Racecourses To Visit When Lockdown Is Finally Lifted

Horses training on the main track at Santa Anita Park, 28/10/19

While lockdown looks set to continue in the UK for at least the next few weeks, there is time aplenty for making plans for your next racecourse visit.

Journalists at the Racing Post have recommended tracks around the world for punters to visit when restrictions do relax, and here are our top five.

Saint-Malo – France

Editor Tom Kerr recommends Saint-Malo. Located in Brittany, in the north-west of France, he described himself as “utterly charmed by this tiny provincial track”. Promises of sun, sea and crêpes, plus an evening in the picture-perfect port afterwards, sound like just what we’ll need to recover from this long period in the house.

The track itself hosts races on the flat and jumps, plus trotting races, so there’s plenty of action to enjoy. Tickets are just €5.50 a person, and who knows, maybe you’ll spot the next French star before anyone else.

Hexham – UK

Slightly closer to home for most, although not for all (it is England’s most northerly track after all), Hexham is selected by David Carr as his must-visit track. Located 800 feet above sea level it offers racegoers an excellent view across the Northumberland countryside. David describes the locally owned track as “something of a throwback…that exists for the fun of the sport”, although his warning of taking a coat does put a slight dampener on the excitement…

Located about a 30-minute drive from Newcastle city centre, Hexham specialises in National Hunt racing but races all year around, making it a perfect spot to get your summer jumping fix.

Santa Anita – USA

Santa Anita has one of the most fabulous vistas in the world, as the picture at the top this article attests. Richard Forristal suggests a “sense of wonder on arrival”, with the vast mountain ranges in the background contrasted by “intimate focal points” on the course (the saddling boxes and parade ring).

While there is still racing in the USA (covered by our nightly American horse racing tips), Santa Anita is sadly not able to provide racing entertainment at the moment. Watch out for its top-class fixtures this time next year, which include the Santa Anita Handicap, Derby & Oaks in spring.

Killarney – Ireland

Killarney - Patrick McCann

© Racing Post / Patrick McCann

Killarney is well known for its family friendly summer festivals which take place in May, July & August. Described by its selector Justin O’Hanlon as “one of the world’s most picturesque racing tracks”, it’s easy to see what he means.

Located in the South West of Ireland, for British tourists fancying a holiday away, Kerry, Shannon and Cork airports are all relatively nearby making it easily accessible.

Gavea – Brazil

Last but not least, this exotic racecourse would be a perfect visit for anyone looking to see the world when international travel opens up again.

Tom Park promises you won’t be disappointed, with its location at the foot of Christ the Redeemer promising plenty of memorable tourist photos. Even better, entry is free.

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