Known as the ‘sport of kings’, horse racing is a beloved part of the British sporting calendar. It enjoys considerable popularity among all sections of the public and interest in the sport is increasing all the time.
In order to meet this demand, more horse racing events are being added throughout the year which results in a positive effect on the other industries connected with the sport. As expected, this growth in popularity makes horse racing a fantastic betting market, with so many races and events in the calendar for punters to bet on.
The summer in particular plays host to some of the biggest and most exciting horse racing events of the year. In this article, we will take a look at the best British horse racing events of the summer.
2000 Guineas Day
Otherwise known as the 2000 Guineas Stakes, this is a Group 1 horse racing event – which ranks it among the most important on the calendar. The 2023 event is set to be made even more prestigious, as it will take place on Coronation Day, 6th May.
The 2000 Guineas Stakes is a flat race that can be entered by three-year-old fillies and thoroughbreds. The course is the Rowley Mile at Newmarket, one of the premier racecourses in the UK.
2000 Guineas Day is actually part of a three-day event that also includes the 1000 Guineas Stakes. It is the former that is the oldest and most important though, having first been run back in 1809. It is a 1-mile race and is named after the original prize money for the winner.
This will be held on 3rd June this year and is also be called the Derby Stakes or the Epsom Derby. It is easily one of the biggest racing events on the calendar and attracts thousands of spectators every year.
The first ever Derby Festival took place in 1780 and its traditional home is the Epsom Downs Racecourse. It is another of the Group 1 events on the calendar and trainers can enter three-year-old fillies and colts for it.
The race lasts for one mile, four furlongs and six yards and the prize for the winner is £1.5 million. This is an event where the crowd often includes stars and members of the Royal Family.
Another British horse racing event that enjoys a truly global reputation is Royal Ascot. Many consider it to be the showpiece event of the season. As the name suggests, this event regularly attracts royalty and was known to be a favourite of the Queen. It was held for the first time in 1839 and its home has always been Ascot Racecourse.
With prize money of more than £7 million at stake, Royal Ascot is also the most lucrative for the trainers, owners, and jockeys. That means there is huge betting interest too, as well as a chance for women to show off the latest fashions, as photographers from the newspapers are always looking to take snaps of the female attendees.
This year the event will be happening on 22nd June.
The fourth of the top horse races is the July Festival. Taking place at the height of the summer and the racing season, it is another event held at Newmarket. It is a three-day festival of racing, colourful fashions, and sunshine (hopefully!) The Thursday is Ladies Day, with Festival Friday following on day two and then July Cup Day on the Saturday.
The July Festival combines top class horse racing with other forms of entertainment like live DJs. It is also another occasion in which people dress up to the nines, with many of the women sporting the hottest styles.
The main race is the July Cup one on the final day that lasts for six furlongs and draws top horses, jockeys, and trainers from all over the world.
Last on this list of finest UK festivals is the Ebor Festival. The venue for this event is York Racecourse and it closes out the summer racing calendar in the final week of August.
The event gets its name from the Ebor Handicap, the prestigious handicap flat race that rounds off the festival on the last day. There are lots of other great races to watch and bet on during the festival though and it lasts for four days rather than the standard three.
Legendary past Ebor winners have included Enable and Frankel.
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