Longchamp Racecourse

Longchamp Racecourse  Longchamp Racecourse or, in French, Hippodrome de Longchamp, is set in 57 hectares on the outskirts of the French capital, Paris, between the Bois de Boulogne and the River Seine. Horse racing first took place at Longchamp in 1857, but nowadays the racecourse with the prestigious Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, run over 2,400 metres (just over a mile and a half) on the first Sunday in October each year. In total, Longchamp Racecourse stages 29 Flat fixtures between April and October, which include no fewer than 16 Group 1 races.

 

Course Characteristics

Longchamp Racecourse is famous for its variety of interlaced courses, ranging in length from 1,000 metres (approximately five furlongs) to 2,750 metres (approximately a mile and threequarters). The 2,400 metre course is characterised by a hill, which climbs to a height of 30 metres, or nearly 100 feet, alongside the Bois De Boulogne and the so-called false straight, fully 800 metres (approximately half a mile) from the winning post. With the exception of the straight 1,000 metre course, on which the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp is run, all the courses at Longchamp are right-handed.

 

Track Facts

The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe was first run in 1920 to celebrate the Allied victory in World War I.

The last horse to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe twice was Alleged, trained by Vincent O’Brien and ridden by Lester Piggott, in 1978.

Frankie Dettori, winner of the British Flat Jockeys’ Championship in 1994, 1995 and 2004, was handed a six-month by the France Galop, the French racing authority, after testing positive for cocaine while riding at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe trials meeting at Longchamp in September 2012.

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Kranji Racecourse

Kranji Racecourse  Kranji Racecourse is situated approximately 14 miles from the centre of Singapore City and has the distinction of being the only racecourse in Singapore. The racecourse was officially opened on March 4, 2000 by the President of the Republic of Singapore and the inaugural running of the Singapore Airlines International Cup, still by far the most valuable race run at Kranji Racecourse, took place on the same day. In total, Kranji Racecourse plays host to 95 racedays throughout the year.

Course Characteristics

Kranji Racecourse consists of three left-handed, concentric oval tracks, the ‘Long Course’ and the ‘Short Course’ on turf and, since 2008, a synthetic, all-weather track inside the turf courses. As the name suggests, the Long Course is the longest of the three, with a circumference of a mile and a quarter and a home straight nearly three furlongs long. The Short Course is a furlong shorter in circumference and has a home straight just over two furlongs long, favouring agile, handy types. All three courses present a fair test, although over sprint distances horses drawn on the inside have a distinct advantage.

Track Facts

The Singapore Turf Club, formerly the Singapore Sporting Club, was founded in 1842.

Kranji is named after an indigenous leguminous species of tree, known as Keranji, or Kranji.

Ouzo, in 2000, is the only locally trained winner in the history of the Singapore Airlines International Cup. 

The 2003 running of the Singapore Airlines International Cup was cancelled due to an epidemic of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus in Asia.

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Flemington Racecourse

Flemington Racecourse  Flemington Racecourse is set in 125 hectares to the north of the Melbourne central business district, on the banks of the Maribyrnong River. It has the distinction of being the oldest continually operating metropolitan racecourse in Australia, having staged its first meeting in 1840 and is also the best-known, thanks to its association with the most famous two mile handicap in the world, the Melbourne Cup. Aside from the four-day Spring Carnival in November, of which the Melbourne Cup is the highlight, Flemington Racecourse plays hosts to 19 Flat fixtures throughout the year.

 

Course Characteristics

The round course at Flemington is a right-handed pear shape, 2,132 metres, or approximately a mile and a furlong, around, with a home straight of 450 metres, or a little over a quarter of a mile. The course drains well, so the going tends to be firmer than other courses in the Melbourne area, but Flemington is considered a very fair, with winners finishing down the centre of the course as well as against both rails. Flemington is also famous for its straight 1200-metre course, known as the ‘Straight Six’, which joins the round course at the top of the home straight. From the 3,200-metre, Melbourne Cup start, runners travel 900 metres, or approximately half a mile, in a straight line before encountering their first bend.

 

Track Facts

The Melbourne Cup, known as “the race that stops a nation”, is held on the first Tuesday in November each year; since 1877, Melbourne Cup Day has been a public holiday in Melbourne.

Phar Lap, arguably the most famous Australian racehorse in history, won on all four days of the Spring Carnival in 1930, including the Melbourne Cup.

Makybe Diva (2003, 2004 and 2005) is the only horse to have won the Melbourne Cup three times.

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Deauville Racecourse

Deauville Racecourse  Deauville Racecourse, or ‘Hippodrome de Deauville La Touques’ to give it its full French title, is set in 75 acres in the heart of the seaside resort of Deauville in Normandy, northwestern France. The racecourse was built by the Duke de Morny, a half-brother of Napoleon III, in 1864 and, today, stages 36 Flat fixtures between March and December. Deauville is best known for four Group 1 races, the Prix Maurice de Gheest, the Prix Jacques le Marois, the Prix Morny and the Grand Prix de Deauville, which are run throughout August and collectively constitute the ‘Prix de Deauville’.

 

Course Characteristics

Deauville Racecourse consists of two turf tracks, covering a total of 15 hectares. The round course is a right-handed oval, eleven furlongs in circumference, while the straight mile course joins the round course at the top of the home straight. There is also a synthetic, Fibresand course, a little over ten furlongs in circumference, which allows Deauville to race during the winter.

 

Track Facts

Deauville lies in the middle of the main horse breeding region in France, with 75 stud farms in the vicinity of the racecourse.

In August and October each year, renowned yearling sales are held at Deauville.

In August 2013, Moonlight Cloud won the Prix Maurice de Gheest and the Prix Jacques le Marois within the space of seven days to earn a place in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita Park for the second year running.

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Clairwood Racecourse

Clairwood Racecourse  Clairwood Racecourse, known as the “Garden Course”, is set in 77 hectares of reclaimed marshland in the South Durban Basin, in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The course originally opened in 1921, but was redeveloped by the Natal Racecourse Development Fund in 1982 and subsequently acquired by Gold Circle in 1999. However, Clairwood Racecourse was bought in 2012 by Capital Property Fund, which subsequently leased it back to Gold Circle for a period of two years.

 

Course Characteristics

The round course at Clairwood is a left-handed, flat, turf oval, just over a mile and a half in circumference, with a home straight of three furlongs. The six furlong straight course, on which horses drawn high have an advantage with cut in the ground, joins the round course at the top of the home straight.

 

Track Facts

In March 2013, the last three races at Clairwood were abandoned after punters protested about favourite, My Sanctuary, being declared a runner in the sixth race despite being hampered by a faulty starting gate.

The most valuable of the year at Clairwood is the Rising Sun Gold Challenge, run over 7 furlongs and 210 yards in June each year. In 2013, Variety Club, trained by Joey Ramsden, followed up his 2012 victory in the race.

In 2014, racing was transferred from Clairwood Racecourse to the newly renovated Greyville Racecourse, also owned by Gold Circle. The existing site was renamed Clairwood Logistics Park.

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