For sports fans, watching live motor and horse races is one of the most exhilarating activities of all. It is almost as exciting as playing Blackjack online, and if the track itself is visually stunning it’s even more of a treat. In no specific order, we’ve rounded up 10 of the most picturesque horse and motor racetracks in the world.
Ascot is often the first event that springs to mind when people think of horse racing, and it certainly is steeped in glamour and history. Popular with royals since the course was opened by Queen Anne in 1711, it is located just under 10 kilometres from Windsor Castle. A racing highlight on the 2.022-kilometre green is Royal Ascot, which is held over 5 days and attended by Queen Elizabeth II herself.
Mount Panorama, New South Wales
This Bathurst motorsport circuit is 6.213 kilometres long and sports no less than 23 turns. Best known for hosting the Bathurst 12 Hour and Bathurst 1000 events every February and October, it has the fastest touring car racing corner and vertical difference between its highest and lowest points of an incredible 174 metres.
Piazza Del Campo, Italy
The Piazza Del Campo is the prime public space in the Tuscan city of Siena, and has been host to the Palio di Siena horse race since medieval times. The first races were held using buffalo rather than horses, and riders still go around the central square three times to win the Palio. Two events are held each year, in July and August, and many jockeys consider this the world’s toughest race.
Lime Rock Park, USA
This natural-terrain road racing venue in Connecticut’s beautiful Lakeville Village has been hosting motorsport events since 1957 and is the third oldest continuously operating road racing arena in the United States. The track, which has a length of 2.41 kilometres and features 7 turns, was officially listed in the USA’s National Register of Historic Places.
Meydan, United Arab Emirates
The word that best describes Dubai’s Meydan Racecourse must be opulent. The horse circuit boasts a museum, restaurants, an infinity pool and the world’s first five-star track-side hotel. Up to 60.000 spectators can sit in the grandstand, which is over a mile long, and the dirt and turf tracks are 1.750 and 2.4 kilometres respectively. Home to the Grade 1 Dubai World Cup, Meydan is the jewel in the country’s racing crown and a definite contender for the top spot as one of the the world’s most beautiful courses.
Mont Tremblant, Canada
Nestled in scenic Quebec near Mont-Tremblant National Park, this 4.26-kilometre circuit is currently owned by Lawrence Stroll, the father of F1 rookie Lance Stroll. The fashion mogul has owned the track since 2000, and with so much glamour in one family, the course was bound to be a show-stopper when it was overhauled in 2004.
St Moritz, Switzerland
While you might not associate horse racing with the skiing, glitz and glamour that luxury alpine resort town St Moritz is known for, it’s time to forget everything you think you know. The White Turf Racing Association has been holding events at its eponymous racing grounds since 2007, and they’ve proven to be big tourist attractions. For many of the 35,000 annual spectators, the skijoring event – where skiers are pulled around the 2,7-kilometre track – is a special highlight.
Potrero de los Funes, Argentina
Just outside San Luis, San Luis Province’s capital city, this motorsport circuit was rebuilt in 2008 following its original construction in 1987. Numerous high-speed corners and sizable undulations create enjoyable challenges for any drivers tackling this 22-turn, 6.270-kilometre track. Pristine views of Lake Potrero de los Funes, around which it is built, are also a big drawcard for competitors.
The breath-taking views that motor racing circuit Spa-Francorchamps offers are just as impressive as its structure. Located in the town of Francorchamps within the boundaries of the Stavelot municipality, the course has also featured in the Tour de France cycling race several times.
Flemington Racecourse, Australia
Located in Victoria’s capital city, Melbourne, the Flemington Racecourse is home to the renowned Melbourne Cup. The richest handicap and richest 3,2-kilometre horse sprint in the world is not the only event held at Flemington, but it is certainly the most notable. The Melbourne Cup has become a fashion and cultural extravaganza, and has even been declared an official public holiday in Victoria.