While the year is packed with interesting and fun-filled sporting events, some offer more style and prestige that others. This is particularly true of horse racing events, with certain festivals garnering plenty of attention from horse racing fans, celebrities and punters looking to place their bets at these unmissable events taking place throughout the year. From the stylish to the exhilarating, these are some of the best UK-based horse racing festivals you won’t want to miss in 2019.

Aintree Grand National

The Aintree Grand National takes place over three days at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool in April, culminating each year with a 40-runner steeplechase that’s without doubt the biggest race on the UK’s betting calendar. Aintree is one of the best-loved sporting institutions in Britain, with over 150,000 spectators visiting each year and more than 11 million viewers tuning in on TV. The Grand National has an overall prize fund of £1 million, with more than half of this going to the winner.

Royal Ascot  

Fashion, glamour and world-class horse racing make Royal Ascot one of the most prestigious horse racing events on the sporting calendar. This event attracts some famous spectators who want to soak up the unique pageantry and atmosphere that Ascot has to offer, including the Queen herself. Each day of this five-day festival has at least one feature race and no less than 17 Group Races, with three Group 1 Ascot races kicking off the opening day. Ascot attracts the top horses and jockeys who compete for millions of pounds in prize money, making this a really exciting event that fans of the sport won’t want to miss out on.

Cheltenham Festival

The four-day Cheltenham Festival is one of the most exciting sporting events of the year, taking place in Gloucestershire in March 2019 and drawing in hundreds of thousands of spectators. This prestigious event is one of the most famous in the world and each race is guaranteed to be action-packed so make sure you get your bets placed online with a site like Timeform to avoid missing any action. Each day promises to add its own fun atmosphere, with a Championship race scheduled in as race four for each day’s race card. 

Ebor Festival

A four-day showpiece, the Ebor Festival at York Racecourse takes place in August each year. This is one of the biggest meetings in the UK and is York racecourse’s flagship event, with at least one feature race each day. The award-winning grandstands and incredible course make this a fantastic event to come to, with visitors from all over and some of the best horses and jockeys in the UK competing. The festival includes the Juddmonte International, the Yorkshire Oaks and the Nunthorpe Stakes, as well as the Ebor Handicap.

Glorious Goodwood  

Held in August, Goodwood Festival is an iconic event that spans five days and attracts over 100,000 people who come for the style and glamour. This is considered by many as both the sporting and social highlight of the summer season and is a uniquely British event, attracting the very best international horses and jockeys and distinguished guests from around the world.