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ALL THE INFO ON THE BIGGEST UK RACE EVENTS

Words: L. Thorpe

Thousands converge on the tracks for illustrious events like Cheltenham, Royal Ascot, and The Grand National. If you’re gearing up to see the world’s finest thoroughbreds and experience the social event of a lifetime, here’s everything you need to know about the country’s most thrilling racing events.

Cheltenham

March 14-17

Cheltenham is a celebration of style, speed and strength, where spectators sport their finest tweed with a glass of champagne as hooves strike turf each March. Set at the edge of the picturesque Cotswolds, the prestigious four-day event is the first major race on the calendar each year, and one of the most anticipated. Prize pot: £625,000

What to wear to Cheltenham

There is no official dress code at Cheltenham, but smart is preferable. A tweed jacket or a stylish suit is ideal, especially when paired with a tie or cravat.

Location: Evesham Rd, Cheltenham GL50 4SH

Nearest train station: Cheltenham Spa railway

Tickets

• Club Enclosure: £108
• Tattersalls Enclosure: £79.50
• Best Mate Enclosure: £61.67

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The Grand National

April 13-15

An exquisite showcase of style, elegance, and pure athleticism. The most-watched horse race in the world has crowds revelling in the excitement as majestic steeds, and their skilled jockeys, compete for glory. This captivating display of prowess happens annually over three days at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool. Prize pot: £1 million

What to wear to The Grand National

No official dress code, so feel free to consider bold patterns and colours for this one. Keep it smart with full-length trousers, a collared shirt and a tailored jacket.

Location: Ormskirk Rd, Aintree, Liverpool L9 5AS

Nearest train station: Aintree Station

Tickets

• Festival Zone: £28.80
• West Tip Seats: £48
• Earl of Derby Terrace: £48
• Garden Club: £80
• Lord Sefton Terrace: £48
• Queen Mother Roof: £83
• Lord Daresbury Roof: £58
• Earl of Derby Lower Seats: £80
• Queen Mother Seats: £104
• Princess Royal Roof: £58
• Earl of Derby Upper Seats: £80
• Lord Sefton Upper Seats: £80
• Princess Royal Seats: £110

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Guineas Festival

May 5-7

One of the most anticipated equestrian events of the year, the Guineas Festival showcases world-class flat racing at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile over three days. The passion for the sport, stylish fashion and a shared affinity for thrilling contests make the Guineas Festival an unforgettable experience for those seeking an elegant introduction to horse racing. Prize pot: £500,000

What to wear to Guineas Festival

‘Dressed to feel your best’ is the style at Newmarket Racecourses, with comfort and confidence as the only musts. Weather dependent, we recommend chinos or jeans and a polo shirt for understated elegance.

Location: Rowley Mile Racecourse, Cambridge Road, Newmarket CB8 0TF

Nearest train station: Newmarket Station

Tickets

• Grandstand and Paddock: £10
• Premier Enclosure: £26
• Century Stand: £80

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Epsom Derby

June 2-3

Epsom Derby is one of the calendar’s most historic and anticipated equestrian spectacles, from carefully curated outfits and extravagant guests to the sleek, regal thoroughbreds and their riders. This showcase of British style and sophistication occurs over two exhilarating days at Epsom Downs Racecourse. Prize pot: £850,000

What to wear to Epsom Derby

The only formal dress code is for the Queen Elizabeth II Stand, in which men must wear either black or grey morning dress on Derby Day, with a top hat and coat. The Style Awards celebrate the best dressed and hand out cash prizes for the most sophisticated attendees.

Location: Tattenham Corner Rd, Epsom KT18 5LQ

Nearest train station: Epsom Station

Tickets

• Queen Elizabeth Stand: £130
• Grandstand Enclosure: £60
• Picnic package: £280

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Royal Ascot

June 20-24

Royal Ascot is the UK’s racing crown jewel, attracting over 300,000 visitors yearly to the resplendent Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire for five days. This is the place to immerse yourself in timeless sophistication and customs, from the sacred dress code to the highly anticipated Gold Cup on the ever-enticing Ladies’ Day. Don’t fret, gentlemen, the rules apply to us, too, ensuring a genuinely sophisticated affair in the more formal enclosures of Royal Ascot.

What to wear to Royal Ascot

Different dress codes apply depending on which enclosure you join, so be sure to check. That means you’ll be required to wear anything from a three-piece morning suit and top hat to an elegant matching suit, though collared shirts and full-length trousers are also recommended for a more casual look. Prize pot: £17 million

Location: High St, Ascot SL5 7JX

Nearest train station: Ascot Station

Tickets

• King Edward VII Enclosure: £40
• Queen Anne Enclosure: £20
• Silver Package: £210
• Gold Package: £250
• Platinum Package: £390

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York Ebor

August 23-26

The smart, stylish atmosphere of York Ebor leaves a lasting impression on all who attend this exclusive summer racing experience. Held annually at the historic York racecourse, this prestigious event showcases an impressive array of thoroughbred talent and draws a fashionable crowd from far and wide. Prize pot: £70,000

What to wear to York Ebor

The only formal dress code is for premier enclosures, where collared shirts, ties and jackets are required for men. With the weather likely warm this time of year, a linen suit is a brilliant way to stay cool.

Location: Racecourse Road, Knavesmire Road, York YO23 1EX

Nearest train station: Cheltenham Spa railway

Tickets

• County Stand: £75
• Melrose Club Lounge: £190
• Premier Racing Lounge: £135
• Grandstand and Paddock: £42
• Clocktower and Enclosure: £15

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