We’re into the meat and bones of the summer now, with the barbecue dusted off and the smell of sun cream wafting through the aisles of the supermarket as frenzied shoppers rush to buy the burgers and the beer for their weekend endeavours.
That also means that the flat racing season is reaching full stride, with a number of big meetings still to come, and July is a month packed with them.
So if you are at a loose end in the coming weeks, and you’re sick of the smell of burning meat, why not head down to your local meeting and enjoy some top notch racing.
After all, few things in life are as exciting as cheering on the horse you have backed as it enters the final straight in the lead!
The Coral Summer Festival (July 5-6, Sandown Park)
You’ll have to be quick to get to this one, but the next big festival of the summer is taking place this weekend.
Sponsors Coral have their name on a number of races at this meeting, which takes place at Sandown Park on Friday and Saturday.
Ladies Day gets the action started with a varied card that includes the British EBF Novice Stakes and the George Lindon-Travers Memorial Handicap Stakes.
But the highlight of the two-day affair is undoubtedly the Coral-Eclipse on Saturday, in which this year’s racegoers will be treated to the return of Enable, who won last season’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. The likes of Magical and Regal Reality will be looking to poop the party, so to speak.
The Eclipse-Stakes is part of the British Champions Series, and the Group 1 renewal has previously been won by such illustrious campaigners as Golden Horn, Ulysses and the reigning champion, Roaring Lion.
If you can get to Sandown Park in Surrey, this one will be well worth a watch.
Moet & Chandon Festival (July 11-13, Newmarket)
It’s over to the eastern part of England now for a festival whose title sponsor will really get the juices flowing.
Whether you enjoy a glass of Moet or a different tipple altogether there will be plenty flowing at Newmarket across three days of thrilling racing action.
As ever the action kicks off on Ladies Day, where you’ll get to enjoy the dulcet tones of Nick Grimshaw on the decks and, more importantly, get to enjoy a full racecard which features the July Stakes and the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.
The action kicks up a gear on Friday with the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes, amongst other races, before Saturday sees the very best take to the track for the Darley July Cup, one of the most prestigious sprint races in the calendar.
With a total purse of £500,000, you and the winner’s trainer and owner will be laughing if you can back the successor to US Navy Flag, who won in impressive fashion in 2018.
King George Weekend (July 26-27, Ascot)
Rather more laidback than Royal Ascot earlier in the summer, the King George Weekend is perfect for both casual and hardcore racing fans who don’t want to have to don their top hat for the privilege.
There’s a high quality card throughout the weekend, but much of the fervour is retained for Saturday’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, which is one of the most valuable flat races of the year.
This usually acts as a fantastic waypoint for other feature races too, most notably the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – Enable, the extraordinary John Gosden horse, has won both.
Organisers are billing Dermot O’Leary’s DJ set as one of the highlights of the weekend, but don’t be fooled racing fans: there is plenty going on that you can enjoy aside from the Irishman’s casual charm.
Qatar Goodwood Festival (July 30-August 3, Goodwood)
A magical month of racing concludes with Glorious Goodwood in the heart of the leafy Sussex countryside.
There’s five days of brilliant racing to look forward to, with more high-class Group 1 encounters than you can shake a stick at.
There’s the Qatar Goodwood Cup on day one, while the Sussex Stakes on day two offers a purse of a cool £1 million.
The Nassau Stakes, the Stewards Cup and the King George Stakes ensure that racegoers on all five days are treated to some sublime action.
The best horses, jockeys, trainers and owners going at it at some of the most iconic venues in British racing. July is going to be a sizzler!