International Horse Racing – Country By Country Guide

International Horse Racing – Country By Country Guide
© Racing Post / Edward Whitaker
James Prosser
Friday 4th January 2019

Horse racing is a worldwide industry, with there not being many countries where some form of horse racing isn’t run. Although horse racing in the Great Britain & Ireland has perhaps the biggest following, it’s also massive in other countries and we’ve compiled a list of the main racing hubs, with guides on the differences between them.

The main territories outside of Great Britain and Ireland offering horse racing are:

American Horse Racing

Horse racing remains popular in America, although not to the same extent as other American sports. Nearly exclusively flat racing focused, the high point of the season is the Triple Crown featuring the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes during early summer.

This is then followed later in the season by the Breeders’ Cup. Shown live on UK TVs on both evenings, it often features top class British raiders sent over to attack the huge prize pools.

myracing offers tips on American horse racing every evening in our American horse racing tips section.

Australian Horse Racing

Outside of Europe, Australia probably has the biggest following in terms of horse racing. It hosts “the race that stops the nation” in the Melbourne Cup and has a heap of talented horses, including the unstoppable Winx. It is perhaps the most comparable to British racing, though the vast majority is contested on the flat.

myracing’s resident Australian horse racing tipster posts tips every evening in our Australian horse racing tips section.

French Horse Racing

Almost a mirror to British and Irish racing, French horse racing has a big pool of talent, including some of the best jockeys and trainers in the world. Andre Fabre is perhaps the most well known, while Christophe Soumillon is employed by the best of the best.

France also has some of the biggest and best National Hunt racing outside of Great Britain and Ireland. Keep an eye out of for French bred 4 year olds at the Cheltenham Festival as they tend to peak earlier in their careers than British bred, plus many also gain experience hurdling and chasing at just three years old.

myracing doesn’t currently have a dedicated French tipster, but covers all Group 1 races from France in our racecards section with tips and previews for each.

Hong Kong Horse Racing

Arguably boasting the most modern looking racetrack in the world in the amazing Happy Valley, Hong Kong has two racecourses which feature over 650 races per year. Exclusively flat racing, the prize money is attractive and British jokceys such as Silvestre De Sousa often spend the winter riding in Hong Kong.

myracing has racecards and Racing Post selections plus runner by runner writeups for every race in Hong Kong.

Dubai Horse Racing

Located in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai’s jewel in its racing crown is Meydan. Boasting a mile long grandstand, it only opened in 2010 and is situated in the middle of the desert.

Dubai’s racing season runs from November through to March and peaks with the Dubai World Cup Night at the end of the season. Featuring over $25,000,000 in prize money in 2018, it is the world’s richest race day and features the most valuable race in the world, the Dubai World Cup.

myracing cover Dubai horse racing in their racecard section with tips, previews and full coverage of the Dubai World Cup Night.

The more minor territories are:

Argentinian Horse Racing

There is plenty of racing in Argentina, though it is not often broadcast outside of the country. You can find racing through some online bookies, with the main venue being Hipodromo Argentino de Palermo, which stages the country’s Derby, called the Gran Premio Nacional.

Canadian Horse Racing

Best known for its races at Woodbine, Canadian and North American racing go hand in hand. Hosting its own version of the triple crown, it has some of the best quality of racing outside of Europe.

Czech Republic Horse Racing

Although not well-known for its horse racing, it does host one of the biggest National Hunt races of the international racing calendar. The Velka Pardubicka takes place over 4m 2f and a variety of fences. It’s uniquely challenging nature means it deserves a spot on any National Hunt fan’s bucket list.

German Horse Racing

Hosting seven Group 1 races each calendar year, Germany is home to some of the world’s best jockeys. The roll of honour includes Andrasch Stark, winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2011 and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 2012.

The season takes place from April to November, with the Group 1 contests mainly taking place in July, August and September over ten to twelve furlongs.

Indian Horse Racing

With nine venues and quite a national following, horse racing in India has been going on for over two-hundred years. Hosting five classic races, including the Indian Derby, it can often be found on specialised online bookmakers in the mornings in the UK & Ireland.

Japanese Horse Racing

Hosting over 21,000 races each year, Japanese racing is very popular. With ten main tracks hosting racing for big prize pools, the Japan Cup is perhaps the most prestigious of it’s races. An International Invitational race, three British trained horses have won the contest previously.

Scandinavian Horse Racing

Unlike in most other territories, racing in Scandinavia (and Finland) is harness racing, also known as “trottin”. It is held in the same regard as thoroughbred racing in the rest of the world, although attendances don’t match the betting popularity.

Swiss Horse Racing

Switzerland may not seem like an obvious place to host horse racing, but it is famous for St Moritz – a racecourse built on a frozen lake. Races are a mix of flat races, trotting races and “Skikjöring”, which sees competitors pulled on skis by the horses.

It often features a number of jockeys from the United Kingdom. Tragically, a fall in 2018 for George Baker and his mount Boomerang Bob ended fatally for the horse and led to career ending injuries for George Baker, following the ground giving way.

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