Horse racing in the United Kingdom

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Horse racing is an important sporting activity in the United Kingdom; it is at the top of the list of spectator sports and at the same time generates a high amount of revenue. The popularity of this sport stems from its tradition. It started hundreds of years back and has come to grow in a great way. Several events are held every year. In this article, we take a look at the major festivals that will be held between June and December 2021.


Horse racing ranks highly in spectator sports in the United Kingdom. It is also the longest established sports activity dating hundreds of years. In terms of its contribution to the United Kingdom’s economy, it generates close to £4 billion of which approximately £2 is from main racing. To emphasize the importance of this sports activity in the United Kingdom, major racing events including Cheltenham Festival and Royal Ascot are listed as crucial dates in the British and international sporting calendar. Horse racing betting is an important component of the United Kingdom’s betting industry. Horse racing betting sites have contributed heavily towards the growth of the industry to an extent of becoming a major funder of racing events.

Looking back in history, horse racing has been around since the Roman era and it’s believed that most of the rules and traditions that are used in the sport have their origin in this period. The United Kingdom is home to great racecourses such as Ascot, Newmarket, and Cheltenham. The country also prides itself for having produced the world’s greatest jockeys such as Sir Gordon Richards, Fred Archer, and Lester Piggot who has 4493 victories in his career as a professional jockey including his nine Epsom Derby win.


Major events in the United Kingdom horse racing calendar include the flat and national hunt races. Between June and December 2021, there is a number of festivals to watch especially for anyone who is looking to wager on the horse racing betting sites. The duration as many would say will be full of action with major events such as Newcastle John Smith’s Nortumberland Plate, Ascot’s September festival, York Ebor festival, Ascot King George Day, Newmarket October meeting, Newbury Hennessy meeting, and Chepstow coral Welsh National festival among many other events.


Newcastle John Smith’s Nortumberland Plate

This is a flat handicap race that features three years old horses. The event takes place at Newcastle and covers a distance of 3270 meters. The event which will take place in late June as is the tradition each year dates back to 1833 in an event that was won by Tomboy. Originally held on Wednesday during the local miners’ holiday it was switched to weekends in 1952 and since then the event is held on Saturdays. In the history of the race, the most successful horse has been underhand with two wins, that is, in 1857, 1858, and 1859.


Willie Carson and Kevin Darley are the leading jockeys with two wins each. Paul Cole is the leading trainer having garnered three wins; in 1857, 1858, and 1859. Willie Carson and Kevin Darley are the leading jockeys with two wins each. Paul Cole is the leading trainer having garnered three wins. Harry William won the 2020 jockey’s prize when his horse Caravan of Hope emerged the winner. Paul has also won multiple championships in Qatar in the recent past.


The 26th June race has been confirmed and with the COVID-19 restrictions eased, it is expected that the event will be open to the public. Many horse racing fans are waiting for the event after last year's race was canceled due to the current pandemic. Dubbed the most popular racing events at Newcastle Racecourse, the day is a brilliant way through which to enjoy a summer outing. It offers a chance for the fans to watch live horse racing as well as the entertainment that is organized for the event. This year’s event will be graced by Pete Tong who will be performing live after the race. For the betting fans, this will be more than just a horse racing event.


Ascot’s September festival

This September, one of the major festivals to be held at the Ascot Racecourse is the Ascot’s September festival. Ascot is identified with large crowds that frequent the events all around the year, accounting for approximately ten percent of all the racegoers in the United Kingdom. The racecourse hosts 26 days of racing in a year with eight of the meeting taking place between October and March.


Although the Royal Meeting held in June is one of the summer social calendar highlights, the September festivals also attract huge crowds. Other prestigious events include King George VI and Queen Elizabeth stakes all happening in July. The events taking place at Ascot from June to December 2021 include:

  • QIPCO King George Diamond Weekend
  • British Champions Day
  • Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
  • Champion Stakes
  • Noel Murless Stakes
  • Ascot Hurdle
  • Champion Standard Open NH Flat Race
  • Kennel Gate Novices’ Hurdle
  • Ascot Silver Cup 
  • Long Walk Hurdle

Newmarket October meeting 2021

Newmarket is the British horseracing headquarters, home to the largest training yards in the United Kingdom and also the host to major festivals. Apart from hosting the five classic races, the racecourse hosts nine of the major 36 annual group 1 races. The October festivals include: 

  • Cesarewitch Handicap
  • Autumn stakes
  • Rockfel Stakes
  • Dewhurst stakes
  • Darley
  • Middle Park 
  • Zetland.

Among the horses which are expected for the 2nd October, the event includes Ciao Shark, Chipotle, Delorean, Zoltan Star, Adaayinourlife, Jack Leslie among others.


Cheltenham – The Paddy Power Open

This November, Cheltenham will be playing host to The Paddy Power Open day. This is dubbed as the biggest jump race in Cheltenham before Christmas. The event will be held on 13th November 2021. Paddy Power Day fixture will be holding seven races including the Paddy Power Gold Cup and Coole Cody.


Chepstow Coral Welsh National

This is a National hunt steeplechase that is open to four years and older horses running for over about three miles, six and a half furlongs, and jumping over twenty-three fences. The 2020 winning horse was the Adam Wedge trained Secret Reprieve.

People looking for horse racing betting sites will be happy to note that there are lots of events lined up between June and December 2021 as well as beyond. Knowing when these events take place and where can help in planning your bets. For more of these insightful articles on horse racing, stick with us.

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