The Nicosia Race Club is located in and named after the capital city of Cyprus, Nicosia. It is the sole official organization authorised to organise horse racing in Cyprus. All the racing events organised by the club take place at the Nicosia Racecourse located at Agios Dometios, Nicosia.
The racecourse is home to a series of Group 1, Group 2, and other listed races and is one of the most prominent horse racing venues in the Mediterranean region. The Nicosia Club organises races twice a week around the year. Hence, a total of almost 500 races are held in Cyprus every year, with thousands of starters partaking in flat racing competitions.
Here is a brief guide to the history and facilities of the Nicosia Race Club.
History of horse racing in Cyprus
The history of horse racing in Cyprus can be traced back to ancient times in the Hellenistic period. This is evident from the archaeological findings displayed at the Cyprus Museum. If you happen to visit, you will get to see horse racing illustrations and accounts by numerous ancient authors like Homer.
Back in the day, the equestrian sport was regarded as the Sport of the Kings. When the emperors died, their horses were buried with them. It was an archaic and barbaric tradition intended to enforce the association of the sport with royalty only. Around 684 BC, horse racing became a part of the Olympic Games, with the addition of chariot races in Olympia.
Cyprus Horse Racing Authority
Organised horse racing in Cyprus has its roots in the 19th century. It is known that these races started in 1878. Various government departments used horses as a mode of commute, and soon these horses were engaged in formal races.
The Cyprus Horse Racing Authority (HRA) was established in 1892. English Officials in the country based the organisation on the standards of the English Jockey Club to improve the quality of the sport in Cyprus and introduce regulations to organise, manage and monitor horse racing events. Even then, horse races were conducted between the English army officials and Cyprus police members as a source of recreation.
Presently, the Cyprus HRA is a Member of the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities. Its official role is to control the races through the Control Committees associated with horse racing and ensure adherence to regulations.
Nicosia Race Club
Nicosia Race Club is authorised to organise races at the Nicosia Racecourse at Agios Dometios. It is managed by a Management committee which is elected every three years by the respective members.
The race meetings are governed by the rules provided by the Cyprus Horse Racing Authority, which are based on the guidelines prescribed by the Jockey Club of Britain.
All the race meetings are held at the Nicosia Racecourse, which along with the associated facilities, is under the ownership of Nicosia Race Club. The racecourse is located in a picturesque location with the Kyrenia mountains in the backdrop and the lush date palms in abundance in the area.
In 1997, the racecourse and the buildings underwent a massive renovation and upgrade program. Currently, it is equipped with all the modern equipment and amenities. Recently, a floodlight system was installed at the racecourse, making way for night-time racing, especially in the summers.
Nicosia Racecourse has race meetings on Sundays and Wednesdays during the spring, fall, and winter seasons. In summer, races take place every Wednesday and Friday. Besides scheduled events, races are also held on major holidays.
Nicosia Race Club has standard betting guidelines, and all bets are accepted per the club rules. The club is the only authorised body to accept pari-mutuel bets on races. Individuals can place bets up to the last second before the race starts. The race meetings held at the racecourse are telecasted live on the sports channel of the Cytavision platform.
What are some of the major races held at Nicosia Racecourse?
The major races taking place at Nicosia Racecourse include Saint Leger in March, 1000 Guineas in May, the Cyprus Derby, and the Cyprus Turf Club Cup in November, among others.
What is the entrance fee to the Nicosia racecourse?
Entry to the Nicosia Racecourse is free.
How to place bets at Nicosia Racecourse?
You can place a wide range of bets at Nicosia Race Club, including win, place, forecast and double forecast, exacta and trifecta, omni, etc.