whether a horse meeting goes ahead or not. Weeks, days, and even hours before, owners, jockeys, and course clerks are keeping an eye on the forecast and the ground to see whether the race will carry on, and which horses will run in it.
Even in bad weather conditions, including snow or pouring rain, races can still go ahead. With the exception of fog, the general concept is to look at the effect on the ground, and how dangerous this could be for the horses and jockeys.
The two main factors which will cancel a race are fog and frost. As the jockey goes over a jump he must be able to see the next fence in front. If the fog is too thick for that, the race will be called off. Likewise if there is too much frost, which doesn't look like it will clear, the course will be deemed too dangerous for the horses and riders.
Occasionally elements such as wind and sun can have an impact on horse racing as well. Strong winds during a jump race could be dangerous for the riders. As they go to jump a fence the winds could push the horses off balance, and the results could be pretty horrendous. Equally, the angle of the sun could affect the riders and their horses. If it's so severe that it will shine right into their eyes and they won't be able to see, it could be necessary to omit a fence from the course.
An owner will start to plan where they want their horses to run months ahead, especially when preparing for the big events. For the majority of races though, preparations are made about two to three weeks before an event.
About a week before the race the course officials give the current conditions of the course and the forecast for the days running up to it. A couple of days afterwards, the official entries are put in by owners. From this point onwards they will be in touch with the clerk of the course for the exact details of the ground and information about the weather they are likely to face on race day.
When the day of the race arrives, the clerk is kept busy ensuring the ground is suitable for the race to go ahead with the best conditions. They measure the amount of water in the ground, either with a penatrometer (which takes a scientific measurement of the overall course conditions), or in the old fashioned way of inserting a stick into the ground, and seeing how soft the ground is. If there's been a lot of water on the course it can be very difficult to soak up immediately prior to the event. If the opposite is the case, and the ground is particularly hard, decisions need to be made as to whether to water the course, how much water to add. The Stewards would also be on hand, and it is there job to make the final decision as to whether the race can be run. They use their personal judgment of the conditions they see, to decide whether it is safe for the race to be run.
Different courses present different conditions, and different weather affects the overall state of these grounds. The harder the ground, the faster the race is generally run, and the softer the ground, the slower the race would be. Clerks ideally aim for something between these conditions - called good to firm in racing terms. This would enable a fairly fast race, but the state of the course would mean the safety of the jockeys and horses wouldn't be compromised.
The only things the riders really do in particular weather conditions to protect themselves from the weather, would be to wear waterproof clothing and gloves - to keep out the rain and cold. They also wear goggles to keep the splash out of their eyes. However, if it's quite wet, or there's a lot of mud being splashed from horses in front, the goggles may be worthless as they get covered in dirt.
Horse owners often train their horses on all-weather surfaces, so the weather can't affect their training programme. Three out of the 59 courses in England are created like this. There have been calls for more courses to be like this so the weather won't stop events going ahead, however most owners and riders say this would make racing a lot more boring because all the courses would be the same. In the USA a lot of their courses are of this nature, but the class of racing is somewhat lower.
- Where can I obtain more information on Racedays?
- The race programme is a useful tool to guide you through your day at the races, with details about each race and other helpful information. Programmes are sold at the Racecourse Entrances.
General Information Leaflets and package information is displayed around the course and also available from the racecourse office.
Alternatively please approach any member of staff who will be happy to assist you.
- How do I get to the Racecourse?
- Newcastle Racecourse is easily accessible by road, rail or air.
- How much does it cost?
- With prices starting from as little as £13 per person racing offers tremendous value for money. Full details of ticket pricing can be found here.
- How do I become an annual badge holder?
- 2012 Annual Badge £240
- 2012 Flat only Badge £175
- 2012 Jumps only Badge £140
- When does your season start/finish?
- Newcastle Racecourse doesn't have a season as such as we race all year round, spanning both the Flat and National Hunt Seasons.
- Can I order a brochure?
- es - please contact us and we'll be happy to provide you with further information.
- What happens when you're not racing
- With 30 meetings each year when we're not racing we're still busy! We regularly hold conferences, seminars, exhibition, public events, weddings, concerts and dinners.
- Where should we stay?
- Newcastle Racecourse has strong links with local hotels and can often get preferential rates. Please call the office to ask for details.
- How do I bet?
- The BHB website offers a superb betting guide to tell you all you need to know to back a few winners.
- What is your abandonment & refund policy?
- Very occasionally a race meeting may have to be abandoned because of extreme weather. This is rare and racing can take place under most conditions.
If the meeting is abandoned before the first race, a full refund will be made. If the meeting is abandoned after the first race but before the third, a 50% refund will be made. If the meeting is abandoned after the third race, no refund will be made.
If a refund is needed due to abandonment please call the Racecourse Office and speak to our Admissions Team on 0191 236 2020.
- What time should I arrive on racedays?
- Gates usually open two hours prior to the first race to give you time to get your bearings, read the racecard, have a drink and relax before the excitement start.
- Photography at the racecourse
- Racegoers are permitted to take photographs for their own personal use in public areas of the racecourse but are not permitted to use them for commercial purposes without prior permission from the racecourse office and provision of press accreditation.
PLEASE DO NOT USE FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY NEAR THE HORSES.
Please be aware that your photograph may be taken whilst you are on the racecourse. These photographs may be used in any of the media used by Northern Racing for promotion purposes. They may also be circulated to the media and used by other relevant organisations in their publications.
- Can I use a laptop, tablet or similar computing device on the racecourse?
- You may not use any computing or communications device whilst on the Racecourse to communicate with anyone outside the Racecourse for the purpose of or in connection with any betting. If we suspect you of doing so you will be asked to remove such equipment from the racecourse.
- Can I record racing images or sound?
- You are not permitted to record either directly, or via a TV screen, any images or commentary of any racing, even if it is for personal use.