With the Melbourne Cup just around the corner, Australia is getting ready for a thrilling sprint into the core of racing season. But while we love the excitement of the race, for many of us it's over too soon. Who wants to wait a whole year for another Cup to roll around? If you're searching for your next fix of thrill on the turf - and want a holiday to boot - here's where to look.
England has a history of horse racing dating all the way back to the soldiers of the Roman Empire, who were thought to have organised a horse race in about 200 AD, and if you want to experience some of that same history, there's no better venue than the Ascot Racecourse. The Royal Ascot race is held in June each year and as well as the Queen and most of the Royal family, you'll find England's elite social class, celebrities, and thousands of punters enjoying a flutter on a week of racing that offers more than five million pounds in prize money to the winners.
If the Royal races get you in the mood, why not go monarchist mad in England and visit Buckingham Palace and Kensington Gardens. The Changing of the Guard is a unique display you can watch while you're there too - not one to miss.
The Kentucky Derby is widely known as the The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sport in the US, and for good reason. Next May, the winner of the 142nd running of the Derby will take home a guaranteed $2 million. Over the years, celebrities attending the event have included Kim Kardashian, Stacy Keibler, P Diddy, and Jessica Simpson.
And there's more to the local area than just horses if you're into your sports. Fans should take some time out to see the Muhammad Ali Centre, which offers interactive boxing exhibits, and the Louisville Slugger Museum, for lovers of all things baseball.
Head East and you'll find one of the United States' oldest and most challenging races. The Belmont Stakes race is held in beautiful New York every June and is more accessible to the public than some other races, with limited reserve seating and tickets available for as little as $10.
Once the race ends you're close enough to the bright lights of the city, but Belmont Park actually resides on Long Island, which has its own range of tourist attractions - including world famous vineyards, beaches and one of the oldest lighthouses in the USA.
The Middle East
Though it doesn't have the tradition and history of some of its older counterparts, the Dubai World Cup - debuting in 1996 - has fast carved out a place in the world of horse racing.
With a purse of $10 million for the winner, it's one of the richest races in the world. It's also one of the most glamorous event in Dubai's social calendar. Last year, singer Kylie Minogue performed and celebrities Nancy Ajram and Abbey Clancy attended.
For anyone looking to feel glamorous themselves, Dubai is famous for its fantastic shopping. The Dubai Mall is home to more than one thousand stores, an Olympic-size ice rink, and a four-storey waterfall installation, while the Gold Souk is a traditional market with hundreds of stalls selling the precious metal.
Dubai also boasts incredible modern architecture - including man-made islands like the Palm Jumeirah - and a host of luxurious, beautiful hotels to relax in once the race is run.
Alongside the banks of the Seine sits the racecourse for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Europe's most prestigious horse race. Run in October and known locally as the Arc, the race was first run in 1920 and today attracts the elegantly dressed elite of Paris society.
Autumn in Europe is an ideal time to visit the city of love as it's filled with colour, not crowds. The gardens of the Palace of Versailles are a vibrant verdant while the Palais-Royal Gardens are fantastic to walk through. And if it gets a little chilly along the Champs-Élysées you can always pop into a French bistro for pain au chocolate and a glass of vin rouge.
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