The World’s Most Fascinating Horse Racing Tracks

Horse racing is a globally spread sport where you’ll find jewels of tracks in various parts of the world. That’s what makes horse racing special. Each racetrack is unique just because the country has a different history with the sport.

When it comes to horse racing popularity, there are a few places that come to mind such as The UK, the United States, Australia, China, Japan, and others.

All of these countries have a special racecourse with centuries-old traditions. Some decide to stick to their roots, others offer a modern take on horse racing as a sport.

So, if you are a horse racing enthusiast and want to experience the top racetracks in the world, where should you go?

Well, there are plenty of places, but in this article, we will highlight the best of the best.

Churchill Downs, USA

When we talk about horse racing in the United States, Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby are probably the first things that come to mind. This might not be the oldest horse race in the country (1875), but it certainly is the most popular one. 

Obviously, the biggest event at Churchill Downs is the Kentucky Derby, held on the first Saturday in May, and most people refer to it as the “Run for the Roses” or “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports”.

It is not just a race, it is a spectacle that puts the entire world on hold. 

This year was the 150th anniversary of the Kentucky Derby and it was incredible. From the number of spectators who attended the derby to the close action right down to the finish line. It was really exciting, especially for the bettors. 

If you want to learn more about horse racing betting, click here:

Did you know that Churchill Downs has hosted the Breeders’ Cup nine times and features seven Grade 1 events annually​​? Therefore, Churchill Downs isn’t only about the Kentucky Derby, but rather a big palette of races throughout the year.

Ascot Racecourse, England

Crossing the pond, we find Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire, England. This isn’t just a track; it’s a British institution. Founded by Queen Anne in 1711, Ascot is home to Royal Ascot, a five-day festival in June that sees members of the royal family mingling with the public. 

Morning dress is mandatory in certain enclosures, so if you’re planning to attend, make sure your top hat is in good shape. The races are prestigious, with events like the Gold Cup and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes drawing top competitors from around the globe​

Key Races:

  • Gold Cup
  • King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes

Meydan Racecourse, UAE

If you thought horse racing was stuck in the past, Meydan Racecourse in Dubai will make you think again. Opened in 2010, Meydan is a marvel of modern architecture and luxury. It boasts the world’s richest race, the Dubai World Cup, with a purse of $12 million. 

The grandstand can seat 60,000 spectators and includes a hotel, museum, and even a golf course. If you’re ever in Dubai between November and March, Meydan’s Winter Racing Challenge and the Dubai International Racing Carnival are events you shouldn’t miss​​.


  • Hotel
  • Racing museum
  • Golf course

Longchamp, France

Paris isn’t just for lovers; it’s also for horse racing enthusiasts. The Longchamp Racecourse, located by the River Seine, is steeped in history dating back to 1857. It hosts Europe’s richest horse race, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, every October. 

The track is known for its unique “false home stretches” which test the stamina of the competing horses. With its recent renovations, Longchamp now boasts increased grandstand capacity and modern facilities, making it a must-visit for any racing fan​​.

Flemington Racecourse, Australia

Down under in Melbourne, Flemington Racecourse is home to the Melbourne Cup, famously known as “The Race That Stops a Nation.” Established in 1840, this track’s unique pear shape and iconic “Straight Six” stretch make it a distinctive racing venue. 

The Melbourne Cup, held on the first Tuesday of November, is more than just a race; it’s a public holiday in Victoria, reflecting the event’s national significance​​.

Signature Events:

  • Melbourne Cup
  • Victoria Derby

Saratoga Race Course, USA

Saratoga Race Course in New York isn’t just one of the oldest tracks in the US; it’s a living museum of horse racing history. Established in 1863, it’s known for its “Midsummer Derby” – the Travers Stakes. The track has seen legendary upsets, such as Man o’ War’s only career defeat. The atmosphere at Saratoga is as close as you’ll get to stepping back in time, with its charming, old-world feel​.

Tokyo Racecourse

When it comes to horse racing in Japan, Tokyo Racecourse is the place to be. Located in Fuchu, just a 30-minute express train ride from central Tokyo, this venue is known for its long homestretch and challenging course, making it a true test for even the best horses.

Size and Structure: The turf course measures 2,083 meters in circumference and 41 meters at its widest point, with a homestretch of just under 526 meters. The dirt course, slightly smaller, is 1,899 meters around and 25 meters wide, with a 502-meter homestretch​ 

Major Races: Tokyo Racecourse hosts several prestigious races, including the Japan Cup (G1), Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby), Tenno Sho (Autumn), and the Yasuda Kinen (G1)​. The Japan Cup, held in late November, attracts top horses from around the globe, making it one of the most competitive races in the world.