The biggest UK races

Horse racing is a big deal in the UK, with punters flocking in their thousands to some of the biggest events of the year. If you’re a huge racing fan, you’ll no doubt be up to date on all the latest racing odds from Betfair, and you may even be looking at the next big race – the Grand National – to place your bets.

With the number of big races held in the UK, there are plenty of opportunities for fans to organise a trip to the races. Here are four of the biggest UK races.


The Cheltenham Festival is the first big race of the season and the 2019 edition provided some fascinating results. The four day festival takes place at Prestbury Park racecourse in March and the most prestigious race of the event is the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Golden Miller is the most successful horse to have raced in the Gold Cup, having won five consecutive races. Best Mate is the most recent horse to have won the race in successive years, having won three in a row from 2002-04.

Al Boum Photo surprised many people by winning this year’s Gold Cup, having been priced as the joint-sixth favourite at 12/1. Presenting Percy, who was expected to win the race, finished a hugely disappointing eighth, a vast 33 lengths behind Al Boum Photo.

Grand National

Probably the most bet on race by ordinary members of the public, the Grand National is a unique race steeped in history. The Grand National is raced at Aintree racecourse in Liverpool in April and there is always a huge buzz around the course on race day.

Red Rum is arguably the most iconic horse to have raced at Aintree, having won the Grand National on three occasions, more than any other horse in the race’s history. The winning horse goes on to become a legend, and this year defending champion Tiger Roll will look to take a stride closer to Red Rum status by winning two in a row. He is the current favourite at 4/1, a long way ahead of second favourite Anibale Fly, who currently has a price of 11/1.

Epsom Derby

The Epsom Derby is an annual race held at Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey in early June. It is the biggest flat race in the UK racing calendar and “The Derby” has been a name borrowed by many worldwide races, most notably the US’ big race – the Kentucky Derby.

Shergar is the most famous horse to have won the Epsom Derby, when he won it in 1981 by a record 10 lengths. Unfortunately, Shergar was kidnapped from his stud and this became one of sport’s greatest mysteries.

Royal Ascot

The Royal Meeting at Ascot Racecourse is the final big race of the season and it is held in the second half of June. The meeting is the most valuable in British racing and it is the prize money on offer which lures many of the world’s best horses to the race.

The main race of the meeting is the Gold Cup, which is a Group 1 flat race, and Yeats is the most famous horse to have won the race, having done so four years in succession, and is the only horse ever to have done so.

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