Horse racing is today the second biggest spectator sport in the UK and has been around for a long time. The first concrete step towards regularizing the sport was in 1750 with the establishment of the Jockey Club. The Jockey Club helped lay down the rules of racing and Admiral Rous, a member of the Club, was one of the first persons to lay out the handicapping system.
The Royal Family has been a patron of racing for long, with Queen Anne credited with founding Royal Ascot in the 18th century. James I, who came to be famously associated with Newmarket from 1605, making it the home of horse racing in England, and many other members of the Royal Family have had strong associations with horse racing in the UK.
Today, horse racing is big business in the UK and contributes revenues to the tune of £3.7 billion annually to the British economy. Some of the most well-known racecourses in the world – e.g. Ascot, Newmarket, and Cheltenham – as well as some of the most famous races in the world including the Epsom Derby and the Cheltenham Gold Cup are based in the UK. Besides, some of the legendary jockeys of the world, like Sir Gordon Richards and Lester Piggott, are from the UK horse racing fraternity.
Major Types of Races in the UK
In the UK, you will find two major types of racing, which are run under rules. They are:
- Flat racing
- National hunt racing
Flat racing is done on a course devoid of any obstacles, over a distance of between 5 furlongs and 2 miles 5 furlongs 149 yards. National hunt racing, on the other hand, is done over larger distances, between 2 and 4.5 miles. That is not the only difference; the major difference is that in this form of racing the horses jump over hurdles and obstacles. For this reason this kind of race is also referred to as a steeplechase. In some places you will find another form of racing called National hunt flat racing, which involves racing under the rules pertaining to National Hunt, but without any obstacles.
Apart from National Hunt and flat racing, there is another type of racing you see in the UK, called point-to-point racing. It involves steeplechasing to an extent, and is mainly for amateur riders. This form of racing is not as formal as the other two.
Some of the major flat racing tournaments in the UK include the five British Classics – 1000 Guineas, 2000 Guineas, The Oaks, The Derby, and Desert Orchid. Other major flat racing events include Royal Ascot and also British Champions Day, which closes out the flat season here. Major National Hunt racing events here include the Cheltenham Festival, the leading jump festival in the world, Grand National at Aintree, and more.
UK Horse Racing and Betting Resources:
Novice Punter - Teaches visitors the basics of betting on horses (UK guide but information applicable world wide).
Website Address: http://www.novicepunter.co.uk/
Racing UK - Offers visitors from the UK a complete resource covering most aspects of horse racing and betting.
Website Address: http://www.racinguk.com/
GG.com - Horse race tipping, headlines, news, bookmaker reviews and other useful information to horse wagering punters.
Website Address: https://gg.com
Horse Betting in the UK Racetracks
You see a very strong bond between betting and horse riding in the UK. Every town has its own betting shops, and the amount being wagered way back in even 1938 was staggering – approximately £500,000,000. Betting was, however, legalized only in 1960, and that was when most of the globally popular betting chains from UK, including William Hill and Ladbrokes were set up.
Today, people can bet on their favorite horses at the race tracks or at any of the betting shops. That is not the only option: they also have the option of placing their bets online with any of the online sports books. Online betting is increasingly becoming popular because of the numerous freebies on offer and the ability to bet directly from their homes.
Online Casinos and Other Gambling In the UK
In the UK online gambling whether it be punting on sports, playing online poker, casino games or at bingo sites it's definitely no new thing. British players have been accustomed to online gambling for a number of years now and have great options in which to play. Regardless of what form of online gambling a UK player may be interested there's no doubt that you'll find multiple options but moreover each of those would be at trusted, regulated and well respected industry leading brands. All online casinos and gambling websites that operate in the UK are subject to approval and oversight by the UK Gambling Commission who have done a smashing job at ensuring a high level of consumer protection.
UK Online Casino & Gambling Resources:
Best UK Casinos - The leading online casino portal offering regulated gambling brands for British players.
Website Address: http://www.bestukcasinos.co.uk
32 Red - A leading online gambling brand offering horse punting, casino, poker, bingo and other forms of wagering.
Website Address: http://www.32red.com