Whether you’re a horse racing enthusiast or just enjoy spending a day out at the racetrack betting on the action, the racing calendar brings with it a host of exciting events throughout the year. From the celebrities in the audience to the champagne flowing and pageantry, there’s plenty to enjoy at the races. These are the top horse racing events taking place in the UK in 2019.

Aintree Grand National

Taking place in April over the course of three days, the Aintree Grand National is considered to be one of the most difficult racecourses for jockeys to navigate. With 16 steeplechase fences to overcome and some so challenging that they’ve become infamous, such as Becher’s Brook and Foinavon, and over four and a half miles of track to get through, it’s incredibly tough. It’s also one of the most popular horse racing events of the season, with over 600 million people tuning in around the world to watch, so if you want to find out more you can always check this guide for the race to brush up on your knowledge.

Cheltenham Festival

Horse racing fans head to Cheltenham each year for this four-day event in March – it’s one of the key events of the season and has a varied agenda of activities. The most important race takes place on the first day though and that’s the Champion Hurdle. The prize money for this sits at £4.5 million and is second only to the Grand National.

Royal Ascot

The Royal Ascot event takes place annually in June and is one of the best-known events in the UK. The glamour, pageantry and excitement that Ascot brings to the world of horse racing is second to none and even the Queen attends each year. Ascot takes place over five days and has a total of 15 Group races, including at least one Group 1 race each day. Winners can take home over £3.5 million in prize money, amping up the stakes even more.

Epsom Derby

Dating back to 1870, the Epsom Derby has been an important racing event for a long time and takes place over two days. One of the main draws for attendees at this event is the fact that it’s not just jockeys who can head home with cash – £5,000 is awarded to the best-dressed woman too. The event is split into Derby Day and Ladies’ Day, with high-stake races taking place on both days along with parties on the Hyperion Lawn and music from top DJs, making this a really fun racing event to visit.

Goodwood Festival

Held at Chichester in West Sussex in August of each year, Goodwood Festival is a highlight of the summer and is steeped in tradition. It has a long history of high-quality horse racing and takes place over five days, competing with Royal Ascot in the glamour stakes. Set to a beautiful backdrop of the Sussex countryside and with a total of £5.5 million in prize money, the calibre of Goodwood makes it a really exciting event that you won’t want to miss.