Price per adult: USD 218 Price per child (6 to 12 years): USD 135 No fees for children under 6 years
Horse Racing In Mauritius, Mauritius Overview
If you have a knack for horseracing or you want to experience it for the first time, then Mauritius wouldn’t disappoint you in this matter as well. The Champ de Mars horseracing arena is an exciting fusion of history, tradition and glamour. The racecourse is located in Port Louis and was inaugurated by the Mauritius Turf Club, which was founded by the first British governor in Mauritius – Sir Robert Townsend Farquhar - back in 1812. The club is reputed as the oldest horse-racing club in the entire southern hemisphere along with being the second oldest in the world.
The racetrack of the Champ de Mars is an oval-shaped selective right-hand path with a circumference of 1298 meters and track width between 12 to 14 meters. The home straight is 225 meters long and extends uphill.
Before 1810, the grounds of Champ de Mars were used as a military training ground by the French army. The aim of the Mauritius Turf Club behind setting up the horse racing course was to restore friendly relations between the British and the French to finish the unending naval wars fought in the Indian Ocean between these two communities and prospered peace and harmony.
When Mauritius attained independence in 1968, the flag hoisting ceremony was held in the premises of the racecourse, and since then, it has been hosting the annual independence celebration of Mauritius. In 1984, during the Maiden Cup, the most famous race in the Mauritian horseracing tradition, the Champ de Mars recorded a whopping crowd of more than 100,000 people. Since then till today, it has been attracting people to attend the horseracing season beginning in late March till early December and has become one of the most popular meeting places for racing enthusiasts from all over the island and abroad as well.
Visiting Champ de Mars
Over the years, the Mauritius Turf Club worked significantly in making this horseracing arena into a famous world-class level racing venue. There are four cup races held in the Champ de Mars:
Duchess of York Cup
Duke of York Cup
Newly imported horses from South Africa, United Kingdom, Australia and France are reserved for exclusive races. On race days, the ambience of the arena is electrifying and attracts a lot of the tourists to enjoy this thrilling experience.
The race usually starts after 12 PM, and upon arrival, the guests are greeted with welcome drinks and escorted to the VIP boxes. It is followed by a little briefing related to horse racing and services that will be provided throughout the day. The guests can watch a total of 8 races in a day, and a common bet is organised after the second race where the guests get an opportunity to win a jackpot. Food and beverages are served for free on request between 12 PM and 5 PM. Horse race experts will guide you in the betting process throughout the day. The guests can also get a chance to meet the local horse owners and trainers and even the jockeys. The VIP box provides a magnificent view of the race course and the finishing line. A TV displays all the necessary statistics related to the race and betting details.
Information and Timings
Weekends only: 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Dress code comprises of casual trousers and shirt. Suits and ties are not mandatory Full insurance coverage
Price per adult: USD 218
Price per child (6 to 12 years): USD 135
No fees for children under six years
So after a week’s shopping and site seeing, you can easily spend the weekend with your family and friends and experience Mauritius’ horseracing spectacle at the historical setting of Champ de Mars and who knows, you might end up winning that jackpot!
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How to Reach Horse Racing In Mauritius
You can take an express bus from Grand Bay leaving every 30 minutes to the north bus stand of Port Louis and the duration of the journey is around 20 minutes. You’ll then need to follow the B29 road parallel to the highway, then after passing the central market take a left and then continue straight to the Port Louis Cathedral garden on the Sir William Newton Street. Then take a right from the garden to Lislet Geoffrey Street and turn left onto Pope Hennessy Street which leads directly to Champ de Mars.