One of the best things about being a horse racing fan is that it enables you to travel the world and visit locations that other sports doesn’t allow. While many other sports allow fans to travel across the continent, horse racing is a sport that allows fans to travel to all four corners of the globe.
Each location will offer something slightly different, whether it is the type of track that the horses are competing on, or whether there are obstacles that the equine stars need to jump over. But, what are the 3 travel destinations that all horse racing fans must visit at least once?
1. Churchill Downs
There are few more famous horse racing locations in North America than Churchill Downs. In fact, the photo of the entrance gates at the Kentucky track is one of the most synonymous will all fans from around the globe. Churchill Downs was first opened in 1875, and is one of the most popular race tracks to visit in the United States, with the track able to host around 170,000 spectators.
The most popular days on the calendar take place in early May, as the opening leg of the Triple Crown series takes place in the form of the Kentucky Derby. The track has also had the prestigious honour of hosting the Breeders’ Cup on nine occasions.
Superstars take centre stage at Churchill Downs, evident from the fact that legends of the game such as American Pharoah, Enable, and Secretariat have all competed and landed victories at the iconic venue.
You can check the calendar of the main races happening in Churchill Downs here: https://edge.twinspires.com/racing/major-horse-races/
While it may not be as famous with an American audience, there are few more popular and scenic racecourses in the world than Cheltenham. The track is located in the heart of the beautiful Cotswolds, and hosts one of the world’s most attended race meetings. The course was opened in 1815, with the first race meeting on Cleeve Hill taking place three years later.
It became the home of jumps racing in 1834 when the first Grand Annual Steeplechase was staged. However, the course is most synonymous with the four-day meeting in March called the Cheltenham Festival. The event is the most prestigious jumps meeting in the world, with the four-day meeting attracting fans from across Europe, most notably Ireland.
Several huge Grade 1 championship races are staged throughout the week, headlined by the legendary Cheltenham Gold Cup. The race has been won by some of the biggest stars in the world of racing, including Best Mate, Arkle, and Denman. Attendances at Cheltenham typically outweigh any other meeting in the United Kingdom, including Royal Ascot and Epsom’s Derby.
3. Flemington Racecourse
While it may take days to get to Australia, Flemington Racecourse is a track that all horse racing fans must visit at least once in their life. Located in Melbourne, Victoria, Flemington has hosted racing action since 1840, with the biggest event on the calendar shaped around the Melbourne Cup.
The race has the power to stop the nation, and it was first staged in 1861. The race now offers a huge purse of A$8 million, and runners from across Europe, Australia, and South Africa compete. Few races have the power to create legends as great as the Melbourne Cup, and that is highlighted by the runners that have won the great race on multiple occasions.
Makybe Diva is the most successful horse in the history of the race, while legends such as Think Big, Rain Lower, and Peter Pan have all landed two wins. Aside from the Melbourne Cup, Flemington hosts 13 further Group 1s and over 20 Group 2s and Group 3s.