And they’re off…

Round & About

The next couple of months are a great time to enjoy a day at the races

Cheltenham Racecourse,     

GL50 4SH

Cheltenham began life as a flat meeting in 1815 and steeplechasing became established in nearby Andoversford in 1834, moving to the present course in 1898. The jewel in the course’s crown now is the Cheltenham Festival which takes place over four days in March.

The April Meeting, Easter fun over the two days, children under 18 free, Wednesday 17th & Thursday 18th April, first race 2.05pm, last 5.30pm, tickets from £8

Race Night, amateur riders and trainers get the chance to shine, Radio 1’s Greg James will take centre stage in The Centaur to entertain race goers into the evening with live music. For more information check out the Centaur Party Packages, Friday, 3rd May, tickets from £8

Dress code: as many meetings take place during the colder months, race goers are encouraged to dress accordingly but there is no specific race day style at Cheltenham

• For more details, other meetings later in the season and events visit

Windsor Racecourse,      


Set on its own island in the shadow of Windsor Castle, racing at Datchet Ferry was recorded as early as 1682. Steeplechasing began in the mid-19th century and flat racing on the current site at Rays Meadow in 1866. Windsor was one of the few courses allowed to continue racing during the two world wars despite a bomb falling during racing. Jump racing ended at the track in 1998 to preserve the ground for flat racing.

2019 Season Opener, Monday, 8th April, tickets from £18

Celebrate the start of the season with seven races on a spring afternoon

Easter Eggstravaganza, Monday, 15th April, tickets from £14

Enjoy a great afternoon of Easter family fun including an egg hunt, all entertainment and children under 18 free.

Free racenight, Monday, 29th April

To kick off the start of the evening racing season, this first night is FREE, but you must register in advance by the day before.

Family fun day with free funfair, Monday 6th and 27th May and regular night racing (13th & 20th), ticket prices vary

Dress code: Club Enclosure & Grandstand Enclosure – dress smart including jeans and shorts, no trainers or sportswear. Men should wear a collared shirt. No flip flops. There is no dress code in the Silver Ring Enclosure.

• For more information about other events during the season, visit

Ascot Racecourse,                 


The potential for a course was first seen by Queen Anne in 1711 when she wanted a place for her “horses to gallop at full stretch”. By 1752, Ascot’s popularity had already spread and in 1807, Ascot’s oldest surviving race The Gold Cup was run for the first time. Six years later the Royal Enclosure was launched and is still strictly by invitation only. Gallop forward nearly 200 years and a major facelift was carried out in 2006 with the Royal Meeting that year at York.

Sagaro Stakes Raceday, Wednesday, 1st May, gates open 11am, first race 2pm, last race 4.55pm, tickets from £16

The first fixture of the 2019 flat season

May Racing Weekend, Friday 10th May, timings as above, tickets from £12

A fun Friday atmosphere with street food pop ups and eclectic bars

Victoria Cup Raceday, Saturday, 11th May, first race 2.15pm, last race 5.10pm, tickets from £20

Ahead of Royal Ascot in June, this day features entertainment from tribute acts and great food to be enjoyed.

Dress code: King Edward VII and Winning Post enclosures – ladies should dress smart and hats are encouraged, men are required to wear a jacket and tie, tailored shorts are allowed, no trainers. Queen Anne Enclosure – there is no formal dress code but smart dress is encouraged.

• For more information about other events during the season including Royal Ascot, visit

Newbury Racecourse,           

RG14 7NZ

The first recorded racing took place in Newbury in 1805 but the racecourse itself didn’t come into being for another 90 years with the first ever meeting in September 1905. It started as a flat racing course but soon began National Hunt meetings. Today the course combines heritage with a host of events including popular music nights. Newbury Racecourse has just finished a £21million development programme so why not go along and see it for yourself!

Dubai Duty Free spring trials & beer festival, Friday 12th & Saturday, 13th April, gates open 12pm, first race 2pm, last race 5.20pm, tickets from £18

As well as two great days of racing to kick off the flat season, there are more than 690 beers and ciders to sample from local producers

The Peter O’Sullevan Lambourn Open Day, Friday, 19th April, tickets from £12

Starlight Charity Raceday, Friday 17th May, times TBC, tickets from £18

Event in aid of Starlight which grants the wishes of terminally ill children

Al Shaqab Lockinge Day, Saturday, 18th May, times TBC, tickets from £26

The richest race day at the course and Ladies Day (dress to impress) as well as live music throughout the day and the after party to enjoy.

Dress code: Premier Enclosure – racegoers are encouraged to dress smart, men should wear a collared shirt, smart denim and tailored shorts are accepted. No trainers or sportswear. Grandstand enclosure – more relaxed but with same restrictions on denim and inappropriate clothing.

• For more information about other events during the season including Tom Jones (20th July) and Madness (17th August), visit

Epsom Downs Racecourse,         

Epsom, KT18 5LQ

The first recorded race meeting in the country took place at Epsom on 7th March 1661 and became a regular feature from 1730. The Derby started in 1780 and viewed as the greatest flat race in the world. The 1913 Derby produced one of the most sensational events in history when protesting suffragette Emily Davison brought down the King’s horse after running onto the course – she died four days later from her injuries. There have been many famous Derby winners over the years but none shrouded in more mystery than Shergar who was kidnapped in 1983 for a ransom of £2million. He has never been found but is thought to have died shortly afterwards, although the IRA kept up the pretence he was alive.

Investec spring meeting, Wednesday, 24th April, gates open 12, first race 2pm, last race 5.50pm, tickets from £5

Investec Derby Festival, Friday, 31st May-Saturday, 1st June, times TBC, tickets from £10 (Friday), £15 (Saturday)

Dress code: Grandstand – Smart dress encouraged, no sportswear, smart denim only, no trainers. Queen’s Stand – men jacket, collar & tie; ladies hat or fascinator, no jeans, denim or trainers. Derby day code: Grandstand – as above. Queen’s Stand – black or grey morning dress inc top hat, service dress or full national costume for men, ladies formal day wear – formal day dress or tailored trouser suit inc hat or substantial fascinator

Epsom is also holding a series of Summer Nights Rewind concerts (70s, 80s, 90s and 00s) in July and August.

For more details, other meetings later in the season and events visit

Sandown Park Racecourse,       

Esher, KT10 9AJ

Sandown Park was the first purpose-built racecourse with enclosures and is now one of the most modern and accessible racing venues in the country. Arkle and Desert Orchid are some of the most well-known runners to have competed here.

Bet365 Classic Trial Day, first flat race of the season, Friday, 26th April, tickets from £16

Bet365 Jump Finale, Saturday, 27th April, tickets from £17.50

Matchbook Brigadier Gerard Evening, Thursday, 23rd May, tickets from £5

Evening Flat Racing, Thursday, 30th May, tickets from £15, all times TBC

Dress code: Premier enclosure – men, collared shirt, polo short or polo neck jumper, jackets & ties not compulsory, smart jeans ; ladies, dress for a special occasion, hats & fascinators welcome, not essential. Shorts, sportswear, trainers are not permitted

Grandstand: relaxed dress code, smart shorts, smart jeans & trainers acceptable

Sandown is also holding its popular live music and summer evening racing events with Madness on 24th July, Pete Tong on 31st July and Jess Glynne on 8th August

For more details, other meetings later in the season and events visit

Kempton Park,                             

Sunbury, TW16 5AQ

Kempton held its first race in July 1878 and has played its part in history over the years since. During the First World War it was used as a transit depot for military vehicles and racing moved elsewhere until 1919. In 1932, fire caused major damage to the Grandstand, restaurant, Member’s Stand and bar area. The Second World War saw the racecourse play a major role in accommodating prisoners of war, at the end of which major reparation work took place before racing started again in 1947. In the 21st century, an all-weather floodlit course was completed.

The course holds regular evening meetings with the next being on 3rd, 10th and 12th April, tickets from £11.25

There is no strict dress code, though smart dress is preferred and encouraged for major race days.

For more details, other meetings later in the season and events visit

Goodwood Racecourse,                      

Chichester, PO18 0PS

Horse racing has been part of Goodwood since 1802. Its popularity as a venue grew rapidly during the second half of the 20th century and in 1953, 55,000 spectators enjoyed a single day at the July meeting.

The season at Goodwood opens on Saturday, 4th May, tickets from £12

The May Festival, Thursday 23rd-Saturday, 25th May, tickets from £20

This event brings the worlds of horseracing and food together with artisan foods and hands-on activities to enjoy.

Dress code: Stylish but not stuffy, in the Richmond Enclosure ladies are advised to dress elegantly with hats welcome but stilettos are discouraged due to the terrain. Men are asked to wear a jacket with tie or cravat. No jeans, trainers, shorts or fancy dress are allowed. The other enclosures – Gordon & Lennox – are less formal but smart dressing is still encouraged.

For more information about other events during the season, visit