Horse Racing in Bratislava (video)

As promised, dear reader, and in high definition no less, today I'm proud to bring you my video diary from a weekend away in the wonderful city of Bratislava in Slovakia.

Due to the fact that I bought an apartment there three and a half years ago, I've been to this fine place about fifteen times now.

But this time was different. I went with some old school friends (whom I've known since we were all 11, that's 26 years ago!), to celebrate the wedding of another school friend (James) to a beautiful Slovak lady, Zora.

Before you watch the video, please note that there is a bit of schoolboy banter and even some mild profanity. So if that's not your thing, then this vid will also not be your thing.

That said, it's only brief and, if you can tolerate it, you'll get to witness some racing like you may NEVER have seen it before.... I know that's a bold statement because I know how long some of you have been interested in our beloved sport.

Have a watch and let me know what you think - I'm interested in your comments!

Dovi Denja!

(as they say in Slovakia. Or good bye, as we may be more accustomed to...)

p.s. Don't forget to leave a comment with your thoughts. Thanks.

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28 replies
  1. Mike Jones says:

    Bratislava looks a cool town Matt and so does the racetrack but I can’t fathom trotting!

  2. Dean says:

    Hi, Matt,
    Highly entertaining…looks like you had some good weather and the “fun-factor” certainly came across.

    Good Stuff.

  3. g e richmond says:

    first video or pictures i have seen of slovakia looks and sounds good are the prices also good thanks keep up the good work cheers george

  4. mick m says:

    Is there no end to your talents Matt? Great video and very entertaining.
    Where do I sign up for your appartment?!
    cheers and keep up the diverse entertainment.

  5. john ashforth says:

    great town seen trotting before so nothig different to me but still great vidio

  6. Tony Clarke says:

    If you want racing that’s different, Matt, go next door to Prague in Czech Republic for the Great Steeplechase from Pardubice. Years ago it used to be regularly shown on BBC Grandstand & it always had us on the edge of our seats. It may be different now, but back then it was an endurance race combining elements of NH Chasing & foxhunting, ie ; round a circuit & also cross-country with fields, streams, woods, & natural fences. Far better then The National.



  7. Kevin says:

    Hi Matt

    Nice one mate,different angle on another countries racing.

    I’ve been to a few Harness racing meetings over here,it’s quite good.You want to watch a handicap race,it’s great fun.


  8. Cliff Jones says:

    Looks a nice sedate place, the track looked pleasant as well, but have we stumbled across your new system, back favourites in trotting races.

  9. William says:

    Looks very interesting place for a visit which I hadn’t thought of before.
    Thanks for your efforts and great site.

  10. Bruce says:

    Hey Guys really enjoyed the blog and thought the racing was a little different than what we are used to. Well done very interesting

  11. Matt Bisogno says:

    Thanks all. Hadn’t realised I’d be doing my bit for the Bratislava Tourist Board, but yes, it’s a great place (especially when the sun shines).

    Right on the Danube, a short hop to Vienna to the West (these are the two closest capital cities in the World), and not much further to Budapest to the South, and Prague to the North.


    ps beer is less than a pound a pint, and it’s proper Czech (or Slovak) pilsener, not that slop we drink over here…

  12. Phil Bray says:

    Well what do you know Matt…..I’ve just realised I have been backing trotters for years, but in the wrong events!!
    It’s certainly different anyway.
    It was good to see Bratislava again, I was there a couple of years ago, beautiful City.
    Cheers for that!

  13. john murray says:

    hi matt,
    once again an excellent piece of video. it all looks very
    nice over there. was wondering how the prize money and cost
    of entry compares with our prices here. your visit appeared to do
    you and the others with you the world of good, the weather looks
    very good especially in comparison to ours.

    john murray

  14. ray says:

    good video would like to have seen more young fillies.
    will have to take a trip over there.

  15. Lucky (Coventry) says:

    Really entertaining video Matt. You could get a job on ‘Holiday 2010’ with that production quality !
    Really interesting stuff. Keep up the excellent work.

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      1 euro 40 cents to get in, and 90 cents for half a litre (a metric pint) of beer…

      Euro is virtually a pound at the moment, so it was less than £1.50 entry, and less than a quid a pint…

      Happy days! 🙂


  16. Paul says:

    Ste zrejme úplne orechy, ale napodiv sa to fascinujúce.

    There’s always one smart-arse 😉

    Great vid Matt – the HD quality was excellent!

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      Through the power of Google Translate, I understand that you just said:

      “You are obviously completely nuts, but surprisingly this is fascinating”.

      Good work Paul – you’ve obviously got too much time on your hands, and surprisingly I know you should be working! 😉


  17. jcmitchell says:

    hi matt,
    i have seen trotting out here in the states but never there. how did they start the race which is very interesting but you never showed that. out here they have an auto with wings to set the pace then the wings retract and initiates the start of the race. interesting video they even look civilized?
    have a great day……..jay

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      Hi Jay

      I’ve seen trotting in Finland before, which is how I knew about the favourites usually winning, and those other rules. There, it was as in the States, with the moving starting gate.

      In Bratislava, it was a flag start, where they were just walked in. If you watch the vid again, you’ll notice that the favourite was right out the back early on. Clearly, way too good for the rest of them!

      As for civilized, come on! They are seriously some of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and I’ve been lucky enough to travel a fair bit.


  18. Michael Else says:

    Liked the broadcast from Bratislava, looked quite a nice place, racing looked a bit of a lottery although the course seemed quite good.

  19. David Dickinson says:

    Nice one Matt
    Cool looking place no wonder youve been there 15 or more times!
    What did you use to do the video?
    Will put Bratislava on my list of places to go.

  20. mick says:

    on the subject of entry prices..
    i was at killarney 2 wks ago on hols and paid 40 euro in for myself and the missus (i paid and hid the fact from her to keep her sweet..)
    in 2007 i was at the arc at longchamp (dylan thomas..)
    I paid 4 euro in and took a free bus from the centre to the very beautiful longchamp!
    not surprising there was no more than 200/300 people at killarney on a lovely august evening (there was a listed race in which poet bt a mick bell runner for the queen)..

  21. Mark P says:


    You ommitted to mention that whilst your rider in the video finished 12th out of 13, mine (“Lord”, a Polish fillie) finished 2nd, just being pipped on the line. €20 E/W 6/1 – most of my money back, thank you very much.

    Your fellow bloggers may be interested to know that I was utilising a new system which basically involves backing the horse with the name I liked best. That said, this system did less well in the second race where, as you will recall, “Fartina” at 14/1 failed to make much headway, despite a trailing wind.


    Mark (the silent one at the cash machine in the vid)

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