UNMISSABLE UK HORSE RACING FESTIVALS
Those we consider the most important horse racing festivals are the multiple day race meetings like the Cheltenham Festival, Grand National, Epsom Derby and Royal Ascot! As the season progresses, we’ll cover the top 20+ major Jumps & Flat horse racing festivals in our unique Racing Festival Guides with comprehensive information on the racecourse, the festival, race-card, tickets, travel and useful local information e.g. where to find places to stay (hotels near racecourses), where to eat out (restaurants) and what else there is to do in the area (what’s on), making it even easier to go racing in the UK.
UNMISSABLE IRISH HORSE RACING FESTIVALS
Horse racing in Ireland is as breathing is to the rest of us! Going to an Irish racing festival is one of life’s great pleasures – from the Irish National in April to the Galway Festival in the Summer where you can watch top-class race horses run on lush Irish green turf. Since going racing is a way of life on the ‘Emerald Isle’, there are some 26 racecourses where you can go racing in Ireland. Many Irish racecourses host both Flat and Jump Irish racing fixtures. Festivals of Racing focus on the top Irish racing fixtures; those that are really festivals held over multiple days.
The home of Irish Jump Racing, Punchestown hosts 17 race meetings each year. The highlight of the racing calendar is the 5-day Irish National Hunt Festival in April / May. Punchestown Festival hosts some of Ireland’s best jump racing, with 11 Grade 1 races during the 5-day Spring Jump Festival.
Fairyhouse Irish National
Staged at Fairyhouse over Easter weekend, the Irish National is Ireland’s most valuable steeplechase with a prize fund of €250,000. One of the most iconic races in Irish Racing, it’s also one of the biggest events in Irish Sport with a 20,000 plus crowd – what better way to spend the Easter break!
Curragh Irish Derby
The Curragh is where you’ll see the best horses in the world doing what they do best on a glorious turf. Steeped in tradition, the Curragh stages 5 Classic races: The Irish Derby; The Irish Oaks; The 1000 Guineas; The Irish 2000 Guineas and The Irish St Leger in addition to many more great races.
Galway Festival is the highpoint of the Irish Summer racing season with 51 races over 7 glorious days and nights. This unique, unforgettable race meeting features top-class racing, high fashion, fun with friends. A bus service to & from the City make the Galway Races the perfect sporting and social occasion for everyone.
The centre-piece of Killarney’s racing year, the July festival has a mix of Flat & Jump Racing over the 4 days. Monday is Family Day. Wednesday is ‘Roses at the Races’ Day. Thursday is Ladies Day; the highlight of the festival when the Dawn Dairies Queen of Fashion & Most Stylish Hat Awards are hotly contested each year.
Curragh Irish Derby
Originally 2 days, such is Listowel Harvest Festival’s popularity that in 2002 it became the joint longest racing festival in Ireland. At 7 days in duration it’s now the same as the Galway races and second in attendance only to that event. It is the last major festival of the Summer, so the crowds make the most of the festivities.
EPSOM DOWNS - THE DERBY
The Derby: The ‘Blue Riband’ of British Flat Racing. Taking place at Epsom Downs Racecourse, with prize money standing at f £1.325m, The Derby has one of the biggest prize funds in UK racing, matched only by the prestige that victory brings. As the most famous of Britain’s 5 classic races, The Derby is the one race that everyone wants to win and boasts an unrivalled roll of honour, from legendary names such as Seabird, Nijinsky, Mill Reef, Shergar and Galileo. This historic race dates back to 1780 and represents the culmination of style and sophistication, set alongside some exhilarating racing. In addition to The Derby, the other big race on this prestigious day in flat racing, is The Oaks, for the fillies, which predates even The Derby.
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