Summer may be turning to autumn, but there is still plenty of great racing to be had before 2023 comes to a close. Trainers, jockeys, punters and bookmakers are gearing up for a huge end to the year, and the best horse racing betting sites are already offering great ante-post (futures) odds on the big-name races to come. Here we take a look at some of tastiest events still to take place in both Britain and globally before the year comes to a close.
St. Leger – 16th September at Doncaster
One of the five British flat racing ‘classics’, and the oldest, Doncaster’s St Leger is a thrilling Grade One sprint run over 1 mile, 6 furlongs and 115 yards at the famous old course. The St Leger is also the final race in the famed Triple Crown series which also features May’s 2000 Guineas and June’s Derby. It is also the final event in the Fillies Triple Crown, also featuring the 1000 Guineas and The Oaks. This year’s event won’t see a Triple Crown champion after different mounts won the Guineas and Derby. But expect a thrilling race nonetheless with the cream of the flat racing crop competing. Get on ante-post odds now.
British Champions Day
Champions Day is the historic and celebrated end to the country’s flat racing season, and is held at Ascot in October of each year. Champions Day features more Group One races (four) than any other day’s racing at Ascot, and is also the richest day in racing in Britain with more than £4m in prize money up for grabs. It’s an undoubted highlight of the whole British racing season, and attracts significant attention in the racing press and from bookmakers, with a huge day of betting a given. The day itself features no less than five finals of the different divisional series, and also includes a one-mile handicap race (the Balmoral Handicap) with significant value. The four featured Group Ones are the British Champions Sprint Stakes, the British Champions Fillies’ and Mares’ Stakes, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and the richest of the lot, the Champions Stakes with a prize fund of £1.3 million.
King George V1 Chase – 26th December at Kempton
Kempton’s Christmas festival is a significant draw for horse racing fans and the highlight race is the Grade One National Hunt Steeplechase event, the King George VI Chase. This was the race famously won five times by racing superstar Kuato Star, and in terms of prestige, is the second most important chase in the British racing calendar only behind March’s Cheltenham Gold Cup. For that reason, expect a star-studded line-up of trainers, mounts and riders.
Coral (Hennessy) Gold Cup – Newbury
The title of the premier handicap steeplechase in terms of the British National Hunt season goes to the Coral Gold Cup, still remembered by many as the Hennessy Gold Cup. Scheduled for late October or early November of each year at the iconic Newbury course, this is a race that often gives a strong indication for the following season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup – nine horses have done the famous ‘double’. Famously, Many Clouds won the Hennessy in 2014 followed by the Grand National in 2015.
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – 1st October at Longchamp
One of the world’s premier Group One flat horse races, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is the most prestigious race globally for horses of all ages, and currently sits as the fifth most lucrative turf race featured anywhere in the world. Winners of this iconic event are considered ‘champions’ of the sport, and the list of previous winners reads like a veritable who’s who of racing superstars. An event not to be missed as a racing fan or punter.
Breeders Cup World Championships Festival – 4th November at Santa Anita
In terms of lucrative events, they don’t come much more financially rewarding that the USA’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, the most prestigious race of the glamourous Breeders Cup Festival held in late October or early November each year. Featuring a host of top Grade One races, the undoubted highlight is the thoroughbred classic of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, featuring more than $6million in purse money. Often the winner of this race is also crowned US Horse of the Year, an incredibly sought-after honour. In terms of international racing, there are not many races on the flat or over jumps that can compete with this titan of the racing world. Expect ante-post odds at any sports betting site with a solid horse racing offering.