The world’s best race days

Kentucky Derby
Kentucky Derby is known for its kooky hats

So The Spark and I are wondering: what are the world’s best race days?

We have decided that we are going to go to one race day a year that we have never been to before. The problem is that we don’t know where to start.

Country, provincial or metropolitan races in Australia?

The Spark is a race buff and I like hats and bubbles. Should be easy, right?

The best race day I have ever been to was just a regular day at Royal Randwick in a private room in the old stand. My friends and I dressed up in our vintage best and booked the former media room, complete with phone booths for the journalists to call in stories and race results to the papers. The horses had nothing to do with how wonderful it was; the day was all about free flowing Champagne, catering and laughter.

The worst race day was, surprisingly, Derby Day at Flemington. I was invited to a marquee in The Bird Cage which was very swish. However, I didn’t know anyone, it was over 40C and I had a roaring hangover as it fell the day after my friend’s Halloween housewarming. Once again, the horses were not involved in my failure to enjoy the day but I did find the spectacle overwhelming.

The Spark loves The Golden Slipper at Rosehill Gardens but is partial to the smaller, weirder race meets as well.

Then there are the big international days like the Grand National at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England (, the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, United States. Are they worth checking out? Is it worth all the expense and fuss to get there?

What about big race meets in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong and Japan? Are they interesting to observe, from a horse and people-watching perspective?

Has anyone been to a really fun day? We’re clueless and poor so the closer to Sydney, the better. Care to share?




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