Britain is the home of horse racing. While there are prestigious racing events in Dubai, the USA, Australia, and France, everything began in Britain. Hence, it is hardly surprising that the country goes mad for horses during the racing season (usually March to December.) During this time, sports betting companies enjoy a boom as enthusiasts come from all over to place their bets at Timeform in the hopes of winning something.
However, bets aren’t all the races have to offer as they are notorious for their infectious atmosphere, which is why so many people happily attend the races. If you want to try out the sport and live in the UK, here are the very best ones to attend
The Ascot Gold Cup
One of the oldest horse races in existence, the Ascot Gold Cup, is royalty. This is partly because the Ascot race track was opened in 1711 by the late great Queen Anne. While the competition has evolved since its inception, it easily remains one of the most prestigious races. In addition, the race goes on for over 4,000 meters and has had Queen Elizabeth in attendance throughout her reign.
King George VI Chase
The King George VI Chase is a festive competition that takes place on the 26th of December. Not only that, but it amps up the excitement and difficulty by adding 18 fences. Therefore, horses aren’t only tasked with running faster than their companions but also showing more grace and dexterity. Like the Ascot cup, the King George chase has a fascinating history and is named after the eponymous monarch who instituted it in 1938.
There are few races as challenging and impressive as the Epsom Derby, which is also simply known as ‘The Derby’. Open to colt and fillies aged three years, this race is notable as it requires horses to show incredible discipline and poise to have a shot at winning. This is mainly due to the nature of the track, which features several turns and is uneven. While the race has been in existence for several decades, no filly has emerged winner since 1914.
Cheltenham Gold Cup
One of the biggest appeals of competitions is the stars they produce. As a result, the Cheltenham Gold Cup is held in high regard. Several cult horses like Kauto Star and Golden Miller have featured in this race, which features 22 fences that the horses have to jump over. The event is usually held in March, and the track goes over a distance of about 3 miles, 2½ furloughs.
Perhaps, the most brutal race on this list, the Grand National, has featured several tragedies with some horses dying. This is, in part, due to the challenging nature of the course. The track goes on for 4 miles and 4 furloughs and includes a staggering 30 fences, including the infamous ‘the chair’ which is the highest jump of them all, standing at 4’ 8” high, but the landing side is a different height to the take off side, meaning that in reality the horses have to clear a total height of 5’ 2”.
The competition is old with the first one taking place way back in 1839, and with its age, comes a prestige that many other more recent races just can’t match, when people think of the sport of horse racing, many of their minds go straight to the Grand National. It popularity has not waved over the many years it has been running, as it is still one of the most watched and attended sporting events in the world.