MTC Sports and Leisure Ltd (Formerly the Mauritius Turf Club) was founded in 1812 and is believed to be the oldest horse racing club in the Southern Hemisphere and the third oldest club in the world. The club is a member of the IFHA and has been a member of ARF since 1997.
Approximately 500 horses in the care of 15 trainers contest for glory at 39 race meetings per annum. There is no breeding in Mauritius and as a result all horses are imported from abroad, with South Africa being by far the primary market due to its proximity and similar climatic conditions. Most imports are geldings aged from 3 to 5 years old and about 95% of the races in Mauritius are handicaps. Local as well as international jockeys participate in approximately 320 races annually.
The historic Champ de Mars racecourse situated in the middle of Mauritius’s capital city Port Louis is an oval right hand turf track of 1300 metres in circumference. The track is 12 to 14 metres wide and the home straight is 225 metres long. Races are run from 990 metres to 2400 metres. The track has played a fundamental role in propelling horse racing to become the most popular sport and form of entertainment among the local population.
The racing season in Mauritius is from March to December. Each race day, thousands of people are attracted to the Champ de Mars to enjoy the thrill of thoroughbred horse racing.