These Luxurious Locations Have Top Class Horse Racing

30 Mar 2020 | Sport, Travel

The world's most historic racing locations to visit when the season returns

Horse racing takes place all around the world including in some pretty exotic and luxurious locations that may appeal to lovers of sport and travel alike. 

Destinations that allow you to enjoy something familiar like thoroughbreds racing on the track with something new and exciting like discovering different cultures can make for a fulfilling all-round experience. Check out these locations for top class horse racing with a bit of luxury thrown in.

Meydan Racecourse, Dubai, UAE

Dubai is a destination that enables visitors to see the Middle East with a modern twist. Transformed by the petrodollars from oil, this metropolis has figuratively sprung from the Arabian desert. >>

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* "Dubai World Cup night at Meydan" (CC BY 2.0) by jaguarmena

Prominent members of the United Arab Emirates ruling elite are also leading owners and breeders of racehorses. Sheikh Mohammed is the power behind the worldwide Godolphin thoroughbred operation, so it's no surprise that he also built Meydan Racecourse in Dubai.

This is now the home of the Dubai World Cup night replacing Nad Al Sheba in 2010, with several multi-million dollar races taking place on the last Saturday in March. There is both a turf and dirt track at Meydan where the grandstand is over a mile in length with seating capacity for over 60,000 racegoers.

Given how valuable Dubai World Cup night is in prize money terms, there is global interest in the meeting. Horses come from all over the world to compete in events such as the Sheema Classic, Dubai Gold Cup and Dubai World Cup itself.

Gulfstream Park, Florida, USA

The Sunshine State has something for everyone, including horse racing fans. There's Disney World, Universal Studios, Tampa Bay and its golden sands, the Everglades and - in Hallandale Beach - Gulfstream Park.

Just hearing the name conjures up exotic images. The horse racing action in Florida is pretty lucrative too with the Pegasus World Cup turf and dirt races in January both worth several million dollars each.

There is also a key Kentucky Derby trial held for three-year-olds at Gulfstream Park some five weeks out from when Churchill Downs becomes the center of the sporting universe. The result of the Florida Derby can alter the horse racing odds for the first Triple Crown event in Louisville.

Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, Australia

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* "Melbourne Cup" (CC BY 2.0) by

If you fancy a trip Down Under, then the swanky suburbs of Melbourne in the state of Victoria have "the race that stops a nation" on the first Tuesday in November. The Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse is the richest staying handicap in the world and is worth several million Australian dollars.

This sporting venue is owned by the Victoria Racing Club on crown land first used for horse racing back in 1840 and is just across the Maribyrnong River from Footscray Park. Metropolitan Melbourne has lots to offer, also including the iconic MCG cricket venue and Australian Open tennis.

Regarded as the world's most liveable city in recent years, it has long outgrown the Port Phillip Bay area of Australia's south coast. Melbourne is a particular sporting hotspot with Aussie Rules football, both codes of rugby and the Australian Grand Prix in motor racing also happening in the city.