2019 Flat Racing Season: Key Meetings

Martin Green

Saturday, April 6, 2019 7:25 PM UTC

Saturday, Apr. 6, 2019 7:25 PM UTC

There are 915 flat fixtures for punters to look forward to in 2019 and we have picked out the key meetings for punters to keep in mind.

<h2><strong>Guineas Festival</strong></h2><p><strong>Date:</strong> May 4-5</p><p><strong>Venue:</strong> Newmarket</p><p><strong>Key Races:</strong> 1,000 Guineas Stakes, 2,000 Guineas Stakes</p><p><strong>In a Nutshell:</strong> This is the first big meeting of the flat season and it features two of the five Classics of British Racing: the 2,000 Guineas Stakes and the 1,000 Guineas Stakes. The 2,000 Guineas is the first race of the English Triple Crown, which also includes the Epsom Derby and the St Leger Stakes. Too Darn Hot is the 11/10 favourite for the 2,000 Guineas with <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=b4150791-892f-469b-9b6a-7dfc6df0fb07" target="_blank" title="Ladbrokes">Ladbrokes</a> and Coral, and it will be fascinating to see if he can win it and launch a Triple Crown bid at Newmarket.</p><h2><strong>Dante Festival</strong></h2><p><strong>Date:</strong> May 15-17</p><p><strong>Venue:</strong> York</p><p><strong>Key Races:</strong> Dante Stakes, Musidora Stakes, Yorkshire Cup</p><p><strong>In a Nutshell:</strong> Last year Stradivarius announced himself as a superstar by winning the Yorkshire Cup at this meeting and he then landed the Ascot Gold Cup, the Goodwood Cup and several other Grade 1 contests to cement his greatness. It will be interesting to see if anyone can dominate in a similar fashion this year.</p><h2><strong>Derby Festival</strong></h2><p><strong>Date:</strong> May 31-June 1</p><p><strong>Venue:</strong> Epsom Downs</p><p><strong>Key Races:</strong> The Derby, The Oaks, The Coronation Cup</p><p><strong>In a Nutshell:</strong> The Derby is the most important race of the year and it is also the richest, with prize money totalling £1.</p><p>5 million. It has spawned many copycats across the world, notably the Kentucky Derby, but the Epsom Derby is the original and the most prestigious. The Oaks and the Coronation Cup are both Group 1 races too and this is a fantastic meeting in sunny Surrey.</p><h2><strong>Royal Ascot</strong></h2><p><strong>Date:</strong> June 18-22</p><p><strong>Venue:</strong> Ascot</p><p><strong>Key Races:</strong> Gold Cup, Queen Anne Stakes, King’s Stand Stakes, St James’s Palace Stakes, Prince of Wales’s Stakes, Commonwealth Cup, Coronation Stakes, Diamond Jubilee Stakes</p><p><strong>In a Nutshell:</strong> This is the first greatest meeting of the year, accounting for eight of the 36 Group 1 races in the entire season. The royals will be out in their finest garbs and thousands of punters will pack into the famous racecourse to watch the action unfold. Total prize money for the festival stands at £7.3 million and it will attract huge media coverage.</p><h2><strong>Eclipse Summer Festival</strong></h2><p><strong>Date:</strong> July 5-6</p><p><strong>Venue:</strong> Sandown Park</p><p><strong>Key Races:</strong> Eclipse Stakes</p><p><strong>In a Nutshell:</strong> The Eclipse Stakes is the next Grade 1 race of the year and this is the jewel in the crown for Sandown. It carries prize money of £750,000 and it always attracts a strong field. Last year Roaring Lion prevailed in a thrilling battle and we should expect plenty more thrills this time around.</p><h2><strong>July Festival</strong></h2><p><strong>Date:</strong> July 11-13</p><p><strong>Venue:</strong> Newmarket</p><p><strong>Key Races:</strong> July Cup, Falmouth Stakes</p><p><strong>In a Nutshell:</strong> This is the scene of Europe’s most prestigious sprint race: the July Cup. US Navy Flag prevailed for Aidan O’Brien last year and the recent roll call of winners is extremely strong, featuring Harry Angel, Limato and Muhaarar.</p><h2><strong>King George Weekend</strong></h2><p><strong>Date:</strong> July 26-27</p><p><strong>Venue:</strong> Ascot</p><p><strong>Key Races:</strong> King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes</p><p><strong>In a Nutshell:</strong> The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes is the second richest race of the season, and it is widely viewed as the leading middle-distance race in Europe. It takes place on the first day of this eagerly anticipated festival at Ascot, along with the Brown Jack Stakes and the Valiant Stakes.</p><h2><strong>Glorious Goodwood</strong></h2><p><strong>Date:</strong> July 30-August 3</p><p><strong>Venue:</strong> Goodwood</p><p><strong>Key Races:</strong> Sussex Stakes, Nassau Stakes, Goodwood Cup</p><p><strong>In a Nutshell:</strong> This is a wonderful meeting at one of the world’s most picturesque racecourses. Goodwood is nestled in the Sussex countryside and that provides a resplendent backdrop for some top-notch racing. The Sussex Stakes, Nassau Stakes and the Goodwood Cup are all Grade 1 races, while the overall quality remains extremely high throughout the five days of the meeting. Perhaps only Royal Ascot surpasses Glorious Goodwood in sheer volume of high-quality races. Prize money for the Sussex Stakes has shot up to £1 million, making it the fourth richest race in the UK flat racing calendar.</p><h2><strong>Ebor Festival</strong></h2><p><strong>Date:</strong> August 21-24</p><p><strong>Venue:</strong> York</p><p><strong>Key Races:</strong> Juddmonte International Stakes, Yorkshire Oaks, Nunthorpe Stakes</p><p><strong>In a Nutshell:</strong> The Juddmonte International Stakes has a prize money north of £1 million and the Ebor Handicap will also be worth £1 million in 2019, making them two of the five richest races of the year. Also look out for the Great Voltigeur Stakes, the Acomb Stakes, the Lowther Stakes, the Yorkshire Oaks, the Nunthorpe Stakesm, the Gimcrack Stakes, the Strensall Stakes and the Lonsdale Cup at this extremely important festival.</p><h2><strong>St Leger Festival</strong></h2><p><strong>Date:</strong> September 11-14</p><p><strong>Venue:</strong> Doncaster</p><p><strong>Key Races:</strong> St Leger Stakes</p><p><strong>In a Nutshell:</strong> The St Leger is the oldest of Britain’s five Classics and the last of the five to be run each year. If a horse wins the 2,000 Guineas and The Derby, it will bid for the Triple Crown here. Camelot came the closest in recent years, winning both the 2,000 Guineas and The Derby before finishing second in the St Leger.</p><h2><strong>Ayr Gold Cup Meeting</strong></h2><p><strong>Date:</strong> September 19-21</p><p><strong>Venue:</strong> Ayr</p><p><strong>Key Races:</strong> Ayr Gold Cup</p><p><strong>In a Nutshell:</strong> This is the richest flat meeting of the year in Scotland and the Ayr Gold Cup is the centrepiece of the three-day meeting. Also look out for the Doonside Cup on day one and the Ayr Gold Cup on the final day.</p><h2><strong>Future Champions Day</strong></h2><p><strong>Date:</strong> October 11</p><p><strong>Venue:</strong> Newmarket</p><p><strong>Key Races:</strong> Cheveley Park Stakes, Middle Park Stakes, Sun Chariot Stakes, Fillies’ Mile, Dewhurst Stakes</p><p><strong>In a Nutshell:</strong> This is an extremely exciting day for punters as it showcases the best two-year-olds from across the land. There are five Grade 1 races to look forward to and it always yields superstars of the future.</p><h2><strong>Champions Day</strong></h2><p><strong>Date:</strong> October 19</p><p><strong>Venue:</strong> Ascot</p><p><strong>Key Races:</strong> Champion Stakes, Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, British Champions Fillies’ and Mares’ Stakes, British Champions Sprint Stakes</p><p><strong>In a Nutshell:</strong> This is the final big meeting of the year and it sees the champions of the 2019 flat season crowned. More than £4 million in prize money is up for grabs in 2019, making it the most valuable day of racing in British history. It represents a wonderful opportunity to see the leading lights on the flat racing scene in action one more time before winter sets in.</p>
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