Horse racing remains one of the best loved sports around the UK. The drama, action and excitement it offers attracts hordes of fans and many people who like to bet on it. As well as watching the racing on TV, many people love to attend the best events in person to get closer to the action. Of course, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has had a major effect on this during 2020 and going into 2021. With a national UK lockdown still in place in early 2021, many are wondering how the next 12 months might look for horse racing meets in the UK.
With the UK Covid vaccinations well underway and PM Boris Johnson under pressure to at least ease lockdown somewhat, many fans are hoping that they will soon be able to start attending racecourses in person again. The good news is that even if this does not happen for a while, there should still be top-level events held behind closed doors for fans to catch on TV. But which are the events you should be making every effort to enjoy?
Cheltenham Festival 2021
There really are some amazing events to look forward to in 2021, as listed at horseracingbetting.co.uk. The four-day Cheltenham Festival is arguably the biggest jumps racing event in the world, and certainly in the UK. It is held every March and brings together the best jockeys, trainers and horses in National Hunt racing.
The good news is that the festival is scheduled to run as usual this year, from 16 March to 19 March 2021. Although fans cannot attend in person, they will still be able to see the fabulous racing that Cheltenham offers from their own homes. Of course, this will include classic races such as the Gold Cup and Stayers’ Hurdle. Although you might not be able to fully recreate the famed Cheltenham atmosphere at home, the top-class action on offer and the superb betting it brings will make up for it.
Grand National 2021
The famous Grand National Festival at Aintree is a premier UK racing event that is held every year in April. It is regarded by many as one of the biggest showcase events in the whole of UK racing and the Grand National itself is also one of the most challenging races to complete. Those who do make it over the line first in this Blue Riband race are sure to go down in history and retain a special place in UK horse racing. Who can forget 100/1 shot Mon Mome’s National win, for example? As with Cheltenham, the Grand National is set to go ahead in 2021 but without any fans on the course. With international coverage of the festival, though, it will not be hard to keep in touch with the action.
Looking a little further ahead into 2021, Royal Ascot is scheduled to take place in mid-June, as usual. While any future effects of Covid-19 could change this, the current dates for this event are 15 June to 19 June 2021. Although it is unlikely that spectators will be able to attend, the later starting date of this event leaves a glimmer of hope that some may be allowed in to see the action by then. This is not confirmed, though, and we will have to see what decision the UK government makes on this closer to the time.
However, you view it, this is the very essence of tradition and glamour in UK racing. The royal connections help here and really give this five-day period of racing an extra appeal. The racing itself is also top-class, with eight Grade 1 contests among the 18 races scheduled. All this racing is also great news for punters, who will not be short of the best odds and quality horses to back. If all else fails, you can simply enjoy checking out the outrageous hats and outfits on Ladies’ Day!
UK Horse Racing Looks Good for 2021
Sport will always be something that is important to people in the UK. From the latest Premier League action (such as Man Utd’s 1-1 West Brom draw) to horse racing, this is true. Although we may not be able to attend some of the top racing events planned for 2021 in person, there is still lots to look forward to in the coming months. As we look to later in the year, events such as the Yorkshire Ebor Festival and St Leger may well be able to welcome fans back in. However, you end up enjoying them, though, 2021 has many fun events in store for racing fans.