A RACECOURSE is set to re-open in time for the flat racing season following a major £600,000 refurbishment.

Catterick Racecourse will commence its 2019 season on Monday, June 17, and unveil its new facilities, designed by Richmond-based, architects Harris Irwin Associates (HIA), and part of a phased £3.5m scheme.

Jockeys will benefit from an extended weighing room complex, complete with a new warm-up area, state-of-the-art facilities and space to relax between races.

An enlarged parade ring will give racegoers an improved view of the runners when making their selections ahead of each race, and includes a new winner's enclosure.

Katie Craggs, project architect for Harris Irwin Associates said: “HIA have been delighted to be part of the team to help deliver the next stage of the redevelopment works at Catterick Racecourse. The weighing room and parade room are an integral part of racing with the arrangement and organisation of spaces paramount to a successful day."

This is the second stage in a three-phase development plan. The first stage, which opened in December 2018, included the new main entrance, offices and saddling boxes, as well as a new horse box park.

Miss Craggs added: “The reconfiguration of the parade ring and introduction of the new winners podium not only improves the flow and movement for the horses but complements and completes the new entrance.”

Fiona Needham, general manager at Catterick, said: “We are really pleased that the second phase of our significant improvements programme has been completed on time; the improvements will greatly enhance the race day experience for both racing professionals and racegoers alike.

“We’re looking forward to starting the final stage of Catterick’s £3.5m investment plan shortly. This is a new two-storey trackside owners and trainers facility, which is due to be ready in the early part of our 2020 flat season.”

The opening meeting, on Monday, June 17, marks the first of 15 flat fixtures at Catterick this season where under 18s race free with accompanying adults at all our fixtures. The racecourse also offers discounted admission for all military personnel.

To celebrate the opening of the new facilities, racegoers will have the opportunity to win a visit into the new Parade Ring by entering the race card competition on the day.

The lucky winners will judge the Best Turned Out horse in the new Parade Ring ahead of the race and present a memento to the winning connections on the new Winner’s Enclosure podium immediately after the race.

The first of seven races on Monday 17 June is scheduled for 2.15pm and the gates will be open from 12.15pm onwards. The feature race on the day is the Every Race Live on Racing TV Handicap Stakes at 3.45pm, with £11,600 prize money up for grabs, but who will be the first to step onto the new winner’s podium at Catterick Races?

For more information and to book tickets, visit www.catterickbridge.co.uk.