Doncaster Ladies Day

Doncaster Track

Doncaster track (Steve Fareham, geograph | CC BY-SA 2.0)

The county of Yorkshire is a real hotbed of horseracing action, with the land of the white rose boasting a total of nine racecourses. No surprise then that many of the UK’s most popular Ladies Days take place in the county.

Of those Yorkshire Ladies Days, one of the highest profile comes at the historic track of Doncaster in South Yorkshire. Featuring as part of the four-day St. Leger Festival, this September showstopper is comfortably one of the most well-attended fixtures of the year at “Donny”. In addition to a quality racing card, the track pulls out all the stops in terms of additional entertainment and can be relied upon to provide a cracking atmosphere throughout.

Key Facts

  • When Is It? – Doncaster Ladies Day takes place on a Thursday afternoon in early September each year, serving as the second day of the prestigious four-day St. Leger Festival.
  • Ticket Prices – Early Bird Standard ticket prices range from £12.50 in the Family Enclosure and stretch up to £85 for the Premier Enclosure.
  • Where Is It? – Doncaster Racecourse lies just over a mile outside Doncaster town centre in South Yorkshire.
  • Major Races – The signature events on an excellent seven-race card are the May Hill Stakes and Park Hill Stakes, both of which are restricted to female performers.
  • Verdict – A huge event on the local social calendar, Doncaster Racecourse lays on a fun-packed autumn Ladies Day, crammed with bubbles, fashion, great food and that famous Yorkshire charm.

When Is It?

Doncaster grandstand

Doncaster Grandstand (, Wikipedia | CC BY-SA 3.0)

Doncaster Ladies Day is a key feature of the four-day September St. Leger meeting, which celebrates Britain’s oldest Classic horse race. The meeting runs from Wednesday through to Saturday, with Ladies Day taking place on the Thursday ahead of the eponymous showpiece on the Saturday.

With additional entertainment in the stands, including a competitive Style Awards competition – which awarded £1,000 cash to the winner in 2022 – there is plenty to keep racegoers occupied between races. Turning to the action on the track, a total of seven exciting contests are on offer, with the first getting underway at 1:10pm and the last commencing at 4:15pm.

Gates open at 11am should you wish to settle in early and perhaps grab a drink or bite to eat. Following the racing action, a live music act keeps the party going until around 6pm – so don’t forget to bring those dancing shoes!

How Much Are Tickets?

Doncaster offers four main ticketing options for its signature Ladies Day of the year. Whilst being slightly higher than for a regular meeting, the prices compare favourably with many other high-profile Ladies Days in the country.

Family Enclosure

From £12.50 – Located alongside the home straight, the track’s cheapest option still provides excellent views of the racing. Featuring a covered grandstand area, catering, and betting facilities, this area is the number one choice for those bringing the kids along. However, as an alcohol-free zone, this may not be the best option for a group looking to really get into the swing of Ladies Day.

Grandstand Enclosure

From £25 – Home to no fewer than eight bars, in addition to providing access to the food hall and Champagne court, this area has all you need for an excellent day out. Sitting at the mid-point of the home straight, the view of the racing action is also top-notch.

County Enclosure

From £40 – Located right next to the Grandstand Enclosure, and bang in line with the winning post, this area provides a selection of higher-end food and drink options, the highlight of which is the swish Champagne Lawn.

Premier Enclosure

From £85 – With a strictly limited capacity, this area offers a raceday with a more personal touch. Located in a glass-fronted suite on the third floor of the Grandstand, this area provides the very best views of the track and food and drink options to match.


From £195-£330 – Those seeking the ultimate in luxury may wish to consider one of the track’s excellent hospitality packages. Offering champagne receptions, three-course gourmet meals, afternoon tea, and an inclusive bar, these deals are popular with many Ladies Day groups. See the hospitality section of the track’s official website for full details.

The prices quoted above refer to a single adult ticket when purchased in advance. Groups of six or more will receive a £2 discount per ticket when booking and paying for their tickets in advance of the meeting.

Getting There

Doncaster Racecourse entrance

Doncaster Racecourse (The Trust Doncaster, Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0)

  • Racecourse Address – Doncaster Racecourse, Bawtry Road, Doncaster, DN2 6BB
  • By Road – Doncaster Racecourse is easily reached via the M1 (junction 32), M18 (junction 34), A1 (junction 36) and the M62. Once in the vicinity of the town, simply follow the signs on to the course where ample paid car parking can be found, priced at £5 per vehicle.
  • By Rail – Doncaster train station is situated in the town centre. Sitting on the London to Edinburgh and Plymouth to Newcastle main lines, the station is easily reached from most areas of the country. From the station, racegoers then have the option of stretching their legs and walking, taking a short taxi ride to the course, or a shuttle bus service which runs from the station to the track. Bus tickets are priced at £2 for a single and £3 for a return. The service from the station runs every 30 minutes from around 11am until half an hour before the first race. Return journeys follow a similar schedule, beginning just after the last race and continuing for one hour, or until the conclusion of any post-race entertainment.
  • Public Transport – Local bus services provide an alternative option for those travelling from Doncaster town centre. The numbers 21, 25, 29, 98 and 99 all depart from the train station’s bus terminal and stop just outside the course.

The Racing

Ladies Day is marketed as the only event of the season where the focus on fashion matches the attention paid to the action on the track. And just as the dresses and millenary efforts on display are of an impressively high standard, so too is the racing.

In common with several UK Ladies Days, the main events on the track see the spotlight shine on the female performers i.e. fillies and mares. Expect a real buzz in the betting ring ahead of the May Hill Stakes over 1m, and the Park Hill Stakes over 1m6f. Both races are classified as Group 2 events (close to the top of the tree in terms of quality) and invariably attract an extremely high class of performer.

Exciting handicapping and juvenile contests make up the rest of the card, with one of the standouts being the opening Silk Series Handicap for female riders only. Horse racing is one of just a small number of sports where men and women can compete equally and so it is great to see female jockeys to the fore.

Doncaster Racecourse

Racing at Doncaster

Racing at Doncaster (penske666, Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0)

They have been racing in this corner of South Yorkshire for over 400 years now, with tales of early events in the area dating all the way back to 1595. No surprise then that Doncaster is home to not only the UK’s oldest Classic contest in the form of the St Leger, but also the oldest continually running race held anywhere in the world in the Doncaster Gold Cup.

These days visitors to the track may spot the odd nod to that rich history, but overall, this is an impressively modern facility. Now owned by the Arena Racing Company (ARC), who are the largest racecourse operator on these shores, the track has benefitted from regular investment over the years. The most significant upgrades came in relatively recent times, with ARC pumping a massive £34m into the track – the headline addition being the erection of an imposing five-storey grandstand, complete with private suites and a wide range of bars and excellent restaurants.

Doncaster now boasts four separate stands, in addition to a handy on-course Holiday Inn for those who wish to stay over before or after racing. You are sure to find a good time no matter which area of this vast site you choose to attend, but it is still nice to know a little more about what to expect when booking those tickets. With that in mind, we conclude by selecting a few of the highlights found within each of the main enclosures.

Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure

  • Wide Selection of Traditional Bars – Artic Cosmos Bar, Motivator Bar, Septimus Bar, Cask Ale Bar, Lucarno Bar, Lord Clifton Bar and Clock Tower Bar.
  • Champagne and Prosecco Bar – Ladies Day-friendly area specialising in all the finest fizz.
  • Food Court – The ideal place to grab a quick bite between races, the Food Court offers pizzas, burgers, pies, burritos, nachos and more.

County Stand

  • The Champagne Lawn – Serving up top quality Champagne in a beautiful, lawned area.
  • Nijinsky Suite – Named after an equine great of the past, this offers swish draught and bottle beers and is located on the first floor of the main grandstand.
  • Lincoln Bar – Sitting on the third floor of the main grandstand, this modern bar offers a relaxed setting and great views of the track.
  • Pimm’s Hut – Located within the main stand, this shack-style (in the best possible way) bar specialises in refreshing Pimm’s cocktails and prosecco.
  • Gin Hut – Also within the main grandstand, this popular spot offers up a wide array of gin and tonic flavour combinations.

Premier Enclosure

This area grants access to all facilities contained within the County Stand in addition to the following:

  • The Premier Suite – Located adjacent to the Lincoln Bar on the third floor of the main grandstand, the track’s swankiest bar offers the best seat in the house, with outstanding views over the whole course.
  • The Home Straight Restaurant – A beautiful glass-fronted facility on the third floor of the grandstand, offering top-quality food and first-class service.