Racecourse Venue Guide
Types of Course
One of the many attractions of racing in the UK and Ireland is the variety of courses, both Flat and jumps. Anybody who has been racing overseas will appreciate the range of tracks in Britain and Ireland. In the United States just about every track seems to be a one mile left-handed oval and courses in Australia and France are standard. Variety is the spice of life and that applies to courses in this country. They can be left-handed or right-handed, undulating or flat, round or rectangular. Jockeys and trainers from other racing countries often say part of the appeal of racing in the UK and Ireland is the range of courses and their locations. Australia has its city, town and country tracks while Britain has urban and countryside locations for racing. The crowds are varied and this adds to the appeal of racing in the UK and Ireland.
We have put together a directory of racecourses with reference to track characteristics and the main races and meetings at each location. The International list is not exhaustive and by no means definitive but focuses on the major overseas races. National Hunt racing over obstacles has its roots in Ireland and developed in the UK but has not really grown in other racing jurisdictions which is why there are very few major jumps races overseas. All weather racing first took place in Britain in 1989 and there are now six all weather tracks with the possibility of more being built or developed from the modification of turf tracks. This type of racing caters for horses towards the bottom of the ratings and provides valuable back-up when turf racing is not possible due to water logging and snow and ice.
This directory of racecourses has been divided into the following five categories:
- All Weather
Some critics say there is too much racing in Britain but the variety of tracks brings uniqueness from each location. Track closures have been threatened but funding is now in place to support the many variations on the theme of a racecourse in the UK and Ireland which augurs well for the future of the sport.
Flat Racecourses in the United Kingdom
There are 29 Flat courses in Great Britain of which 11 are dual purpose in that they also stage jumps racing. The mixed courses are indicated in italics below but course features only refer to the Flat tracks at each venue.
Ascot - A right-handed triangular track, slightly less than 1 mile four furlongs in length. The round course descends from the start into Swinley Bottom, the lowest part of the track. It ten turns right-handed and joins the Old Mile Course, which starts at a separate chute, six furlongs from the finish. Ascot stages the Royal Meeting in June and its other major race is the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in July.
Ayr - A left-handed oval course of 1 mile 3 furlongs with a straight run-in of 4 furlongs. The course is flat and has a straight 6 furlongs at 100 feet in width. Low numbers have a draw advantage on the straight course in big fields when soft. The principle race at the track is the Ayr Gold Cup in September.
Bath - A left-handed oval course of about one mile 4 furlongs with an uphill 4 furlongs run-in. The mile and 1¾ courses have over a quarter of a mile straight at the start. Bath does not stage any Group races but its main fixture is an evening meeting at the start of July and the course mainly races in the summer.
Beverley - An egg-shaped right-handed course of 1 mile 3 furlongs with a straight run-in of two and a half furlongs. The track stages 17 meetings between April and September with no major races but good racing generally in a attractive location.
Brighton - A horse-shoe shaped course with easy turns and 1 mile 4 furlongs in length. The first 3 furlongs are slightly uphill. There is then a slight descent and rise to about 4 furlongs from home, when the ground falls more steeply. The straight run-in measures about 3 1/2 furlongs. The most famous race held at Brighton is the Brighton Mile Challenge Trophy Handicap in early August.
Carlisle - A right-handed pear-shaped course of about one and a half miles. The first half mile is on the fall then it is uphill until approaching the mile post. The 6 furlong course is nearly straight and the last furlong is level. High drawn horse have an advantage on both courses. The track is the home of the Carlisle Bell, a seven furlong handicap run in June.
Catterick - A left-handed oval of 1 mile and 180 yards almost flat; from the Catterick turn it is little short of half a mile and low numbers have an advantage. It is not one of the north’s most glamorous courses but there are 17 race days on the Flat from April to October.
Chepstow - Has a Mile Course that is quite straight with undulations. The left-handed Round Course is about 2 miles in circumference with undulations. All races run on this course join the straight mile 5 furlongs from the winning post. There is no draw advantage at Chepstow where the most important races are over obstacles but there are 16 Flat days from April to September.
Chester - A flat, circular course of 1 mile and 73 yards. The Chester Cup course is two miles and more than two furlongs. This is the most famous race at the track and takes during the May Meeting which also features trials for the upcoming Classics. Low drawn horses are favoured in most races.
Doncaster - A straight course of 1 mile. A mile course has been constructed to come into the Round Course at a tangent. The left-handed Round Course is about 1 mile seven and a half furlongs in circumference. All races beyond one mile are run on this part of the track. The St Leger is the most significant Flat race at Doncaster, run in September being the final Classic of the season and oldest Classic in the world.
Epsom Downs - Shaped like an elongated horseshoe. The Derby Course of one mile four furlongs rises about 150 feet over the first half mile; one third of a mile on top of the Hill is practically level and as the course turns left going downhill to Tattenham Corner. There is fall and sharp rise before the winning post. High numbers have a draw advantage in 5f and 6f events and low numbers in longer races. Epsom is known all around the world for staging the Derby the most prestigious Flat race in the sport around the world.
Ffos Las - One of only three racecourses in Wales, with Chepstow and Bangor and is the newest. The track is one mile four furlongs long and 60 metres wide. The course was opened in 2009 and the most notable race is a jumps event, the Welsh Champion Hurdle in February. There are six Flat race days, from July to September.
Goodwood - Features a straight six furlong course. Races over longer distances start on the loop and join the straight via the top bend, but other races join the straight via a lower bend. There is no draw advantage at the track. The course’s main meeting is five days of racing at the end of July known as Glorious Goodwood at which the most prestigious race is the Group 1 Sussex Stakes.
Hamilton - The course is shaped like a buttonhook. Starting on front of the stands it is one mile 5 furlongs round and right-handed. The 6 furlong course is perfectly straight and 5 furlong races are run on this part of the course where there is no draw advantage. The most notable race is the Glasgow Stakes run over one mile 3 furlongs in July.
Haydock Park - A left-handed oval course of about 1 mile and five furlongs in length. The six furlongs course is straight and nearly flat. Over the run-in of 4 furlongs there is a gradual rise up to the winning post. Horses drawn on the stands side have an advantage when the going is soft over sprint distances. The only Group 1 Flat race at the track is the Haydock Sprint Cup in September.
Leicester - An oval right-handed course of 1 mile 6 furlongs with a run-in of 5 furlongs. The highest quality race at the track is the King Richard 111 Stakes run over 7 furlongs in April.
Musselburgh - A right-handed oval flat track measuring one mile 2 furlongs. There is a draw advantage for low numbers over 5 furlongs when the stalls are on the stands side but high numbers are favoured in races over 7 furlongs and one mile. The Scottish Sprint Cup is the biggest race at the track.
Newbury - A left-handed oval track of about 1 mile 7 furlongs. There is a straight mile with slight undulations. The round course joins the straight about 5 furlongs from the finish. Newbury stages just one Group 1 race which is the Lockinge Stakes over one mile in May and 11 other races at Group level.
Newmarket - Boasts two courses known as the July Course and Rowley Mile. The July Course is just over 2 miles in length, the first mile being part of the Cesarewitch Course and the last the straight Bunbury Mile. All races up to 1 mile are run on the straight course. The Rowley Mile is a straight course of up to one mile 2 furlongs. Newmarket is the headquarters of Flat racing and stages the 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas Classic races at the start of the season.
Nottingham - A left-handed oval course of 1 mile 4 furlongs with easy turns. The course joins the straight course about four furlongs from home. The course is level high numbers have an advantage in sprint races. The most prestigious race is the Nottinghamshire Oaks run over 10 furlongs in June.
Pontefract - An undulating left-hand oval course of about two miles. The sprint course is part of the main course. The last 3 furlongs rise towards the winning post and low numbers are favoured over 5 furlongs. The course stages four Listed races of which the Pipalong Stakes in August is the most important.
Redcar - Home to a perfectly flat oval track. The round course is left-handed and one mile 5 furlongs in length with a run-in of 5 furlongs. The mile course is straight and there is no draw advantage. The Zetland Gold Cup in May is the track’s highlight and is a handicap run over one mile 2 furlongs.
Ripon - An oval right-handed course. It is generally flat with a slight dip one furlong out. The distance is one mile 5 furlongs and there is a run-in of 5 furlongs. The 6 furlongs course is straight and there is no draw advantage. The Great Wilfrid Stakes is the main race at the track, a 6 furlongs handicap run in August.
Salisbury - A flat and straight mile course except for an incline over the first furlong over which sprint races are run. The course is one mile 6 furlongs in length and low numbers have an advantage in sprint races. The course stages two Group 3 races in September and these are the most important at the track.
Sandown Park - A flat oval course over one mile 5 furlongs. The run-in is 4 furlongs and the main track is separate from the 5 furlong track that runs in the centre of the rest of the course. The biggest race of the season is the Eclipse Stakes over one mile 2 furlongs. High numbers have an advantage in sprints when the stalls are on the stands side.
Thirsk - A round course that is oval and runs to the right. The distance is 2 mile 2 furlongs and the run-in is 4 furlongs. There is also a straight, slightly undulating 6 furlong track. The main notable race is the Thirsk Hunt Cup over one mile in May.
Windsor - A flat course of one mile 2 furlongs in a figure-of-eight shape and a six furlongs straight course. High numbers are favoured in most races due to the configuration of the track. The course stages popular Monday evening meetings in the summer and its two main races are the August Stakes and Winter Hill Stakes in August.
Yarmouth - A fairly straight mile course as well as a left-handed oblong track over one mile 5 furlongs. There is no draw advantage on a course where the most prestigious race is the John Musker Fillies’ Stakes run over 10 furlongs in September.
York - A flat and wide left-handed course of 2 miles with two bends and a run-in over four and a half furlongs. Races over 5 and 6 furlongs are run on a straight course and the circuit is now round after an extension in 2005 when Royal Ascot was staged at the track. The most lucrative meeting is the Ebor Meeting in August when the International is the most important race.
Jumps Racecourses in the United Kingdom
There are 39 Jumps courses in Great Britain of which 11 are dual purpose in that they also stage Flat racing. The mixed courses are indicated in italics below but course features only refer to the jumps tracks at each venue. Kempton, Lingfield, Newcastle and Southwell also have all-weather tracks.
Aintree - Two left-handed courses. The Grand National course is a triangular circuit of nearly 2 and a quarter miles with a run-in of 494 yards. Inside this is the Mildmay Course which is just a bit less than one and three quarter miles in length. Aintree is known as the home of the Grand National, the most famous steeplechase in the world.
Ascot - A triangular right-handed track, just under one mile and three quarters in length. The Chase course has eight plain fences and two open ditches per circuit. The Hurdle course has seven flights or hurdles per circuit. The course is of galloping nature with easy turns. The Ladbroke Handicap Hurdle in December is a major race in the calendar.
Ayr - A left-handed oval course of 1 mile 3 furlongs with a run-in of 210 yards. The course is the venue for the Scottish Grand National in April, usually run the week after the English version.
Bangor-on-Dee - A left-handed triangular flat course about 1 mile 4 furlongs in circumference with a 1 furlong run-in. Bangor is a small track with no major races but is the only course in Britain that does not have a grandstand.
Cartmel - Comprises of a course of just over 1 mile with an additional finishing straight which bisects the course, creating two public enclosures in the centre. The course generally races on Bank Holidays and attracts large family crowds. The August meeting features the Cartmel Cup hurdle race and Cavendish Cup chase.
Catterick - A left-handed oval circuit of 1 and a quarter miles that is undulating with sharp turns and a run-in of 280 yards. The feature race at the course is the North Yorkshire Grand National in January. There is a chance an all-weather circuit could be added.
Cheltenham - Consists of two courses: Old and New. They are both left-handed ovals of about one and a half miles. There are chutes for races over 2 ½ and 4 miles. The courses undulate, with an uphill finish run-in from the last fence of 237 yards. The cross country course is located in the centre and finishes up the straight. The Cheltenham Festival in March brings together the best horses in championship races over hurdles, fences and the cross-country course and in a bumper.
Chepstow - A left-handed oval circuit of 1 mile 7 furlongs which is undulating with a 5 furlong home straight. Chepstow is the home of the Welsh National that takes place in December.
Doncaster - Comprises a left-handed pear-shaped circuit of 2 miles and is a fine galloping course with a 247 yards run-in. The Great Yorkshire Chase is the feature jumps race at the track and is run in January.
Exeter - A two mile undulating oval course with a half mile home straight and an uphill run-in of 250 yards. All fences are jumped on the level or uphill and stamina is placed at a premium at all times. The Haldon Gold Cup in November is the highlight of the season.
Fakenham - An almost square left-handed course of about 1 mile in circumference with a run-in of 220 yards. The course stages modest racing over 14 days of racing from October to March.
Ffos Las - A 1 mile 4 furlongs and 60-yard wide level oval course. The most important race at the track is the Welsh Champion Hurdle that is staged in October.
Fontwell - Cosists of a hurdle course that is undulating and a left-handed oval of about 1 mile. The Chase course is a figure of eight with a slight bend on the run-in. That National Spirit Hurdle in February has been used as a prep-race for the Champion Hurdle by several horse.
Haydock Park - A left-handed oval circuit of 1 mile 5 furlongs. The Betfair Chase in November is the third most important conditions chase of the season after the King George and Cheltenham Gold Cup but Haydock also stages a trial for the Grand National.
Hereford - Reopened in 2016 after closing four years earlier. The course is almost square in shape with a circuit of about 12 furlongs. There are no standout races at the track which is also a point-to-point venue.
Hexham - A left-handed undulating circuit of 1 and a half miles. A stiff uphill climb to the final fences makes for a testing course. The principal race at the track is the Heart Of England Hunter Chase.
Huntingdon - Comprises a completely flat oval circuit of about 1 and a half miles withy a run-in of about 200 yards. The Peterborough Chase in December attracts some of the leading chasers each season.
Kelso - A left-handed oval of about 1 ¼ for hurdles and one furlong more for chases. The track stages decent hurdle races in February and March.
Kempton - Comprises a right-handed triangular shaped circuit of about 1 mile 5 furlongs. The King George V1 Chase on Boxing Day is the biggest jumps race of the season art the track and the Christmas Hurdle is a major trial for the Champion Hurdle.
Leicester - Rectangular in shape and right-handed. The course is undulating with a run-in of 5 furlongs. The course stages no major races of note but races for 11 days from November to March.
Lingfield - Consists of a left-handed triangular circuit of 1 and a half miles with a rub-in of 200 yards. The bottom bend of the chase course is sharp and tight. The course has no major jumps fixtures but is the home of the All-Weather Championships on Good Friday.
Ludlow - A right-handed oval circuit of about 1 and a half miles with a separate undulating Hurdles course while the Chase course is flat. Minor roads cross the course and there is a golf course in the middle and there no significant races held there.
Market Rasen - A right-handed undulating course of 1 mile 2 furlongs. The going can vary due to different soil types in the home and back straights. The main races at the track are the Summer Hurdle and Summer Plate Handicap Chase.
Musselburgh - Right-handed oval circuit of 1 mile 3 furlongs, no water jump and a run-in of 150 yards from the last fence to the winning post. The course main races are run on the Flat and there are 10 jumps meetings from November to March. The Hennessey Gold Cup in November is one the main handicap chases in the calendar.
Newbury - Consists of a left-handed oval track of 1 ¾ miles with fair fences and a home straight of 5 furlongs and run-in of 255 yards. The Hennessey Gold Cup in November is one the main handicap chases in the calendar.
Newcastle - A track with a left-handed oval course of 1 mile 6 furlongs with a gradual uphill finish of 3 furlongs and run-in of 240 yards. The Fighting Fifth Hurdle is a recognised trial for the Champion Hurdle.
Newton Abbot - A flat left-handed oval course of 1 and a quarter miles and a very short run-in. The Lord Mildmay Memorial Handicap Chase is the major race of the season.
Perth - A course of 1 and a quarter miles in length. It is right-handed with sweeping turns and a flat running surface and long run-in. Without staging any major races the track offers decent prize money for the level on 16 race days mainly in the summer months.
Plumpton - Made up of a left-handed oval track with a Chase course on the inside of the Hurdles course. The track is about 9 furlongs in length with a downhill run-in. The Sussex National is the highlight of the season.
Sandown Park - Testing right-handed course of 1 mile 5 furlongs with an uphill finish. There are seven fences along the back straight with a water jump in the middle of the line and the run-in is 220 yards. The Gold Cup (formerly Whitbread) is the biggest race of the jumps season at the track.
Southwell - Fairly tight level oval of less than 10 furlongs. There are seven portable fences which are stiff ones for a minor track and difficult brush-type hurdles. The course is mainly used for all-weather racing over the winter but fits in 21 jumps days throughout the year.
Stratford - Triangular left-handed course of about 10 furlongs and a run-in of 200 yards. The climax of the Hunter Chase season takes place in May at the track with several key races.
Taunton - Right-handed oval course of 10 furlongs and the run-in is 200 yards. The course is the youngest National Hunt venue in England and presents modest racing from November to April.
Towcester - An undulating right-handed circuit of about 1 ¾ miles with a distinct climb over the last 6 furlongs and a run-in of 200 yards. There is a greyhound track in the middle of the course and in the past there has been free entry. Racing takes place over 10 days from November to May.
Uttoxeter - Comprises a left-handed oval undulating circuit of just over 1 mile and a quarter with a run-in of about 170 yards. The fences are on the inside and the hurdles are on the outside of the track. The course stages the Midlands Grand National on the day after the Cheltenham Festival.
Warwick - A left-handed oval course of one mile and a quarter with only two fences in the home straight. The run-in is 250 yards on a track that no longer stages Flat racing. The Kingmaker Novices Chase in February is a key race in that discipline.
Wetherby - A left-handed circuit of about 12 furlongs with a slight rise to the finish and a run-in of 190 yards. The Charlie Chase in November is often the starting point for Cheltenham Gold Cup class horses.
Wincanton - Consists of a rectangular right-handed track of about 10 furlongs with a run-in of 200 yards. The Kingwell Hurdle in February attracts horses just below championship class in the division.
Worcester - A left-handed oval of about 1 mile 5 furlongs with a finishing straight of 4 furlongs and run-in of 220 yards. It is a track with average racing and nothing outstanding over 20 race days mainly in the summer.
All-Weather Racecourses in the United Kingdom
All-Weather racing was first held in Britain at Lingfield Park in 1989. Newcastle is the latest addition and Catterick has shown interest in building an AW track. The Winter Derby and All-Weather Championships have added quality to racing that serves its purpose of providing regular meetings during the colder months. There are currently six AW tracks in Britain which are listed below:
Chelmsford City - Newly opened floodlit course on the site of Great Leighs with a turf track under development. The racing is generally moderate but provides opportunities for trainers and jockeys at the lower level who might not have the chance to race over the winter without this track.
Kempton - A flat course on the outer loop of the jumps course. It is 10 furlongs in length and runs right-handed. There are two Group 3 races on the all-weather surface in September and other decent races in March and April.
Lingfield - 7 furlongs straight course and the round course joins tat track at the 4 furlongs mark. Low numbers have an advantage in sprints. The course is the regular venue for the All-Weather Championships on Good Friday and stages the Winter Derby in March.
Newcastle - Staged all-weather racing for the first time in April 2006. All floodlit races are staged on a straight course between five furlongs and one mile but there is no lit AW round course. The Northumberland Flat is the historic race formerly run on turf which has become an all-weather race.
Southwell - Has an all-weather track around the outside of the Flat course. There is a 5 furlong straight course with no draw advantage but low numbers are favoured over long races on the round course. The surface makes racing a good stamina test so attracts decent horses at times but there are no standout races.
Wolverhampton - A left-handed oval track of nearly 1 mile with sharp bends and a narrow straight. The Lincoln Trial Stakes and Lady Wulfruna are the track highlights.
Racecourses in Ireland
There are 24 racecourse in the Republic of Ireland and two (Downpatrick and Down Royal) in Northern Ireland.
The courses are in the following categories:
Track characteristics have been taken from Courses For Horses: A Guide to Irish Racecourse at www.goracing.ie
Ballinrobe - An elevated right-handed oval course of about one mile and one furlong. The course stages Flat and National Hunt racing from May to September, mainly in the evening with no standout races.
Bellewstown - Features a track that is left-handed and nine furlongs in length. There are only two meetings each year, over three days in July and two days in August.
Clonmel - A course that runs right-handed and is undulating with a stiff uphill finish at the end of a 10 furlongs track. The main races are a novice hurdle in February and two graded chases at the November meeting.
Cork - Has a right-handed track that is flat and oval and one mile four furlongs in length with a six furlongs straight track. The Munster Oaks in June is a Group 3 Flat race while the course stages graded hurdles and chases in November and December.
The Curragh - A right-handed undulating horseshoe-shaped course two miles in length with an adjoining chute feeding into the home straight which stages races up to a mile. The course is the home of many major Flat races including the Irish Derby in June.
Down Royal - A right-handed undulating course of one mile seven furlongs in length with an uphill finish, in Northern Ireland. The Ulster Derby takes place at the track in June and the Grade 1 JNwine.com Champion Chase is the winter feature in November.
Downpatrick - Right-handed and undulating over one mile and two furlongs with an uphill finish and is one of the two tracks north of the border. The most important race of the year is the Ulster National over three miles and four furlongs.
Dundalk - A left handed all-weather track of 10 furlongs on polytrack with a five furlong chute. The Group 3 Diamond Stakes is the most notable race at the track, run in October on the all-weather course.
Fairyhouse - Right-handed, relatively flat and is one mile and six furlongs in length. The course is the home of the Irish Grand National which is traditionally run on Easter Monday and attracts a huge crowd.
Galway - Right-handed course of one miles and two furlongs with a steep incline up to the finish. The Galway Festival at the end of July and start of August is a huge gambling and social occasion and the feature races are the Galway Plate and Galway Hurdle.
Gowran Park - A right-handed undulating track of one mile and four furlongs in length. The Thyestes Chase in January attracts horses from the top level of the sport and the Red Mills Chase in February is an important Cheltenham trial.
Kilbeggan - Right-handed undulating course of one mile and one furlong with an uphill run to the winning post. The course is one of just four solely jumps tracks in Ireland and the racing is more about a social occasion than top level action.
Killarney - A left-handed level track of about 10 furlongs. The racing is centred around three festivals, in May, July and August on the Flat and over jumps.
Laytown - Races take place just once a year in September on a straight near-level course on sand over six and seven furlongs. The racing is ordinary but unique as the only meeting run on a beach under the Rules of Racing.
Leopardstown - Left-handed oval course of one mile and six furlongs with an uphill finishing straight. The course stages many Group Flat races and graded races over jumps but the Christmas National Hunt meeting is by far the biggest of the season.
Limerick - A right-handed oval track of about one mile and three furlongs. The course is the venue for graded races over hurdles and fences between October and March but also features Flat racing in the summer.
Listowel - Flat left-handed track of just over one mile in length. The Kerry National is the most valuable race at the track, carrying a prize fund of €160,000.
Naas - Left-handed undulating circuit of one mile and four furlongs in length with a stiff uphill climb to the winning post. The course stages nine graded jumps races and one Group 3 race on the Flat in May.
Punchestown - Right-handed undulating track that also features a banks cross-country course with a one mile six furlongs hurdle circuit and chase course of two furlongs more. The Punchestown Festival at the end of April is Ireland’s version of Cheltenham and features championship races for hurdlers, chasers and bumper horses and several races over banks.
Roscommon - Right-handed course of one mile and two furlongs with a marked incline to the winning post. The Kilbegnet Novice Chase in September is the only graded race over jumps at the track.
Sligo - A right-handed course of one mile in length with a steady incline from halfway to the finishing post. Racing takes place in both codes over eight days throughout the year.
Thurles - Undulating right-handed oval course of 10 furlongs with an uphill climb to the winning post. This jumps only venue stages the Grade 2 Kinloch Brae Chase in January and two other major chases and a graded hurdle in February.
Tipperary - Flat, left-handed track of one and two furlongs in length with a chute for races over five furlongs. The Fairy Bridge Stakes in August and Concorde Stakes in October are the only Group Flat races at the course and the Grade 2 Tipperary Hurdle also in October is the most notable National Hunt race.
Tramore - A right-handed course with undulations and one mile in length and an uphill finish. The course’s major festival takes place in August over four days and including races in both codes.
Wexford - Gently undulating right-handed course of one and two furlongs. At the start of June 2016 Flat racing ended at the track so it now focuses purely on National Hunt racing.
Major International Racecourses
Here is a selection of some of the major racecourses from around the world. These tracks have been selected on the basis of staging important international races and meetings and all these events take place on the Flat. National Hunt racing is mainly centred around Britain and Ireland so the courses listed below are all Flat race tracks.
Belmont Park (United States) has a dirt track of one mile four furlongs in a left-handed oval and a turf track that is slightly shorter in length. The track stages several prestigious races but is most famous for the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the American Triple Crown, which also includes the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. The race is run over one mile four furlong early in June.
Chantilly (France) has a main right-handed turf course of 12 furlongs in length plus a round course that can be adapted for different race distances. During the first week of June the French Derby, known as the Prix du Jockey Club, is held at Chantilly and the course stepped in to host the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe when Longchamp was being redeveloped in 2016 and possibly 2017.
Churchill Downs (United States) is the home of the Kentucky Derby which the US version of the Epsom Derby. The course has also hosted the Breeders Cup eight times, most recently in 20-11 and again in 2018. The main track is a dirt left-handed oval of one mile in length and there is also a turf track that is one furlong shorter.
Deauville (France) is a right handed turf race track in the main horse racing breeding area of France that stages five Group 1 Flat races during the spring and summer. The round course is one mile in length and the straight course is used for sprint races.
Flemington (Australia) is the course on which the “race that stops a nation” takes place on grass, the Melbourne Cup in early November. The track is left-handed of just less than one and a half miles and there is a straight six furlong course used for sprints. The dirt track and grass tracks also hosts many of Australia’s other top races.
Keeneland (United States) is the venue for 11 Grade 1 Flat races and includes the world’s largest thoroughbred auction house with three sales each year. The course has a left-handed dirt oval of one mile and one half furlong and a grass track in the same direction of just less than one mile.
Longchamp (France) usually stages the most prestigious race in Europe, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, run over 12 furlongs in October on a right-handed grass circuit. The race was relocated to Chantilly in 2016 while the facilities were being upgraded. The complex has several tracks varying in length from five furlongs to over two miles and has 46 different starting positions.
Meydan (United Arab Emirates) stages the Dubai World Cup on the last Saturday of March and a racing festival that includes major trials for that occasion. Dubai World Cup night features a huge prize fund for contests over a variety of distances. The surface is dirt and the track runs in a left-handed direction and is about 10 furlongs in length.
Pimlico(United States) is most famous for holding the Preakness Stakes, which is the second leg of the American Triple Crown. The track has a one dirt oval and a seven furlong grass oval track which are both left-handed. In addition to the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes Pimlico also stages 3 Grade 2 and six Grade 3 Flat races.
Santa Anita (United States) has staged more Breeders Cup meetings than any other track and is the venue for the 2016 occasion. The venue has a left-handed dirt track of one mile and turf course of seven furlongs plus 132 feet. The course stages 20 Grade 1 Flat races during the regular season, plus races at the top level that form part of the Breeders’ Cup.
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