Top Festivals to Attend for Racing Fans Compared to most sports, fans of horse racing are somewhat spoiled for choice here in the UK. There are a total of 60 British racecourses allowing those with an interest in National Hunt and Flat Racing (or both!) to enjoy top class racing action all over the country and all year around. I’ve had many an exciting day at the course most local to my location, Great Yarmouth, and I’m sure that most other racing fans will echo that sentiment about their local racecourse.


There are of course some racecourses that see more of the action, and have been host to many more famous racing moments than others. Ascot for one and of course Cheltenham, home to the Cheltenham Festival, is a racecourse that has seen many a memorable moment in the sport. Aintree racecource though is surely number one on most lists of courses and indeed races to attend though, on account that it hosts the world famous Aintee Grand National, run over 4 miles 514 yards and 30 jumps.


This much anticipated event sees Grand National betting offers, tips, news and views come to the fore. The Grand National is one of the most watched sporting events on the planet, with UK TV audiences approaching nine million, and worldwide figures of some 600 million viewers. For context the US centric Superbowl typically draws around 120 million viewers, as does the UEFA Champions League Final. Only the World Cup final audience, at around 900 million viewers, eclipses the event. On course attendance over the three days can reach 150,000. Many horses, jockeys and trainers have made a name for themselves off the back of their Grand National success. Red Rum and co ascended to racing royalty as result of winning this big money event first held in 1939 (with a prize pot of £3.2 million for the Festival and £1million for the main event in 2018).


The 2019 Grand National race will take place on Saturday 6th April on Grand National Day. The Grand National festival itself spans from 4th – 6th of April. Early tips for horses in the running for the 2019 title include Grand National 2018 winner Tiger Roll and last year’s runner up Pleasant Company.


The other main UK racing festival that many class as unmissable is the four day Cheltenham Festival, held in March of each year at the Cheltenham racecourse in Gloucestershire. On course attendance reaches a staggering 250,000+ over the course of the four days, with the first race commencing with a ‘Cheltenham Roar’ from the attending masses, an unforgotable on course experience. With group one events like the Champion Hurdle on day one, Queen Mother Champion Chase on day two and Stayers Hurdle on day three, racing fans are captivated throughout. Friday’s Cheltenham Gold Cup is the main event, with prize money approaching £600,000. Much like the reputation of the Grand National, winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup is a legend maker, as we can see with two time winner Kauto Star and three time winner Best Mate.

Roaring Lion Will Continue Dominance At British Champion Stakes

Source: RacingPost via Twitter


Roaring Lion won the Irish Champions Stakes with a brilliant performance to beat out his rival Saxon Warrior to claim the crown. John Gosden will now turn the attention of his charge to the British Champion Stakes to end the season on the highest of notes at Ascot.

It has been a campaign of two halves as the American horse struggled in the early stages of the term, but has come to life to become the dominant competitor over ten furlongs. Cracksman, Enable and Crystal Ocean will be vying to knock the grey colt out of the winners’ circle. However, Roaring Lion has rightfully been established as the leading contender for the title for the October 20th meet. As a result, Gosden’s charge should be the horse to back in the William Hill horse racing tips at 2/1 given his dominance over the second half of the season.


Roaring Lion began the term at the Craven Stakes at Newmarket, but failed to live up to expectations after being considered the favourite for the event. The American horse could not cope with the pace of Masar, finishing nine lengths behind the eventual winner of the meet, while he was beaten on the line for second place by White Mocha, capping an underwhelming outing. Life did not improve for Roaring Lion in his next appearance at Newmarket in the 2,000 Guineas. He struggled from the off to match the speed of the leading group led by Saxon Warrior. Gosden’s charge placed in fifth, highlighting how far he had to go to become an elite competitor.


Oisin Murphy was able to lead the horse to his first victory of the campaign at York in the Dante Stakes. The three-year-old kept pace with the leading group before making his charge one furlong out to win by a comfortable margin – four-and-a-half lengths ahead of his nearest rival. Roaring Lion was one of the leading contenders for The Derby due to the dominance of his performance, and although he was able to finish ahead of Saxon Warrior, it was only good enough for a third-place display as Masar claimed the crown.



Roaring Lion Will Continue Dominance At British Champion Stakes

Source: HorseRidingCup via Twitter


Roaring Lion’s next outing would be more successful at The Eclipse. This time Murphy was able to get a fine performance out of the three-year-old. He timed his surge to perfection down the stretch pulling ahead of the field in the final furlong. Saxon Warrior made the challenge, but the American horse had enough to see off the threat to clinch the win by a neck. Gosden’s charge built on his triumph by claiming another title on his return to York. Poet’s Word was the favourite for the event, but the grey colt was able to dominate him and the rest of the field, finishing three-and-a-quarter lengths ahead of the Irish horse.


The three-year-old’s back-to-back victories saw him installed as the favourite for the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown in his first outing at the venue. Although Roaring Lion got off to a slow start in the contest, he was able to move through the gears to challenge his old foe Saxon Warrior down the final furlong. The two horses battled out for the victory on the straight, and it was Gosden’s charge that emerged with the win, beating out his rival by the narrowest margins. It would be prudent to back him once again to make it four on the bounce to end the campaign as Saxon Warrior was forced into retirement at the end of their duel.