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.