Unmissable UK Horse Racing Festivals

Horse racing festivals we consider the most important, and simply should not be missed are featured in our major horse racing festival guides. These are the top multi-day race meetings like the Cheltenham Festival, Grand National, Epsom Derby and Royal Ascot. Other major races, like the St Leger, are covered elsewhere on the site. Our top horse racing festival guides provide comprehensive information on each festival, the race-card, racecourse, enclosures, hospitality, dress code, tickets, travel and more.

Cheltenham

Cheltenham Festival

£600 million will be wagered at the “Jewel in the Crown” of British horse racing; the Cheltenham Festival

Grand National

Grand National Steeplechase

Over 10 million people watch the world’s greatest jump racing spectacle; The Grand National at Aintree.

Epsom Derby

Epsom Derby

With a £1.6 million prize fund the Derby is the UK’s richest horse race; the ultimate test for horse & jockey.

Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot

The centrepiece of the British racing calendar; 300,000 attend Royal Ascot in June; including HM the Queen!

The Ebor

Frankel at The Ebor York Racecourse

Details coming soon

Glorious Goodwood

Glorious Goodwood Festival

Glorious Goodwood in July / August is the sporting and social highlight of the high Summer Flat racing season.

The St Leger

It is said “The fastest horse wins the Guineas; the luckiest the Derby & the best horse wins the St Leger.” While it’s not stricly a festival, being a one day racing fitxture, the St Leger is nevertheless a very important Group 1 race, being the last ‘leg’ of the UK’s Trople Crown, last won by Nijinsky in 1970, with Lester Piggott in the saddle, and deserving – in our opinion – a section of its own.

Major Irish 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.

Dublin Racing Festival

Dublin Racing Festival Leopardstown

The highlight of the Irish racing calendar is the 5-day Irish National Hunt Festival in April / May at Punchestown.

Punchestown

Punchestown Spring Festival

The highlight of the Irish racing calendar is the 5-day Irish National Hunt Festival in April / May at Punchestown.

Irish Derby

Irish Derby at The Curragh

See the best horses in the world at The Curragh in June: The Irish Derby, Irish Oaks,  1000 Guineas, 2000 Guineas and the Irish St Leger.

Galway Festival

Galway Festival

Galway is the highpoint of the Irish Summer racing season with 51 races over 7 glorious days and nights.

Champions Weekend

Irish Champions Weekend

The Irish Champions Weekend is a 2-day event in September, run at both Leopardstown Racecourse and the Curragh in County Kildare.

Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is a Group 1 flat horse race in France open to thoroughbreds aged three years or older. It is run at Longchamp over a distance of 2,400 metres (1.5 miles) with a purse of 3,000,000 Euros. It is scheduled to take place each year, usually on the first Sunday in October. Pictured is Frankie Dettori after winning ‘The Arc’ on Enable, in 2018.

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Nothing beats a day at the races! But if you can’t be there in person, Festivals of Racing is the next best thing to experiencing the excitement and atmosphere at a major racing festival. Register for our FREE Newsletter covering all the important festivals on the racing calendar, such as Royal Ascot, the Derby, Cheltenham, Grand National, Punchestown, Galway Festival and more.

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