Best Destinations for Horse Racing Fans to Visit in 2023
Horse racing is a sport that constantly keeps fans on their toes, especially since it is one of the few sports that is available to watch the entire year around the world. And the popularity of horse racing is definitely nothing new, as it dates back to Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire.
Worldwide, wagering on horse racing is said to be more than $100 billion annually and it takes places in more than 50 countries. With more and more countries now starting to promote horse racing, there are even more places that provide a rich horse-racing culture that not only attracts lovers of sport but also those seeking glamorous social events.
Fans of horse racing have a lot to look forward to in 2023, with numerous locations around the world hosting thrilling horse racing events. Whether you enjoy Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds, or quarter horses, there are races available for you. Here are just a few of the top destinations and notable races for followers of horse racing to travel to in 2023.
Best Travel Destinations for Horse Racing Enthusiasts in 2023
The Kentucky Derby is without a doubt the most popular horse race in America and takes place annually the first Saturday in May. While the big race may be held in the city of Louisville, it is nearby Lexington which is said to be the “Horse Capital of the World”, according to current horse racing news by TwinSpires.com thanks to the city’s more than 450 horse farms including the famous Kentucky Horse Park.
The main race is just a part of the larger two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival, held at Churchill Downs and is frequently referred to as the “most exciting two minutes in sports.” The main day of the festival not only includes the big race but also fashion, dining, and entertainment. Also open to visitors are the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, the Kentucky Derby Museum, and the Kentucky Horse Park which we mentioned earlier.
Upwards of $150 million is wagered on the Kentucky Derby each year, often called “The Run for the Roses” due to the fact the winning horse is draped in a blanket of roses. A few betting tips to keep in mind are that male horses win more than females and horses whose names start with an “S” have won more than any other letter.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
In the past couple of years, Dubai has been investing a lot of money into building a rich horse racing scene and it quickly became the epicenter of the Middle Eastern horse racing world.
The Dubai World Cup is one of the most opulent horse racing competitions held in Dubai. Some of the best horses and jockeys in the world compete in the annual Dubai World Cup for a $12 million purse payout which takes place at the Meydan Racecourse.
Dubai’s famous Thoroughbred horse race has been running for over 25 years now and is held annually towards the end of March where some 60,000 spectators take part in watching the race live. Additionally, visitors can check out the Dubai World Cup Museum, the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club, and the Dubai Racing Club.
Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong is said to generate the most horse racing revenue in the world, with the Hong Kong International Races being the most thrilling horse racing events on the calendar.
The Sha Tin Racecourse hosts the Hong Kong International Races every year which take place in December, a series of four races that attract some of the best horses and jockeys in the world. The races which include the Hong Kong Vase, Hong Kong Sprint, Hong Kong Mile, and Hong Kong Cup see massive gambling turnover every year.
The races are hosted by the Hong Kong Jockey Club which is one of Hong Kong’s oldest institutions. Visitors to Hong Kong can also check out the Hong Kong Heritage Museum and Hong Kong Museum of History to learn more about local history, art, and culture.
Ascot, United Kingdom
The famous Royal Ascot horse racing event put the town of Ascot on the map, the famous Thoroughbred racecourse having been founded by Queen Anne in the early 18th century. Held every June, the event features dozens of horse races held over 5 days.
The British royal family and other dignitaries attend the Royal Ascot, with attendees adhering to a strict dress code. Hundreds of horses come to battle it out in races that include the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, Gold Cup, King George V Stakes, Diamond Jubilee Stakes, and more.
Betting on horses came onto the scene under the reign of King James I, and the late Queen Elizabeth II often bet on horses herself at the Royal Ascot.
Visitors to the Ascot Racecourse can also easily check out nearby Windsor Castle which is just minutes away by car.
Some of the Southern Hemisphere’s most thrilling horse racing competitions can be found in Australia. The country’s most famous racecourses are Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse and Melbourne’s Flemington.
The Melbourne Cup held at Flemington is the richest “two-mile” handicap race in the world, paying out AUD $8 million in prizes each year in November. Other notable races in Australia include the WS Cox Plate, Crown Oaks, Victoria Derby, and Australian Cup.
Horse racing in Australia began not too long after the First Fleet started bringing the first European settlers to Australia, as many horses were often brought aboard the early ships sent to the new southern land. Over a million Australians are said to bet on horses every year, with the Melbourne Cup alone receiving upwards of $300 million in bets annually.
It’s safe to say horse racing has become a globally popular sport, which means that there are plenty of places all around the world where you can experience some horse racing magic. Whether you’re a horse racing enthusiast or simply someone that likes to get dressed up and socialize, the events mentioned above as well as many more are eagerly awaiting your arrival in 2023