The Biggest Racing Events of the Year

Horse racing has long been one of the most widely enjoyed sports in the world, with punters everywhere cheering on their horses as they hope to pick a winner from the pack and end the day with a tidy profit for themselves.

Bookmakers and gambling sites like Betfree set the odds for the races, and this is how many people come to learn of the many upcoming races on the calendar. Such is their influence over horse racing events; punters can enjoy watching live streams of the races directly from their sportsbooks while receiving special promotions and free bets in the lead up to the event.

While horse races take place every day in different parts of the world, what are the most high-profile races you need to keep an eye out for? This post introduces you to five of the biggest horse racing events of the year.

Royal Ascot. 

Attended every year by the Queen, horse racing in the UK doesn’t get much bigger than Royal Ascot. Usually held in June of each year, it’s renowned for its Royal Procession that is held before the first race of the event, and spectators usually dress for the occasion, with women adorning stunning dresses and hats to match the royal theme, while men wear morning suits and top hats. But aside from the fashion and pageantry of the event, you can bet on the best horses from all over Europe at Ascot and pick your winner from a diverse field.


The Cheltenham Festival might not quite have the aplomb of Royal Ascot, but it’s extremely popular nonetheless. Getting underway in March set amidst the stunning Cotswolds region of the UK, the festival spans four days and often coincides with St. Patrick’s Day, making it extremely popular with Irish racing fans. The most popular races of the event include are the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Champion Hurdle, with an honourable mention for the hotly contested Queen Mother Champion Chase. With an incredible atmosphere amongst the many fans in attendance, few events on the racing calendar can match Cheltenham’s appeal to spectators.

The Grand National. 

The Grand National is unique because it attracts interest from people who don’t normally bet on horse racing. Held at Aintree near Liverpool, The Grand National is famed for its notoriously difficult track and high fences that pose a significant challenge to jockeys and their horses. Although the fences have been lowered in recent times due to the number of casualties, it’s still an extremely tough course, and the winner of this race goes down in history.

The Melbourne Cup. 

Australia’s most famous horse-race that is said to “stop the nation,” and the day is even commemorated by a national holiday across Melbourne and some other parts of Victoria. More than 100,000 spectators usually pack the grandstands, with millions more at home watching on TV. Betting on the race is extremely widespread, with one bookmaker claiming in 2003 that 80 per cent of the adult population of Australia had placed at least one bet on the outcome of the cup. Perhaps only rivalled by the Grand National in terms of popularity, be sure to mark November 2nd in your calendar and enjoy the event this year from wherever you are in the world.

The Dubai World Cup Carnival.

At the Meydan racecourse in UAE, the Dubai World Cup Carnival boasts an incredible prize pool for successful jockeys and trainers, reported to be in the region of $12 million in 2019. As you might expect from the UAE, this made it the richest horse racing event in the world. Although the World Cup Carnival actually runs for three months [from January to March], the finals that are scheduled for the end of March make the most compelling viewing. With racers from all over the world attracted by the prize money on offer, it’s one of the most high-profile horse racing events on the calendar.

Closing thoughts. 

While horse racing might not be everyone’s cup of tea, anyone who fancies a bet is often inclined to stake a wager on one of these high-profile races. With a huge field to pick from and with the ability to tune into the live-action from your online betting account, you don’t want to miss out on these events throughout the course of the next calendar year.