Aintree racecourse is a track near Aintree, Liverpool in the UK. It’s most famous for hosting the Grand National, the most highly anticipated and watched steeplechase race in the UK racing calendar.

The Aintree course is certainly not the most straightforward there is. Fences such as the Chair, Becher’s Brook and the Canal Turn have gained prominence and indeed notoriety due to the role they have played in the Grand National over the years. The Grand National isn’t the only race to utilise these fences, as they also feature in Fox Hunters Chase and Topham Chase, which are races that are part of the wider Grand National Meeting. The fences also feature in the Grand Sefton Handicap Chase and Becher Chase in Aintree’s December Meeting.

The Grand National held at Aintree is run over a distance of 4 miles 514 yards. The race typically starts with a field of around 40, though frequently a great many less finish the race, due to falls and horses pulling up over the two laps of the course.

Aside from the showpiece Grand National Meeting, and aforementioned December meeting, one other stand out race at Aintree is October’s Old Roan Chase. It’s a grade two national hunt steeplechase race which was won by Kauto Star in 2006, just two years after the event was first held.

Cheltenham Racecourse

Cheltenham racecourse is situated in Prestbury Park, near Cheltenham Gloustershire. In its scenic location and with a 67,000 person capacity, it’s a popular racecourse with the general public. It hosts one of the most highly anticipated events in the racing calendar, the Cheltenham Festival.

The Cheltenham racecourse has two courses running alongside one another, named the old course and the new course. There’s also a separate cross country course inside the main used, which is used for steeplechase events. The impressive 2000 seat ‘Centaur’ auditoria is often used to host concerts and conferences.

The four day Cheltenham Festival is a national hunt extravaganza taking place over four days in March of each year. It features such highly anticipated races as the Arkle Challenge Trophy, the Queen Mother Champion Chase, the Stayers’ Hurdle and the Cheltenham Gold Cup. All of these four races are Grade One affairs, in fact 14 of the races held over the course of the festival are Grade One races. Dating back to 1860 the festival draws huge crowds, with a ‘Cheltenham Roar’ being let out by those in attendance as the first race starts. Hundreds of millions of pounds are bet on the Cheltenham Festival over the four day period, and the quality of the races is second to none. Horses like such Kauto Star and Best Mate have Cheltenham (esp. the Cheltenham Gold Cup) in part to thank for contiburing heavily towards their legacy.

Other noteworthy races take place at the course including the BetVictor Gold Cup and International Hurdle, though the main focus on the year is most certainly the Cheltenham Festival itself.

In recent years heavy investment (£45million) has taken place in the redevelopment of the course, including the addition of the new Princess Royal Stand.

York Racecourse

Set in the picturesque city of York, in North Yorkshire, York racecourse is one of the UK’s top racecourses attracting hundreds of thousands of racing fans annually. The city is steeped in history and that history extends of horse racing, with races in nearby Forest of Galtres that can be traced back as early as 1590, and to this actual racecourse in the 1730s.

York racecourse hosts three of the yearly group one races ( Juddmonte International Stakes, the Nunthorpe Stakes and the Yorkshire Oaks) as well as the ever popular Ebor Handicap, which has £500,000 prize money and takes place in August of each year. Also taking place in August as part of the same Ebor Festival, The International Stakes, for three year olds and over, has been won by such giants of racing as equine icon Frankel in 2012 and Roaring Lion in 2018.

The racecourse used to have a distinctive horsehsoe shape to it, but in 2005 it was extended and is now a full round course. The change took place on account of the Ascot Gold Cup moving to York for that particular year due to redevelopments taking place. York racecourse regularly places highly in Favourite Racecourse polls.