Horse racing may be more synonymous with countries such as America, UK and Australia but the sport has historical roots in many more countries! In this blog you’ll be taking an international trip around the world to discover some of the best overseas racecourses. 8) Palio di Siena - Siena, Tuscany
The Palio di Siena (more commonly known as the Palio) is the oldest horse racing spectacle held twice a year - 2nd July & 16th August. With roots dating back to 1663, the Palio divides families from all over Siena. On the week leading up to the Palio, the central square in Siena is converted into a race track and tons of sand is laid down for the horses to run on. Horses representing specific regions in Siena compete with each other in what is simply the craziest race in the world! Tickets don’t come cheap, however, with some fetching up to over €1000.
7) Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe - Chantilly, Paris Popularly referred to as simply the “Arc”, this French horse race was first introduced to the world in 1920. From there is has grown to be the richest horse race in Europe with the total purse for the race €5,000,000. Usually held annually at Longchamp, this racecourse has roots stemming back to 1857 with the Arc being the highlight of its callender. Some recent notable winners include Golden Horn (2015), Treve (2013, 14) & See the Stars (2009).
6) Velká pardubická - Pardubiche, Czech Republic The Velká pardubická is the most famous steeplechase run in the Czech Republic. The race was first ran back in 1874 and takes place annually on the second Sunday in October. The race itself is nothing like we have seen here in UK with the length of the race 6.9km, with 31 obstacles. Averagely, this race takes between 9 & 10 minutes with the fastest time 8 minutes and 58.99 seconds by Sixteen in 2008.
5) Kentucky Derby - Kentucky, U.S.A Churchill Downs plays host to the world renowned Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks. The racetrack occupies 147 acres, featuring a one-mile dirt, oval racetrack and a seven furlong turf race course. It has to be said that the Kentucky Derby is amongst the major sporting events America has to offer, with a constant incredible atmosphere from morning to night for at least two days. The purse currently stand at $2,000,000 making it amongst the richest horse racing purses available to win!
4) Dubai World Cup - Dubai, U.A.E The one and only Dubai World Cup is one of the most popular events of the racing calendar. Taking place at the architecturally gobsmacking Meydan, there is plenty to feast your eyes on. Referred to as one of the richest races in the world, Dubai has been pipped to the post by the now richest race ever, the Pegasus World Cup. This spectacle is so much more than horse racing with shows, performances and much more going on around you and all in one place. This year saw the unstoppable, Arrogate win the incredible prize money of $10million. 2018 will be a serious race and one not to miss with hot competition coming through the ranks.
3) Hong Kong International Races - Hong Kong, China The Hong Kong International Races includes one of the highlights of the turf season, with the Hong Kong Cup taking place on 10th December at Sha Tin racecourse. Last year, local trainer Noriyuki Hori won with 5 year old Maurice and Ryan Moore onboard. The racecourse is only a short distance from the centre of Hong Kong, with city acting as a well lit backdrop to the races in the dark of night. The races purse totals HK$83million making it the richest race on the turf. Watch more race fixtures on 5th December at the only other racecourse in Hong Kong, Happy Valley.
2) Melbourne Cup - Melbourne, Victoria The 2017 running of the Melbourne Cup is fast approaching. The Carnival takes place from Saturday 4th through to Saturday 11th November, with an incredible four days of racing to keep you busy. The feature race of the week is the Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup which is considered to be one of the best staying handicap races in the world, making it a really interesting race with tactical rides from each jockey. Flemington racecourse is only a short distance outside of the centre of Melbourne, Victoria and offers plenty to the crowds throughout the week. Other races include the Kennedy Oaks, AAMI Victoria Derby and Emirates Stakes. An opportunity to travel and enjoy some of the best racing in the world.
1) Breeders Cup - California, U.S.A Not long until the 2017 Breeders’ Cup championship takes place once again. This year the Grade 1 extravaganza will be held at Del Mar racecourse, California where top class owners and trainer will flock from all over the world. Last year Juddmonte Farms’ Arrogate beat the odds-on favourite, California Chrome by a nail-biting half a length in front of record crowds. The Championships is also an unofficial end to the american racing season, often with the Breeders’ Cup Classic aiding the decision of Horse of the Year. The current prize money compiles to $28million over the course of two days racing, making it an extremely competitive spectacle.