Biggest UK Horse Racing Events
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Biggest UK Horse Racing Events

The United Kingdom has a rich horse racing history, with some of the most prestigious races being held within its borders. Apart from exciting horse racing fans, bettors also anticipate these events as they search for deals like the best free bets for Cheltenham. While many horse racing events populate the UK calendar, a few stand out, and this article points them out.

The 5 Biggest Horse Racing Events in The UK

Horse Racing Events in The UK

Among the various UK horse races, there are five of them that stand out as the most prestigious, and they are:

1. The Grand National

Many Britons highly regard the annual horse race known as the Grand National. In Aintree, Merseyside, England, the Aintree racecourse hosts an annual gathering of horse racing enthusiasts.

In this racing event, 40 jockeys compete over a long distance of four and a quarter miles. The horses will jump 30 spruce fences during this race, making it one of the ultimate endurance tests. Only horses that are seven years old or older can participate in this handicap steeplechase race.

In this event, few horses have reached the popularity of the 1970s people’s champion, Red Rum. Red Rum became recognized as the people’s champion when it won this event three times. These days, however, many horses, like Mon Mome, Neptune Collonges, and Tiger Roll, have that honor.

2. Cheltenham Gold Cup

As the main highlight of the Cheltenham Festival, horse racing fans in almost every UK city look forward to this event every year. By March, the Cheltenham racecourse will be packed full of fans looking to see famous jockeys race and bettors looking to win big.

This cup offers the biggest cash grab besides The Grand National for jockeys and trainers, making it an anticipated event.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is a three-mile, two-and-a-half furlong steeplechase race. Racing in this event is restricted to horses five years of age and older.

Over the years, many horses have dominated the track, like the 1960s Arkle, Best Mate from the early 2000s, and Kauto Star.

3. The Epsom Derby

This is another prestigious horse racing event scheduled for June each year at Epsom Downs Racecourse. The Epsom Derby (or The Derby) is a Group 1 flat horse race that can only be competed by three-year-old fillies and colts.

This is one of the world’s most popular flat horse races and the most prestigious of the British Classics. The Epsom Derby is run on an undulating track, making it a massive test for the horses and their jockeys.

Most young horses who won this event have had successful stud careers. Some great names that have won this race include Mill Reef, Nijinsky, Galileo, Shergar, and Sea The Stars.

4. King George VI Chase

The end of the year doesn’t signify the end of the horse racing calendar, as UK fans can anticipate the King George VI Chase.

On Boxing Day each year, horse racing fans in the UK gather at Kempton Park to witness this exciting event. As this event is held just a day after Christmas, UK residents see it as a part of the season’s celebrations.

This Grade 1 horse racing event is a national hunt steeplechase, run over three miles while jumping 18 fences. Only horses that are four years old and older are permitted to participate in this race.

Over the years, many horses have made their mark in this race. Some of them include:

  • Desert Orchid: Won the race four times in the 80s
  • Kauto Star: Won the race five times in the 2000s.

5. Gold Cup

The Gold Cup is a Group 1 race in Great Britain that’s believed to be the most prestigious event for ‘Stayers.’ This long-distance race is run over two miles, three furlongs, and 210 yards, making it one of the longest group races.

The Gold Cup has a deep history as one of the world’s oldest races, dating back to 1807. It makes up the first leg of the ‘Stayers’ Triple Crown,’ followed by the Goodwood Cup and the Doncaster Cup.

This event is held every June at the Ascot racecourse in Ascot, England. Like Estimate, which Queen Elizabeth owned, many of the winners of this race were members of the royal family.


The Derby, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, The Grand National, the Gold Cup, and the King George VI Chase are the biggest UK races. These horse races attract the biggest crowds, the most popular jocks, and offer the biggest betting payouts.

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