Location: Arcadia, United States
Santa Anita is home to numerous prestigious races including both the Santa Anita Derby and the Santa Anita Handicap. Due to its proximity to LA and the fact that it is considered by many as the Worlds Most Beautiful Race Track, Santa Anita has been featured in a many films and television series such as The Story of Seabiscuit with Shirley Temple.
Santa Anita is one of a few of its kind in America. It has a one-mile natural dirt main track which rings a turf course measuring 0.9 mile. In addition, it has a grandstand that runs 1,100 feet long, seating 26,000 guests and in 2000, the racetrack was named to America’s “Most Endangered Historic Places” list.
Location: Liverpool, United Kingdom
Aintree Racecourse is most known for holding the annual Grand National even, one of the most famous races in the world. In regards to steeplechasing, this course is considered the most difficult course to successfully complete. It includes 16 steeplechase fences and renowned obstacles the Chair, Foinavon, Valentine’s, Canal Turn and Becher’s Brook.
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Flemington racecourse is most notable for hosting the worlds richest handicap, the Melbourne Cup. The course can hold around 120,000 guests within its 3 grandstands.
In 2006, Flemington saw its highest ever attendance at 129,000 whilst hosting the Victoria Derby. This course has a six-furlong straight called the ‘Straight Six’ and boasts its own railway line.
7. Tokyo Racecourse
Location: Fuchu, Tokyo, Japan
Also known as “the Racecourses of Racecourses” in Japanese horseracing and it isn’t difficult to see why when entering the stadium. This racecourse is home to one of the largest video screens in the world, measuring at 218 feet by 37 feet. This course also has the capacity to hold over 220, 000 fans.
Tokyo Racecourse hosts numerous Grade 1 races, including the Japan Cup, Tokyo Yushun (the Japanese Derby) and the Yasuda Kinen, a part of the Asian Mile Challenge.
Location: Saratoga Springs, United States
Opening in 1863, Saratoga is the Fourth oldest major sporting venue of any kind in America. The track has been the site of the Travers Stakes, the oldest major thoroughbred horse race in the United States.
This track is also known as “the Graveyard of Champions” as a number of famous race horses seemed to lose at this track in particular.
One of Saratoga’s unique features include a bell that is rung by hand, exactly 17 minutes before each race as a signal for the Jockeys to attend the paddock.
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Meydan racecourse is one of the younger racecourses but has definitely made a name for itself in the 8 years it has been around. Meydan also includes the worlds first five-star track side hotel, tennis courts, a racing museum and a nine-hole golf course. It was also used in for the filming of 2016’s Star Trek Beyond.
This track is the home to the Dubai World Cup, the richest day of racing in the world.
4. Epsom Downs
Location: Epsom, United Kingdom
This course has the capacity of holding 110,000 fans including people watching from Epsom Downs, an area opened freely to the public. This meant the Epsom Derby was once the most attended sporting event of the year.
It is at this course that Emily Davison died after being hit by King George V’s horse Anmer at the 1913 Derby when she walked onto the track during the race.
Epsom is served by Tattenham Corner railway station which is where the Queen alights from the British Royal Train on race days, almost every year.
3. LongchampLocation: Paris, France
ParisLongChamp Racecourse, known in French as Hippodrome de Longchamp, is home to more than half of the group one races held in France.
This racecourse has the capacity for 50,000 racing fans to watch the worlds richest turf race, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Location: Ascot, United Kingdom
Ascot is one of the leading racecourses in the United Kingdom and is home to 9 of Great Britains 32 Group 1 races.
In 1711, Queen Anne founded The Royal Ascot and it has since been a major event in the British social calendar. Each day of the event taking place, Royal Family members arrive at the course in Horse Drawn carriages.
This event is known classed as best attended race meeting with over 300,000 people attending.
This racecourse has also been used in films such as My Fair Lady and James Bond: A View To Kill
1. Churchill Downs
Opened: Louisville, United States
Most Famously know for hosting the annual Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs racecourse has the capacity for 170,000 fans.
Founder, Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr. attended the Epsom Derby in 1872, which inspired him to create a large-scale racing event in America. Clark sold memberships before the course was opened to fund the clubhouse and grandstand which still stands today. Churchill Downs currently holds the record for longest running continuous sporting event in the United States.