Tom Miscannon might live in Florida, but he is midway through a trip that will see him visit more racetracks in south-east Australia in three weeks than most Victorians will see in a year. It is the latest leg of a journey that has seen the 51-year-old visit more than 300 racecourses in 15 countries around the world, reports Brad Bishop at

Miscannon attended his first Victorian meeting at Seymour on 19 December, a fixture that was the first of 22 racedays in 24 days.

“I’ve never been to Victoria before, so this is unchartered territory for me,” Miscannon said. “It’s always fun coming racing in Australia because there are so many racecourses and they love the game.

“You still really enjoy the sport, it hasn’t turned into a mechanism for gambling so much as it has in the United States, and the people here just love to come out and watch the races.”

After attending Seymour the day after flying in from America, Miscannon headed to Yarra Valley before taking in meetings at Terang, Horsham, Kyneton and Sale in the lead-up to Christmas.

After a day off on Wednesday, he spent Boxing Day at Drouin, will tonight be at Cranbourne, is off to Mansfield tomorrow before taking in the Lord Stakes meeting at Mornington on Sunday ahead of trips to Ararat and Echuca to see out 2013.

He be a part of the iconic Hanging Rock meeting on New Year’s Day, before travelling to Geelong and Wangaratta on Thursday and Friday respectively before rounding out his Victorian stay with trips to Dederang, Woolamai and Stony Creek.

But that won’t be it for Miscannon’s racing adventure, travelling to South Australia on 7 January before taking in meetings at Gawler, Penola, Morphettville and Strathalbyn.

It will take to 50 the number of Australian tracks Miscannon has visited in four trips Down Under, the first when stationed in Exmouth, Western Australia in the early days of his career with the US Navy.

“I got the idea for this from one of the morning shows on TV, there was a young couple who had just got married and for their honeymoon they were going to visit every major league baseball park in the US,” Miscannon said.

“I said that’s really cool and then I started doing that with the golf courses, but there’s just too many of them, so it turned to racecourses.

“It’s just fun watching racing in different countries and trying to handle the form in a different language that you don’t understand and just taking the environment.”

Miscannon and wife Elba have three children – Michael, 29, Eliana, 27 and Matthew, 26 – and while they have partnered their father and husband on previous trips around the world, they stayed at home for this one given the taxing schedule and lack of opportunity for any other sightseeing.

Having retired from the US Navy in 1999, Miscannon now works as an administration assistant at a university in Florida and helps fund trips abroad by refereeing soccer matches.

Naturally, he hopes to back a few winners when he is on tour, though.

“I had one occasion when I went over to the UK and I was just on fire betting-wise,” he recalled. “Of the 10 racecourses I attended, eight of them were winners and it pretty well paid for the trip.

“That was great, but if I can pay for the day or cover a hotel, that’s a bonus.”

When his Australian adventure – which will take to 336 the number of tracks he has been to – is over, Miscannon will return home before preparing for a trip to Ireland where he is combining a golf tour with trips to the five Irish racecourses he has not yet attended.

But this is definitely not his final trip to Australia. The Lord Stakes meeting at Mornington is the only metropolitan-class meeting he will visit during his time in Victoria and he is naturally keen to return and experience a Spring Racing Carnival.

“I’ve data-based over 1100 racecourses in the world and the original idea was to make Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day (visit) number 1000,” he said.

“I don’t know if I’m ever going to make that because I’m getting older and it’s just getting harder and harder to travel, so I don’t know if I’ll get to that, but if I can make it to 500 that would be pretty incredible.”