For large swathes of the population in the UK and Ireland, horse racing is more a way of life than just a sport
All horse racing enthusiasts know that the spiritual birthplace of horse racing is the UK, although that may be contested by some Asian and Middle Eastern cultures. However, some UK-based races must be seen to be believed.
Here are some of the ones every US racing fan should add to their bucket list of events to visit either in person or to at least watch live.
Aintree Grand National
The whole of the UK and Ireland stands still when the most revered steeplechase in the world sets off at this famous old racecourse just outside the city of Liverpool.
It is not uncommon for multiple people in the same household or neighborhood to have backed a runner and often screaming and shouting can be heard around offices and down terraced streets as the thoroughbreds who cleared all the treacherous fences to tear down the finishing straight.
That’s right, this is not just a one-off race, but a whole four-day festival of horse racing, which in 2021 will run from 16th-19th of March.
European sports betting aficionados just love this event, with many French and Irish fans flooding to the English town to place Cheltenham free bets on horses that have made the same trip as them.
Indeed, this year there is even American interest in the race because Winston C will be running in the Champion Hurdle that takes place on day 1. With there being some great Cheltenham Festival offers worth considering online, there will be no shortage of US racing fans backing their hometown horse to take the race down.
If Winston C can come good for those people who have wagered their Cheltenham free bets on him, he will have won at a course that dates all the way back to 1815.
This race at the beginning of June signals the beginning of the British summer. Such is its fame that it tends to just be known as ‘The Derby’.
Its name has been borrowed by races all around the world, including the Kentucky Derby, and at the time of writing it is the richest race in the UK, boasting a prize pool of over $1.5m.
Ever since it was first to run in 1780, this flat race over Epsom Downs has been the jewel in the crown of British racing. There is no sign of that changing anytime soon.
Grade 1 races in the UK are some of the most contested on the planet
St. Leger Stakes
The oldest of the classic grade 1 races in the UK is also the most overlooked but is more than worth a mention due to it being the final race in the UK’s version of the Triple Crown.
By virtue of it being held at the northerly Doncaster racecourse, it is one of the more laid-back classics, which can make a nice change from the high heels and top hats at other major horse racing events.
1,000 and 2,000 Guineas Stakes
Both these races take place at Newmarket racecourse, but that is where the similarities end. Only Fillies are invited to contest the 1,000 Guineas, whereas the 2,000 Guineas is for colts and fillies, as long as they are all three-year-olds.
King George VI Chase
Last but not least is King George, which provides the perfect break from Christmas turkey and stuffing, seeing as the race takes place on Boxing Day.
The race held at Kempton Park is always warmly received by betting punters, as results down through the years have favored them instead of the sportsbooks.