Horse racing fans are in for a real treat throughout the month of October, with the October horse racing schedule offering plenty of top-class action to look forward to both at home and internationally.
From classy action on the flat through to the start of the winter jumps season and the beginning of the Road to the Cheltenham Festival, October promises to be an unmissable month for fans of the Sport of Kings.
We’ve looked through the October horse racing calendar to highlight some of the key dates and festivals that should be in any racing fan’s diary!
October horse racing highlights
Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe Weekend (October 3rd – 4th 2020)
The highlight of the French racing calendar and a two-day extravaganza of top-class horse racing action which features a number of Group One races. Longchamp will again play host to some of the biggest names in horse racing across a stunning weekend of equine action.
All eyes will be on the premier Paris venue which will have a skeleton attendance of no more than 5000 people due to Covid-19 restrictions as superstar mare Enable will bid to make Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe history by landing a third victory in the world-famous Group One contest.
It is a feat that has not been done in the race’s history, but standing in her way are the likes of stablemate Stradivarius, 1000 Guineas and Epsom Oaks heroine Love and French crack Sottsass amongst others. Can she pull off a memorable success?
In addition to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, racing fans will be treated to a number of other competitive Group One contests including the Prix de l’Abbaye where top-class sprinter Battaash is likely to take his chances.
Dubai Future Champions Festival (October 9th – 10th 2020)
The October horse racing schedule continues with the last big event of the flat season at Newmarket. The Dubai Future Champions Festival will take place over two days on the Rowley Mile Course and the classy weekend is a must-watch for clues to next season’s Guineas races.
Featuring seven Group races, including both the Fillies’ Mile and the Dewhurst Stakes, the meeting also features one of the biggest handicaps of the season with the latest renewal of the Cesarewitch Handicap.
There’s sure to be a number of potential runners heading to post over the course of the two days with aspirations of becoming a contender for either of next season’s Guineas Classics making the Future Champions Festival an unmissable spectacle for those looking for ante-post value ahead of next season.
Chepstow Jumps Season Opener (October 9th – 10th 2020)
Regarded by many as the official curtain raiser to the new winter jumps season and the beginning of the Road to the Cheltenham Festival, Chepstow stages their traditional two-day October fixture with what promises to be a cracking two days’ horse racing action over the sticks.
Featuring the competitive Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle on day one of the fixture, the highlight of the meeting falls on the second day with the first Graded race of the new winter jumps season, the Persian War Novices’ Hurdle which has thrown up some classy winners in the past, including Thyme Hill twelve months ago.
The likes of Silviniaco Conti, Reve De Sivola and Blaklion have also won the feature Grade Two contest and the two day fixture is sure to be well received by jumps racing fans.
British Champions Day (October 17th 2020)
The last big meeting to take place in the UK horse racing calendar, and a spectacle not to be missed, is British Champions Day which will unfold at Ascot with a top class fixture that will feature a number of Group One contests on the card, with only the closing Balmoral Handicap racing as a non-Pattern contest.
Featuring the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, won by luminaries such as Solow, Minding, Roaring Lion and Frankel; and the Champion Stakes which has seen such names as Frankel, Almanzor, Cracksman and Magical all collect big prizes amongst the races that will be staged, British Champions Day is one of the jewels in the crown of the UK horse racing calendar.
This year’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes could see unbeaten Palace Pier lock horns again with Pinatubo and Circus Maximus from their Royal Ascot encounter; while Kameko, Siskin, Wichita and One Master are just a few possible names who could line up.
Meanwhile, the Champion Stakes could well see the likes of Magical, Love, Ghaiyyath, Mishriff and Lord North all go to post; while superstar Enable also boasts an entry in the race. Could it be a swansong for John Gosden’s stable star?
THE SHOWCASE MEETING (October 23-24 2020)
The final big meeting of the Octover horse racing schedule, we pay our first visit to the hallowed Cheltenham turf for the two-day Showcase Meeting which kick-starts the season at the premier jumps fixture. 14 races are scheduled to unfold over the weekend with some classy jumping action.
The featured October Handicap Chase spearheads the opening day on the Friday, while Saturday’s second day takes in the Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap Chase.
There are sure to be some early Cheltenham Festival hopefuls in attendance over the course of the two days’ racing at the home of UK jumps, making the Showcase Meeting a must-watch event for potential Festival clues.
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