Ascot Fashion Ladies 2018

Royal Ascot for me is the highlight of the racing fashion season, it’s the week we all plan for. Now if you haven’t been before or if you are just looking for some inspiration than we are here to help. We have searched the web to help you find the best looks for each enclosure, so sit back grab a cuppa!

The Windsor and Village Enclosure!

Ladies and gentlemen within the Windsor Enclosure are requested to dress in a manner as befits a formal occasion. It is recommended that ladies wear smart attire with a hat or fascinator and gentlemen wear a jacket, shirt and long trousers.

Fancy dress, novelty and branded / promotional clothing are not allowed on site.

So for ladies it’s recommended you wear a formal dress and a hat or fascinator, this doesn’t have to be of any size unlike the other enclosures so can be as small or big as you like! For the dress I wouldn’t got to short, and would recommend nothing to far above the knee, we are after all in the presence of royalty! So here’s what we found online!

Ted Baker £159

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All these dresses would be perfect for the Windsor and Village enclosure, all are really easy to add a jacket with should the weather not be on our side! When it comes to shoes try and pick some comfy ones it’s a long day, so try pick ones you have maybe worn before!

Hats

John lewis £20

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The Queen Anne Enclosure

Ladies within the Queen Anne Enclosure are encouraged to dress in a manner as befits a formal occasion and ladies are kindly asked to take note of the following:

• A hat, headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all times.

• Strapless or sheer strap dresses and tops are not permitted. Please note our definition of strapless includes off the shoulder, bardot style and one shoulder dressess.

• Trouser suits and jumpsuits must be full-length and worn with a top that adheres to the guidelines above.

• Midriffs must be covered.

• Shorts are not permitted.

The Queen Anne Enclosure is a little stricter than the Windsor and Village, so choose your look carefully as they do have ‘Fashion Police’ on the door! Dresses must have straps and must be just above the knee, hats and fascinators are a must too!

Ted Baker £139

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Royal Enclosure

Ladies are kindly reminded that formal daywear is a requirement in the Royal Enclosure, defined as follows:

• Dresses and skirts should be of modest length defined as falling just above the knee or longer.

• Dresses and tops should have straps of one inch or greater.

• Jackets and pashminas may be worn but dresses and tops underneath should still comply with the Royal Enclosure dress code.

• Trouser suits are welcome. They should be of full-length to the ankle and of matching material and colour.

• Jumpsuits are welcome. They should be of full-length to the ankle, with regulations matching that for dresses.

• Hats should be worn; however a headpiece which has a solid base of 4 inches (10cm) or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat.

Ladies are kindly asked to note the following:

• Strapless, off  the shoulder, one shoulder, halter neck, bardot and spaghetti straps are not permitted.

• Midriffs must be covered.

• Fascinators are not permitted; neither are headpieces which do not have a solid base covering a sufficient area of the head (4 inches/10cm).

The Royal Enclosure is the strictest of all the enclosures and will be the most policed too, I have known of people being given petticoats to put under dresses which are too short before. So if you have opted for the Royal Enclosure, you might as well do it properly. Everyone always looks amazing in the enclosure and the gardens are a sea of stunning outfits.

Ted Baker £169

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Hats

Instead of buying hat, I like many people opt to rent mine. There are some great people around to rent and you might just be best heading to your local if however, you were looking for something different I can’t recommend Lizzie Huges Hats enough. Coming from a racing background herself she really knows what she’ doing and her collection of hats are amazing! She has over 500 hats and rental ranges from £45-£125, so there is something for everyone!

We have put a few of our favourites below but whatever your outfit she will have something for you! You can see her collection here.

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Dubai World Cup tickets

The Dubai World Cup race day is the richest race day in the world, so if you are making the trip you want to make sure you get your tickets right! Unlike most racecourses we are used to in the UK, Meydan is one mile long, huge, so as you can imagine there are a few different ticket options. Before we break them down for you, it’s good to be aware that a lot of the tickets can’t get into each others section, so if you are travelling with a groups it’s best to all have the same so you can enjoy the day. Also like many racecourses alcohol is expensive so if you would like to enjoy the day with a few drinks I would recommend having food and drink included, this takes a lot of hassle away from the day, so you can relax and enjoy!

Apron Views

This is the best value option of all the tickets, and would be the equivalent to Best Mate at Cheltenham. It offers a huge track level viewing area on the Apron View Lawns, plus non-reserved seats located in the grandstand behind. Underneath the grandstand you will find an indoor air-conditioned area full of bars and a food court which offers plenty of options to keep you satisfied throughout the day. The Apron Views are great if you are not too fussed about being in the middle of the busy atmosphere and love watching some of the action from right at the rail!

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Sky Bubble

This is the next step up in price, this has more of a hospitality feel. This is situated under the iconic crescent roof, giving a 360 view of Meydan. This is a unique private dining experience, and is exclusively only for this type of ticket. While you are up high and detached from the racing you can still gain access to the parade ring lawns and the Apron Views, so you don’t miss out. Your ticket includes selected alcoholic and soft drinks, a fork buffet, canapes and live cooking stations. It has plenty of seating so you can relax and enjoy your day.

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The Gallery

This is the option we recommend for guests as it has great views and includes all your food and drink throughout the day. It is located just after the finish line and has great outside viewing with plenty of seating. Behind the seating inside the grandstand you will find a spacious bar area and seating inside for eating. There is a buffet and afternoon tea that is constantly replenished throughout the day and you can either enjoy your food inside in the comfort of air-conditioning or alternatively outside in the grandstand so as not to miss any of the action! The package includes standard house beverages and soft drinks with a premium list available should you wish to purchase something a little more special on the day!

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The Premium

This is located right on the finish line, next to the Royal Box, so as far as views go they don’t get better! You are also overlooking the parade ring and have access to a lawn for up close viewing. You have reserved numbered seats in the grandstand along with ample seating inside, meaning you can enjoy your gourmet dinner, snacks and afternoon tea in either location. Again standard house beverages are included and premium lists are available on the day to buy additional if desired.

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The Lounge

This is on level six of the Meydan grandstand and has a similar feel to a large box set-up with a front facing balcony so you can watch the horses thundering past. Situated on the home turn you are right in the action of the race. There is an afternoon tea and gourmet international buffet, so plenty of choice to wet your appetite. House alcohol is included and a wine and champagne menu on the day should you wish to purchase.

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Winners Circle Restaurant

This is often where some of the owners and trainers are for the day, so it is one of the best places to be to watch the racing. With glass fronted dining over two levels you won’t miss a second of the racing, with access to the parade ring lawns so you can get an up close view of the horses too. This is one of the superior hospitality options and really worth it, you will have afternoon tea served at your table, then continue with a five course set menu. This also includes soft drinks and house alcohol, with wine and champagne menus on the day should you wish to purchase.

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The First Class Lounge

This stunning outdoor formal seating area is situated on the home turn, on level three of the Meydan grandstand. You can watch the horses thundering past heading for the finish line. Enjoy a delightful afternoon tea followed by a international buffet with soft drinks and house alcohol included, with options to buy additional wine and champagne on the day. You will also have access to the Apron View and Parade Ring Lawns.

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The Terrace

This is made up of tables of ten reserved under company or family names, so is ideal for big groups. It has its own free grandstand with outdoor seating so you can move freely throughout the day to soak up the atmosphere. With great views of the racetrack and capacity for 1700 there is plenty of space. Your day will start with afternoon tea and followed by an international buffet served with selected alcohol and soft drinks, plus wine and champagne menus on the day to purchase.

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The Furlong

This is opposite the 200 meter mark of the Meydan track so offers fantastic views of the racing. It is very similar to The Terrace with its set up, with tables of ten reserved under company or family names, so is ideal for big groups. It has it has its own grandstand with section of up to 360, this has stunning views of the track. Your day will start with afternoon tea and followed by an international buffet served with selected alcohol and soft drinks, plus wine and champagne menus on the day to purchase.

Many of the packages are fairly similar when it comes to what food and drink is included but the key point is where you are in the stand, as I said it’s over one mile long so location is everything!


 

CHELTENHAM UPDATE

With just a few weeks to go until we hear the roar erupt around Prestbury Park once more, here’s our review of how the key horses fared from last weekend.

Altior

Despite only competing against 2 other runners, Altior faced a stiff test from Desert Orchid Chase winner Politologue. It was a test Altior passed with flying colours. It seemed, in the approach to the last that it was going to be a close finish, with Altior hitting a momentary flat spot. However, a few strides later Nicky Henderson’s superstar took off and pulled away with jockey Nico de Boinville hardly having to touch him.

This sets up a thrilling clash with Willie Mullins’ Min in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase in a rematch of the 2016 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle when Altior emerged on top. For many, Altior represents the best horse trained in Great Britain.

Currently Altior heads the market at odds of 4-6 with Min generally priced at 9-4. 

Native River

Last year's Gold Cup third Native River returned from 330 days off the track to show a prolonged absence from action had done nothing to blunt the weaponry of this powerful stayer, who pulled well clear of the race-fit Cloudy Dream to land the Denman Chase.

Fans of the horse will now hope that he can improve on last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup third place as a result of a lighter campaign to last year’s. On that front, trainer Colin Tizzard was confident stating “He hasn't had a hard race, while the rest of the Gold Cup horses have had some real humdingers.”

Native River is generally joint second favourite for the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup with last year's winner, Sizing John at odds of 6-1. Nicky Henderson's Might Bite heads the market at odds of 7-2. 

Saint Calvados

The superstar in Harry Whittington’s yard put in a superbly impressive performance to destroy his three rivals from the front in the Kingmaker Novices’ Chase at Warwick.

The five year old is now best-price 8-1 for the Racing Post Arkle with Willie Mullins’ Footpad a strong favourite for the race and classy duo Petit Mouchoir and Sceau Royal also more fancied than Saint Calvados.

(Click here for more info on Cheltenham betting offers)

Kalashnikov

The biggest betting race of the weekend, The Betfair Hurdle was won by the dogged Kalashnikov who is proving to be a real weapon for Britain’s youngest trainer, Amy Murphy.

Ridden by Jack Quinlan, the other half of a youthful trainer-jockey combination, Kalashnikov did not look to be enjoying the stamina-sapping ground when receiving plenty of encouragement by the halfway stage, but he never stopped responding to his rider's drives. Having taken the lead approaching the last, Kalashnikov battled on resolutely to earn the biggest victory of Murphy’s training career to date.

Kalashnikov's Cheltenham target has yet to be fixed with both the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle possibilities. He can be backed for the Supreme at odds of 8-1 whilst is a far larger price for the Ballymore, generally found at 14-1 although longer prices can be found.

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Cheltenham Update - What we’ve learnt from the Dublin Racing Festival

Faugheen the Machine no more?

Faugheen managed second place in the Irish Champions Hurdle beaten two and a quarter lengths by the Jessica Harrington trained Supasundae. For most, this would not be cause for too much concern, but this is the horse nicknamed ‘The Machine’ who in previous years would have demolished Saturday’s field by a distance, let alone get beaten by a horse that is not even being aimed at Cheltenham’s Champion Hurdle.

Admittedly, it was a far better performance than he produced at the same track over Christmas when he was pulled up after half the race, but his latest effort did nothing other than boost Buveur D’air backers that the Nicky Henderson horse will brush Faugheen aside along with the rest.

Min the Mighty

 Min thundering home

Min thundering home

While Faugheen is on the decline, the same certainly can’t be said about Min for the same connections. He produced a superb performance in the Coral Dublin Chase comfortably running out 12 lengths winner in a race where his stamina and jumping was tested by a strong pace set by Special Tiara. Despite allowing Special Tiara to open up a massive lead, Min looked in control throughout and aided by slick jumping, comfortably reeled in the front runner. Min is expected to contest the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham against stablemate Douvan and hot favourite Altior. Based on this performance, Altior will certainly have a fight on his hands.

Sensational Samcro

Already considered Ireland’s banker for the Cheltenham Festival, Samcro was sensational at the weekend. He decimated the Grade One Deloitte Novice Hurdle field with ease and it's very hard not to get excited about him. The Gordon Elliot trained horse has all the options at Cheltenham and based on betting, would appear most likely to contest the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle, but the opening race of The Festival, the Sky Bet Supreme – over the trip of two miles – could be given more serious consideration and one which you’d expect to put the bookies on the backfoot from the off.

Total Recall bolts up

Despite a huge field, favourite Total Recall won the William Fry Handicap Hurdle for Willie Mullins. Running off a mark some 31lb lower over hurdles than his chase rating, many expected him to win - but not much went right during the race. He fought jockey Paul Townend the whole way and lost a shoe early on. However despite this, he comfortably pulled away after the last to win by three lengths.

Now a decsion will have to be made by team Mullins whether he’ll be aimed at The Timico Gold Cup at Cheltenham or The Grand National at Aintree.

Footpad romps home

Footpad made every yard of the running to come home an impressive winner of the Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase at Leopardstown. Petit Mouchoir is a very good horse, a horse that was better than Footpad over hurdles, but he couldn’t live with him over the chase fences following a four month lay off. With two to jump, and only Petit Mouchoir in touch, Townend turned up the pace on Footpad and despite clipping the final obstacle, the Willie Mullins-trained victor never looked in danger as Petit Mouchoir ploughed on for second with Any Second Now third. Footpad is now odds on favourite for the Arkle Chase at Cheltenham.

Dublin Racing Festival Preview

We are just one more sleep away from the inaugural Dublin Racing Festival and we’re here to provide you with all you need to know.

What is it?

Held at Leopardstown on Saturday 3rd & 4th February, the timing is crucial as it is perfectly positioned between the festive racing programme and the Cheltenham Festival. With three completely new races added to the racing programme, and over €1.5 million of prize money on offer the organisers of the Dublin Racing Festival have been rewarded with some of the best horses in the game entered for the two day event. Unfortunately, few British trainers have bought into the festival due to a complete focus on delivering horses for ‘The Festival’. You can’t help but feel this is a missed trick from the british trainers who are reticent to change routines to suit the new racing programme. For sure you can expect a strong English contingent to compete in 2019.

Top Jockeys to watch out for

Paul Townend

With no Ruby Walsh in action due to injury, Paul Townend looks set to feast on a plethora of Willie Mullins favourites. Mounts across the two day festival include:- Faugheen in the Irish Champion Hurdle, Footpad in the Irish Arkle Novice Chase and Yorkhill in the Dublin Chase as well as the intriguing Killultagh Vic in the Irish Gold Cup on Sunday. Away from the Grade 1’s, Townend has even got the best-backed horse of the weekend when he partners Ladbrokes Trophy winner Total Recall off a 31lb lower hurdles mark than his chase rating in the 3m handicap hurdle on Sunday.

Davy Russell

The current leader in the Irish Jockey’s title (with 89 wins). He’s had a winner at each of the last 12 Cheltenham Festivals and last year bagged two of the eight Grade 1’s that have been brought together to form the heart of the Dublin Racing Festival. Russell has an important ride on Petit Mouchoir in the Irish Arkle Novice Chase vs the impressive Footpad.

Jack Kennedy

Few are going into the festival in better form than Jack Kennedy who has eight wins from his last 22 rides. Kennedy has crucial rides on Outlander in the Irish Gold Cup, Farclas in the Juvenile Hurdle as well as Samcro who is the favourite for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle.

Yorkhill or Min

Every fan of racing is looking forward to this fantastic clash between two stablemates. Yorkhill certainly has a lot of questions to answer following his Christmas Chase (Grade 1) flop where his jumping was poor and frequency in which he proves ‘difficult to ride’. However, it does look a good move to drop him in trip albeit a pretty severe drop from three miles to 2m1f.

On the flip side, Min looks an out and out two miler. Admittedly, he was expected to perform far better than he did over the Christmas period where the stewards demoted his win to second place as a result of interference. Given how Mullins campaigns his horses, you expect improvement from Min after his Leopardstown demotion last time. He was keen that day, doing too much too soon, but if he just settles a little better significant improvement should be forthcoming. Min can be backed at odds generally of 5/2 whilst Yorkhill can be found at odds of ⅚.

Faugheen or Another

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Star two miler Faugheen will face seven rivals when he bids to get his season back on track in the Irish Champion Hurdle on the first day of the Dublin racing Festival. The ten-year-old was pulled up in the back straight when last in action in the Ryanair Hurdle at the same track in December and is a general 4/1 second favourite behind Buveur D'Air to land the Champion Hurdle in March. On his best form, Saturday’s rivals won’t see which way he goes. He’s a genuine mid-170s hurdler at his very best and there doesn’t look to be a rival against him that could achieve a number anywhere near that this weekend. The question is whether his poor performance in his last race is just a blip or a sign of the end. In which case, it brings Melon, Defi Du Seuil and Mick Jazz right into the equation.

Dubai Racing and More

The Dubai World Cup Carnival, not to be confused with the World Cup night itself, but the build up to the big night. The Carnival is made up of 10 global race meetings, where hopefuls for the World Cup night will compete against each other to gauge how they will fair on the big day. Trainers will be taking their horses out there is the coming weeks to see if they make the cut for the big night, what most trainers do is take the horses out, race them and then if they perform well they leave them there to race again and get use to the heat etc. The trainers then fly back and forth until the big night or if they don’t perform well, they all go home and the dream is over!

 Meydan Racecourse 

Meydan Racecourse 

The Carnival is so important because the stakes are so high, there is a total of $10 million prize money over the coming weeks. With huge prize money like this comes great horses, making for a fantastic competition, so the racing is world class with horses coming from all corners of the globe. Any horse that will run World Cup night will probably run at some point during the Carnival, so it is a great opportunity to see high class racing.

Meydan race every Thursday and five Saturdays in January- March but what many people don’t know is that Dubai has two racecourses, Jebel Ali is Dubai’s second track. Jebel Ali is much smaller and currently seats 2000 people, they race there on a Friday, which is Dubai’s Saturday. The track is often compared to a Garden Party and has a lovely feel about it. Set next to the palm with great views of Dubai. It is very green and has a feel of your local track and makes a great afternoon, it’s nice to go racing in the afternoon too and feels more like racing at home, the first race is at 2.30pm, so gives you plenty of time for a morning by the pool! Oh and did we mention the best bit, it’s FREE! So you have nothing to lose.

Best Time to go...

If you wanted to get the most out of a racing trip you can get 3 days with Thursday at Meydan, Fridays at Jebel Ali and every other Saturday back at Meydan!

This maybe a little much for you, especially when there is so much to do in Dubai! A lot of people would think you were crazy going for a long weekend, but with great night flight times, a central airport and so much to do I think it’s one of the best ways to do Dubai.

We recommend Flying on the Wednesday night and landing in Dubai Thursday morning. You can use this as your ‘lay by the pool’ day, get over travelling and enjoy a day of rest before racing Thursday night. Grab an early dinner in the Meydan hotel at either SHIBA or my personal recommendation Prime Steakhouse, which is the best steak I have ever had. I would book a 6pm dinner then you can watch the first race at 6.30pm from the restaurant before grabbing a buggy down to the track. If you fancy a night out WHITE is one of Dubai's best night clubs and is right at the track so if you want to keep the party going...you know where to head.

Friday racing is held at Jebel Ali, but the first race is not until 2.30pm so why not spend a morning on the Palm, exploring the Atlantis Hotel. There are numerous activities on the Palm including an incredible skydive experience. This is one of the best skydives in the world, and is very famous with amazing views of the palm tree shaped island in the background of your decent a once in a lifetime experience! Now after a busy day you have worked up an appetite so keeping at this end of the city, I would have to recommend Il Borro, located in the Al Naseem hotel. Hands down the best italian in Dubai, to top it of they also have a turtle sanctuary outside the restaurant which is magical at night. Now for the perfect nightcap you must head to the Flamingo Room, which is also in the hotel and does the best cocktails!

 The Flamingo Room

The Flamingo Room

If you didn’t fancy racing on the Friday there is of course the world famous Dubai Brunch, an all you can eat and drink lunch, they pretty much have them in every hotel but we recommend- the Westin Bubbalicious, Candy Pants and Vida Downtown!

 Vida Downtown

Vida Downtown

Saturday is Dubai’s Sunday and the perfect day to go to the beach, if your hotel hasn’t got a beach which many don’t there are loads to try. There is the public beach which is free and easy, just take a trip to the shops for some refreshments and away you go. For the party lover there is Nikki Beach which is amazing, super fun but very pricey so be warned. A happy medium would be cove beach which is lovely and has an amazing sushi and fish menu! Most hotels also let you pay for a bed for the day if any take your fancy, if you have children we highly recommend Le Royal Meridien Beach and spa has a great play area and facilities.

Dubai is also famous for its shopping and so you don’t have to miss any of that great sun, all the malls are open late at night. There are so many malls in Dubai but the two best ones are the Mall of the Emirates, which is famous for its ski slope, yes that’s right you can ski in Dubai. The other mall is the Dubai Mall, this one is famous for it’s huge aquarium and fountain display in front of the Burj Khalifa...oh and also being the biggest mall in the world with 1,200 shops. Both have the same shops but unless you want to go skiing the Dubai Mall is much more worthwhile for entertainment. The aquarium is amazing, you can see the penguins and even go scuba diving, and the fountain display at night is a must on the tourist list. If you wanted to head over in the afternoon, a trip up the Burj Khalifa is best at sunset, this is the most expensive time but is worth the amazing view of the city at dusk.

 Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa

Depending if you want to fly home Sunday night or Monday morning, if you can wait till Monday you can’t really come to dubai without getting out to the desert. Head out to the real life miraj in the desert, Bab Al Shams. This is a  fabulous hotel with a spa which is the perfect treat for anyone after a busy week sightseeing. I would plan to arrive early morning, have a treatment then a few hours by the pool before heading out on one of the wild desert safaris. You will head into the dunes for some dune bashing, stopping off for some sand dune sliding and sunset photos opportunities before arriving at the bedouin style majalis tent. It is here you will enjoy getting stuck into an Arabian style buffet with shisha, music, camel rides, henna tattoos and a belly dancing show.

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 Dubai Safari

Dubai Safari

Party into the evening before heading back to the city, a great way to finish off your trip!

To find out more and book your trip CLICK HERE.

Cheltenham Festival Update

With just six weeks to go until the Cheltenham Festival, we’ve provided an update on some of the key players following on from last weekend’s Festival Trials Day at Prestbury Park.

Gold Cup Update

Bristol De Mai Disappoints

The Betfair Chase winner did nothing in Saturday’s Grade 2 Cotswold Chase to prove to doubters that he is the real deal and can handle the undulations of the Gloucestershire circuit. Bristol de Mai could only manage third behind Definitly Red and American and never looked like winning in conditions said to favour Nigel Twiston-Davies’ gelding.

Many feel that the horse should stick to flat tracks like Haydock where he is thought to be better suited. Accordingly, Bristol De Mai is now being considered for three races at Aintree in April, including the Randox Health Grand National. However, The Timico Gold Cup is yet to be ruled out and much will depend on whether any further reason for Saturday’s disappointment comes to light.

Bristol De Mai is generally available at odds of 33/1 for both the Timico Gold Cup and The Randox Health Grand National. 

Definitly Red Stars

On the flip side, Definitly Red, winner of The Cotswold Chase has had his odds cut for the Timico Gold Cup from 40/1 to 16/1 immediately following the Grade 2 Chase. The Northern trained horse produced a dominant display to win by eight lengths, with trainer Brian Ellison stating that the horse is “probably the best I’ve ever trained”. King George winner Might Bite remains favourite for the showpiece race at odds of 3/1.

Triumph Hurdle Update

Apple's Shakira maintained her unbeaten record in the JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle at Cheltenham, although she was made to work hard for her victory. Sent off the 1/7 favourite having been superb in her previous two outings for Nicky Henderson, she briefly looked in trouble turning into the straight after Tom Scudamore and Look My Way stole a few lengths.

Ultimately though, Apple’s Shakira’s class shone through as she ran out an eight length winner with 3rd place back a further 13 lengths.

Apple’s Shakira is still outright favourite for the Triumph Hurdle at odds of 11/4.
 

RSA Chase Update

Presenting Percy returned to hurdles last Thursday in the three mile John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle as a warm up for the Grade 1 RSA Chase. It proved to be a testing race, with Davy Russell having to work hard on Percy to keep off the threatening Augusta Kate. Last year’s Pertemps Final winner eventually ran out the winner by five lengths and connections feel that “The RSA Chase looks made for him”.

Presenting Percy is generally 3/1 favourite for the RSA.

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Arkle Chase Update

Sceau Royal was asked some serious questions by Dan Skelton's Shantou Rock and responded as willingly as we've come to expect from the quality six-year-old when winning the Lightning Novices’ Chase at Doncaster. Options remain open for Alan King’s horse who now won’t be seen again until Cheltenham with most feeling that he is set to take on Footpad for the same owners, in the Arkle. Footpad already heads the Racing Post Arkle betting for the ownership duo, with Betfair offering the longest odds of 6-4, although this could change if Mullins’ gelding disappoints at Leopardstown on Saturday.

Sceau Royal is generally available for the Racing Post Arkle at odds of 6/1.

 

Tickets and packages are fast running out for The Cheltenham Festival! Click here to book!

Racecourse Hidden Gems

Now, we all have our favourite racecourses like Ascot, Goodwood and for me Newmarket but what about the smaller courses...the hidden gems of the racing world? Ones that may even be closer to you than the bigger courses or a little further a field but are worth the journey!

Chester

The home of the footballer and the Real Housewives of Cheshire! Probably one of the most glamourous courses in the country. Ladies, you will love the people watching and the excuse to dress up, and gentlemen... I think it’s pretty obvious what you’ll enjoy! Now on top of all that the course is beautiful and steeped in history with the grandstand full of character.

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Not forgetting the main reason you would attend Chester races….there is also lots of great racing to enjoy, with plenty of meetings from May to September meaning there are ample opportunities to make a weekend or overnight stay of it. Chester itself is full of great restaurants and lovely boutiques and is surrounded by the ancient chester city walls.

To find out more and book tickets Click Here

Newcastle

Staying up north but heading a little higher this time we head to the angel of the north, well just beyond her, Newcastle.

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Newcastle has a fantastic jump and all weather flat course, so has plenty to offer all year round. This makes a planning a visit even easier, depending on your preference. The course has great facilities with lots of great bars and events throughout the year! For me personally it would make a fun weekend away with a group of friends for a birthday, hen or stag party. You could go racing in the day and the head to the vibrant city centre in the evening where this is some taste tingling restaurants and buzzing bars, for whatever suits your fancy.

To find out more and book tickets Click Here

Ripon

As we head back down the A1 we stop in at Ripon, dubbed the garden racecourse you can imagine how beautiful it is. This is the perfect course for a family day out, with lawns across the course, a play area and great catering on offer it couldn’t be easier. The course has a great feel about it and set in the heart of yorkshire makes it a superb destination racecourse to.

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I love yorkshire with a historic city, stunning walks and plenty for family of all ages to find things to do. Ripon is a credit to the area and just tops off what a great place it is to visit.

To find out more and book tickets Click Here

Bath

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As we head down to the other end of the country we stop off at Bath, a classic old British town with stunning architecture and Roman Baths. The racecourse has fixtures throughout the spring and summer, with cider festivals, beer festivals, ladies days and great tribute acts plus fantastic family fun days; there is something for everyone. There is so much to offer in the town too, it makes a great day out or weekend away.

To find out more and book tickets Click Here

Lingfield

We then head right down to the bottom and just south of London is Lingfield. Conveniently just a short train journey out of London. Again with jumps and flat meetings, there is plenty of racing throughout the year. The course also has a golf course if you fancy a few rounds before racing! Or if a spa is your style, relax and indulge in the Breathe spa.

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The course has so many great events over the course of the year including some brilliant live music nights. The course also has some high grade racing holding the winter Derby trial and much more!

To find out more and book tickets Click Here

50 Days to The Festival!

With just 50 days to go until The Roar will be heard once more, we’ve previewed the four days of this world famous event. There are 28 top class races at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival spread out across 4 days of thrilling racing in what is the highlight of the National Hunt season. With over 260,000 people passing through the gates during The Festival, the atmosphere is guaranteed to be superb.

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Tuesday 13th - Champion’s Day

The opening day of the festival arguably boasts the highest average quality of racing, with four Grade One races taking place. It all kicks off with the Supreme Novices Hurdle raced at a distance of just over 2 miles. The race is traditionally very competitive, with just three winning favourites since 2004. Indeed, the race was won in 2017 by 25/1 shot Labaik and young Jack Kennedy trained by Gordon Elliot getting the bookmakers off to a great start. However, the punters struck back when Nicky Henderson’s Altior won the Arkle Challenge Trophy at odds of 1/4 and 2nd favourite Buveur D’Air took the feature race of the day, the UniBet Champion Hurdle. The final Grade One is the Mares Hurdle, most famous in recent history for its 2015 enactment which ended calamitously for punters when Annie Power crashed out at the final flight with the race sewn up, saving the betting industry a multi million pound payout.

Wednesday 14th - Ladies Day

Wednesday at The Festival is Ladies Day, providing the perfect opportunity to show off your new Spring wardrobe, with numerous prizes on offer throughout the day for best dressed racegoers.

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In terms of racing, Day 2 boasts a further four Grade 1 races, with the feature being the Queen Mother Champion Chase won in 2017 emphatically by Special Tiara and Noel Fehily for Henry de Bromhead. Traditionally a day for punters looking for each way value, 2017 saw longshot winners priced as long as 16/1 & 33/1. The only winning favourite of the day was in fact Might Bite in the RSA Novices’ Chase who won dramatically after hanging badly after jumping the last and nearly throwing victory away.

Thursday 15th - St Patrick’s Thursday

St Patrick’s Thursday guarantees a day full of fun and fantastic racing especially if the Irish are leading in The Prestbury Cup (The competition which keeps count of winning horses trained in the UK vs Ireland). Rather aptly, 2017 saw a day dominated by the resurgence of Irish duo Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh who produced a fantastic four-timer including landing the feature Stayers’ Hurdle with Nichols Canyon.

The day tends to be a tricky one for punters, with three big field handicaps to digest. With so little between the runners, surprise results are more than possible. This blend of top class handicaps and feature Grade One with the superb atmosphere often distinguishes St Patrick’s Thursday as many people’s favorite race day of the year.

Friday 16th - Gold Cup Day

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Cheltenham Gold Cup Day is a massive spectacle, the finale to a great four days of racing and is by far and away the busiest day of the festival. One of the most sought after titles in racing is decided on the Friday by the elite of the sport. In 2017, the race was won by Jessica Harrington and Robbie Power with the 7/1 shot Sizing John who fended off challenges from Native River and Minella Rocco whilst the popular Cue Card fell at the penultimate fence.

If the Gold Cup itself isn’t enough of a draw, there are two further Grade One races preceding it. The Triumph Hurdle looks another enthralling race, with Nicky Henderson’s classy filly Apple’s Shakira currently leading the antepost markets.

Another popular race for punters is the Foxhunter Chase for amateur jockeys. One of the oldest races of the whole festival, the contest is worth a total of £40,000 and is always fiercely contested with all the top stables from the UK and Ireland represented.


Whether you’re planning on attending one day or several, Racing Breaks are delighted to offer packages for all days of the 2018 Festival and what's more you can secure with just a £25 deposit per person! 

https://www.racingbreaks.com/racecourses/cheltenham-racecourse/events/the-cheltenham-festival

Ladies Day and Girly Getaways at the Races

January is not merely about detox and early nights, it’s also about enjoying the start of a New Year and planning things to look forward to.  So what better than a girly weekend away at the races?

Racing Breaks offer the best racing experiences around and with several ladies days coming up in the calendar, as well as a collection of feature days renowned for selling out a long time in advance, its a pick-me-up with a twist, and an opportunity to plan time with your girlfriends.

1) Grand National, Aintree

Coming up first is the world famous Aintree Grand National. This is a real spectacle as not only are the horses something to look at, but the incredible mixture of ladies fashion and outfit choices are always worth talking about. Grand National Ladies Day takes place this year on Friday 13th April, the day before the historic Grand National race takes place, but there is still plenty of racing action to get stuck into.

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Not only will you enjoy a day at the racecourse, but also a relaxing stay at the fabulous four star, Marriott hotel. This hotel gives you endless options to spoil yourselves with a luxurious spa experience. Meanwhile, for those wanting to spend time out on the town, Liverpool is a wonderful city bursting with energy and endless pubs, clubs, and bars to entertain your party throughout the night.

An ideal event for a hen party, Racing Breaks can organise anything you want with packages starting from just £169 per person and can be tailor made to suit you.

Check out all Grand National packages by clicking here

2) Royal Ascot, Berkshire

Royal Ascot is the highlight of the summer, and again Ladies Day is not to be missed. Last year was one of the hottest days in the UK, so it’s summer dresses at the ready and a bottle of Champagne or jug of Pimms to choose from.  

Royal Ascot is a prestigious event which dates back to 1711, when high society would gather in top hats and tails to watch some of the finest horses battle it out on the turf. While things have changed a little since then, there is still an element of tradition to keep up with, not least a flurry of rules to follow if you wish to attend.

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Hats, for example, are a must for ladies; there is normally fierce competition to wear the best, whether it be designer or homemade. The racecourse is in the middle of Ascot town, which is only a short train journey from London.

The surrounding area has plenty of hotels to ensure you have a good night's rest in between the fun and frolics of Ladies Day. Macdonald Berystede is ideal for a group with its spa to relax in. Packages start from just £189 per person, and once again we can basically tailor the experience to suit your every whim.  So start digging through the the attic to find your smartest headpiece, and begin planning your outfit for one of the hottest days in fashion and racing in 2018.

 

Explore Royal Ascot packages by clicking here

3) Ebor Festival, York

The York Ebor Festival is one of the highlights of the summer, taking place in the fabulous York Racecourse. This is the last chance to wear your summer outfit and soak up any sun before the weather turns colder.

The Ebor is known as the Ascot of the North, and features top class flat racing and eye-catching fashion as its showpiece. There are prizes to be won for the best dressed female and all standside race goers are able to visit the Ebor Fashion Lawn at the heart of the racecourse on the Edwardian Weighing room lawn. Ladies, start planning your #ClassicEbor ensemble.

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We have a selection of hotels to choose from including spa and leisure facilities to ensure a relaxing night sleep after your fun in the sun.  Make a weekend of it with a group of friends or family, and girls, don’t miss your chance to shine on Thursday 23rd August.

Check out the York Ebor festival tickets by clicking here

4) Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe, Paris

As the weather takes a turn, it would seem like the perfect time to escape and head overseas. October brings one of the best racing events in the calendar, and this year the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe will take place at the newly renovated ParisLongchamp Racecourse.

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The Arc attracts some of the most respected people in racing, from all corners of the globe, with the creme de la creme of flat horses. For those of you who are racing enthusiasts and have never visited Paris, you really are missing out. The racecourse is only a short drive outside the centre of the city, so when you are not racing there is plenty of time to explore the delights of this fashion capital.

Racing Breaks can organise extra activities for you such as boat tours, dinner in the Eiffel Tower or air balloon tours and last year our customers were given the privilege of meeting Racing Breaks Ambassador and superstar jockey, Frankie Dettori, who then went on to win the Arc on the superstar filly, Enable.

Paris is only two hours away on the Eurostar, and packages offer two to three nights of accommodation in a hotel of your choice, at a starting price of £299. Set off on a thrilling weekend full of racing and adventure, and be back in time to head to work on Monday!

Racing Breaks Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe 2018 packages can be found by clicking here

5) Music Nights

If racing doesn’t wholly fulfill you, then there are also the Jockey Club music nights to look forward to. Last year there was an A-list lineup of artists performing at different racecourses around the nation, including X-Factor stars Little Mix, Jess Glynne, Tom Jones and many more.

This year we have the one and only Craig David touring around the UK. It is a perfect way to finish a fabulous day of racing frivolities, by letting down your hair and singing your heart out to some noughties favourites.

Other musicians and performers for 2018 include The Vamps, and Chase and Status Live DJ Set, other acts are to be released soon so keep any eye on the Racingbreaks.com website as these sell out quickly!

Top 10 International Racing Events 2018

Now halfway through January, here we have our guide to the best racing events for 2018 from around the globe. These are all definitely ones to tick off the bucket list!

1. Sun Met (27th January 2018)

There’s no better place to escape to from a dreary UK at the end of January than at one of South Africa’s most renowned social, fashion and sporting events, The Sun Met. Since the first official running of The Metropolitan Mile (The Met) in 1883, the event has been a highlight of the South African social calendar.

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Every year, on the last Saturday in January, Africa’s richest horse race draws crowds of over 50,000 and South Africa’s best horses to the Kenilworth Racecourse. This year will see the most recognisable athlete in the world, Usain Bolt attend the event in his newly appointed capacity as GH Mumm’s “chief entertainment officer”.

Additionally, situated just outside of Cape Town, there is plenty to see and do, from the busy waterfront and beaches to the mountains, forests and vineyards.

More information on the Sun Met and to view our available packages for 2019, click here.

2. Dubai World Cup (31st March 2018)

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The Dubai World Cup is one of the world’s greatest sporting events and a definite must for any racing aficionado. On offer will be the greatest racehorses on Earth competing for their share of the world’s richest raceday, culminating in the $10 million Dubai World Cup, won in 2017 by Arrogate. What's more, when you book with Racing Breaks, you'll get to meet and greet Racing Breaks ambassadors Jim Crowley and 3 time Dubai World Cup winning jockey, Frankie Dettori!

The event concludes with a live concert from an international superstar and a spectacular fireworks display, rounding off the ultimate mix of sport and entertainment.

This event appeals to far more than just racing fans however, with endless activities to keep you occupied when not at the futuristic Meydan Racetrack, ranging from the duty free shopping opportunities to desert safaris and waterparks!

More information on the Dubai World Cup can be found here or to view our available packages, click here.

3. Punchestown Festival (24th April - 28th April 2018)

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The Punchestown Festival in April is considered the grand finale of the National Hunt season with top class horses, trainers and jockeys from both sides of the Irish Sea converging on the Kildare venue to gain bragging rights which can be held until the season resumes in proper in the Autumn. Across the festival, there are 12 Grade 1 contests as well as the historic La Touche Cross Country taking place.

The combination of high quality racing, fashion and live entertainment helps all racegoers to have a excellent time thanks to the unique Punchestown Festival atmosphere.

More information on the Punchestown Festival and our available packages can be found here.

 

 

4. Kentucky Derby (May 5th 2018)

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The Kentucky Derby Festival is an annual festival held in Louisville, Kentucky for the two weeks preceding the 1st Saturday in May, the day of the Kentucky Derby itself. There are few American sporting events with the history and popularity of the Kentucky Derby and the race itself is frequently coined as ‘the most exciting two minutes in sports’ typically drawing crowds of over 150,000 people including Queen Elizabeth II in 2007!

Other notable features of the festival include, amongst others, the largest fireworks display in North America, The Great Balloon Race and The Great Steamboat Race, featuring the Belle of Louisville.

More information on the Kentucky Derby and our available packages can be found here.

5. Palio di Siena (2nd July & 16 August 2018)

Perhaps Italy’s most famous annual sporting event has been held almost without interruption since 1644 drawing crowds of over 40,000 people. Horses and jockeys run three laps around the famous ‘Piazza de Campo’ of Siena, Tuscany on a temporary sand surface with the race normally lasting around 75 seconds. With nail biting corners and high speeds, there is a much greater risk of riders being unseated. However, an unmounted horse is still able to cross the line first and win.

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The Palio di Siena is more than a simple horse race. It is the culmination of ongoing rivalry and competition between the contrade. The lead-up and the day of the race are invested with passion and pride. Formal and informal rituals take place as the day proceeds, with each contrada navigating a strategy of horsemanship, alliances and animosities.

More information on the Palio di Siena can be found here or to view our available packages, click here.

6. Irish Champions Weekend - Leopardstown (15th September 2018)

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If turf racing is your passion, the Irish Champions weekend is a must, with a particular focus on Day 1 at Leopardstown. The world’s top thoroughbreds will compete across an 8 race card including the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes, the highest-rated turf race in the world, won in 2017 by Decorated Knight trained by Roger Charlton.

Alongside top quality racing is a programme of events including the Longines Prize for Elegance and the Moët & Chandon Champion Hat competitions. Enjoy one of the best days racing in the world along with elegant fashion, and off-track entertainment including music, gourmet food and beverages.

Please enquire here for more information on the Irish Champions Weekend and our available packages.

7. Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (7th October 2018)

With refurbishment now complete, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe will return to the re-christened ParisLonghamp following a two year break at Chantilly. The new 22,000 capacity, four-storey grandstand will be the highlight of 2 years of works and will offer 360 degree panoramic views of the city of Paris!

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Popularly referred to as the "Arc", it is Europe's most prestigious horse race which anchors the biggest weekend of racing in France. More than 200 horses will compete in 16 races worth 9.4 million euros in prize money on Saturday and Sunday, and attending is more affordable than you might think!

More information on the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe can be found here or to view our available packages, click here.

8. Velka Pardubicka

Considered to be the toughest steeplechase in continental Europe, 20 brave horses and riders take on 31 obstacles and four and a quarter miles in what is dubbed the Czech Grand National. It is staged across ploughed fields and huge hedges whilst the Taxis Ditch (the fourth fence) is the most famous of the obstacles as a ditch of four metres in length, which is a metre deep, with a hedge measuring just over a metre and a half.

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The racecourse is located approximately one hour from Prague so is easily accessible for a day trip whilst spending a few days in Czech Republic's capital city.

More information on the Velka Pardubicka and our available packages can be found here.

9. Breeders Cup (2nd - 3rd February 2018)

One of horseracing’s most prestigious international events that has evolved into a two-day, $28 million extravaganza attracting the best horses, trainers and owners from across the globe. Every sport has a definitive year-ending event to crown its champions. In thoroughbred racing,  the Breeders’ Cup World Championships is the culmination of the horse racing season and the $6 million Breeders Cup Classic is considered the defining event of the international racing season. Indeed, winning the Classic is often going the determining factor in the race to be Horse of the Year.

This year, the Breeders Cup will be returning to Churchill Downs in Kentucky, one of the world’s most iconic and recognised tracks following a seven year absence. It was first hosted at Churchill Downs in 1988, and the 2018 event will mark its’ ninth appearance at the track. An event not to be missed!

More information on the Breeders Cup and to view our available packages can be found here.

10. Melbourne Cup (3rd November - 10th November 2018)

The Melbourne Cup held as part of the Melbourne Racing Carnival is Australia’s most prestigious annual thoroughbred horse race. It is the world’s richest ‘two-mile’ handicap and is known in Australia as “The race that stops a nation”.

The Carnival itself is considered the ultimate experience for lovers of world-class racing, glamour and fashion and is spread across four days, with a varying level of formality and differing atmospheres.

More information on the Melbourne Cup and to view our available packages can be found here.

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Top 5 Racing Events for 2018

Here it is...a new year...2018, and what a year it is going to be. This is the list that shouldn’t be kept for another year, the time is now, and we want to send you some of the best racecourses and racing events there are to offer across the UK and Ireland.

Leopardstown 3-4th February 2018

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Shake off the January blues, and get back into the swing of things with a trip to Ireland for some scintillating racing action at the Dublin Jumps Festival at Leopardstown. This is a new festival taking place on 3rd and 4th of February 2018. There isn’t much time to ponder and think about it...just do it! The festival comprises of a brilliant showcase of seven Grade One and three Grade Two races. The festival was created as a merge of two standalone fixtures at the end of January and beginning of February so a plethora of great races to get you excited for the new year racing fixtures. New and existing valuable handicaps mean that there will be a minimum race prize value of €75,000 and a total prize money over the 15 races across the weekend amounts to €1.5million. Ireland is only across the water and we have a selection of racing/hotel packages that will make it all the more worthwhile.

Aintree 12th -14th April

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Next on the list is none other than the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree. This is one of the biggest races in the world with a peak of 12 million tuning in around the world to watch live on TV. So why not be there on the day to experience this incredible, testing and nail-biting race from the side of the course? The race has a safety factor of 40 which is one of the largest fields in any race in the UK. The horses take on 30 fences which are like no other measuring up to 5ft 2in in height and they are some width too! Situated in Liverpool, the Grand National Festival is a few days of great fun to be had with a group of friends or family with the racecourse only a short train journey outside the city centre.

Cheltenham 13th-16th March

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As if you didn’t already know, Cheltenham Festival is the ultimate racing experience. Crowds of over 200,000 people flock through the gates over the 4 days of top class racing and there is something for everyone to enjoy whether you are a racing enthusiast or not. The atmosphere is electric and the Cheltenham Roar at the start of the first race on the first day will have the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end. For those who may not enjoy standing out in the cold weather at all times, there are plenty of places to take shelter, places like the shopping village. There are over 50 exhibition stands with some of the best , high profile outfitters and fashion brands in the country. Tickets and hotel rooms are selling out fast so make sure you don’t miss out on this legendary week of racing fun and frolics.

York 22nd- 25th August

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The York Ebor Festival is one of the highlights of the summer, taking place in the fabulous setting of York racecourse. This is the last chance to wear your summer outfit and soak up any sun before the weather turns for a long cold winter. The Ebor is known as the Ascot of the North and features top class flat racing and eye-catching fashion as its showpiece. The feature race and highlight of the festival is the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes. The meeting also features Britain’s richest handicap, over the marathon of a mile and three-quarters. A stunning racecourse and York has so much to offer during your time away from the track. Make a weekend of it with a group of friends or family and ladies...don’t miss your chance to shine on Ladies Day which takes place on Thursday 23rd August.

Ascot 19th - 23rd June

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Ascot racecourse is something to marvel at in its structural design as well as the fabulous setting in which it lies. Just on the outskirts of London, Royal Ascot is the hottest event of the summer and for many, the entire year. This is where class and style amalgamate and create a spectacular sense of occasion. For many, attending Royal Ascot week is the highlight of the social calendar. The royal parade is what makes this event all the more special as Her Majesty the Queen attends every day, arriving in a horse drawn carriage with other royal family members and acquaintances. Royal Ascot is a match between some of the best flat horses in the world and is a real test for which will succeed later in the season. A strict dress code of women in hats and dresses and men in mourning suit, this week is something special to be a part of and definitely one to tick off the list. If you like Pimms, Champagne, Horses and a good social occasion, then it’s a no brainer.

Top 5 Jump Trainers

Top Jump Trainers:

 

Paul Nicholls:

Paul Nicholls is one of the best Jump trainers in the world with 71 wins already in the 2017-18 season. He has shown he is one of the best in the business starting off as a trainer in 1991 with only 8 horses and turning into a yard of over 150 horses in training to go along with 10 times British champion trainer awards. With over 25 years’ worth of experience Nicholls has trained some of the best horses in the world and won some of the biggest races in the racing calendar, he has trained 114 Grade 1 winners. Nicholls best horse and properly the greatest jump horse of all time Kauto star helped Nicholls secure the Tingle Creek Chase (2005, 2006), Old Roan Chase (2006), Betfair Chase (2006, 2007, 2009, 2011) King George VI Chase (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011) Aon Chase (2007) Cheltenham Gold Cup (2007, 2009) Ascot Chase (2008) Champion Chase (2008, 2010). Nicholls yard is based at Manor Farm Somerset where all his horses are kept and trained. He will be trying to add to his impressive tally of wins during the rest of the season.

Top Horses: Politologue, Le Prezian, Black Corton, Vicente

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Nicky Henderson:

The English trainer is a veteran in the horse world and well known for being one of the best, with over 30 years as a trainer under his belt Nicky has shown his worth with carrying out some of the biggest wins over the years. The four-time champion trainer who was assistant to Fred Winter for four years before setting up on his own and basing himself in Seven Barrows near the racing town of Lambourn. One of Henderson’s finest horses was See you Then who won the champion hurdle 3 years in a row from 1985-87. He holds the record for the most festival wins by a trainer with 53 and counting, maybe his finest win came in 2015 courtesy of Peace And Co, who won the Triumph Hurdle at the 2015 Festival, and the Simon Munir-owned gelding set up a Henderson 1-2-3 in the race with Top Notch and Hargam filling the places behind the favourite. Henderson is hoping to finish 2017 with a bang with a win in the King George where the trainer has 3 horses capable of winning in the field with his best chance coming from the inform Might Bite.

Top horses: Top Notch, Whisper, Might Bite, Altior

 

Nigel Twiston-Davies:

Twiston-Davies who began training in 1981 and sent out his first winner, Last of the Foxes, at Hereford Racecourse in 1982. The Gloucestershire based trainer has had a good start to the season with 45 already has set his sites on trying to train the winner of 3 Triple Crown races this season by already securing the Betfair Chase with Bristol de Mai who is also one of the favourites to win the Boxing Day race at Kempton. Twiston-Davies has had some Phenomenal wins over the years including 2 Grand national wins one in 1998 with Earth Summit and most recently with Bindaree in 2002. He has also recorded a Triple on the last day of the 2010 Cheltenham Festival where the trainer has bagged himself 17 wins in total at the home of jump racing and is looking to expand on that this season.

Top Horses: Bristol De Mai, Blaklion, Ballyoptic, The New One



 

Colin Tizzard:

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Colin Tizzard is well known for being one of the top 5 Jump trainers in the country, Tizzard has been training world class horses since 1994 and has a wealth of experience in the field. He has had some of the finest horses in the last few years. One of his most popular and well know horse is Cue Card who Tizzard trained to victory in the Cheltenham Festival Champion Bumper in 2010 then 4 years later in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.  Some of his bigger wins in recent times include back to back wins of the King George Chase and is hoping to make it 3 out of 3 with Thistlecrack going to try and retain his title.

Top Horses: Fox Norton, Cue Card, Finian’s Oscar, West Approach, Thistlecrack

 

Willie Mullins:

There is always a big debate about who is the best Jumps trainer and Willie Mullins is one of those who is in that category. Mullins has had a very successful campaign as a trainer after being an assistant to his father Paddy and then for Jim Bolger. He has proved himself on the highest stage with by setting up by himself in 1988 and going out and training winners in almost every big race in England, Ireland and France. Mullins biggest success in England would have been his Grand National win in 2005 with Hedgehunter. Mullins will be hoping to bring his Big Guns such as Douvan over from Ireland to rain on the brits parade both at the festival and the Grand national.

Top horses: Total Recall, Faugheen, Un De Sceaux, Douvan

The Return of Toast of New York

Toast of New York. How did this Colt go from the glitz and glam of winning the UAE Derby and being beaten by a nose by Bayern in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic to a first runout in three years on a Wednesday at Lingfield? A story in horse racing which you can’t help but feel a sense of astonishment over.

As a two-year-old he was beaten in his first two races but then won two races on the synthetic track at Wolverhampton Racecourse by an aggregate margin of twenty-eight lengths. Having shown the true potential this horse possessed, as a three-year-old he truly excelled.

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Being sent over the the UAE to contest in the UAE Derby, over nine and a half furlongs at Meydan Racecourse, he started at odds of 11/1. After tracking the leaders for most of the way, Toast of New York took the lead two furlongs out and won by two and a half lengths.

This is when the world truly started to take notice. The Summer of 2014 saw Toast of New York being sent to the Del Mar to make his debut at the track in the Grade I Pacific Classic. Going off as third favourite, he tracked the leaders and found himself in second place just behind Game on Dude. Going into the final turn he moved up to challenge the leader but was overtaken by Shared Belief, finishing second.

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As a four-year-old and in early 2015, Toast of New York was purchased by Sheikh Joaan Al Thani’s Al Shaqab Racing. Preparing for the 2015 Dubai World Cup, Toast of New York sustained a soft tissue injury and was subsequently withdrawn from the race. A sad affair which saw him forced into retiring to stand at stud in Qatar from 2016.

Returning to England in early 2017, he was assessed for a return to racing due to only being able to cover a minor number of mares at stud due to the small nature of Qatar’s breeding industry. After veterinary staff approvement of his ability to be able to race again, he was subsequently transferred to Jamie Osborne's stable. From November, Toast of New York was ready to race again!

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As big as Paul Scholes’ return to Manchester United after announcing his retirement (maybe not quite), Toast of New York was ready to be entered into a minor race at Lingfield in early December! He made his comeback in the ten-furlong Betway Conditions Stakes at Lingfield on 6 December, ridden by Racing Breaks ambassador Frankie Dettori, and won by a length at odds of 2-1 from the favourite, Petite Jack.

After the race, Dettori was quoted in saying "Jamie has done a great job to get him in this shape first time out. He still feels a little rusty, but after three years off I can't emphasise enough how brilliant everyone has been to get him back. He's only 70% at the moment, but he still won. That's a step forward and should improve him a lot.” This is certainly going to be an exciting horse to follow in the coming future. Good luck Toast of New York.

ITV COMPETITION

If you have been away for a while or haven’t been watching the racing recently, then you may not know that we currently have a fantastic competition ongoing with ITV Racing.

If you have missed it, here is all you need to know…

Racing Breaks and ITV have teamed up to offer the fantastic chance to win a trip to Australia for the Melbourne Cup Carnival 2018 with hospitality tickets. You could be in with a chance to win an incredible £30,000 in tax-free cash as well as flights, accommodation, tickets and transfers to and from the races.

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You could grab yourself a once in a lifetime opportunity with this amazing RacingBreaks package….one like no other. This package includes return flights from major UK airports to Melbourne, Australia for one winner and up to three companions, as well as return transfers from Melbourne airport. You will fly out to Melbourne for 10 nights accommodation at the luxury Crown Metropol Hotel which is only a short car journey to Flemington racecourse.  You will have the choice of a double or twin Luxe King room.

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The Crown Metropol is a 5 star, luxury hotel in the centre of Melbourne and is the ultimate city retreat. Enjoy your stay in comfort and make the most of all of the facilities during your down time between each race day. The hotel is equipped with a blissful infinity pool as well as a state-of-the-art fitness centre for when you want to spend some down time relaxing by yourself after a busy day at the races.

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You won’t be going alone and to ensure you have an amazing time, you can share this experience and take up to three people with you. You will receive admission tickets to the racecourse as well as race cards for each of the days to ensure you can keep an eye on the form for the day. The Victoria Derby Day is on 3rd November where you will have access to Reserved Seating Lawn Stand by the winning post. You do not have to worry about getting to and from the racecourse as we have it all covered with transfers which will ensure you get there and back to the hotel safely.

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On the Melbourne Cup day, 6th November, you will receive tickets for admission to the racecourse, four race cards, two-course buffet lunch with mini desserts. And, if that wasn't enough, enjoy a relaxing afternoon tea served from both indoor and outdoor bars. You will also have access to a private garden area, a live band and an elevated viewing platform to watch the races.

Again, for the third day of racing, the VRC Oaks Day on 8th November 2018 we will include racecourse admission, Reserved Seating Lawn Stand by the winning post and transfers to and from the hotel. An experience you will never forget!!

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As well as getting the chance to head to one of the most exciting racing festivals in the world, you also will win an incredible amount of money…£30,000 to be exact...and all tax free! A very generous prize and very worthwhile entering. Competition closes on 3rd January 2018 so make sure you enter and get everyone you know to enter too to be in with the best chance of heading off to the Melbourne Cup Carnival in 2018, £30,000 richer.

For full Terms and Conditions and details on how to enter the competition, please visit the ITV competitions website at; www.itv.com/comps/   and head to the ITV Twitter to view the competition video tape: www.twitter.com/itvracing/