Japan Horse-racing Trivia

The Japan Racing Association (JRA) has 10 racecourses (seven running clockwise, three counter-clockwise) [emphasis added] and two training centers (Miho Training Center and Ritto Training Center). Roughly 3,450 races are held mainly on Saturdays and Sundays, for a total of 288 racing days a year. The number of racing starts per year is approximately 47,382. The JRA holds two types of races: Thoroughbred flat races and Thoroughbred jumping races, with flat races comprising 95 percent of the racing calendar.

SOURCE: Masa-aki Oikawa, “Epidemiological Aspects of Training and Racing Injuries of Thoroughbred Racehorses, and Corresponding Countermeasures,” Japan Racing Journal 10 (2002)

When I channel-surfed through a bit of horse-racing on Sunday, the Niigata race looked normal to me, with the horses running counterclockwise, but the next races showed horses running clockwise at Sapporo and Kokura. This surprised me, but apparently it wouldn’t surprise many Australian horse-racing fans, or those anywhere else in the Commonwealth.

I never realized that North Americans were so unicircuitous, and I look for Canadian tracks to begin running anti-counterclockwise.

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