The history of Champ de Mars goes back since the times of Mahé de La Bourdonnais during which the French were still occupying the island, Isle de France, then. Mahé de La Bourdonnais chose this area as a training ground for field manoeuvres for his soldiers. The training exercises were performed each Sunday, and each month there was a great review. It also happened that duels were fought there.
The first race ever held in Mauritius took place on the 25th of June 1812. Colonel Draper believed that a cooperative spirit could be developed between the British and the French through their common love for horse racing.
This racecourse was a military training ground until the Mauritius Turf Club was founded in 1812, making it the second-oldest racecourse in the world. Mauritian independence was proclaimed here in 1968. The racing season lasts from around April to late November, with meetings usually held on a Saturday or Sunday. The biggest race of all is the Maiden Cup in September.
The attendance record at the Champ de Mars was set in 1984 when more than 100,000 people turned up at the Maiden Cup, the most prestigious race in the Mauritian racing calendar. Nippy Regen, owned by the Gujadhur stable, won the race and was ridden by Adrian Walkinshaw.
If you really want to feel hearts beating, spend a day at the Champ de Mars, the 2nd oldest racecourse in the world and the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere. Horseracing is extremely popular in Mauritius and experiencing the charged atmosphere at Champ de Mars on race days is a must for betting enthusiasts!
Join in the fun with the locals and their families as they gather in Port-Louis, and why not bet a few rupees on these majestic, powerful racehorses. You may even have the thrill of winning a few... Get a glimpse of the diversity of the sport, while enjoying the elegant facilities of the Club where gentlemen traditionally wear elegant suits and ladies don their finest dresses and hats.
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