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The British horse racing calendar is among the best in the world. Every year, the country’s top flat and jumps racing events attract the best of the best in terms of horses, jockeys, trainers and, in the case of a certain summer festival, royalty.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the key events that will make up the remainder of the 2022 season, as well as providing some hints and tips for first-time punters.
With so much world-class racing to look forward to, it’s going to be an exciting year ahead.
Getting Started with Betting
Being such a popular sport among British punters, horse racing offers up plenty of betting markets for everyone from the most experienced right the way through to novices. Its ubiquitousness also makes it one of the more approachable sports to cut your betting teeth on, since bookmakers are known for providing a variety of betting options on a single race.
There’s plenty of flexibility when it comes to betting on any of the major UK racing events. Punters can utilise on-course betting options during each event, or choose to place wagers online in the lead-up.
Online betting can prove to be advantageous in several ways. Digital bookmakers strive to offer the most competitive betting markets, as well as provide promotions such as horse racing free bets to new customers. Meanwhile, for more experienced punters, online ante-post betting – in which wagers are placed before the final confirmation of a race takes place – provides both odds and returns that are substantially higher in comparison.
2022’s Key Race Meetings
There’s nothing better than spending a glorious sunny day at the races. Luckily, during the spring and summer months the UK calendar is jam-packed with invigorating race meetings.
QIPCO Guineas Festival
Taking place at the “home” of British horseracing, the annual QIPCO Guineas Festival provides three days of world-class flat racing. The first meeting of the legendary triple crown (2000 Guineas, the Derby and the Saint Leger), the colt or filly who takes the Guineas is all set for a spectacular year ahead.
When: 30th April – 1st May
Where: Newmarket Racecourse
Feature races: 1000 & 2000 Guineas
Continuing the momentum built up at the Guineas, the Cazoo Derby festival is the next meeting to take centre stage. The home of the Epsom Derby, aka the “Greatest Flat Race in the World”, this festival is renowned with racing elite all across the globe. With a total prize pot of £1,125 million, the Derby is also the world’s richest flat race.
When: 3 – 4th June
Where: Epsom Downs
Feature races: The Oakes, The Derby
When it comes to British racing festivals, nothing quite beats Royal Ascot. Attended by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth herself, this summer meeting culminates in one of the most hotly-anticipated races of the season – the Gold Cup.
When: 14th June – 18th June
Where: Ascot Racecourse
Feature races: Coronation Stakes, St James’s Palace Stakes, Queen Anne Stakes, Prince of Wales’s Stakes, Gold Cup.
Qatar Goodwood Festival
Rounding off the warmer months will be “Glorious Goodwood”. A flat racing meeting taking place over a splendid five days, expect to see the world’s finest thoroughbreds battle it out on the hallowed Goodwood turf. This year, superstar stayer Stradivarius will make a welcome return to claim the Goodwood Cup for a record fifth time.
When: 26th – 30th July
Where: Goodwood Racecourse
Feature races: King George Qatar Stakes, Qatar Sussex Stakes, Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup
The racing season in the UK is year-round, so there’s still plenty of action to look forward to even as the nights grow longer and the air grows frostier.
Cazoo St Leger Festival
What better way to forget about the drop in temperature than spending four days enjoying classic British horse racing at the iconic Doncaster Racecourse? Not just the meeting holding the final piece of the triple crown, the St Leger Festival pays homage to legendary jockeys with its Leger Legends Day.
When: 7th – 10th September
Where: Doncaster Racecourse
Feature races: Cazoo St Leger Stakes, the Doncaster Cup
Coral Welsh Grand National
This traditional Welsh race takes place the day after boxing day. While it may not attract the following that Aintree’s Grand National does, it’s nevertheless a key event in the UK calendar. Previous winners of the Welsh National have even gone on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
When: 27th December
Where: Chepstow Racecourse
Feature race: Coral Welsh Grand National