select - Horse-racing Cities
Written by Oryx
A thunder of hoofs and flash of silk, a magnificent gallop of muscled horses, the roar of the crowd and glittering prizes: horse racing is one of the world’s most exciting entertainments.
Spring is the height of the racing season in Melbourne, with a Spring Racing Carnival that runs for 50 days and ends in mid-November. Combining horse racing with glamour and fashion, its highlight is the famous Melbourne Cup, a 3,200m race for three-year-olds and over. The race is run at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November. One of the world’s premier turf races, the Cup is said to ‘stop a nation’ and it almost does, with many workers across the country taking time off for office parties or gatherings in local pubs to watch the spectacle.
Distance: 11,973 km
Flight Time: 13 hours, 30 minutes
Few cities in the world are quite as horse-race mad as Hong Kong. Races are run from September to mid-June on both the original Happy Valley track, established in 1841, and the contemporary track at Sha Tin, with stands for 90,000 roaring spectators. Mid-December’s Hong Kong International Races are the top event, and include the Hong Kong Cup, the world’s richest turf race over 2,000m.
Hong Kong, China
Distance: 6,337 km
Flight Time: 7 hours, 35 minutes
Frequency: Twice daily
In 1857, a track was laid out at Longchamp in the Bois du Boulogne on the outskirts of Paris. Soon it was one of the world’s most prestigious racecourses. Here on the last Saturday in June, you can enjoy the classic Grand Prix du Paris. In early October, it’s time for France’s greatest horse race (and one of the world’s richest in prize money), the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, which attracts more international competition than any other European race.
Distance: 4,980 km
Flight Time: 7 hours, 15 minutes
Frequency: 3 flights a day
Built in 1933 but massively revamped prior to a reopening in 2007, Tokyo Racecourse is the country’s largest and hosts the country’s most famous races, including the 2,400m invitational Japan Cup on the last Sunday in November. The stands have views to Mount Fuji, and Turf Vision provides close-up viewing of the action on the world’s largest television screen.
Distance: 8,279 km
Flight Time: 9 hours, 30 minutes