A quintessentially British pastime, horse racing has been popular in the UK for centuries. The first recorded horse racing event occurred in the 17th century, and has evolved into a spectacle for all racing fans. What’s more, British horse racing has become synonymous with first-class cuisine, Haute fashion, celebrities, and even members of the royal family regularly attending the events.
The whole ordeal is more than impressive, especially for high-class cloth cap-wearing men and elegantly dressed women. Some of the most prestigious horse racing spectacles are nothing without such images of sophisticated spectators and exciting matches.
That said, what are some of the most prestigious horse racing events in the UK? Keep reading to find out.
Whether you visit the Royal Ascot every June to see some of the most extravagant hats and caps or get a glimpse of Queen Elizabeth II, this event is one of the most prestigious countries. Not only is the Royal Ascot all about horse racing, but it’s also about fashion and celebrity culture.
The Royal Ascot has a long history, with its opening day dating back to 1711. Since then, it has run almost continually at the Ascot Racecourse. The total prize pool in 2020 was over £8 million, although that number might be reduced in 2021.
The highlight of the event is the Gold Cup race, containing the largest portion of the pool prize. Players claimed more than £6.5 million in winnings across the entire event, most of which were placed on the Gold Cup alone.
The Grand National is considered a national treasure of the UK as it’s a top event for passionate horse racing fans. The event is held every April, and approximately 600 million fans attend it each year. The spectacle is just as entertaining as it is unpredictable, with around 150,000 spectators at the Aintree Racecourse location.
The event was launched in 1839, only ten years after the completion of the racecourse. Some of history’s greatest horses have run at the Grand National to get a portion of the £750,000 prize fund. However, it is estimated that bookies generate over £250 million on this event every year. So, it’s not surprising that this is one of the most popular horse racing events in the UK.
The Cheltenham Festival is the first major race on the British calendar, taking place in March at the Cheltenham Racecourse in Gloucestershire. The four-day event usually takes place during St. Patrick’s Day, thus generating a lot of Irish spectators. The first event was held in 1860, and it’s a textbook example of a traditional British horse racing event.
The festival’s prize pool is second only to the Grand National, with around £625,000 in total. What’s more, the event tends to live up to its festival name rather than just a horse racing competition. That’s why it attracts more than just the sophisticated high-class audience, unlike other horse racing events. Similarly, it’s a big opportunity for sports bettors to take home large amounts of money as the event comes with plenty of surprises.