With Cheltenham Festival firmly under way, what better time than now to look at the major horse racing events in the UK for 2017. Read on for our guide to the more popular upcoming meets this year.
The Grand National at Aintree Racecourse is arguably the most popular race meeting in the UK with over £200 million expected to be placed on the feature race on Saturday 8th April. The festival attracts a hugely diverse crowd from seasoned racing enthusiasts to groups of friends looking for a fun day out.
There are many restaurants, either course-facing or in the paddock area, which leaves guest spoilt for choice when looking to attend. The private boxes in the Lord Sefton stand boast the best views of the racing from a private balcony, however, the more budget-savvy racegoer can have an equally enjoyable time in an executive marquee (Bob Champion Suite) paired with access to a viewing platform to watch the action.
Royal Ascot is one of the most anticipated race meetings in the UK and offers a huge array of hospitality facilities with the more informal packages (Lawn Club & Pavilion Restaurant) suiting groups of friends/families, to the higher-end options based in the Queen Anne & Royal Enclosures (Carriages, Private Boxes and On5) ideal for wowing your biggest and best business partners. Regular punters can soak up the bustling atmosphere and take advantage of the fantastic entertainment and post-racing parties in the local area.
Expect huge crowds which will fill the 4 available enclosures located around the main Grandstand and even inside the track – the roar from the Grandstand as the horses thunder down the final furlong towards the winning post is a moment not to be missed.
Epsom offers one of the most enjoyable race days and social meetings of the British sporting calendar. With the big race on the Saturday, the Epsom Derby, there is a bouncing carnival atmosphere “on the hill” and in the Grandstand Enclosure and post-racing entertainment from DJs in the Hyperion in the Duchesses’ Stand.
At the other end of the scale, the Queen’s Stand offers a more serene atmosphere with guests in top hats and tails enjoying the finest catering and free-flowing Champagne. There is a good mix of hospitality facilities over the two days, in the classic sense of the Tattenham Straight Marquee to the more contemporary options like the Winning Post.
Set in the stunning backdrop of the Sussex countryside the race meeting popularly known as Glorious Goodwood offers 5 thrilling days of racing. Although not as well-known as the likes of Royal Ascot or Epsom Derby, the Qatar Goodwood Festival has firmly placed itself as a highlight of the flat racing calendar.
Guests can expect luxurious hospitality paired with fantastic panoramic views of the racing and surrounding area from all facilities such as the quaint, al fresco style restaurant, the Secret Garden, to a more traditional hospitality package such as the Charlton Hunt, offering a formal atmosphere to entertain your very best clients. Fully-inclusive experiences are available from just £299 on the less popular days, so for those looking to get more bang for your buck, Goodwood has it covered.
The last major race meeting of the year, the York Ebor Festival is the oldest, fastest and richest meeting at York, and attracts guests from across the country for its four days of superb flat racing perfect for the full spectrum of guests, suiting those in search of family fun, fashion enthusiasts and seasoned racegoers.
York racecourse has an exceptional selection of private box packages (Available in 3 separate stands) and shared restaurants (Ebor and Voltigeur) which allow guests to tailor their experience to their needs and budget. The higher-end packages with some of the best racing views in the country and can be snapped up for little more than £350 a head.