The UK & Ireland have a total of 86 racecourses which provide racegoers with some top horse racing action throughout the year. Whatever time of the year, there will be some variety of equine action taking place, whether it is in the naitonal hunt or flat sphere.
The main national hunt season gets underway around the Autumn time and finishes in the early spring, during which, a whole host of top festivals and races take place with the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National being the primary extravanganza. The Grand National, especially, is a race where the whole of the UK & Irish public stop to try and pick the winner of the Aintree marathon. It's uniqueness attracts a bumper crowd and the betting turnover at the bookmakers is truly extraordinary.
As the national hunt season draws to a close the flat season gets into top gear in the middle of spring and it is where the younger, quicker horses venture on to the racecourse.
Flat racing provides the racing purist with an array of top races with the five Classics taking centre stage during the season. The Epsom Derby is the biggest of them all run in June, but the Epsom Oaks, 1000 Guineas, 2000 Guineas and St Leger all add to the excitement.
During the depths of winter the All Weather tracks really take over the baton as the surface can deal with the coldest of conditions. Wolverhampton, Southwell, Lingfield Park and Kempton Park provide the All Weather action and even though its in its infancy, it's beginning to pick up speed.
With 26 tracks, Ireland have a strong affiliation with horse racing and they also provide some top quality action throughout the season, with the Galway Races and Punchestown Festival being the two major events.
Having a bet on a Saturday afternoon has been a national pastime for decades and with the excellent coverage of horse racing shown on two dedicated TV Channels, punters can now watch racing from the comfort of their own home.
However, with such an excellent choice of tracks in the UK & Ireland, it is really worth visiting your local course to sample the unique atmosphere.