Learn what racecourses are. Find out the top ten racecourses in the world.
Horses are the biggest stars of the horse racing industry. However, there are other things you need to know in horse racing. This includes the places where horses test their skills and experience. This place is called a racecourse.
A racecourse or keibajou (けいばじょう; 競馬場) is a permanent facility that horses run on. It is also known as a racetrack. Horse racing competitions are held in a racecourse.
Racetracks can be found in various countries in the world. The countries that have the most number of racecourses are Japan, England, and the United States.
However, racecourses are not simply horse racing facilities. Most of them have a path inside that increases the length of the track. This is called a chute.
A chute is an extended path that increases the track’s length. This can be commonly found in oval-shaped races. A separate path will be created on the turning point of the track to create other distances. This means if a course originally has 1,600 meters, it can be adjusted to 1,800 meters. This depends on how the chute is placed around the track.
There are also various kinds of racetracks where different races are held. These are turf, dirt, and all-synthetic courses.
- Turf course → The material used in turf tracks is grass. This kind of track is often used in flat races around the world.
- Dirt course → The material often used in dirt courses is soil. However, there are countries like Japan that uses sand. This is because it has rainy weather in Japan. This is used since it is easier to drain water out of sand instead of soil.
Dirt tracks are often used in flat and handicap races.
- All-synthetic course → This is an all-weather course. It means whether it is snowing or raining, it can easily be cleaned so horses can run on it.
There are a lot of racecourses in the world that holds the biggest horse races. Here are the top ten racecourses around the world where the biggest races are held:
- Tokyo Racecourse → The Tokyo Racecourse (東京競馬場) is one of the biggest race tracks in Japan. It is where various Grade 1 horse races are held since it opened in 1933. It is also owned by the Japan Racing Association.
- Nakayama Racecourse → The Nakayama Racecourse (中山競馬場) is one of the oldest racecourses in Japan. It was opened in 1907 by the Japan Racing Association. It also holds various graded flat, handicap, and jump races.
- Kyoto Racecourse → The Kyoto Racecourse (京都競馬場) is a racetrack in Japan known for the slope of its third corner called “Yodo no Saka”. It is owned by the Japan Racing Association and was opened in 1925.
- Hanshin Racecourse → The Hanshin Racecourse (阪神競馬場) is one of the biggest racetracks in Japan because it can accommodate 139,000 people. It is owned by the Japan Racing Association. It was also opened in 1949.
- Ascot Racecourse → The Ascot Racecourse is one of the leading race tracks in England. It is owned by Ascot Racecourse Ltd. and holds various major local and international horse races every year.
- Longchamp Racecourse → The Longchamp Racecourse is known for its interlacing tracks. It also has a hill that is known to be difficult for horses to go through. It is owned by France Galop.
- Flemington Racecourse → The Flemington Racecourse is one of the most famous race tracks in Australia. It holds the biggest local and international horse races including the Melbourne Cup. It is owned by Victoria Racing Club since it opened in 1840.
- Meydan Racecourse → The Meydan Racecourse is one of the newest race tracks in the United Arab Emirates. It is owned by the Dubai Racing Club since it was opened in 2010. Additionally, one of its most famous horse races is the Dubai World Cup.
- Pimlico Race Course → The Pimlico Racecourse is one of the most famous racetracks in the United States. This is because it holds various highly graded races including the Preakness Stakes. It is owned by the Stronach Group since it was opened in 1870.
- Churchill Downs → Churchill Downs is one of the most famous racetracks in the United States because it hosts the Kentucky Derby. It also holds handicap races and various highly graded races. It is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated since it was opened in 1875.
READ MORE: The Biggest Horse Races Around the World