What does Chantilly have in common with Chaddesley Corbett? Or Champ de Mars with Cartmel? On the face of it, not much, other than they’re all racecourses of some sort or other. But there is another common thread. They all appeared in a recent Racing Post online feature in which its writers were asked to choose their favourite racing venues. Their choices ranged from Santa Anita to Pontefract, Ballinrobe to Newmarket’s July Course, Saratoga to Plumpton. Champ de Mars (Mauritius) and Melbourne’s Moonee Valley also made the list.
The Racing Post then invited readers to give their choices. Again, there was a wide range. British tracks included Cartmel, Chester and Fontwell, Irish readers plumped for Thurles, Galway and Killarney. Others went for New York’s Belmont Park, Neuss in Germany and, believe it or not, Nadaam, in Ulan Bator, Mongolia.
Choosing favourite racing venues
Rather like Desert Island Discs, where the subject is asked to choose eight pieces of music, a person’s choice of racecourse can vary with the mood. And what one person loves, someone else hates. Much depends on the person’s enjoyment of the day. A sunny day and a couple of winners will ensure they leave the track in high spirits. However, given a filthy wet day and six losers, they’re unlikely to leave with the same lofty opinion.
A good friend of mine has been to every course in Britain. He says he enjoys going racing no matter what the weather, even if he doesn’t back a winner. I admire him for that. He’s a true racing fan and I wish there were more like him.
This blogger’s favourite racing venues also vary according to the mood. If asked to name my top three in Britain right now, I’d put up Sandown Park, Ripon and York. But that could change tomorrow. All I know for certain is that, like most of us, I look forward to setting foot on one racecourse or another sooner rather than later.