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Whether you’re a seasoned better or once-a-year type spectator, the onset of summer and start of the horse racing season always brings with it a sense of excitement and carefree fun.
If you think about how many days a year you get to enjoy some drinks in the sun with your friends and family and potentially make a few bucks, going to the races should be a no-brainer.
What isn’t always so easy is deciding which races to attend. We’ve all heard and probably watched some of the Royal Ascot, but what are some of the other alternatives that offer a cheaper way to get involved in the action.
We have listed the top 7 horse racing events to attend in the UK – so look no further.
Aintree Grand National
An early season event sees 600 million people tune in to watch the 40-strong field take on the famous racecourse with 30 fences. The iconic steeplechase event has been run there since 1839 on a racecourse that includes various hospitality tents and all-inclusive restaurants that allow you to enjoy both the action of the day and festivities of the night.
Tickets range from as little as £57 and the event proves to be very popular each year, so make sure you book your place well in advance of the April date. The thrills experienced are unprecedented so it is not hard to see why the Grand National is the most famous jumps race in the world. Check out this page to find out Where is Grand National Aintree? as well as the complete details for the top horses and jockeys.
The Royal Ascot
The well known event is held every year in June, and will always attracts droves of celebrities, royalty as well as well-dressed men, women and children who are all wanting in on the fun and the opportunity to catch the eye of some the world’s most influential.
Expect large crowds, expensive catering and equally expensive (and outrageous) attire. As one of the oldest events in the world, the experience is unrivalled and the purse of over £6 million is unmatched. The Queen has also attended the Royal Ascot every year during her reign – so that may give an indication of how good it really is!
With prizes for best-dressed, countless bars and unlimited music, the Epsom Derby is truly one of Britain’s greatest summer celebrations. There is a dedicated Ladies Day in which all the ladies are invited into the Queen’s stand to compete for best-dressed prizes and to mingle with celebrities.
The following day sees the commencement of Derby Day and of The Greatest Flat Race in The World. The best horses and jockeys will be on display for the final event of the day, the Investec Derby Stakes.
Over 260,000 people will make their way to the Cheltenham Festival, also known as ‘The Festival’, where jockeys and horses will battle it out for the purse of over £4 million. It is the highlight of the country’s Jump season and has an unrivalled atmosphere.
It boasts a dedicated Hall of Fame, Trophy Room and even a Guinness Village for those looking to enjoy the multiple bands that continue the entertainment long after the races are over.
Whilst in Cheltenham make sure to visit and enjoy the Cotswolds.
Scottish Grand National
The greatest day of Jumps in Scotland involves eight races that culminate in the Coral Scottish Grand National that is run over 4 miles and 27 fences. The event has sold out in the last two years and offers free entry for all kids accompanying their parents, so can cater to large families as well as young race-goers.
As the finale to the British flat racing season, Champions Day takes place at Ascot Racecourse and boasts the biggest purse for a single day’s racing at over £4 million.
In the Premier enclosure, Ladies and Gents are required to dress smartly, while in the Grandstand no formal attire is required but everyone is advised to dress for a typical, rainy October day!
Racing Post Trophy
Also one of the later events in the year, the Racing Post Trophy meeting takes place in October at the Doncaster Racecourse. Tickets to view the 8 flat races are usually very reasonably priced and will allow to enjoy the various bands that play into the evening of the event.