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The Best Travel Destinations for Horse Races

There are plenty of exciting horse races held all over the planet, making it easy to get out and enjoy some traveling as part of this sport.

So, where are the very best places you could visit to enjoy a thrilling horse race?

Kentucky, USA is the Horse Capital of the World

If you want to immerse yourself in equine culture while also seeing a world-class racing event, Kentucky is hard to beat. For a start, Lexington is fondly known as the Horse Capital of the World. In this city, you will find the fascinating Kentucky Horse Park as well as a couple of important racing venues.

Not far from Lexington is the city of Louisville. The birthplace of Muhammad Ali, Louisville is also the home of the Kentucky Derby. Run at the Churchill Downs track in early May, this is a highlight of the American racing calendar.

As part of the Triple Crown, it is a keenly contested prize for the best horses, and the different types of bets for Kentucky Derby wagers shows how popular it is.

The 2020 event was run behind closed doors in September due to the Covid-19 pandemic and was won by jockey John Velazquez on Authentic.

However, it is expected to return to the usual May date in 2021, with the expectation that crowds will be allowed back in to see it. What isn’t yet clear is whether the popular Kentucky Derby Festival will be allowed to go ahead as normal.

Visit Twinspires.com to know how the current odds stand for next year’s event.

Newmarket, UK for Historic Races

The UK is packed with historic racecourses like Ascot, Aintree and Doncaster. You could easily fill a month or more of your travel time going around this country watching races. Yet, if you have to choose just one destination then Newmarket in Suffolk is a solid choice.

Horse racing has been carried out here since at least 1622, and it is currently home to some of the UK’s best races. The 1,000 Guineas and 2,000 Guineas events are two of the five Classic Races, with both of them held here. They both take place at the end of April or start of May and have a history dating back to the start of the 19th century.

Just as Lexington is the main city for horse breeding and racing in the US, Newmarket could claim that title in the UK. This is where you will find the National Horseracing Museum and where some of the sport’s main organizations are based.

Dubai for a Modern Horse Racing Experience

While the USA and the UK both offer a variety of historic races and venues, Dubai gives you something different by letting you enjoy big-money events in a sleek, modern setting. Meydan Racecourse in the city was opened in 2010 and can hold up to 60,000 spectators.

Among the biggest horse races held here each year are the Dubai World Cup and the Dubai Sheema Classic. The former has been run since 2009 and always takes place at the end of March. Since 2019, the $12 million purse in place for it has seen this event regain the title as the planet’s richest horse race.

As with the other horse racing destinations that we have looked at, you can visit an information horse racing museum while you are here. The ambitious complex also includes a luxury hotel, art gallery, and nine-hole golf course. Between races, you could make a short trip to see major Dubai sites like the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall

See More The Best Free (And Nearly Free) Things To Do In Dubai

These are just a few of the great places where you can watch a top-class race and explore the area’s equine history in style. If you love this sport, there are many other wonderful destinations to look out for.

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About Derek Freal

"Some people eat, others try therapy. I travel."   Cultural enthusiast. Adrenaline junkie. Eater of strange foods. Chasing unique and offbeat adventures around the world since 2008. Derek loves going to new destinations where he does not speak a word of the local language and must communicate with hand gestures, or places where he is forced to squat awkwardly to poo -- supposedly its healthier and more efficient. For more information (about Derek, not squat pooing) including popular posts and videos, check out his bio.

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