Throughout this article we will look at the different horse racing meetings that are apparent throughout the horse racing calendar. With each event we will try to add a little about that meet whilst informing you of dates and any notable races throughout each meeting.
February Racing Meets
- Betfair Ascot Chase
The February meeting at Ascot is a great starting point for horses looking to apply their trade in preparation to the larger Cheltenham Festival. The meet has had stars such as Kauto Star regularly visit with a number of other Group 1 horses. It’s probably the biggest meet of the New Year and as it’s Ascot, you can be assured it’s a classy affair with all the bells and whistles.
March Racing Meets
- Cheltenham Festival
One of the highlights of the horse acing calendar, not just in the UK but around the world. The Cheltenham Festival sees 4 days of the best races and best race horses in the world compete for some of the largest cash prizes on offer. The pinnacle of the meet comes in the form of the Cheltenham Gold Cup which has seen many of the greatest horses of all time compete including the likes of Kauto Star and Denman two of the modern greats in horse racing history. Each day provides a wealth of talent on show with Group 1 races making up the bulk of the competition.
April Racing Meets
- Grand National
The three day meet for the John Smith’s Grand National hosts what is widely regarded as the richest horse race in the world, The Grand National. It’s an event where everyone, even non horse racing fans, comes out of the woodwork to have a flutter on what is in all honesty, a bit of a lottery. Nonetheless some of the greats such as Red Rum have gone down in history after winning the Grand National no fewer than 3 times, a staggering feat in field sizes often reaching 40+.
- Scottish Grand National
Usually the week after, the Scottish Grand National fires into action with a two day meet in Ayr. Whilst crowds aren’t as big as the Grand National itself, over 20,000 flock to see a competitive field.
May Racing Meets
- May Festival
Chester race course is the setting for the May festival and what a setting it is. Just a small walk from the idyllic city, the race course and meet is synonymous with race goers as the start of summer and each year this race course is immaculately turned out. The highlight of the meet comes in the form of the Chester Cup which is a handicapped race around the 2 and a quarter miles of the Chester track.
June Racing Meets
- The Epsom Derby
If horse racing had majors, this meeting would certainly be one of them. It’s one of the biggest in the world and each year’s attract tens of thousands of visitors to see the best flat racing horses. Leter Piggot was widely regarded as the Derby king riding no less than 9 winners around the great track. In recent years the likes of Sea The Stars, Workforce, Sea-Bird and Mill Reef have all done battle on the hallowed turf.
- Royal Ascot
One of the very few meetings around the world to host a 5 day event can only mean one thing, Royal Ascot. Ascot is the pinnacle of the horse racing world with everything from the best race horses, the best races, the biggest prize money, the best fashion and of course, the Royal stamp of approval. The biggest race comes on Thursday (Ladies Day) in the form of the Gold Cup. The race makes up a substantial package of over £3.5million in prize money over the week and is the most coveted prize on show.
July Racing Meets
- Glorious Goodwood
Glorious Goodwood is quintessentially British in every way. The beauty of the course shines through and the pedigree of racing on offer is second to none. The three day meeting offers up two group 1 races with a host of group 2 races thrown in for good measure.
August Racing Meets
- Ebor Festival
The Ebor Festival at York races is widely regarded as the North’s racing highlight of the year. Set at the picturesque race course that is York, the meet tries to live up with the style and values of a meet such as Ascot, whilst offering two group 1 races over the 3 days. On top of that there are 3 group 2 races with the Ebor Festival attracting an international feel to the north.
September Racing Meets
- Betfred Sprint Cup
Haydock plays host to the showdown of the sprinting season. The final meet of the flat season brings together an amalgamation of the best sprinters for one last pull to see who’s the best before the flat season ends and the jump season starts. The setting couldn’t be any more fitting with Haydock famously known for its annual ‘Festival of Speed’.
- St Leger Meeting
Doncaster plays host to the St Leger meeting which brings in some of the strongest sprinters around the world. The group 1 race is the only classic of its kind held in the north and brings together a Group 1 race worthy of its title as one of the oldest classics in the world dating back to 1776.
October Racing Meets
- QIPCO British Champions Day
Ascot plays host to this meeting and is one of the largest of its kind with prize money reaching over £3million for a single days racing. The group 1 Champion Stakes provides the highlight of the day with one of the premier prizes in the world.
November Racing Meets
- The Open Meeting
It’s Cheltenham where the opening of the jump season starts and the Open Meeting certainly sets it off with a bang. The international field now congregates on the 3 day event with the highlight race being that of the Paddy Power Gold Cup. Often in battling conditions the horses pound around the Cheltenham track in a true test to kick off the jump season.