Horse racing in Malta is more than a sport; it’s an engaging tradition that provides excitement and joy to many.

This beautiful Mediterranean island has a deep-seated passion for its horse races, which are held at Marsa Race Track, the epicentre for Maltese horseracing.

Horse Racing in Malta

Maltese horse racing dates back centuries. As a family pastime passed down through generations, race days bring families together to watch and cheer their favourite horses and jockeys compete on race days.

Race day crowds often reach capacity; all kinds of spectators gather together to witness such a spectacle.

The Marsa Race Track

Marsa Race Track, founded in the early 20th century, has witnessed many exciting races since opening its gates.

Over time, upgrades to facilities for horses and audiences alike have taken place to provide improved experiences for both parties involved.

At over 1,000 meters long, it offers both flat racing and harness racing events, appealing to different audiences’ tastes in horse racing fans.

Experience Race Days In Malta

A typical race day experience in Malta is filled with vibrant colours, loud cheers, and the thunderous gallop of horses.

The excitement builds right from the parade ring, where these magnificent animals showcase their splendour before each race.

Betting adds another dimension of suspense, with many trying their luck to pick winners before each race takes place.

Role of the Malta Racing Club

The Malta Racing Club is essential in organising and regulating horse racing in Malta.

Their efforts ensure all races are conducted fairly and safely while adhering to stringent rules and regulations. Furthermore, they aim to promote this tradition-rich sport while welcoming new enthusiasts who may join it!

Responsibilities of the MRC include:

  • Organising and scheduling horse races throughout the season
  • Ensuring all races are run safely and fairly according to strict regulations and standards
  • Registering horses and jockeys and managing licensing issues for them both
  • Providing training facilities for horses and jockeys alike
  • Promoting horse racing as a sport in Malta, including drawing new spectators and participants to it

Across The Mediterranean Sea

While everything may be going swimmingly in Malta, across the Med in Greece, horse racing is undergoing its own evolution – and not for the better.

There’s no disputing that Greek racehorses have never made much of an impact on the racing world, and it would seem that without homegrown talent to prop up the sport, it is under real threat.

With the average number of registered horses in the Greek Jockey Club dipping below 300 over the last two years, the decision was made to close Markopoulo racecourse near Athens.

With losses topping over €100 million between 2016 and 2023, the track’s operator, Horse Races S.A., determined that keeping the historic track open was simply unsustainable.

It was claimed that betting on Greek racing had “continued to decline significantly”, with the number of active racehorses falling to just 172 this year.

Despite significant upgrades to the racecourse, increased prize money and a huge marketing and PR campaign, betting and attendance continued to decline.

Sadly, though not alone in the world of horse racing, the racecourse has now ceased operations.

Conclusion

Horse racing in Malta is more than just a sport; it’s an event filled with history, culture, and competition that brings people from around the globe together for a day at the races.

From veteran punters to first-time visitors alike, an experience at Malta’s racing tracks will leave unforgettable memories and inspire return visits.

Unlike Greece, the sport continues to thrive and if you ever visit Malta be sure to check out the Malta Racing Club in Marsa to keep the sport alive.

FAQs

Q: Where are horse races held in Malta?

A: The main venue for horse racing in Malta is the Marsa Race Track, which is located in Marsa, near Valletta. It hosts regular trot and flat races throughout the year.

Q: Is betting on horse races allowed in Malta?

A:Betting on horse racing is legal in Malta. Various betting shops and kiosks are located around the race tracks, where visitors can place their bets. You can also bet on racing with Lottoland.

Q: When does Malta host horse racing season?

A:Horse racing in Malta typically occurs from October to May and mainly takes place on Sundays; special races or events may also be held outside this period.

Q: Can tourists attend horse races in Malta?

A:Yes, tourists are welcome at the Marsa Race Track to witness horse racing events as an engaging way of experiencing part of Malta’s rich culture and having an exciting day out.

Q: What facilities are available at the Marsa Race Track?

A:The Marsa Race Track offers various facilities such as spectator stands, betting kiosks, bars, and restaurants to ensure visitors an enjoyable and relaxing experience.