Experience great horse-racing Whether you attend for the social atmosphere or the thrill of hoofs pounding on turf, there’s a date in the calendar to suit everyone. Here are four great excuses to buy a plane ticket and an outrageous hat.
1. March, Dubai Gold Cup The richest horse-racing prize in the world, this race on the last Saturday in March attracts billionaires, sheikhs, and the seriously glamorous to Nad Al Sheba racetrack. It’s worth going the extra mile on your outfits as the annual Style Stakes competition awards holidays and shopping sprees to the best dressed
2. May, Kentucky Derby Dating back to 1875, this hallowed event at Churchill Downs, Louisville takes place on the first Saturday in May, marking the end of two ‘ weeks of racing. Millionaire’s Row is where the racing fraternity rub shoulders with Hollywood A-Listers (some pretty unlikely stars own their own horses), and everyone drinks mint juleps.
3.june,royal ascot Sandwiched between the Derby and Glorious Goodwood, this six-day meet in Ascot, Berkshire is the highlight of the social season for serious racegoers. but also attracts hordes of spectators who just want to dress up and enjoy Ladies’ Day is when the serious (and sometimes silly) hats come out. Gourmet picnics in the car park are just as time-honored a tradition as see-and-be-seen around the Parade Ring.
4. November, Melbourne Cup Run on the first Tuesday in November, this event sets all Australia into a fever as bets are placed to see who will win the country’s richest horse-racing prize. The distance and handicap make it hard to predict—all adding to the fun for the 100,000 or so fans at Flemington race ground.
Join the world’s gLamorous car rally Gumball 3000 is the ultimate thrills-and-spills racing adventure as classic cars and celebrity drivers cross international borders by automobile—and sometimes plane—in an epic 3,000 mile journey.
This modern-day Wacky Races takes inspiration from a classic coast-to-coast trek across the USA that later became immortalized in the film Cannonball Run. The big difference with Gumball 3000 is that the route changes each year, the 3,000 mile (5,000km) journey takes more than a week and entrants have to pack their party clothes.
Competitors have included music and film stars, the cast of Jackass. and even a Great Train Robber. Members of the public can form their own teams, although it costs around $60,000 for the privilege—which explains the high percentage of rich and famous among the entrants The vehicles are almost as eye-catching as the racers, and have included everything from Rolls Royce Phantoms and Ferrari Enzos, to the General Lee (of Dukes of Hazzard fame), and a cumbersome but homey Winnebago RV.
The first race in 1999 took a somewhat roundabout route from London, via Italy, France, and Austria, to Hockenheim Grand Pox Circuit in Germany. Subsequent routes have included Paris to Marrakech, London to LA (including a Trans-Atlantic plane Wel, and a trek across Europe to Asia. In honor of Gumball’s 10th anniversary in 2008, the route is London to Sydney. Glamor is as essential as driving and navigational skills, so road-weary entrants check into luxurious hotels and castles each evening, unwrap their finery and prepare to party all night—just one more element of this extreme test of stamina.