Discover the Thrills of Champs de Mars Racecourse

Category: About Mauritius

A trip back in time: Champs de Mars was inaugurated in 1812, making it the oldest racecourse in the southern hemisphere and the second oldest in the world. It was established by Sir Robert Townsend Farquhar, the then British Governor of Mauritius, who wanted to promote a sense of unity among the island's inhabitants. The name "Champs de Mars" was inspired by the famous public park in Paris, France.

A picturesque setting: The racecourse is situated at the foot of Signal Mountain, providing a breathtaking backdrop for the races. The track itself is a right-handed turf course, stretching for about 1,300 metres with a width of 12 to 14 metres. Champs de Mars can accommodate around 30,000 spectators in its various stands, which include the Crown Lodge, the Duchess Stand, and the Guineas Bookmakers Ring.

Horse racing season and key events: The horse racing season in Mauritius usually runs from late March or early April until early December. Champs de Mars hosts around 35 to 40 race meetings each season, held mostly on Saturdays. Some of the most prestigious races include:

  1. The Maiden Cup: This is the most anticipated race of the season, held in September. It's a 2,400-metre race with a rich history dating back to 1843.
  2. The Duke of York Cup: Another prestigious race, it is held annually in honour of the Duke of York.
  3. The Barbe Cup: Named after the legendary Mauritian racehorse, Le Cerf Barbe, this race is a true testament to the equestrian spirit of the island.

A social and cultural melting pot: Champs de Mars racecourse is much more than just a sporting venue. It's a place where people from all walks of life, both locals and tourists, come together to enjoy a day of horse racing, socialising, and entertainment. The festive atmosphere, the vibrant colours of jockeys' silks, and the thrilling races make it a unique experience for everyone. In fact, many Mauritians consider a day at the races an essential part of their social calendar.

The Mauritius Turf Club: The racecourse is managed by the Mauritius Turf Club (MTC), which is the oldest horse racing club in the southern hemisphere. The MTC is responsible for organising the racing calendar, ensuring the welfare of horses and jockeys, and maintaining the highest standards of the sport. They have been doing an excellent job in promoting horse racing as a popular and well-regulated sport in Mauritius.

Visiting the Champs de Mars Racecourse: If you're planning to visit the racecourse, there are a few things you should know. Admission fees vary depending on which stand you choose. It's also important to adhere to the dress code, which is smart casual for most stands. You can easily access the racecourse by public transportation or a taxi from Port Louis.

In conclusion, the Champs de Mars racecourse is a must-visit destination for anyone travelling to Mauritius. It offers a unique blend of history, culture, and excitement that is truly unforgettable. Whether you're a horse racing enthusiast or just looking for a fun day out, this iconic venue is sure to leave you with lasting memories.

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2023-03-24 06:01:17

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