horse racing meetings

4 countries with intricately safe horse racing behind closed doors

A return to UK & Irish horse racing is still a little time away. We look at four countries and the racecourses that continue to race behind closed doors.


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US Racing

Many states have continued to allow horse racing to go ahead behind closed doors. These states include the likes of Florida and Oklahoma. Meanwhile, California only gave its approval for racing to resume in the middle of May. Safety precautions have been in place to protect everyone at these meetings. During that time, no race meetings went ahead at Santa Anita Park, Los Alamitos and Golden Gate Fields. Consequently, the month of May is usually one of the best months for US racing with the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. However, race fans will still have the Kentucky Derby to look forward to in early September. You can live stream US Racing with Mark Jarvis here.


  • Charles Town, West Virginia.
  • Churchill Downs, Kentucky. (Kentucky Derby)
  • Fonner Park, Nebraska.
  • Golden Gate Fields, California.
  • Gulfstream Park, Florida.
  • Lone Star Park, Texas.
  • Los Alamitos Race Course, California.
  • Remington Park, Oklahoma.
  • Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico.
  • Santa Anita Park, California. (Santa Anita Handicap)
  • Tampa Bay Downs, Florida.
  • Will Rogers Downs, Oklahoma.

Did you know?

Santa Anita Park hosted the 2019 Breeders’ Cup, one of the biggest event in the US racing calendar. The payouts for some G1 races can be millions of dollars. For instance, the Breeders’ Cup Classic race had a $6m purse in 2019. Meanwhile, the purse will increase to $7m this year as the series moves to Keeneland in Kentucky.

Japan Racing

Tokyo, Kyoto, Fukushima and Niigata are the four areas of Japan which can continue racing. Subsequently, all other areas in the Asian country have called off racing. The Japan Racing Association were on of the first to allow racing to continue behind-closed doors. As a result, they banned spectators from racecourses as early as February 29th. Some high profile race meetings have been able to take place during this time. This includes the Mile Cup and Victoria Mile in Tokyo. The most prominent meeting comes at the end of May at Tokyo Racecourse as the Tokyo Yushun (Japan Derby) can land the winner over £1.5m in prize money.


  • Kasamatsu Racecourse, Gifu.
  • Mombetsu Racetrack, Hokkaido.
  • Morioka Racecourse Oro Park, Iwate.
  • Nagoya Racecourse,
  • Ohi Racecourse, Tokyo.
  • Sonoda Racecourse, Hyogo.
  • Tokyo Racecourse, Tokyo. (Japan Derby and Japan Cup)
  • Urawa Racecourse, Saitama.

Hong Kong Racing


  • Happy Valley, Hong Kong Island.
  • Sha Tin, New Territories.

Australian Racing

Five Australian states have continued to allow horse racing to go ahead behind closed doors. These states include the likes of New South Wales and Victoria. However, Tasmania banned horse racing at the start of April and no racing has taken place in the state. Safety precautions have been in place to protect everyone at all meetings. In addition, the Australia Turf Club have set a strong benchmark to other nations on how to deliver horse racing during this pandemic. Unfortunately, the months of March and April include the Golden Slipper and Queen Elizabeth stakes, which had to go ahead behind-closed-doors. However, race fans will still have the rich Melbourne Cup, Golden Eagle and Everest meetings to look forward to in early November. You can live stream Australian Racing with Mark Jarvis here.


  • Albury Racing Club, New South Wales.
  • Balaklava Race Club, New South Wales.
  • Ballarat Turf Club, Southern Australia.
  • Belmont Park, Western Australia.
  • Coffs Harbour Racing Club, New South Wales.
  • Cranbourne Turf Club, Victoria.
  • Dalby Race Track, Queensland.
  • Darwin Turf Club, Northern Territory.
  • Eagle Farm Racecourse, Queensland.
  • Echuca Racecourse, Victoria.
  • Flemington Racecourse, Victoria. (The Melbourne Cup)
  • Geraldton Turf Club, Western Australia.
  • Gold Coast Turf Club, Queensland.
  • Hawkesbury Race Club, New South Wales.
  • Mudgee Racecourse, New South Wales.
  • Murray Bridge Race Club, South Australia.
  • Newcastle Racecourse, New South Wales.
  • Pakenham Racing Club, Victoria.
  • Pinjarra Race Club, Western Australia.
  • Royal Randwick Racecourse, New South Wales. (The Everest and Queen Elizabeth Stakes)
  • Seymour Racing Club, Victoria.
  • Stawell Racecourse, Victoria.
  • Sunshine Coast Turf Club, Queensland.
  • Taree Racecourse, New South Wales.
  • Townsville Turf Club, Queensland.
  • Wagga Racecourse, New South Wales.
  • Wodonga Racecourse, Victoria.

Did you know?

Australia has around 250,000 people involved in horse racing. As a result, 1 in 68,000 people in the country work in the industry. Therefore, Australia has the highest average ratio than any other country.

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Sam is an experienced content writer with a history of working in the sports industry. Sam is a media and communication professional with a bachelor's degree focused in Sports Studies.

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