The best UK horse racing events of 2020 to get you out of the gate
Philip Mak - February 18, 2020

The best UK horse racing events of 2020 to get you out of the gate

Gallop, don’t walk, to these top British horse races
Royal Ascot Races

The biggest, best, most British horse racing events in the UK for some equestrian fun under the summer sun.

Horse racing in the UK has a long, rich history stretching back to Roman rule. Today, it contributes over £3.7 billion to British economy. In fact, horse racing is now the second-most popular sport in the country.

It’s easy to see why; horse racing has something for everyone. Whether you are a fan of betting, the celebrities and Royal Family members that come to watch the sport or the fashionable pomp and circumstance of race days (WTF: What The Fascinators), there really is no experience like it.

British horse racing is divided into two categories: flat racing, run on obstacle-free courses that range from 5 furlongs up to 2 miles 5 furlongs and 159 yards in length; and National Hunt racing, with horses jumping obstacles while running a distance of 2 to 4.5 miles.

Can’t wait to get to the horse racing track? The mare, the merrier! Keep reading to see our guide on the five biggest, best UK horse racing events of 2020 — including where and when they are, and how to get tickets.

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Cheltenham Festival 2020

  • Where: Cheltenham Racecourse in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
  • When: 10 to 13 March 2020
  • Prize purse: £4,590,000 (2019)
  • Attendance: 262,637 (2018)
  • Be there: Cheltenham Festival Tickets

Cheltenham Festival 2020 is the largest National Hunting horse race on this year’s calendar, with a number of events wrapped into one: Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase and Stayers' Hurdle. Held over the course of four days, it also has the one of the biggest prize purses in the equestrian world, with 2019’s pot hitting £4,590,000. Attracting a large Irish audience given its proximity to St. Patrick’s Day, the Cheltenham Festival’s fans are known for their “Cheltenham Roar” — a deafening level of noise made by spectators at the start of the first horse race.


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Grand National 2020

  • Where: Aintree Racecourse in Aintree, Merseyside, England
  • When: 4 April 2020
  • Prize purse: £1,000,000 (2020)
  • Attendance: Over 150,000 (2020)
  • Be there: Grand National Tickets

Grand National 2020 will be one of the world’s most popular horse racing events, with an estimated 600 million people globally tuning in. This year, over 150,000 fans will also saunter into Aintree Racecourse, near Liverpool, to see if the Gordon Elliott-trained two-time winner Tiger Roll can make it a third. The Grand National is one of the biggest jump races in the world, bringing together up to 40 runners to try their luck at 30 of the most difficult obstacles.

Epsom Derby 2020

  • Where: Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey, England
  • When: 6 June 2020
  • Prize purse: £1,625,000 (2019)
  • Attendance: 150,000
  • Be there: Epsom Derby Tickets

Held on the first Saturday of every June, the Epsom Derby is known by many names — officially as the Investec Derby Festival or, more popularly, the Derby. The Group 1 flat horse race began in 1780 and today is the most esteemed of the five British Classics. The Epsom Derby 2020 will once again be held at Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey, with the Queen and British Royal Family often in attendance.


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Royal Ascot 2020

  • Where: Ascot Racecourse in Ascot, Berkshire, England
  • When: 16 to 20 June 2020
  • Prize purse: £8,095,000 (2020)
  • Attendance: 292,719 (2019)
  • Be there: Royal Ascot Tickets

Royal Ascot 2020 is known as much for being a social event as it is for its horse racing — attracting a huge-hatted crowd that regularly includes Queen Elizabeth II and the British Royal Family, the aristocracy, celebrities and us commoner fans alike. A tradition since 1711, the world’s best horses converge on Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire for a chance at winning both glory and a part of the £8,000,000 prize money. With 30 races scheduled for the Royal Ascot 2020, there will be plenty of opportunities for those who like to place bets or just cheer.

British Champions Day 2020

  • Where: Ascot Racecourse in Ascot, Berkshire, England
  • When: 17 October 2020
  • Prize purse: £4,200,000 (2020)
  • Attendance: 29,029 (2019)
  • Be there: British Champions Days Tickets

British Champions Day 2020 will bring this year’s flat horse racing season to an end at the world-famous Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire. Offering over £4.2 million in prize money, it is often referred to as the richest racing day in the UK — though it only began in 2011, making it significantly younger than the other events on this list. Officially known as QIPCO British Champions Day, the event includes five top-class horse races (four Group 1, one Group 2) and brings together the best animals from across the country as the culmination of the British Champions Series.

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