Major Horse Racing Events 2024

  1. Home
  2. UK
  3. Leisure
  4. Major Horse Racing Events 2024

Starting with Cheltenham Festival and closing with Glorious Goodwood, the horse racing social season gives sports fans and social butterflies alike ample opportunity to soak up the atmosphere of this very British sporting event, usually dressed up to the nines, while enjoying the hospitality on offer.

Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham Racecourse 12 Mar 2024 to 15 Mar 2024

Cheltenham Festival is one of the biggest events in the horse-racing calendar, though there’s plenty more to it than that. This year marks 100 years of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and it promises to be quite the event!

The Grand National 2024

Aintree Racecourse 11 Apr 2024 to 13 Apr 2024

The biggest event in the horse-racing calendar, at the world-famous Aintree Racecourse; It’s the world’s greatest steeplechase, and so much more!

The Epsom Derby Festival

Epsom Downs Racecourse 31 May 2024 to 1 Jun 2024

The Epsom Derby is the world’s greatest flat horse race, run by horses that are all three years old. Come to the Betfred Derby Festival for two days of great racing and fantastic hospitality in the stunning Surrey countryside.

Royal Ascot

Ascot Racecourse 18 Jun 2024 to 22 Jun 2024

This is the racing event at the very top of high society’s social calendar - founded in 1711 by Queen Anne, its a whole week of racing, rubbing shoulder and revelry

Glorious Goodwood 2024

Goodwood Racecourse 30 Jul 2024 to 3 Aug 2024

The world-famous five-day festival dubbed ‘Glorious Goodwood’ returns, promising spell-binding sport, social occasion and fantastic hospitality - the social highlight of the flat racing season.

Aside from the racing, what is there to do?

While the horse racing is undoubtedly the central spectacle of each festival, there is always live entertainment and a wide range of hospitality options and packages, so youre sure to find a great way to entertain family, friends or business clients, from food stalls and purpose-built pubs to Michelin star restaurants with views of the track.

The thing you can always count on at a horse racing event is style; from its roots at Royal Ascot, Ladies’ Day has now become a tradition at all horse racing events during the social season, each with its own unique way of recognising and honouring the sartorial styling of ladies and gentleman at the races (such as official Style Awards events).

Is there a Dress Code?

Horse racing has always been an elegant affair and, until recently, all racecourses stipulated strict rules as to what race-goers were allowed to wear; you will always see ladies seemingly trying to one-up one another with more and more ostentatious hats to go with their elegant dresses, and men would regularly wear top hats and three-piece suits. Racecourse rules dictated that they were required to wear their suit jackets at all times - even during heatwaves - and would be asked to leave the grounds if they did not comply!

However, as of 2023, race courses under the umbrella of The Jockey Club (including Cheltenham, Epsom and Aintree)  have relaxed their dress code to be more “accessible and inclusive” to a larger audience (horse racing still has something of a reputation as a rather upper-class affair). Last year saw attendees in slightly more relaxed and casual attire; one festival-goer even decided to push the envelope and test the upper limits - despite some stares and stern talking-to’s, he attended in true ‘festival-goer’ attire!

The Jockey Club’s website states that spectators are asked to use their common sense when selecting an outfit, and there are still SOME rules that must be observed:

- No offensive clothing of any kind

- No replica sports shirts or football kits

- No offensive fancy dress

Royal Ascot and Goodwood racecourses still have rules about what you can wear, and they vary slightly for each enclosure - despite the relaxation of rules at other race courses, the horse racing has always been, and always will be, an opportunity to show of your style; each of our Events pages has information and links to Style Guides.


There are a few ways you can bet on the horses, including going down to your local high-street betting shop - if you want the thrill of the real, race-day experience, these are your best bets:

Betting on the course: On each day of the festival there are around 200 bookmakers in the grounds taking bets the old-fashioned way; there's something very satisfying about placing a cash bet, getting your ticket printed and then returning after the race to collect your winnings. Although the bets will likely be pretty consistent from person to person, you may find you can compare prices between bookmakers and find a good deal. Keep in mind, though, that you’re only able to bet on singles selections as the bookie will usually only price up the race in question - so you can’t place accumulative bets.

Tote betting: This is where you don’t get odds like the other racecourse bookmakers, but instead bet by entering nto a pool. If  a horse wins the pool is then shared among the winners, like a lottery would be.

Ante-post betting: You can get exceptional value if you bet on a horse in the run-up to the festival, as opposed to doing it on the day. You don’t have to worry about the odds drifting further as you’re protected by ‘best odds guaranteed’, meaning you’ll get the best price if the horse goes off at odds higher than you backed it. When you best ante-post, however, there’s always the chance that your chosen horse drops out of the festival early. In this case, as your horse is not running a race, your bookmaker should refund you in full for that race. 

The main downside to betting ante-post is the potential that, in the run-up to the festival, a horse you’ve placed a bet on loses other races in other events. This can cause the price of your bet to change considerably, so you may get lower returns than expected when you placed the bet.


Please gamble responsibly: