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Final Furlong Racing

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Final Furlong Racing Summary


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Horse Racing

The descendants of the nomadic Magyars are keen on horse racing. Kincsem Park (Map p77 433 0522 X Albertirsai lit 2 (M) M2 Pillango utca) is the place to go for both iigeto (trotting) and galopp (flat racing). Schedules can change, but in general three trotting meetings of 10 to 11 races take place weekly, usually 3pm on Saturday and Sunday, and 4pm or 5pm on Wednesday. Flat racing usually takes place from 2pm on Thursday and Sunday between May and early November.

Horses Dogs Bulls Goats

Horse racing with pari-mutuel betting can be found at Sunland Park Race Track in El Paso ( 505 589-1131, where the season runs from October through May, and at Val Verde Downs, at the County Fairgrounds on 14th Street in Del Rio (call the Del Rio Chamber of Commerce at 830 775-3551 for current information about its 9-month season In Nuevo Laredo, across the river from Laredo, off-track betting on live transmissions of horse and greyhound races is available at the Nuevo Laredo Turf Club, 1 block left from the international bridge, at Bravo and Ocampo streets ( 956 726-0549

Architecture Kalgoorlieboulder Style

As a young town, Kaigooriie quickly reached fabled heights of prosperity. Its magnificent, enormous public buildings, erected at the turn of the 19th century, are evidence of its fabulous wealth. For a town better known for its love of beer, skimpies and horse racing, it boasts a fine collection of architectural styles. Nowhere is this better demonstrated than along Hannan St. You can expect to see curious blends of Victorian gold-boom, Edwardian, Moorish and Art-Nouveau styles, which have melded to produce a bizarre mix of ornate fa ades, colonnaded footpaths, recessed verandas, stuccoed walls and general overstatement.

Cheltenham Racecourse

Cheltenham is more famous in some circles for its horse racing than its architecture, and the town's racecourse can attract up to 40,000 punters a day during an event simply known as 'The Festival'. Held in mid-March each year, this is England's premier steeplechase event and is attended by droves of breeders, trainers, riders and race enthusiasts. To experience what all the fuss is about you'll need to buy your tickets ( 226226 well in advance.

Waterfront Hotel Casino

If highrolling s your thing, then Casino Filipino ( 232 6888 1 Salinas Dr) at the Waterfront Hotel is for you. If not, the place is still worth a look if only for the mechanical horse-racing machine, the fake night sky of the main gaming room, and the spellbinding ceiling mural in the foyer -a 50m-by-30m recreation of explorer Ferdinand Magellan s world map. For more details, see p236.

Festivals of interest to tourists

Bulls, horses, song and wine - these are the essential components of the festivals of the Costa de la Luz. The province of Cadiz offers three festivals that are classified as of International Tourist Interest. These are the Carnival of Cadiz, the Horse Fair of Jerez (10 to 17 May) and the Horse Racing on the beach at Sanlucar de Barrameda (month of August). Classified as of

Horse Greyhound Racing

Traditionally the poor-man's punt, greyhound racing (the dogs), has been smartened up in recent years and partly turned into a corporate outing. It offers a cheaper, more accessible and more local alternative to horse racing. The action all happens at the following venues

County Kildare Irelands Horse Country

A TV quiz show host once asked a Kildare man if he knew who wrote Gone With the Wind. No, but I can tell you who trained him, came the reply. Old jokes aside, Kildare is synonymous with horse racing. It's home of the Curragh (pronounced Ker-ah), the racetrack where the Irish Derby is held in late June, and smaller tracks at Naas and Punchestown. County Kildare is also the heartland of Ireland's flourishing bloodstock industry and the National Stud. In this panorama of open grasslands and limestone-enriched soil, you'll find many of Ireland's 300 stud farms.

Royal Caribbean Fleet Itineraries

ACTIVITIES On the activity front, Royal Caribbean offers plenty of the standard cruise-line fare (craft classes, horse racing, bingo, shuffleboard, deck games, line-dancing lessons, wine-and-cheese tastings, cooking demonstrations, and art auctions), but if you want to take it easy and watch the world go by or scan for wildlife, no one will bother you or cajole you into joining an activity. Port lectures are offered on topics such as Alaska wildlife, history, and culture. The ships also offer an extensive fitness program called ShipShape.

Exploring Saratoga Springs

Saratoga is a delight to explore on foot, whether through its plentiful parks and gardens or its historic streets that are graced with fine examples of late-19th and early-20th-century architecture. But exploring Saratoga also means doing what visitors have come to this resort town to do for many decades see a horse race at the internationally renowned Saratoga Race Course walk or ski in Saratoga State Spa Park and take advantage of some of the best summer cultural life any city has to offer. Saratoga Springs may be at its most enjoyable in summer, but the shoulder seasons reveal a pleasant, slower pace.

Especially For Kids

Saratoga Springs is a nice and relaxed place for families, with plenty of parks and a handful of sights that should entertain children of all ages. Most kids would love to attend a thoroughbred horse race at the Saratoga Springs Race Course, one of the most famous and beautiful tracks in the world. There are great features for kids at the track, including free walking tours of the stable area, a tram ride, and starting gate demonstration. An interactive exhibit, the Discovery Paddock, teaches children how horses and jockeys prepare for races, and kids can even ride the Equipony and dress up like a jockey, weigh in on a scale, and hammer a shoe on a mock-horse hoof. Open every racing day from 8am to 9am in season.

The Palio Delle Contrade

No other festival in Italy is as colorful, as intense, or as spectacular as Siena's Palio . Twice a year, Siena packs the Piazza del Campo with dirt and runs a no-holds-barred bareback horse race around it, the highlight of a full week of Ten contrade are chosen by lot each year to ride in the July 2 Palio (established in 1659). The other seven, plus three of the July riders, run the even bigger Palio on August 16 (which dates from 1310). Although both races are technically equal in importance, the August Palio gets the most attention, partly because it's older but mainly because it's a sort of rematch, the last chance to win for the year. Actually, chance really is what wins the Palio Your opportunity to ride, the horse you're given, and the order you're lined up on the track are each chosen by separate lots even your jockey is a wild card. He's always imported tradition-ally a Maremma horseman, but many come these days from Sardegna and Sicily as well and you'll never know how well...

Find shopping outdoor excitement and the Wright stuff

For sporting excitement attend a horse race at Arlington International Racecourse or gamble the night away on a picturesque riverboat embarking from Aurora, Elgin, or Joliet. For golf, more than 200 courses in and around Chicago challenge the player at every level. Visit Lemont's Cog Hill, Aurora's Orchard Valley, and Long Grove's Kemper Lakes Golf Club. Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet is a state-of-the-art motor sports facility hosting NASCAR and Indy Racing League events.

Ruidoso the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation

A mountain resort town named for its site on a noisy stream and is most famous for the nearby Ruidoso Downs racetrack, where the world's richest quarter-horse race is run for a 2.5 million purse. The surrounding Lincoln National Forest attracts outdoor lovers, hikers, horseback riders, fishers, and hunters. Southern New Mexico's most important ski resort, Ski Apache, is just out of town. The nearby Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation includes the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino. Not far away, the historic village of Lincoln recalls the Wild West days of Billy the Kid. Unless you like the bustle of a busy resort town, in the summer I suggest staying in Lincoln rather than Ruidoso. During the busiest months, the town seems to live up to its Spanish name which translates as noisy.

Moments The Worlds Greatest Beer Fest

Munich's most famous event is the Oktoberfest (, held from mid-September to the first Sunday in October. The celebration began in 1810 to honor Ludwig I's marriage, when the main event was a horse race in a field called the Thereisenwiese. Everyone had so much fun the celebration was held again the following year, and then again and again. Today the Oktoberfest is among the largest fairs in the world. Every year the festivities get under way with a parade on the first Oktoberfest Sunday, with almost 7,000 participants marching through the streets in folk costumes. Most activities, however, are at the Theresienwiese, where huge beer tents sponsored by local breweries dispense both beer and merriment, complete with Bavarian bands and singing. Each tent holds up to 6,000, which gives you some idea of how rowdy things can get. During the 16-day period, an estimated 6 million visitors guzzle more than a million gallons of beer and eat 700,000 broiled chickens In...

The Great Pardubice Steeplechase

Renowned as the world's toughest horse-race after the Grand National at Aintree, the Velka Pardubicka (Great Pardubice Steeplechase) was established in 1874 by Count Octavian Kinsky. Equine tradition flows deep in the Kinsky family's veins, beginning in 1723 when the Bohemian cavalry commissioned the aristocratic family to breed horses from the athletic herds running wild on their estates since the 15th century. In 1883, just nine years after the first running of the Velka Pardubicka, another Kinsky (Count Karel) won the Grand National with a Czech-bred horse. The Velka Pardubicka was suspended during WWII, and the 1946 return of the race drew a record 60,000 spectators. Auspiciously the 100th race in 1990 was the first running of the race since the end of communism. Each year in early October, huge crowds gather to watch the 6900m race that is a torrid event for both jockeys and horses. It's not uncommon for horses to be destroyed after breaking a leg, and each year animal rights...

The Language the costume and the fairs

Procession then follows, reaching the bastion of the Castle and then heading back to the church. In the afternoon, along the streets of town lit by oil lamps, a procession accompanied by polymorphic chants takes place. These chants also accompany the return, in the evening, to the church of Santa Maria of Tergu. In Alghero, the first celebration takes place at the Dawn of the Holy Friday the women (les dames), dressed in black, escort the simulacrum of the Virgin, Mater dolorosa, in mourning robes. In the afternoon, the mourning liturgy is celebrated in the Cathedral, where in the evening the ceremony of the desclavament, of a dramatic nature of typical Catalan origin, takes place. Here, four barons, dressed in Oriental garments, take off the Christ from the Cross and lay Him down into the bressol, a coffin in baroque style decorated in pure gold. Late in the evening, the Christ is carried along the streets of town, accompanied by the ancient choruses of the tenores singing in...

Holidays Public Holidays

The following is a list of the main national public holidays. Each state and territory also has its own public holidays, such as bank holidays and Labour Day, and (this being Australia) major horse races. For precise dates check locally. New Year's Day 1 January Australia Day 26 January

Events for a thousand

The local culture is alive in the traditional festivals and events which animate villages and towns. There are both religious and lay traditions, stemming from long long ago and perpetuated by young and old people ready to welcome guest tourists in the public squares. On the coast and in the valleys, in town and villages, each month of the year is an opportunity to evoke the past the history of medieval castles and their dwellers marquees and damsels the revolutionary and inflamed times of Napoleonic battles the peasant propitiatory rites of pagan origin the Christian calendar festivals, with huge bonfires and parades, when the precious wooden cases of the Confraternities, full of silver objects and tradition, are brought through the streets. There are also horse-races and sailing-races, an opportunity for supporting the different districts of each villages fighting for victory the carnival is celebrated with masks and parades the towns streets are covered with flowers, the old Fiat...

Top Celebrations In Central Asia

Navrus (p450), the region's biggest festival, with celebrations ranging from wild games of buz-kashi (a polo-like game played with a goat's carcass) outside Dushanbe, to lame funfairs. Summer horseback wrestling and other nomadic games organised by CBT on the jailoos (summer pastures) of Song-Kol (p318) and Sarala-Saz (p318), or Sunday horse races (March to May) in Ashgabat's hippodrome (p415).

Sights Activities

More curious are the island's natural phenomena, including the 24 cuddie (ancient craters of red volcanic rock) surrounding the main volcano, Monte Grande (836m), which dominates the centre of the island. At the summit is the Stufa del Bagno di Arturo, a steaming natural sauna, and the milky white SpecchiodiVenere (Mirror of Venus), where the bodies beautiful (most famously a pregnant Madonna) come to wallow in the volcanic mud the Stufa del Bagno di Arturo can get extremely hot, so beware. Another of these milky turquoise lakes, much bigger in size and more accessible, is the Bagno deN'Aqua (Lago di Venere), which can be viewed from the ancient village of Bugeber. In August horse races are held around the lake.

Growing Up Barbudan

There are not many bad things about Barbuda, although when you're a teenager it can be a bit boring and feel isolated. There are not many things for 16- to 20-year-olds to do other than the odd party and horse races. Hurricanes are a threat to the island, particularly during August and September and there are often long periods of drought. However, this only makes you appreciate things that are abundant elsewhere.

China Calendar Of Events

This biggest festival of the Bai people had its origins over a thousand years ago when Buddhist monks and adherents gathered to celebrate the appearance of Guanyin (the Goddess of Mercy) to the Bai. Today's festival has become more secular as the Bai and other minorities from elsewhere in Yunnan gather in the foothills of the Green Mountains (Cang Shan) for 5 days and nights of singing, dancing, wrestling, horse racing, and large-scale trading. Ask CITS for more information on the precise dates (& 0872 219-1985). Fifteenth day of the third lunar month (usually mid-Apr or early May). Cheung Chau Bun Festival, Hong Kong. This weeklong affair on Cheung Chau island is thought to appease restless ghosts and spirits. Originally held to placate the unfortunate souls of those murdered by pirates, it features a street parade of lions and dragons and Chinese opera, as well as floats with children seemingly suspended in the air, held up by cleverly concealed wires. The end of the festival...

Hong Kong Tourist Board Hktb Specialinterest Tours

The Land Between Tour and the Come Horse Racing Tour make life easier because they leave the driving to HKTB. You can book these tours through HKTB Visitor Information and Services Centres or by calling one of the HKTB booking hot lines below. You can also find info on these tours on HKTB's website, COME HORSE RACING TOUR Yet another HKTB-sponsored tour, this one allows visitors to experience the excitement of the races, at either Happy Valley or Sha Tin, an excitement that grows proportionally according to how much you bet. Tours are only scheduled during the horse-racing season September to mid-June usually on Wednesday evenings and on Saturday and or Sunday afternoons. Two types of tours are available The Classic Tour, costing HK 490 (US 64), includes a pre-race Western-style buffet lunch or dinner, personal entry badge to the luxurious Visitors' Box in the Hong Kong Jockey Club's Members' Enclosure, transportation, guide services, and even hints...

Hohhot After Dark

Saima Chang Menggu Da Hui Gdng A performance stage and over a hundred ger (or yurts) have been erected on the large open field next to Hohhot's horse-racing track. They comprise one big restaurant specializing in Mongolian fare from noodles to an entire barbecued goat. Even if you're not interested in eating, the time to come is between 6 30 and 9pm, when Mongolian folk musicians and dancers perform on the outdoor stage free of charge. On hot summer nights, Mongolians and Han alike bring their families for an inexpensive evening out. The combination of ger, outdoor music, and a crowd lend a county-fair atmosphere. Saima Chang (Hohhot's horse-racing track). No credit cards. Restaurant 9am-2 30pm and 5-10pm. Performance 6 30-9pm. Performance canceled in snow or heavy rain. Bus no. 13 north along HQlunbeier Lu to the racetrack.

Spectator Sports

If you're here anytime from September to mid-June, join the rest of Hong Kong at the horse races. Horse racing started in Happy Valley more than 150 years ago, when British settlers introduced the sport, making the Happy Valley track the oldest racecourse in Asia outside China. There is also a newer, modern track in Sha Tin (the New Territories), which can accommodate 90,000 spectators. Without a doubt, horse racing is by far the most popular sporting event in Hong Kong. It's not, perhaps, the sport itself that draws so much enthusiasm, but rather the fact that, aside from the local lottery, racing is the only legal form of gambling in Hong Kong. The Chinese love to gamble, and there are more than 100 off-course betting centers throughout Hong Kong. Winnings are tax-free.

Festivals Events

( is an annual event held in early October which showcases the diversity of Sotho culture through dance, music and theatre, and includes horse racing and moraba-raba (the African equivalent of chess) competitions. The festival began in 1999 as a means of reuniting the people of Lesotho after the turmoil created by the 1998 political upheaval, and to revive aspects of culture and boost tourism.


Kalgoorlie-Boulder Racing Round The 'round' sees lots of betting and boozing during this week of horse racing. Perth Wildflower Festival ( In late September to early October, Kings Park and the Botanic Garden host displays, workshops and guided walks in this annual event celebrating WA's unigue and spectacular wildflowers.


Bengaluru's winter horse-racing season runs from November to February, and its summer season is from May to July. Races are generally held on Friday and Saturday afternoons. Contact the Bangalore Turf Club (Map p883 22262391 Racecourse Rd) for details.


Sports lovers flock to Lightning Casino on Airport Road to place bets on boxing, baseball, soccer, hockey, football, basketball and horse racing shown on giant closed circuit TVs. Pelican Casino at the Pelican Resort in Simpson Bay offers slots, roulette, craps and blackjack and Golden Casino at Great Bay Beach Hotel features gaming tables and slots.


If you like to stay busy, activities during days at sea are fairly standardized across the fleet, and may include one of the fascinating enrichment lectures often offered by experts on topics such as personal investing, handwriting analysis, and body language. There are also the tried-and-true wine tastings, horse racing, bingo, art auctions, trivia games, arts and crafts, spa and salon demonstrations, and line-dancing lessons. During days at sea, a live pop band plays a couple of sets on the Pool Deck.


As the epicenter for Virginia's hunt country, Middleburg holds a rather exclusive status. It serves the scions of industry and sport - particularly horse racing - who reside in neo-plantation estates out in the surrounding countryside. In this world of polo matches and wine tastings, Middleburg is where they dine and shop. As such, amenities are of high quality and priced accordingly. Mercedes and Jaguars line the streets in front of art galleries and equestrian-themed boutiques.

Saratoga Springs

A historic and stately town that saw its fortunes rise with the explosion of casino and thoroughbred racing tourism in the mid- to late 19th century, Saratoga has bounced back from postwar malaise and is again becoming a hot resort spot in upstate New York. Saratoga hits high stride with the advent of 6 weeks of horse racing at one of the world's prettiest tracks, public parks in full bloom, and an enviable offering of culture, both the New York City Ballet and Philadelphia Orchestra in summer residence. Horse-mad, cigar-smoking track bettors mingle with urban sophisticates in designer outfits at outdoor cocktail parties, while families hit the trails in Saratoga State Spa Park and soak up classical music concerts and outdoor picnics. Saratoga today is indistinguishable from horse racing and its attendant galas, but its historic importance is well established. Nearby is the site of the most famous battle of the Revolutionary War, the 1777 Battle of Saratoga,...

Happy Valley

Horse racing, worth more than US 1 billion annually, remains the most popular form of gambling in Hong Kong and it is one of the quintessential things to do while you're in town. The punters pack into the stands and trackside, and the atmosphere is electric. The first horse races were held in 1846 at Happy Valley and became an annual event. Now meetings are held both here and at the newer and larger (but less atmospheric) Sha Tin Racecourse (pi25) in the New Territories. For details on placing bets, see p230. If you know nothing about horse racing but would like to attend, consider joining the Come Horseracing Tour available through Gray Line or Splendid Tours & Travel (p298) during the racing season. The tour includes admission to the Visitors' Box of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Members' Enclosures and buffet lunch. Tours scheduled at night last about 5V2 hours, while daytime tours are about seven hours long.

Jai Alai

Note Live games are played late October to mid-March. The fronton also has simulcast wagering, which means you can bet on jai alai and other pari-mutuels such as greyhound and horse racing telecast from other locations. Kids 39 inches and taller are welcome, though we don't recommend you bring a child younger than age 6 the minimum betting age is 18. Admission is 1, reserved seats are 2 to 3, restaurant seating is 3 with a 7 minimum order, and box seats are 5. Parking is free valet parking is 2. It's open year-round Wednesday to Sunday. Call for the evening and matinee schedule. From the Walt Disney World area, take I-4 east to Exit 90A, Maitland Blvd. Hwy. 414, turn right at U.S. 17 92, and look for the fronton 2 miles along on your right. It's about a 40-minute drive.

Nawab Abdul Ghani

Politically astute, Ghani participated in both Hindu and Muslim festivals, and both groups admired him. He also introduced professional horse racing to Dhaka. When he returned from a voyage to Calcutta by steamer, flags were flown along the river, a band played lively tunes and guns were fired.

Hyde Park

At 145 hectares, Hyde Park (Map pp120-1 S 5.30am-midnight) is central London's largest open space. Henry VIII expropriated it from the Church in 1536, when it became a hunting ground and later a venue for duels, executions and horse racing. The 1851 Great Exhibition was held here and during WWII the park became an enormous potato field. These days it serves as an occasional concert venue and a full-time green space for fun and frolics. There's boating

The Miao

Miao festivals such as the Miao New Year, the Sisters' Meal Festival (Zimeifan Jie), and the Lusheng Festival (dates vary by village) are occasions for young men and women to socialize and find marriage partners. The events are marked by dancing, the playing of lusheng (a musical instrument made of pipes), buffalo fighting, cockfighting, and horse racing. If at all possible, time your visit during one of these occasions. The Miao are generally very hospitable and will greet visitors with cups of locally brewed rice wine, the ultimate sign of respect from some of the hardiest drinkers around.

More Places to Stay

Reflecting its past as a prime resort town, Saratoga Springs has a surfeit of hotels, motels, and inns for a small town (many more are located within 10 miles). In prime horse-racing and culture season, July and August, even though prices rise (nearly doubling at some spots), places can really fill up. Try one of the following hotels and inns, or contact the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce (28 Clinton St. & 518 584-3255 for a list of available accommodations. Longfellows Inn & Restaurant (500 Union Ave., Rte. 9P South & 518 587-0108 112 units 95- 295 double), owned by the same folks who operate the Olde Bryan Inn restaurant, is a large, modern place a few miles east of downtown it occupies a converted 1915 dairy barn.


Once famous for its lake, in the oldest volcano of the Phlegrean Fields, Agnano got its name from the latin anauni , snakes legend had it that they descended in large numbers to the lake to quench their thirst. The lake was drained in 1870 (in its place nowadays there is a horse racing track). From the dried lake bed emerged archaeological proof of a huge roman thermal baths complex remains of a natural sauna (that used the natural heat released from the sides of the Mount Spina) and of a thermal establishment. In the same basin are the Stufe di San Germano, thus named by a bishop of Capua that enjoyed its benefits in the 6th century. They were used by the local people during the entire middle ages up to the present day. Not far from the present day entrance to the thermal establishment is La Grotta del Cane (the Dog's Grotto), a niche carved into the hill where carbonic acid vapours are emitted this heavy gas rises only a short distance from the ground, thus killing the animals that...

Spectator Sport

The single-biggest sporting event among elite Emiratis is horse-racing. The Nad Al-Sheba racetrack had temporarily closed for renovations as of this writing so that the track and clubhouse could be rebuilt to put the Dubai World Cup on par with the Royal Ascot and Kentucky Derby. By the time you read this, there should be a glittering, brand-spanking-new facility. If you score tickets to the Dubai World Cup, you may even glimpse Sheikh Mohammed himself, with a rare big grin on his face.

The Shui

The Shui Duan New Year Festival is held at the end of the year according to the Shui calendar, around the 10th lunar month. Festivities are held in Shui pan, Dujiang (lipil) and other villages, and feature fish banquets, drumming and horse racing. The Shui are famous for their bronze drums, many of which were melted down for scrap during the Great Leap Forward.

Exploring Dubai

Dubai is a paradise for outdoors and sports enthusiasts, particularly for beach activities, golf, and tennis. All of the major beach resorts offer water sports activities, and there are also a number of excellent parks where you can walk, jog, rollerblade, or go for a bicycle ride. Camel and horse racing are important aspects of Dubai's heritage, and the emirate today hosts championship races as well as international golf and tennis tournaments. A desert safari is one of the most fun activities you can do outside the city, complete with dune bashing in a 4WD, camel riding, delicious dining under the stars, and Arabian entertainment. Those who have more time may want to consider an overnight camping adventure in the desert to get a more in-depth perspective of Arabic life outside the booming Dubai metropolis.

The Top Sites

National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Across the road from the famous Saratoga Race Course, this midsized museum pays tribute to three centuries of thoroughbred racing in the U.S. Trophies, memorabilia, artworks, and film tell the story of the sport that grips the attention of so many in Saratoga during summer race season. The Hall of Fame celebrates the greatest names, both jockeys and horses, in the sport's history. Uniforms and artifacts are on display, and interactive screens allow visitors to relive great moments in racing. The museum is mostly for true fans, though even those without much interest in horse racing can pick up some interesting tidbits. For example, did you know that the average racehorse weighs 1,000 pounds And whereas a Ferrari can go from zero to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds, a racehorse can accelerate to 42 mph in just 2.5 seconds. The museum is unlikely to detain you for more than 45 minutes.


A passionate love of Arabian thoroughbreds courses through the blood of Emiratis, and the Dubai-based Godolphin ( stables are well known to horse-racing enthusiasts worldwide. Though racing season officially starts in November, the Dubai International Racing Carnival (late January through March) is when things really heat up. But it's not the white-linen set that packs these weekly races. It's the not-so-civilised drunk expats in shorts and T-shirts - at least in the public areas. For access to the stands, you must wear a 'lounge suit', basically a jacket and trousers. The season culminates in the Dubai World Cup (, the world's richest horse race, with prize money of a dizzying US 6 million and a total purse for the event of over US 20 million. If you attend, dress to the nines. the year. Even if you don't like horse-racing, attending a race presents great people-watching opportunities.

Minority Festivals

The lusheng ( M) is a reed instrument that ranges in length from 1 m to 7m. Lusheng competitions are common and various acrobatic styles are performed to the music, such as 'Earthworm Crossing the Mountain'. Activities include playing the lusheng (of course), traditional dancing, beating bronze drums, bullfighting and horse racing. Most dances are little more than slow monotonous shuffles, which people join one by one over the course of an hour or more. Antiphonal singing (echoing duets) is also popular.

An Immigrant Tale

Horse Racing & Greyhound Racing A passion for horse racing is deeply entrenched in Irish life and comes without the snobbery of its English counterpart. If you fancy a flutter on the gee-gees you can watch racing from around Ireland and England on the TV in bookmakers shops every day. No money ever seems to change hands in the betting, however, and every Irish punter will tell you they 'broke even'. Traditionally the poor-man's punt, greyhound racing ('the dogs'), has been smartened up in recent years and pardy turned into a corporate outing. It offers a cheaper, more accessible and more local alternative to horse racing. There are 20 tracks across the country, administered by the Irish Greyhound Board ( 061-316 788 104 Henry St, Limerick).

Calendar Of Events

This 15-million event is the world's richest horse race, with 6 million going to the Group One Dubai World Cup race alone. It takes place at Nad Al Sheba and marks the finale of the Dubai Racing Carnival, a 9-week festival of top-class racing Horse Racing. The racing season starts in November and culminates in late March with the Dubai World Cup. Races take place at Nad Al Sheeba Racing Club and Jebel Ali Racecourse, usually on Thursdays and Fridays at

Habsburg Rule

Szechenyi was instrumental in straightening the serpentine Tisza River, which rescued half of Hungary's arable land from flooding and erosion, and his work made the Danube navigable as far as the Iron Gates in Romania. He arranged the financing for Hungary's first train lines from Budapest north and east to Vac and Szolnok and west to Becsu (now Wiener Neustadt in Austria) and launched the first steam transport on the Danube and Lake Balaton. A lover of all things English, Szechenyi got the upper classes interested in horse racing with the express purpose of improving breeding stock for farming. A large financial contribution made by Szechenyi led to the establishment of the nation's prestigious Academy of Science.

S Spectator Sports

Each March, the Safeway International LPGA Tournament (& 877 983-3300 or 602 495-4653, held at the Superstition Mountain Golf & Country Club, 3976 S. Ponderosa Dr., lures nearly 100 of the top women golfers from around the world. Daily tickets are 20 weekly tickets are 50. HORSE GREYHOUND RACING Turf Paradise, 1501 W. Bell Rd. (& 602 942-1101, is Phoenix's horse-racing track. The season runs from October to late May. Admission ranges from 2 to 5.

The Best of Dubai

In Dubai, just about everything is meant to be the biggest and the best. And it's no joke Here you'll find the world's tallest building, the largest man-made islands, the richest horse race, the biggest shopping festival, and soon the most extensive entertainment complex, the most massive mall, and the biggest hotel. Best Sports Event Dubai World Cup. The world's richest horse race, at the end of March, is the culmination of a 9-week horse-racing festival and brings in celebrities and jet-setters from around the globe. See p. 107.

May September

The event rotates between the towns and is usually held in June. II Palio On 2 July and 16 August, Siena stages its extraordinary bareback horse race (see p490). Mostra del Cinema di Venezia (Venice International Film Festival) The International film glitterati disembark at Venice Lido for the annual filmiest (see p468).


It all started as an elaborate wedding toast - and turned into the world's biggest collective drink-up. In October 1810 the future king, Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig I, married Princess Therese, and the newlyweds threw an enormous party at the city gates, complete with a horse race. The next year Ludwig's fun-loving subjects came back for more. The festival was extended and, to fend off autumn, was moved forward to September. As the years drew on the racehorses were dropped and sometimes the party had to be cancelled, but the institution called Oktoberfest was here to stay.

Festive Nepal

Ghodejatra (March-April) Known as the festival of horses, it is one of the most exciting festivals of Kathmandu. Horse race and other sports take place at Tundikhel on this day. In other parts of the city, various deities are carried shoulder-high on palanquin (khat) to the accompaniment of traditional music.

Sports Books

Most of the larger hotels in Las Vegas have sports-book operations, which look a lot like commodities-futures trading boards. In some, almost as large as theaters, you can sit comfortably, occasionally in recliners and sometimes with your own video screen, and watch ball games, fights, and, at some casinos, horse races on huge TV screens. To add to your enjoyment, there's usually a deli bar nearby that serves sandwiches, hot dogs, soft drinks, and beer. As a matter of fact, some of the best sandwiches in Las Vegas are served next to the sports books. Sports books take bets on virtually every sport (and not just who'll win, but what the final score will be, who'll be first to hit a home run, who'll be MVP, who'll wear red shoes, you name it). They are best during important playoff games or big horse races, when everyone in the place is watching the same event shrieking, shouting, and moaning, sometimes in unison. Joining in with a cheap bet (so you feel like you, too, have a personal...

Entertainment Sports

Horse races are held at the Garrison Savannah on Saturday afternoons throughout the year, except April and September. Barbados Turf Club ( 426-3980 offers seats in the grandstand starting at B 20, but for no charge you can also watch the races from benches under the trees around the outside of the track - you can also place a bet at booths on the south or west side.


Predominantly Muslim, Foumban is a great contrast to the rest of southwestern Cameroon. If you're heading north, this is the first place you'll hear the call to prayer. Home to the Bamoun people, it's also a great centre for Cameroonian handicrafts. Tabaski (see p818) is a great time to be in Foumban, when horse races and parades mark the end of Ramadan.

Villa Borghese Park

Just steps from Piazza del Popolo, extending north beyond the city walls, is one of Rome's most beautiful parks. It formerly belonged to the aristocratic Borghese family, who donated it to the city. Famous for the Borghese Gallery (see listing earlier in this chapter), it is beloved by Romans, who come here to enjoy the greenery on weekends, especially in summer, when the beautiful Roman pines offer relief from the heat. Inside the park you'll find several attractions, including Piazza di Siena, a picturesque oval track surrounded by tall pines, used for horse races and particularly for the Concorso Ippico Internazionale di Roma (Rome's official international show-jumping competition), held in May (see Chapter 3). Overlooking Piazza di Siena is Raphael's Pavillion (Casino di Raffaello), housing a children's museum with playrooms (free of charge) and activities (3 3.90 by reservation only at the number below) for visitors ages three to ten ( 06-82059127

Tuvan Culture

Colourful khuresh is a form of Tuvan wrestling similar to Japanese sumo but without the ring, the formality or the huge bellies. Multiple heats run simultaneously, each judged by a pair of referees, flamboyandy dressed in national costume. They'll occasionally slap the posteriors of fighters who seem not to be making sufficient effort. Tuvans also love Mongolian-style long-distance horse races but are most widely famed for their khoomei throat-singers. Khoomei is both a general term and the name of a specific style in which low and whisding tones, all from a single throat, somehow harmonise with one another. The troll-like karg)'raa style sounds like singing through a prolonged burp. Syg)'t is reminiscent of a wine glass being rung by a wet finger quaindy odd if you hear a recording but truly astonishing when you hear it coming out of a human mouth. Accompanying instruments often include a jew's-harp, a bowed two-stringed igil or a three-stringed doshpular (Tuvan banjo).


The best places to run on Hong Kong Island include Harlech and Lugard Rds on the Peak, Bowen Rd above Wan Chai, the track in Victoria Park and the Happy Valley racecourse (as long as there aren't any horse races on it ). In Kowloon a popular place to run is the Tsim Sha Tsui East Promenade. Lamma makes an ideal place for trail runners with plenty of paths and dirt trails, great views and best of all, no cars.

Horses Donkeys

The Palio (& 0141-399-482), Asti's annual horse race, is run the third Sunday of September. Like the similar but more famous horse race that the Tuscan city of Siena mounts, Asti's Palio begins with a medieval pageant through the town and ends with a wild bareback ride around the Campo del Palio. The race coincides with Asti's other great revel, the Douja d'Or (, a weeklong fair-cum-bacchanal celebrating the grape.


Cesta punta is very big in America, especially Miami, but not many Americans play it. The reason is that it was mostly played in the Basque province of Biscaye and then in Cuba. Many of the 'high society' colonials came to Cuba from Biscaye it was introduced as a form of gambling. Hemingway used to gamble a lot on pelota in Cuba. When Fidel came to Cuba, he closed the gambling, and it was brought to Miami by the people who could leave, the upper class. That's why it's mostly played by imported immigrant workers It's like horse racing the players being like jockeys . When I played there I helped organise the players, like a union, for better conditions. But here in the Basque Country it's all about the sport.

Greek Inventions

The first recorded games were staged on the plains of Olympia in 776 BC. Dedicated to Zeus, they lasted one day and featured running and wrestling. In 472 BC - with the addition of boxing, the pancratlon (another form of hand-to-hand combat), horse racing and the pentathlon (sprinting, long-jump, javelin, discus and wrestling) - the event was extended to five days and held every four years.


The annual Morija Arts & Cultural Festival (www is organised by the museum. This popular, annual event is held in early October and showcases the diversity of Sotho culture through dance, music and theatre, and includes horse racing and moraba-raba (similar to chess) competitions. The festival began in 1999 as a means of reuniting the people of Lesotho after the turmoil created by the 1998 political upheaval, and to revive aspects of culture and boost tourism.

Sport and Activities

Cork City and County offer numerous sporting attractions. The county is famous for its golf courses, and its fishing deep sea, coarse and game angling. There are several dive centres in the county, ocean-going yachts can be chartered, with or without skipper, and dinghies and surfboards can also be hired by the day or the hour. More and more people are taking to the sea year-round in wetsuits. Wetsuits, surf boards and kayaks can be hired at various centres. There are several Blue Flag Beaches throughout the County. There are many indoor leisure centres. Spectator sports include Gaelic games - hurling and football, both fast exciting sports, as well as soccer and rugby. Horse riding and pony trekking and many other equestrian events including point to point fixtures etc are held throughout the County Cork Racecourse near Mallow has several fixtures year round, and has been fully renovated to the highest standards. While most people are familiar with horse racing, not everyone has been...

Calvacade A Sassari

Asti Palio-San Secondo - 16 September 2007. A 700-year old ceremony with procession in 13th-century costume. Flag Throwing Palio, third Sunday in September. Ancient festival with 800 costumed participants historic procession and horse race. Siena The Palio, on 2 July and 16 August The magnificent Piazza del Campo in Siena is still used today for the world famous Palio horse race.

Watching Sport

Hungarians love attending sporting matches as well as watching them on TV. The most popular spectator sports are football and water polo, though horse racing and motor racing also have their fans. Horse Racing The descendants of the nomadic Magyars are keen on horse racing. Kincsem Park (Map p216 I 433 0522 X Albertirsai ut 2 (M1M2 Pillango utca), which was recently renovated, is the place to go for both ugeto (trotting) and galopp (flat racing). Schedules can change but in general three trotting meetings of 10 to 11 races take place each week, usually at 3pm on Saturday and Sunday and at 4pm or 5pm on Wednesday year-round. Flat racing usually takes place from 2pm on Thursday and Sunday between May and early November.

Kapio Lan I Park

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On June 11, 1877, King Kamehameha Day, then-King David Kalakaua donated some 140 acres of land to the people of Hawaii for Hawaii's first park. He asked that the park be named after his beloved wife, Queen Kapiolani, and he celebrated the opening of this vast grassy area with a free concert and high stakes horse races (the king loved gambling) on the new horse-racing oval he had built below Diamond Head. The horse races, and the gambling that accompanied it, were eventually outlawed, but the park and the free concerts live on. Just a coconut's throw from the high-rise concrete jungle of Waikiki lies this 133-acre grassy park (the Paki playground and a fire station make up the remaining acreage) dotted with spreading banyans, huge monkeypod trees, blooming royal poincianas, and swaying ironwoods. Throughout the open spaces are jogging paths, tennis courts, soccer and cricket fields, and even an archery range. People come to the park to listen to music, watch ethnic dancing, exercise,...

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