The Biggest Races Remaining in the 2022 UK Horse Racing Schedule
Whether flat or jumps, horse racing is beloved in the UK and features some of the most-viewed events from the worldwide racing calendar.
As we reach the end of 2022 and the start of the New Year, let’s take a closer look at the major UK events that will take place in December and close out an incredible year of horse racing.
Day: Thursday December 15th, 2022
Where: Exeter Racecourse, Devon, England
Tickets for this event can be found online (Price TBA)
Ten days before the big man climbs down our chimneys, grab a glass of mulled wine and a mince while watching some of the UK’s top thoroughbred horses compete in the Devonshire Heartland.
This single-day event highlights the festive season with an excellent schedule of races running in unison with various forms of entertainment. Wrap up warm and arrive at Haldon Hill for one of the final major events of the pony calendar that’s guaranteed to deliver a packed day of top-tier racing.
On the track, spectators will likely see the usual seven races, including a Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle and another Novices’ Hurdle, as well as a Handicap Hurdle, Chase races, and an event for amateur jockeys.
Avid horse bettors should, however, when making their selections for the Mares’ Novices’ Chase, which is run over 2m1½f. Betting sites in the UK often provide tempting odds as this race has previously been a hot spot for underrated mares who’ve gone on to obtain successful careers.
Days: Monday & Tuesday, December 26-27th, 2022
Where: Kempton Park Racecourse, Surrey, England
Featured Races: King George VI Steeplechase, Mare’s Handicap Hurdle Race, Wayward Lad Novices’ Steeple Chase, The Desert Orchid Chase
Tickets for this event can be found online from £15 and up
With twelve elite-level races lined up, the two-day Ladbrokes Christmas Festival at the legendary Kempton Park Racecourse is the perfect event to assist in closing out the UK’s horse racing calendar year.
Boasting some of the most crucial races of the Jump schedule, such as the Grade 1 Boxing Day showpiece, the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase, the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle, and the Grade 2 Ladbrokes Desert Orchid Chase, it’s easy to see why horse enthusiasts love to celebrate their Boxing Day festivities with some racing goodness.
Last year’s Kempton Park X-Mas festival saw Tornado Flyer create history when he became the most significant betting underdog in the history of the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase. With lucrative odds of 28/1, Tornado Flyer beat the previous opening price record of 25/1 that had long stood in the history books by Nupsala since 1987. Irish Jump training champion, Willie Mullins, collected the second King George victory of his career twenty years following his Florida Pearl success in 2002.
Day: Tuesday December 27th, 2022
Where: Chepstow Racecourse, Chepstow, England
Featured races (jump): Welsh National, Finale Junior Hurdle, Championship Bumper
While it isn’t quite elaborate and celebrated like the United Kingdom’s summer Grand National, this is still the biggest race day of the year in Wales, as the £150,000 Coral Welsh Grand National takes center stage on Boxing Day in Chepstow each year.
Since 1949 the Welsh Grand National has raced in Chepstow. The Three and three-quarter-mile track owes its reputation as a major event to Coral bookmakers, who’ve heavily assisted in making this event a prestigious one in the National Hunt calendar.
Firstly on Edmund in 1999, and famously in 2016 on Native River, who went on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2018. pic.twitter.com/dwRKvbqI9S
— Chepstow Racecourse (@Chepstow_Racing) December 10, 2022
Trainer Sam Thomas won his first-ever Welsh Grand National in 2021. Thomas ran Iwilldoit, jockeyed by Stan Sheppard, as they lifted the first Coral trophy post-pandemic. However, this isn’t the only recent history that stands out from Chepstow Racecourse.
Native River won the race in 2016, followed by another notable win at the Magners Gold Cup two years later in 2018. The following year, 16-year-old James Bowen made history as the youngest jockey to win the race. In 2018, Elegant Escape won the Coral Welsh Grand National, and in 2019 it was Potters Corner that took the spotlight after becoming the first Welsh-trained horse to lift the title since 1973.