The wait is finally over for racing and betting fans across the nation. After almost three months off, horse racing returned to our screens last week, with race days taking place at Newcastle and Newmarket amongst others.
The first week of action brought record-breaking performances; five-year-old Ghaiyyath broke the course record at the Newmarket Coronation Cup on Friday. He won gold in an impressive performance that was his first-ever British Group One win.
British Horseracing Authority chief executive Nick Rust has said that he believes this move will “lift the nation’s spirits in difficult times”. He has also claimed that the timing is “crucial” in terms of allowing the breeding sector to succeed this year.
Many have been getting their betting fix through the popular virtual sporting events in recent weeks, but this hasn’t lessened their excitement regarding the return of the real thing. Fans have taken to Twitter to express their delight as the sport makes its comeback, with one stating that “things are looking up”. Another claimed that working from home is getting “pretty dangerous” with the return of racing, and we’re sure he’s not the only one feeling this way.
With many people having a lot more time on their hands than normal at the minute, it is unsurprising that the first few days of racing have attracted a lot more interest than usual.
Betting sites have certainly bounced back, as well as the plethora of online sites offering betting tips. One betting exchange saw a whopping £222,289 placed on the 13:00 10-race card at Newcastle on Monday, showing that the highly anticipated return did not go unnoticed.
Whist nationwide excitement was to be expected with race days returning to our screens, the interest of one person, in particular, has made headlines.
Sources close to the Queen have revealed that she tuned into the racing on ITV throughout the week as it returned from the 76-day suspension. This isn’t a huge surprise, as it has been reported numerous times that the Queen is a huge fan of the sport, and she personally owns in excess of 100 racehorses.
Another indication that she is missing her favourite sport comes in the form of newly released photos of the Queen enjoying an afternoon riding one of her own personal horses. This is the first public appearance that the 94-year-old monarch has made since March, and is evidence of her long-term love for the animals.
It looks likes tuning in from the comfort of the palace is as good as it will get for the Queen, with plans to hold the Royal Ascot behind closed doors preventing her from attending as she usually does. The Ascot has kept its original dates, kicking off on June the 16th. With a planned reopening date of June 15, just the day before the meet, it is also possible that Ascot could see you placing your bets in person for the first time in a while.
Coming shortly after this are The Derby and Oaks, which are both set to take place at Epsom Downs on July 4th.
In the meantime, why not check out our run-down of the best sport you can get involved with right now.
Featured image via Flickr