Racing Festivals to look forward to in 2020

 Horse racing festivals – that is, major multiple-day events featuring the crème de la crème of equine talent – are staged throughout the length and breadth of United Kingdom between March and December. We’ve previewed a few selected highlights, just to whet your appetite for the coming year.

Cheltenham Festival

Tuesday, March 14 – Friday, March 17

Known in some quarters as the ‘Olympics of horse racing’, the Cheltenham Festival is the undisputed highlight of the British National Hunt season. Extended to its current, four-day format for the first time in 2005, the Festival includes four major ‘championship’ races – namely, in chronological order, the Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, Stayers’ Hurdle and the Cheltenham Gold Cup – plus a full supporting card of 24 high-quality races.

Aintree Festival

Thursday, April 12 – Saturday, April 14

Following hot on the heels of the Cheltenham Festival, the Aintree Festival understandable revolves around the most famous steeplechase in the world, the Grand National, run on the third and final day. However, the Aintree Festival also includes two more races – the Foxhunters’ Chase and the Topham Chase – on the celebrated Grand National Course and no fewer than ten prestigious Grade One contests in various disciplines and over various distances.

Epsom Derby Festival

Friday, June 2 – Saturday, June 3

As the name suggests, the Epsom Derby Festival centres on the running of the most valuable race in Britain, the Derby, which is run on the second day. However, the Derby is preceded, on day one, by the second fillies’ Classic, the Oaks, and the Coronation Cup – a Group One contest open to older horses and both sexes, both of which are run over the same course and distance as the Derby itself.

Royal Ascot

Tuesday, June 20 – Saturday, June 24

Ascot Racecourse, a favourite with YesBets visitors, was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne, the first recognisably modern Royal Meeting took place in 1768 and Ascot Racecourse has enjoyed Royal patronage ever since. Nowadays, the Royal Procession drive up the Straight Mile serves as a prelude to five days of world-class horse racing action, including eight Group One races, at least one of which is staged every day. Highlights include the Queen Anne Stakes, King’s Stand Stakes and St. James’s Palace Stakes on day one, the Prince of Wales’s Stakes on day two, the Gold Cup – the traditional highlight of the whole week – on day three, the Commonwealth Cup and Coronation Stakes on day four and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes day five.

Goodwood Festival

Tuesday, July 28 – Saturday, August 1

Horse racing at Goodwood was the brainchild of Charles Lennox, Third Duke of Richmond, in 1802. In the intervening centuries, the Goodwood Festival, often referred to ‘Glorious Goodwood’, has evolved into a five-day bonanza of horse racing action on the Sussex Downs. Three of the 13 Group races staged during the week – namely the Sussex Stakes, Goodwood Cup and Nassau Stakes – have been awarded Group One status and, as such, form part of the British Champions Series.

A look at the most successful horses in racing history

 There are some horses that are so famous, even those who know exactly nothing about horse racing have heard of them. Desert Orchid, Nijinsky, Red Rum, Arkle – all became celebrities in their own right and in each case, the world mourned their passing. Yet strangely, none of these household names make it into the top lists when you look at career success.

 

In many sports, it can become almost meaningless to try to define the greatest of all time. Pele or Ronaldo? Fangio or Schumacher? Bradman or Lara? It’s impossible to say. But horseracing is a sport steeped in statistics that has changed very little over the years. Here, then, we can say with some confidence, are the five most successful racehorses ever.

 

Secretariat

 

In 1973, this chestnut stallion became the first horse in a quarter of a century to win the Triple Crown. Justify repeated the feat last year, becoming only the 13th horse to do so in more than a century. But for Secretariat, that was just the beginning. By the time he went to stud, he had won an incredible 16 of his 21 races, coming second in three of the others. In his brief career, he generated more than $1.3 million in winnings, a sum that was unheard of in horse racing in the early 1970s.

 

Winx

 

From the USA of the 70s, we proceed to present day Australia. For the past three years, there has been only one word to describe Winx: Unbeatable. If you’d looked up the Unibet racing odds on any of the Group One races in Australia since 2016, you would have seen Winx head and shoulders ahead of the rest. Her record speaks for itself: 29 consecutive wins, 22 at Group One level is unprecedented, not just in Australia but in horse racing worldwide.

 

Man O’ War

 

Here’s the horse that is often compared to Secretariat by American racing fans. He single handedly put horse racing back on the map in the 1920s – in fact, many say he saved the sport from extinction. Born in 1917, there was no cosseting of special dietary regime for this stallion, who won all but one of his 21 races. Yet the one race he never won was the Kentucky Derby.

 

Frankel

 

An unbeaten career record and career earnings just shy of £3 million. Has there ever been a horse like Frankel? When he retired unbeaten in 2012, the BBC’s horseracing guru Cornelius Lysaght argued in his favour over such legends as those mentioned above. Frankel’s wins included the 2000 Guineas, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, the Champion Stakes and the St James’s Palace Stakes, to name just a few.

 

Phar Lap

 

Fans of horse racing on the big screen will know all about Phar Lap, but his real life was just as extraordinary as the movie. He was described as the horse that was just too good. With 37 wins out of 51 starts, he had only just begun, before his untimely death in 1932, the circumstances of which are still shrouded in mystery almost 90 years later.

Royal Ascot in Perspective!


Credit: Betway Horse Racing

It can often be said that ‘showing your age’ is a bad thing, especially when you happen to be over 300 years old. The History of Royal Ascot goes back so far though, that it’s only right to do it justice by putting it all into historical perspective for you. So take a tour with us down memory lane, and see ‘what came next’ as far as the birth of Royal Ascot is concerned. Spoiler alert: Most of the modern world came next!

Be sure to tune into the action this year from Tuesday 18th June to Saturday 22nd June 2019. Chance your arm and have a punt on the likes of the Queen Anne Stakes, the Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes and of course the Ascot Gold Cup!

Like a flutter on the horses? Try your luck with top racing slots

We spend over £4.3 billion betting on horse racing each year. But the racetrack isn’t the only place punters can get their kicks these days. If you like a flutter on the horses, why not try backing a few horse racing-inspired slot games online?

You’ll find hundreds to choose from at casino sites like bgo.com. Join eight-time champion jockey Peter Scudamore for a spin of Scudamore’s Super Stakes. Designed by NetEnt, this slot features a Classic Cup Bonus, where it’s possible to win up to 5,000 times your stake. Or soak up the excitement of Royal Ascot playing Ascot: Sporting Legends. Any spin of this Playtech slot could see you ride away with the Daily, Weekly or Sporting Legends Jackpot.

Excited to find out more about these and other racing slots? We’ve got good news for you. To celebrate Royal Ascot happening this month, we’ve teamed up with the guys from bgo to bring you a list of all the top racing slots out there right now. Check it out below and see what’s worth a spin. Good luck!