Did you know? Scotland’s second biggest racecourse is situated just outside the capital in Musselburgh. Dating back to 1816, Musselburgh Racecourse is one of the most historic British racecourses, staging both flat and National Hunt race meetings throughout the calendar year. Situated just two miles from the Edinburgh City Bypass, the racecourse is handily placed for spectators travelling from the capital.

Although you might not be able to visit in person, all of the biggest meetings at Musselburgh are covered by the major television networks and sports betting sites. Read on as we hand-pick the headline race meetings from Musselburgh’s 27 annual race days to put in your diary at Musselburgh.

Easter Saturday and the Queen’s Cup

The Easter Saturday race meeting at Musselburgh is one of the most recent additions to the racecourse’s annual calendar. It typically marks the beginning of the Easter festivities and includes two headline races in the shape of the Queen’s Cup and the Scottish Sprint Cup.

The Queen’s Cup was established in 2017 to commemorate 200 years of first-class racing at Musselburgh. With a £100,000 prize purse, along with the £50,000-prize Royal Mile Handicap, the Easter Saturday meeting contains total prize funds of £250,000.

A picture of a horse race
Photo by Jeff Griffith on Unsplash

Edinburgh Cup Raceday

The headline summer event at Musselburgh, the Edinburgh Cup Raceday is one of the most eagerly anticipated meetings on the daily racecards every June, with punters looking eagerly for runners and riders. Trainer Mark Johnston having a particularly strong record in the event, with three winners to his name so far.

The £40,000-prize Edinburgh Cup is usually partnered by a string of off-course entertainment, including live music acts and DJs. In years gone by, the Courtyard Stage has been the hub of the Edinburgh Cup evening festivities, attracting a host of local bands and tribute acts.

Luca’s Ice Cream Family Day

Hosted as a celebration of the start of the summer holidays, Luca’s Ice Cream Family Day offers fun for all the family at Musselburgh. It’s currently pencilled in for Tuesday 20 July, with all children aged 17 and under able to enter the racecourse free when accompanied by a paying adult.

As you might expect from a raceday sponsored by Luca’s, there is complimentary ice cream for all children present, along with plenty of entertainment and face-painting available away from the racetrack. The racecourse operates courtesy shuttle buses for families to and from Newcraighall and Wallyford train stations.

Stobo Castle Ladies Day

Ladies across Edinburgh planning a get-together with friends later this year should certainly keep their eye on the Stobo Castle Ladies Day event at Musselburgh. Slated for Friday 6 August, this is regarded as one of the racecourse’s premier race meetings, attracting capacity crowds of 10,000 every year. It sold out for the 12th year in succession in 2019.

Those who may have purchased tickets for last year’s cancelled Ladies Day will also be able to transfer those tickets for this year’s meeting. Ladies Day is usually a melting point of designer outfits, attracting the very best in Scottish style and fashion. Raceday hospitality packages are also typically popular during Ladies Day, with VIP tables and food and drink promotions widely available.

New Year’s Day 2022

There is no better way to blow away those Hogmanay cobwebs than to book some tickets and head up to Musselburgh for their New Year’s Day extravaganza meeting. Regularly attracting crowds of 5,000-plus, the New Year’s Day meeting usually offers an exciting race card, featuring many in-form trainers and jockeys.

In years gone by, champion trainers like Paul Nicholls and Tom Lacey have entered multiple horses across the racecard. That’s because the meeting carries a prize purse worth £88,000. The New Year’s Day meeting is also regularly covered on national television by the likes of ITV1 as well as subscription channels like Racing TV.