Upcoming horse racing events 2023

The new year is just around the corner, and while you may just be getting into festive spirits, we think now is the perfect time to saddle up and get to grips with the upcoming horse racing events in 2023.

2022 was certainly a great year for horse racing – plus, we were all able to enjoy a full year without COVID restrictions. And we think 2023 is only going to get better.

A day at the races is an unforgettable, enjoyable experience and a fantastic idea for a stag do, work party or day out with your family and mates. There are a number of horse racing fixtures to look forward to in 2023 – read on and we’ll discuss the best upcoming racing events.

Cheltenham Festival

This four-day event is held at Cheltenham Racecourse in early March every year and is typically recognised as being the first of the major races held in the UK on the calendar. That’s right, the racing season doesn’t truly start until the Cheltenham Festival rolls around each year. In 2023, the final day of Cheltenham Festival clashes with St. Patrick’s Day (17th March), so it will likely draw in large crowds of spectators who will be looking for a good time.

It often lives up to its billing as a “festival” rather than merely a racing tournament or evening, with 28 races spread across four days to watch, and various food and drink outlets at which to grab a bite to eat or to enjoy a refreshing pint (or two).

The 2023 festival consists of Champions Day, Festival Wednesday, St. Patrick’s Thursday, and the main event: Gold Cup Day, which falls on Friday the 17th.

Royal Ascot

One of the UK’s most prestigious horse racing events, The Royal Ascot is a week-long (five-day) event of races held at the well-renowned Ascot Racecourse. This will be the first Royal Ascot races where the late Queen Elizabeth II won’t be present since 1945 – excluding her absence in 2022 a few months before her passing. Royal Ascot was her favourite sporting event – until 2022, she had never missed a single Royal Meeting since 1946.

The third day of Royal Ascot is often the most popular day of the week since it continues to feature the Ascot Gold Cup, which puts on show some of the top horses and jockeys in flat racing.

This particular horse racing event is more classy than other race days, so you might want to scrub up well in your best attire and prepare for floods of men in top hats and a flurry of women in fancy fascinators. With more than 500 horses racing over five full days of electrifying action, this is an unforgettable racing event for all racegoers out there.

The Grand National

Many horse races are labelled the ‘biggest’ and the ‘best’ in the world, but it’s the Grand National that gets people all over the world watching some of the best stayers take on the treacherous fences. This event is viewed every year by 600 million people worldwide – and the bookies love it. British racegoers can’t miss out on this event.

Held annually at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, the nation can’t get enough of this spectacular event – so much so that many other UK racecourses hold events on the same day for those who can’t attend Aintree. Starting in 2023 on Thursday 13th April and finishing on Saturday the 15th, the Grand National weekend offers it all for those looking for an exciting day out.

Ladies’ Day falls on Friday 14th and the Grand National itself is set to take place on Saturday 15th April.

Epsom Derby

The Epsom Derby, renowned across the globe as one of racing’s greatest events, took place for the first time in 1780 and continues to deliver the same excitement and experience to this day. Racegoers can get dressed up in their finest attire for Ladies’ Day on Friday 2nd June, with Derby Day commencing the following day – Saturday 3rd June.

The Epsom Derby is labelled a truly British event and is a flat horse race – so it doesn’t have all the excitement of a jumping event, but certainly provides an impressive display of pure racing that you can’t fault.

Ayr Gold Cup Meeting

Without a doubt the most famous flat meeting in Scotland, the Ayr Gold Cup Meeting draws racegoers from all over and is one of the most well-attended events on the entire racing calendar. Ayr Gold Cup Festival returns in 2023 for a three-day period that begins on 21st September and ends on 23rd September. If you fancy venturing to Scotland, this is the event for you.