In one of my recent posts, Horse Racing in Udon Thani and the Whore Kids Farm, I promised I’d write a full review on my return to the UK about Udon Thani’s Intergames Park where horse racing takes place every Saturday afternoon. And so after squeezing into my racing silks, saddling up and grabbing the reins of my trusty steed, I present a review of a big weekly sporting event in Udon Thani which for some strange reason rates little mention on the internet.
Reviews about horse racing in Udon Thani are about as rare as finding rocking horse fecal matter on the soles of your shoes, but it’s time to put that right because a day out at Intergames Park racecourse is great entertainment and rates as one of the best things to do in Udon Thani on any weekend of the year.
Horse Racing at Udon Thani’s Intergames Park
The sporting participants at Udon Thani’s Intergames Park racecourse have little resemblance to the horse and rider in the photograph above. The horses are far bigger, the jockeys super lean and both a lot more colourful as well. Nonetheless, the statue made an impressive sight at the entrance to the racecourse.
Intergames Park has an oval dirt race track and a large grandstand alongside its finishing straight that was brimming with a thousand and more race goers on the afternoon I was there. The racehorses looked fit, well-groomed and their jockeys handled their rides with a style which suggested they’d been in the race game for several years.
Entry to Intergames Park is free and the Saturday race meetings are well attended. The racecourse grandstand gives you a clean view of the course but especially the home straight and finishing post. A race card (English or Thai) is available for 20 baht and lists all the runners and riders competing in ten races which start at 12 midday and conclude with the last race at 5 pm.
Under and behind the grandstand are Tote betting stalls and enough food outlets to tempt a jockey from his horse. All food and refreshments are at Thai and not tourist prices .
Betting is legal at Thailand’s horse racing tracks despite gambling being otherwise outlawed in the Kingdom. The betting system used is not easy to understand but as gambling runs through my blood I figured out its mechanics quickly. However, those who have more moralistic hobbies coursing through their veins may struggle to interpret its structure. The latest betting and the race itself can be viewed on a big screen opposite the grandstand.
Food glorious food was the theme (Thai and German) behind the grandstand as a couple of hundred people munched and lunched their way through an arsenal of Thai snacks seemingly unaware of the horse racing taking place just yards away. The thunder of hoofs was equally matched by the sound of chopsticks and spoons chinking on cheap plastic bowls and plates. The occasional can of beer was raised too.
On the racecourse the action was fast and furious with a race every half hour and the large crowd roared their horses to the finishing post. I saw a few large bets being wagered, dwarfing my 200 baht placed on each race.
All the horses are paraded alongside the grandstand before each race giving punters the opportunity to size up and wise up on their race selections. Placing a bet at the Tote kiosks was easy with quick queue time and staff who spoke excellent English. The downside…understanding the betting format might be beyond some rookie punters.
My overall impression of horse racing at Udon Thani’s Intergames Park is that for an afternoon’s action of sporting fun in the sun and shade, it really is a fantastic experience. It gets a big thumbs up from me and should appeal to both punters and non gamblers alike.
The racecourse is on the outskirts of Udon Thani and is reached by taking the Udon Thani to Sakon Nakhon highway road (Nittayo Road on map) and taking a U-turn when you see a sign for the racecourse.
Free car parking is available at Intergames Park and arriving early will ensure you get a space near to the entrance.
Intergames Park address is:
333 Udon-Sakon Road, 41000 Udon Thani
Website (English) : Horse Racing Intergames Park, Udon Thani
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