Top Festival Racecourses

There are so many race courses in Britain, each of them with their own detailed and colourful history and tales of betting success and failure. At current count 60 courses are operating and with regular racing fixtures, there’s never a shortage of top class racing action. This goes to show why we have two dedicated horse racing TV channels in the UK, namely Racing UK and At The Races, as well as a wide range of online live steaming and race review options.

Much like with horses, not all race courses are created equal. Some racecourses have a richer racing history than others, and more often than not this is due to annual races and their festivals which see eager betting fans placing their bets. The 1000 and 2000 guineas at Newmarket come to mind, as does the Royal Ascot at Aintree – both popular racing calendar events. I’ll focus on those another time, but for now I’ll cover the big two; the Grand National and the Cheltenham Festival.

These two courses are hugely popular and millions of pounds worth of bets are placed due to the thrilling horse racing action. Case in point, in 2013 £130 million was bet on the Grand National, this rose to close to £300million in 2018. Similarly £150m was bet on the Cheltenham Festival this year by eager horse racing fans, so if you are also a fan, you should try placing your bet online with one of the top bookmakers and feel the thrill of online sport betting.

Cheltenham Festival (Cheltenham Racecourse)

Held over four days from 12th to 15th March, the Cheltenham Festival is a prominent UK racing festival with prize money of close to 5 million pounds over the duration of the festival. Races that form part of the Cheltenham festival include the Champion Hurdle and the Queen Mother Champion Chase, the latter named due to the royals love and connection to racing. Many millions watch at home and abroad. The jewel in the crown of the event is the much anticipated Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The Cheltenham racetrack is at Prestbury Park, near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and is often considered the home of British jump racing. The course has a capacity of close to 70,000. The racecourse has old and new course sections and has recently been updated to include a 6,500 capacity princess royal stand.

The Grand National (Aintree Racecourse)

The Grand National steeplechase event is the most popular and indeed most famous racing event in the UK and has the highest prize money. It’s televised worldwide with audiences of up to 600 million tuning in in countless countries. The Grand National is steeped in history, first taking place in 1839 and with many horses and jockeys entering the history books as result of their Grand National success, such as Red Rum, Bob Champion and others.

The race takes place at Aintree racecourse in Liverpool. The Aintree course features 16 fences including notoriously difficult ones to traverse such as the Chair and Becher’s Brook. Even experienced jockeys sometimes fall foul on this course. When used for the Grand National the course run is 4 miles 514 yards in length.

Uttoxeter

Are you a veteran fan of horse racing, or are you looking to start indulging in the Sport of Kings? Uttoxeter Racecourse is the go-to place for watching it in Staffordshire, UK. It is considered to be among the best country racecourses in England, and for good reasons. Staffordshire’s National Hunt racing is held here, and with more than 20 other fixtures every year, Uttoxeter Racecourse has a full-packed racing schedule all year-round. Some headlining races hosted in Uttoxeter Racecourse include the Britannia Building Society English National held in June that is preceded by the John Smiths Midlands Grand National held in March.

Uttoxeter Racecourse racetrack

Uttoxeter’s racetrack is oval and reaches a circumference of about one and a quarter miles. There’re two main grandstands for audiences, with snack bars and more than enough bookmakers for bet placements.

Uttoxeter Racecourse History

Uttoxeter Racecourse celebrated 100 years of successful racing in 2007 since it was built and launched in 1907 by a company that took over from Keele Park that had ceased operations. The racecourse operated intermittently after closing in World War I and again in World War II and reopened in April 1952 after it was bought by Uttoxeter Urban Council.

Uttoxeter Racecourse Historic Winners

1967 saw glorious racing at Uttoxeter Racecourse by jockey Josh Gifford on 5 year-old Jolly Signal when he equaled the record 121 season’s winners that had been set by Fred Winter. Teasy Weasy’s Rag Trade won the 1975’s Marston’s Pedigree Midlands Grand National and the Buckmaster owned by John Edward attained the 800th overall win in Uttoxeter in 1982. There have been many historic races in Uttoxeter, not least the Midlands Grand National that celebrated 40th Anniversary in 2009. The Racegoers Club voted Uttoxeter Racecourse as Midlands’ Best Small Racecourse.

Uttoxeter Racecourse Future

The course is continually developed concurrently with the improvement of the racing quality, courtesy of the innovative and forward thinking Uttoxeter administrative team.

Towcester

Towcester is a jump-races course located in the market town of Towcester in Northamptonshire County of East Midlands, England. It is owned by the Towcester Racecourses Company, and televised on At The Races.

History

The course hosted its first race meeting in 1928, making it pretty young in the history of racecourses. The formation of its mother company happened at around the same time, and it had a grandstand as an early days’ investment. Its introduction at a point of much development in horse racing coupled with the affluence of its owners allowed it to borrow much from the years of history, allowing it to come up with advanced structures, some of which stand to date.

A second grandstand –The Grace-was completed in 1997 as investment to make the course more popular continued.

It was briefly set up for sale in 2004, but the decision was soon rescinded and only a piece of the estate ended up being carved and sold.

In a bid to raise attendance, the course granted free entry to all races between 2002 and 2006. The management re-introduced charges for the Easter Sunday and Boxing Day meetings in 2006, but select meetings remained free.

The course

The course is a trapezium-shaped circuit, with narrow and wide sections within its length. It is right handed over a distance of one-mile six-furlongs, and widely regarded a punishing course with its sharp bends and a steep climb at the finish.

The course is relaxed regarding dress code, but diners at the restaurant are expected to wear a smart casual outfit. Access is possible by road, rail or air. The train station closest to the course is 11-miles off, with a taxi service across the distance. Helicopter landing is allowed with prior arrangement.

Races

The course plays host to around 18 Hunt fixtures in its calendar of events. The Boxing Day and Easter Fixtures remain most popular despite being charged, attracting fans in their number, up to 9,000.

Tony McCoy in 2013 got his 4000th career victory as a jockey here, atop Mountain Tunes in the Weatherbys Novices’ Hurdle.

At the close of 2014, the course introduced greyhound racing, with a track built for the same purpose.