In a nod to the recent Grand National and start of racing’s flat season, here are three foreign horse-racing hot spots where hippophiles might fancy their chances finding their perfect property!

4-bed period villa near Deauville’s racecourse

Deauville, France
Little wonder equestrian sports are hugely popular in France – they have the space and plenty of open countryside. Most of the serious racing venues are in the north, particularly in and around the northern and western edges of Paris. They include the famous course at Longchamp, where one of Europe’s most prestigious races, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, takes place, as well as Maisons-Laiffitte and Chantilly.

Normandy, particularly the lush Calvados département, is a nerve centre for equestrianism too, but one town that especially stands out is Deauville, often dubbed ‘The Kingdom of Horses’. An upscale seaside resort on the so-called Côte Fleurie since the 1800s and blessed with grand period architecture, the town’s two racecourses (Clairefontaine and larger Deauville-La Touques) and equestrian facilities, which include one of the largest training centres in Europe, are famous throughout France.

Five-bed country pile in Naas, Kildare

There are plenty of other things to entertain homeowners in the area too, including the sweeping sandy beach, golf courses, great restaurants and shopping, a casino and harbour. An easy drive from ferry ports at Le Havre or Dieppe, the Deauville also hosts an annual Film Festival.

County Kildare, Ireland
Horse-racing is integral to the Irish culture, arguably a national obsession – the term ‘steeplechase’ was coined there and the country is the largest producer of thoroughbred horses in Europe and fourth largest in the world. Whether a homeowner or not, a visit to the Emerald Isle isn’t possible without coming across racing in some form or other.

Studs and breeders are dotted across Ireland’s lush, green countryside, but County Kildare just west of Dublin is considered the beating heart of Irish horse-racing. The country’s most prominent courses are here, namely Punchestown, which hosts the famous Irish National Hunt Festival and Curragh, home of Irish flat racing, the Irish Derby and the largest training centre in the country, and Naas.

Two-bed apartment overlooking Dubai Marina

The celebrated Irish National Stud, open to guests, is on the edge of Kildare town.

The UAE’s largest and most vibrant city launched itself on to the global racing stage in 1996 with the launch of the Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest race and one of the most prestigious events in the global racing calendar. The popularity of racing in Dubai shot up in tandem with the high-rise tower blocks that define its skyline – the sport only arrived there in 1981, when the dusty Camel Track hosted the first Thoroughbred race.

Today Dubai has two racecourses, the glitzy Meydan and more down-to-earth Jebel Ali. Attending an event at either is a popular social event, with a trip to the former an integral part of the glamorous expat lifestyle that the emirate is so well known for.


Written by Overseas Guides Company.

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