The Five Best UK Winter Festivals To Watch Racing At This Year

Winter horse racing image of thoroughbred horse and jockey galloping on grass

For the average punter, a day at the races is very much a spring and summer event. A day out, a few bets and hopefully a win or two. But there are some great festivals in the winter too.

It’s the perfect time of year to enjoy the racing, despite many people moving their flutters to the warmth of the casinos instead, enjoying trips to the likes of Amsterdam for the taste of a Dutch casino, or that big trip to Vegas. But think about closer to home, and the great races that still take place during the colder months.

Winter horse racing image of thoroughbred horse and jockey galloping on grass

To help you out, we’ve pulled together the five best meets in the UK over the winter months for you to spend a day at…

King George VI Chase

Boxing Day racing is almost as much of a tradition as Boxing Day football or Christmas dinner, and it’s certainly among the most prestigious races of the winter season. It’s a Grade 1 race across three miles and, because of the day, you really do get a thrilling atmosphere.


The chase has seen many legendary horses win down the years, including the likes of Desert Orchid and Kauto Star to name a few. It’s an elite race and one that really will set your Christmas apart from the rest.

Welsh Grand National

Run across December 27 and 28, the Welsh Grand National is a fabulous race acrosss three miles and six and a half furlongs. It’s always a competitive field and often a good indicator for the Grand National a few months later in April.

Held at Chepstow, it’s a testing race that often provides thrills, and some good payouts too!

The Coral Gold Cup

Formerly known as the Hennessy Gold Cup, the Ladbrokes Trophy has a rich history which dates back all the way to 1957. Taking place at Newbury in November, the handicap chase is ran over three miles and one and a half furlongs, and is always a highlight of the winter season.

It’s renowned for its tough nature, as well as being a good indicator for Cheltenham in March, with nine winners having also won the Cheltenham Gold Cup.


Ascot Chase

While Ascot may be more known for its summer and autumnal meetings, February sees the Ascot Chase, a key meeting as horses, jockeys and trainers prepare for Cheltenham.

It’s a great way to check the form ahead of Cheltenham, while also providing you with the style and class that Ascot is renowned for. It’s one of the best days out in February and a great way to start your season.


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