Horse racing has always been a betting enthusiast’s dream. The thoroughbred racing scene in the United Kingdom has some of the world’s top races. Believe it or not, horse racing is the second most popular spectator sport in the United Kingdom. With a season that runs from March to December, there’s plenty of action all year. With some races stretching back hundreds of years, it is no surprise that these sports events are close to the hearts of their respective countries.
Many of the races are significant social and sporting events in both the United Kingdom and Ireland. It’s no surprise that individuals are flocking to the betting booths or their computers to place their bets. Below is a summary of some of the biggest horse races, meetings, and festivals in the United Kingdom throughout the season.
Royal Ascot Festival
The Royal Ascot is the highlight of the Ascot Racecourse’s year, with 30 races held over five days from Tuesday to Saturday during a week in June. During Royal Ascot week, about 300,000 visitors flock to Berkshire, England. Every year, Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the Royal Family participate, arriving by horse-drawn carriage among the hundreds of thousands of onlookers. The Royal Ascot is a big social event in the British calendar, with plenty of journalists and celebrities on hand every day and millions of pounds in prize money on the line.
The Grand National
The Grand National is an annual horse race held at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England. Hunt races are horse races in which horses must hop over fences and ditches throughout the route. The Grand National is one of the strongest and most physically ambitious horse races of the season, with a course of more than 4 miles (6.44 km) and fences that are higher than those of other National Hunt races. It has been dubbed the “ultimate test of horse and rider.”
The Grand National is attended by an estimated 500 to 600 million people from 140 countries. Many people who don’t regularly watch or bet on horse racing throughout the year attend races.
The British Classics
The British Classics are a series of five historic horse events held during the conventional flat racing season. Level races are held on flat tracks with no fences or ditches for the horses to jump over. These five races are restricted to three-year-old horses and have long been regarded as the peak of performance for racehorses competing against their own age group.