With festivals being staged all over the world, there are now more opportunities to go trackside than ever before. We have picked out three unmissable racing festivals and take a look at what makes them so special.
Taking place at the beginning of November, the Breeders’ Cup is one of the most-watched racing festivals in the world. With two days stacked full of Grade I events, this is the opportunity for racing fans to witness some of the finest thoroughbreds in North America.
Entrants aren’t just restricted to the US, with many UK and Irish-based runners also being shipped over for this prestigious affair. Attendance levels remain healthy with only the Triple Crown events commanding a bigger on-track audience.
Santa Anita, which hosted the event in both 2016 and 2019 has attracted the highest number of spectators to date, whilst venues such as Woodbine and Monmouth were relatively modest by comparison.
Breeders Cup 2019 Handle Highest Yet of Two-Day Format
With races held on both the dirt and turf track, there is plenty of variety across the two days. Friday’s card showcases the juveniles, whilst Saturday’s schedule is the star of the show with highlights including the Breeders’ Cup Mile and the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The substantial prize money on offer helps attract the most successful horsemen and jockeys, and a quick glance at the racing results is likely to throw up a smorgasbord of familiar names.
Even if you aren’t able to attend the festival itself, you’ll still be able to get a feel for the unique atmosphere of the Breeders’ Cup by simply following all of the action from the comfort of your home.
Royal Ascot is all about the occasion, and although the action on the turf is equally as engrossing, fashion and pageantry tend to take center stage at this five-day festival. Held at the Berkshire track, this superbly British affair comes with a strict dress code, and donning your best full-length suit and collared shirt is mandatory.
Attendees will enjoy sampling the high-quality cuisine, which includes the summer sporting staple of strawberries and champagne. There is also a possibility of catching a fleeting glimpse of Queen Elizabeth II, who attends the festival every single year.
On Victoria Cup Day 2019, Cape Byron tackled a mighty field! After getting his nose in front in the Tote Victoria Cup, he went on to win the Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot!
On the track, 13 Group 1 contests take place across the five days, with trainers such as Wesley Ward sending representatives over from the US. Japan, Australia and France are also represented at this top class event, although Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien is always a man to keep a close eye on.
Combining glamour and top class sport, Royal Ascot is an absolutely unmissable occasion.
Melbourne Cup Carnival
The Melbourne Cup is the race that stops a nation, and anyone who is lucky enough to attend the carnival is unlikely to forget the experience in a hurry. The November event combines food, fashion, and of course, high-quality racing. Attendees dress up for the occasion, and there are always plenty of eye-catching costumes on show.
Sports fans may wish to focus on the thoroughbred action; however, it’s difficult not to get drawn into the party atmosphere. With 100,000 spectators descending upon the Victoria track, it is one of the liveliest festivals on the calendar, and although it no longer the richest race-day in Australia, it is undoubtedly the most raucous.
There are numerous festivals dotted throughout the sporting calendar, but this trio of jamborees are undoubtedly the best. Although the action on the track tends to make the headlines, these sporting ceremonies offer far more than just high-quality racing. With fashion, food and thoroughbreds helping to attract thousands of spectators each year, these must-see events continue to entertain on an annual basis.