Our readers have their say on which courses you have to visit around the world
Our two-part guide on which racecourses you should visit once we are free to travel again went down a storm, with lots of readers getting in touch with their own selections. So here are some more tracks to add to your must-visit lists.
Being a northern lad Cartmel is a favourite of mine. It is a totally unique course in beautiful surroundings and is an absolute delight to visit. A genuine fun-for-all-the-family racecourse. There are pass-out cards provided so you can visit the local pubs cafes and shops in the village, all within a short walk of the racecourse. On the course itself there are many gazebos, picnics and BBQs, plus the real-ale tent along with artisan gin-and-tonic stalls make it a real summer treat.
My vote goes to Fontwell Park. The racecourse that the great Fred Winter described as the nearest he could get to feeling he was still riding when standing in the infield. Shaped like a figure of eight, you only need to walk thirty yards to cross from one fence to the next during racing and to experience the buzz of the horses flying over the birch right in front of your eyes. It is also set in a glorious wooded area of countryside, ideal for a picnic. The management organise a variety of social meetings including best-dressed ladies and evenings with live music.
I would encourage anybody visiting the Alsace region in France to attend a meeting at Wissembourg on the France-Germany border. Fantastic little course with a nice friendly atmosphere. Only three meetings take place each year and they run in May/June.
Thurles. That last weekend of televised racing on ITV introduced me to this little gem.
Cartmel is the most unusual (but pretty) in Britain. It’s like being in someone’s back garden.
Over the years I have visited Germany many, many times. From the mid 1980's onwards, after my father passed away, my Mum joined me on these trips. We enjoyed all our big-race adventures; the Cheltenham Festival, the York Ebor meeting, the Arc at Longchamp and the Jockey Club Cup (Breeders Cup' Trials day) at Belmont Park.
However, small tracks are our favourite, where the majority of the crowd are local and many seemed acquainted with each other. The first track was Neuss (over the Rhine from Dusseldorf) particularly on Christmas Eve and Hogmanay. The homely and welcoming atmosphere if you managed to share a table in the cafe/restaurant was heartwarming.
The second was the trotting track in Munich, Daglfing. Again, the welcoming atmosphere was brilliant, however, added to this was the food on offer at the buffet. It was simply the finest grub at the best value I have ever eaten at a racecourse. Two further points from our visits to each of these tracks; the bookies are not missed and free to minimal price entrance a bonus for the elderly.
Well I was trying to do them all in this calendar year. Going to be hard now. Nine down at the shutdown. Most looking forward to Fontwell when I crack on again.
York, for the Ebor meeting (and to explore the surroundings). Chester, which looks to be somewhere where it's easy to follow the action, like my local track Galway.
Ludlow. Never been. Always wanted to!
I enjoyed my two trips to San Sebastian, as much for the stunning coastal city in the Basque country as the racecourse itself (lots of Michelin-starred restaurants too). That said, the racecourse is pretty good.
Deauville-Clairefontaine in Tourgeville near Deauville is perfect for a bit of jump racing before going on to its more famous neighbour St Moritz – racing on the snow on a frozen lake in February. Catch the train from Zurich to St Moritz and ride part of the glacial railway.
Belmont Park on Long Island in New York – go for the final leg of the Triple Crown. It’s like a European course in the US. Finally, for the really adventurous, go racing just outside of Ulan Baatar, Mongolia, at Nadaam in early July – racing unlike any other in the world.
Whilst York and Newmarket have been my local tracks growing up and for 20+ years of my working life, having just moved to Cumbria, I'm very much looking forward to visiting Cartmel.
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