The horse racing calendar, in particular the Flat season, offers ample opportunities for both horse and jockey to claim rich prizes and sporting immortality.
Here are the races you need to know about it 2018.
Pegasus World Cup
When: January 27
Where: Gulfstream Park, Florida
Dubai World Cup
When: March 31
Where: Meydan, Dubai
When: May 4
Where: Churchill Downs
What: The highly prized US classic is known variously as “The Most exciting Two Minutes In Sports”, “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports” or “The Run for the Roses” on account of the winner receiving a blanket of flowers. The race has been run every year since 1875 and is the first leg of the US “Triple Crown” along with the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.
When: May 5
Where: Newmarket, UK
What: The first of the five English Classics during the Flat season. The Group 1 race is open to three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies and is run over one mile on turf. In theory it is the first leg of the Triple Crown, along with the Derby and the St Leger, but the feat of winning all three has rarely been attempted in recent years. First run in 1809, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Churchill triumphed last year.
When: May 6
What: The mile Classic for three-year-old fillies over turf, also held on Newmarket’s straight Rowley Mile. It was first staged in 1814.O’Brien’s Winter won in 2017.
When: June 1
Where: Epsom, UK
What: The third Classic of the UK season and the second open to three-year-old fillies only. It is run over a distance of 1 mile, 4 furlongs and 6 yards on the grass of Epsom Downs, south of London. The race began in 1779. Frankie Dettori rode Enable to victory last year.
When: June 2
Where: Epsom, UK
When: June 19-23
Where: Ascot, UK
What: The quintessentially English sporting and social occasion marked by the presence of The Queen and other members of the British Royal Family, dating back to 1711. Each day begins with the pageantry of the horse-drawn royal procession in front of grandstands packed with the top hats, tails and high fashion of the upmarket racegoers before a feast of top-class racing, including eight Group 1 races, the highlight of which is the prestigious Gold Cup.