Major UK horseracing meetings not to be missed from May 2021 onwards
Steeped in tradition, British horseracing is where it all began, dating back to the 12th Century after the English knights returned from the Crusades with prized Arab horses.
The well heeled of the mid 1700s established the first meetings at Newmarket, with those meetings founding the Jockey Club, which oversaw all British horse racing, as it does today.
Here at FirstforNews.com we will be covering the sport of kings with the style it deserves, bringing you the first class commentary and the best insider tips from our experts.
The Oaks and Epsom Derby 4 – 5 June 2021: Prize fund £1.125,000
Fancy a flutter? Be sure not to miss the 2021 Oaks and Epsom Derby on 4th and 5th June, we have brought you some great line ups and prior to the event we will be refining our tips.
The Derby attracts world class horses, trainers and jockeys over a distance of 1 mile, 4 furlongs and 6 yards. Contestants are limited to three-year-old colts, carrying 9st (57.15kg) and fillies carrying 8st 11lb (55.79kg) competing in a slight uphill climb of circa 60m, around the height of Nelson’s Column.
The 2000 Guineas, the Epsom 2-day event, The Oaks Ladies Day and the main event, the Epsom Derby and St Ledger events make up “The Triple Crown”. The 1,000 Guineas and the Oaks are only open to fillies, whilst the Derby tends to be colts, although not exclusively.
The Oaks Stakes is a Group 1 flat race open to three-year-old fillies. It is run at Epsom Downs over a distance of 1 mile, 4 furlongs and 6 yards, It is the second-oldest of the five Classic races, after the St Leger. Officially the Investec Oaks, it is also popularly known as simply The Oaks.
Trainer, Aidan O’Brien has several runners this year, he was the first to win three Derbys in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Our hopeful this year is O’Brien’s Bolshoi Ballet generally at 15/2 or Mohaafeth, in superb form at 7/1.
Royal Ascot, Surrey, 15 – 19 June 2021 – Prince of Wales Stakes – £1,000,000 and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes: Prize fund – £1,000,000
Royal Ascot is the premier flat race of the season, a meeting like no other, crowds of up to 12,000 on the site are permitted to watch the event live. Prior to covid, there were more like 300,000 attending live over the four-days.
Chief Executive of Ascot, Guy Henderson, said: “We are delighted that Royal Ascot has been accepted to play its part in the next phase of the Government’s Events Research Programme. Our thanks go to our industry bodies, the British Horseracing Authority and the Racecourse Association, which led the preparation of the submission to Government”.
The 4-day action packed world class event features the Queen Anne Stakes, Commonwealth Cup, and Gold Cup. All 4-days are attended by The Queen herself. Ladies day, the Gold Cup is on 17th June.
|Tuesday||Queen Anne Stakes||Group 1||1m||4yo +|
|Tuesday||Coventry Stakes||Group 2||6f||2yo only|
|Tuesday||King’s Stand Stakes||Group 1||5f||3yo +|
|Tuesday||St James’s Palace Stakes||Group 1||1m||3yo||Colts|
|Tuesday||Ascot Stakes||Handicap||2m 4f||4yo +|
|Tuesday||Wolferton Stakes||Listed||1m 2f||4yo +|
|Tuesday||Buckingham Palace Stakes||Handicap||7f||3yo +|
|Wednesday||Jersey Stakes||Group 3||7f||3yo only|
|Wednesday||Queen Mary Stakes||Group 2||5f||2yo only||Fillies|
|Wednesday||Duke of Cambridge Stakes||Group 2||1m||4yo||Fillies & mares|
|Wednesday||Prince of Wales’s Stakes||Group 1||1m 2f||4yo +|
|Wednesday||Royal Hunt Cup||Handicap||1m||3yo +|
|Thursday||Norfolk Stakes||Group 2||5f||2yo only|
|Thursday||Hampton Court Stakes||Group 3||1m 2f||3yo only|
|Thursday||Ribblesdale Stakes||Group 2||1m 4f||3yo only||Fillies|
|Thursday||Gold Cup||Group 1||2m 4f||4yo +|
|Thursday||Britannia Stakes||Handicap||1m||3yo||Colts and geldings|
|Thursday||King George V Stakes||Handicap||1m 4f||3yo only|
|Friday||Albany Stakes||Group 3||6f||2yo only||Fillies|
|Friday||King Edward VII Stakes||Group 2||1m 4f||3yo CG only|
|Friday||Commonwealth Cup||Group 1||6f||3yo only|
|Friday||Coronation Stakes||Group 1||1m||3yo F only|
|Friday||Duke of Edinburgh Stakes||Handicap||1m 4f||3yo +|
|Friday||Queen’s Vase||Group 2||1m 6f||3yo only|
|Saturday||Chesham Stakes||Listed||7f||2yo only|
|Saturday||Windsor Castle Stakes||Listed||5f||2yo only|
|Saturday||Hardwicke Stakes||Group 2||1m 4f||4yo +|
|Saturday||Diamond Jubilee Stakes||Group 1||6f||4yo +|
|Saturday||Wokingham Stakes||Handicap||6f||3yo +|
|Saturday||Queen Alexandra Stakes||Conditions||2m 5f 159y||4yo +|
Be sure to sign up for our updates when we announce the favourites and give you the low down on the runners.
Coral Eclipse Summer Festival, Sandown Park, Surrey, 2-3 July 2021 – Eclipse Stakes – Prize fund: £750,000
The Sandown Park Group 1 event is another great meeting, named after the 18 time winner, Eclipse, taking 18 wins from 18 starts. Open to horses of 3 years and older The Eclipse Stakes, has served up memorable winners such as Roaring Lion with Ghaiyyath’s, effortless 2020 victory and monster stride to go with it.
The Sandown course was established in 1886 and at that time, it was Britain’s richest ever race.
The QIPCO King George Diamond Weekend, Ascot, Surrey, 23-24 July 2021 – King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes – Prize fund: £1,250,000
Founded in 1711 by Queen Anne, Ascot is probably the most well known meeting worldwide, attracting royalty and elites from across the globe. Lester Piggott holds the record, with an impressive 116 victories at Ascot.
Less formal than the Royal Ascot event, this mid-summer showcase, The King George weekend is Britain’s prestigious flat race, attracting world class horses and jockeys. This mid-season championship that has been going for near on 70-years, with the first race in 1951, when the King George VI Stakes and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes we joined up to make the event.
Group One race is for horses of both sexes, 3 years old and above competing over the Derby distance of 1.5 miles.
Glorious Goodwood “Qatar Goodwood Festival”, West Sussex, 27-31 July 2021: Prize fund – £1,000,000
With panoramic views of the Sussex Downs looking north and with Chichester to the south, the Goodwood Racecourse lives up to its name, hosting world class horseracing on the flat for over 200 years. The first meeting was in 1802, the year after the third Duke of Richmond’s private race meeting hosted for Goodwood Hunt members and officers of the Royal Sussex Militia Artillery.
The 5-day event with 14 action-packed races in the height of the Sussex summer sun, this fabulous event is the one not to be missed.
|Tuesday||Molecomb Stakes||Flat||Group 3||5f||2yo only|
|Tuesday||Lennox Stakes||Flat||Group 2||7f||3yo +|
|Wednesday||Vintage Stakes||Flat||Group 2||7f||2yo only|
|Wednesday||Gordon Stakes||Flat||Group 3||1m 4f||3yo only|
|Wednesday||Sussex Stakes||Flat||Group 1||1m||3yo +|
|Thursday||Richmond Stakes||Flat||Group 2||6f||2yo only|
|Thursday||Lillie Langtry Stakes||Flat||Group 2||1m 6f||3yo + f||Fillies & mares only|
|Thursday||Goodwood Cup||Flat||Group 1||2m||3yo +|
|Friday||Oak Tree Stakes||Flat||Group 3||7f||3yo + f||Fillies & mares only|
|Friday||King George Stakes||Flat||Group 2||5f||3yo +|
|Friday||Thoroughbred Stakes||Flat||Group 3||1m||3yo only|
|Friday||Glorious Stakes||Flat||Group 3||1m 4f||4yo +|
|Saturday||Stewards’ Cup||Flat||Handicap||6f||3yo +|
|Saturday||Nassau Stakes||Flat||Group 1||1m 1f 192y||3yo + f||Fillies & mares only|
King Edward VII introduced a more relaxed dress for Goodwood, which led to Panama hats becoming a signature look.
The Goodwood estate is also home of action packed motorsports, with the Festival of Speed taking place from 8th – 11th July 2021.
Ebor Festival, York, Yorkshire, 18-21 August 2021: Juddmonte Stakes Prize Fund: £1,000,000
The Ebor Festival is the historic four-day major meetings of the flat racing season. The festival kicks off on Wednesday 18th August 2021 with the Group 1 Juddmonte International race, the Great Voltigeur Stakes and the Acomb Stakes.
Thursday is Ladies Day, featuring the Lowther Stakes and the Yorkshire Oaks.
Friday is Nunthorpe Day, with the Nunthorpe Stakes, the Gimcrack Stakes and the Strensall Stakes.
Saturday is the big day, Ebor Day, with the Ebor Handicap and the Lonsdale Cup.
St. Leger Festival, Doncaster, Yorkshire, 8-11 September 2021 – St. Leger: Prize fund – £700,000
The St. Leger event was devised by Anthony St Leger, an army officer and politician who lived near Doncaster. Initially known as “A Sweepstake of 25 Guineas”, and its original distance was two miles, the rules stipulated that colts and geldings were to carry 8 stone (c50.8kg) and fillies have an allowance of 2lb.
Galileo Chroma’s victory last year rewarded trainer, Joseph O’Brien, with the honour of becoming the second man in history to have won the race as both trainer and jockey.
The race came to national prominence in 1800, with a runner named Champion securing the first Derby St Leger double. Its length was cut to 1 mile, 6 furlongs and 193 yards in 1813, and despite some minor alterations has remained much the same ever since.
Day one is Leger Legends Day kicks off with retired celebrities returning to action in the feature event, a charity race on the straight mile.
Day two is Ladies Day, attracting glitzy Yorkshire ladies with the stakes set high for a best dressed competition with generous prizes to be won.
Day three is Donny’s Day, featuring the Doncaster Cup, the oldest race currently run under the rules of horse racing.
Day 4 is the penultimate day and biggest of the week with the world’s oldest classic horceracing event, the Cazoo St. Leger Stakes.
British Champions Day, Ascot, Surrey, 16 October 2021 – Champions Stakes – £1,300,000
The final day of the British Flat season Champions Day is the highlight fixture of British flat racing, a culmination of the British Champions Series and features the finals of the five divisions of the series, together with a valuable one-mile handicap race.
|British Champions Long Distance Cup||Group 2||2m||3yo +||Any|
|British Champions Sprint Stakes||Group 1||6f||3yo +||Any|
|British Champions Fillies’ and Mares’ Stakes||Group 1||1m 4f||3yo + FM||Fillies & Mares|
|Queen Elizabeth II Stakes||Group 1||1m||3yo +||Any|
|Champion Stakes||Group 1||1m 2f||3yo +||Any|
|Balmoral Handicap||Handicap||1m||3yo +||Any|
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