Horse racing is a quintessentially British pastime and exhilarating sport that offers something for everyone.
Since the earliest civilisations it has comfortably occupied its role as the nation’s second-most popular spectator sport and it attracts millions of fans across the globe every year.
Whether it’s the thrill of the chase, the traditions, bumper crowds, or the prospect of winning big money – everyone has their reason as to why they love horse racing. Quite often, for those who gravitate towards it, it becomes a way of life.
For some, it’s simply an excuse to get together with friends, to get dressed up, and often time to be enjoyed together as a family.
So which UK horse racing courses represent the best day out in British racing? And to which courses should punters and fun-seekers alike be flocking to, in a bid to enjoy the best race-day experience that the UK has to offer?
The data also includes Google reviews, the average ratings of nearby hotels and bars and drinks prices, ranking them from top to bottom on each to show which course comes out on top across all on average.
And the winner is…. Chelmsford Racecourse, scoring well across all 23 unique metrics measured. It’s combined score lifts it above all comers.
With a standard ticket costing £18 for the 49 race days in 2022 and a favourites win percentage of 38%, Britain’s newest racecourse makes the best day out for punters in UK racing.
One of the perks of being in the heart of the Essex countryside, yet just 50 miles from central London, means nearby restaurants and hotels have an average Google rating of 4.28 from previous reviews, while you can get pints of beer for as little as £2.49 in the area – no London prices here!
It is also one of the leading venues based on average daily temperatures, but even in inclement weather, you can still experience the hospitality of its 250,000-square foot Grand Stand for as little as £41.50 – only Ffos Las and Ripon offer cheaper packages.
The all-weather polytrack course only opened its doors in 2015 and, having staged races such as The Chelmsford City Handicap, and provided some of the biggest prize-money in British racing, it has gone on to become one of the busiest courses in the UK.
And it appears the busier the better, with Nottinghamshire’s Southwell Racecourse, home to 58 days racing in 2022, securing second spot.
With racing on its all-weather and turf tracks taking place all year round, entry six pounds cheaper, and 40.21% of the favourites winning, it is one of the more difficult places to go and actually lose money. Bizarrely, the front nine holes of Southwell Golf Club reside in the middle of the racing track.
Southwell also added floodlit racing to its portfolio in 2019.
In third was summer season course Great Yarmouth, based on the Norfolk coast.
Despite hosting considerably less racing than the top two, its £15 standard ticket price, and hospitality starting from £70, coupled with a rather solid 4.23 average rating of local watering holes, mean punters opting to visit are set up for a great day.
Racing at Great Yarmouth was first recorded in 1715 and the Arena Racing Company-owned track takes the form of a long oblong of one mile and five furlongs.
How did the others do?
Lincolnshire’s Market Rasen, which hosts a year-round programme of racing, is one of the cheapest standard entry prices and is also seventh cheapest for hospitality starting prices. The National Hunt course also caters well for local hospitality and leisure venues nearby, scoring an average rating of 4.37.
Brampton course, Huntingdon, completes the top five and punches well above its weight when it comes to the 19 days of racing it has pencilled in for 2022. It appears its price setting is spot on and how can you go wrong with entry and a pint coming in at £17.29.
Epsom Downs, host of the Derby Festival, is 49th, the home of jump racing and the Gold Cup, Cheltenham, appears at 42nd, while Ascot, which hosts 13 of the UK’s 36 annual Flat Group 1 races, including the £7.3 million Royal Ascot meeting, is 37th.
It appears racing’s best days out don’t necessarily all sit at the homes of the biggest, most prestigious races.
However if you want to pick the course that gives you the best chance of correctly betting on the pre-race favourite, your best bet is to go to Doncaster Races, where the favourites win on average 48.62% of the time, while Carlisle proves to be the most unpredictable course, with just a 29.80% winning rate – making it the best place to win big on the outsiders.
And with 1,495 race days pencilled in for 2022, here at Freebets.com we’ve already got our 2022 calendars, wall planners and diaries sorted and those all-important dates circled.
Sources: Racingpost.co.uk, Racingfixtures.co.uk, Google, Met Office
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