Bob Hawke was nonplussed. He’d just gotten off a typically eloquent speech in front of a claque of media, and no-one had a question for him.
Horse racing is one of the world’s most watched sports, and there are race tracks across the globe which see the events taking place in all sort of conditions and temperatures.
People have watched horses race since the time of the Egyptian and Greek dynasties, from horse-drawn chariots to the modern sport we see today.
We have looked at some of the most unique and unusual race tracks across the world to bring you the ultimate list of the top six race tracks you should visit.
Dubai Meydan Racecourse
Dubai is world famous for glitz and glamour, and this is noticeable when you visit the Meydan race track.
Built on the grounds of an old race course, the Meydan was constructed in 2010 and boasts a mile-long grandstand capable of holding 80,000 spectators.
The course has the only track-side five-star hotel in the world along with a dedicated horse racing museum, nine-hole golf course and rooftop infinity pool where you can view the entire course.
The Dubai World Cup is currently the most valuable purse on offer with over US$35 million in prize money available. The race is held in late March.
The rules and regulations were written in England, and the country also has the oldest race track still in use today.
Cheltenham racecourse is situated in the south west of England in a natural amphitheatre, which has helped raise the noise levels of spectators. The Cheltenham roar is famous during the annual festival.
The Cheltenham Festival takes place in March, culminating in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
The course is undoubtedly the biggest race track in use and has a hurdle track, steeplechase and room for various other sports as needed.
Cheltenham is seen as the home of steeplechase and has a dedicated steeplechase museum for guests to visit.
The Melbourne Cup, held at Flemington racecourse, is known in Australia as “the race that stops a nation”.
The course was constructed in 1840 only five years after Melbourne was formed, and it offers flat, jumps and steeplechase races.
The track holds most of Australia’s big race events including Australia Cup, Newmarket Handicap, Emirates Stake and the Victoria Cup alongside the world-famous Melbourne Cup.
Many of Australia’s most significant race events happen in March or April. The course is located on the banks of the Maribyrnong River and can cater to more than 120,000 spectators for events.
The Alps mountain range in Switzerland may not be the first place you think of when looking at race tracks.
St Moritz is home to the White Turf horse racing track, which offers a unique experience for lovers of the sport.
When Lake St Moritz freezes, it is then turned into a racing track for various equestrian events.
The event is held every February offering standard horse racing and the amazing sport of Skijoring.
The meeting has been run from before the First World War and attracts the international upper class for champagne and schmoozing.
Happy Valley Racecourse
Nestled in the bustling city of Hong Kong is the Happy Valley Racecourse, which is a remnant of the British Empire.
The track was originally built to entertain the British ruling class in Hong Kong and has since captivated the locals who thrive on sports betting.
The venue has seen great tragedy in past years with building collapses and fires but is now seen as the premier race track in the city.
The track hosts day and night meetings and also has pitched for various other sports like soccer, rugby and field hockey.
Home to ‘the fastest two minutes in sport’, Churchill Downs in Louisville Kentucky hosts the Kentucky Derby among other races each year.
Turning up for the Kentucky Derby, you will be greeted by all the pomp and ceremony that can be expected for USA sporting events.
The venue has a dirt track where the Derby is run and a turf track inside for other meetings.
Along with the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, the Derby makes up the triple crown of thoroughbred racing in the USA.
The stands can hold more than 150,000 fans, and there is a millionaire’s row for celebrities and wealthy patrons along with activities throughout the Derby week.
There are some great race tracks across the world offering all types of races, and each one has their special quality.
Regardless of where you live, find your local track and have a great day out.