Horse racing is today a global phenomenon. The world over loves a good horse race, and pretty much where ever there are people, there is a thriving horse racing scene. Naturally, this has led to some incredible global competition, and produced some of the most remarkable talent and the best horses the world has ever seen. As seen with the new online betting options, horse racing is a hugely popular betting event, and we’ve compared the best options for you.
Today, we’re going to look at some of the biggest horse racing events from around the world, from the United States to Dubai. Let’s get started.
Held annually at the Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, the Everest only got started back in 2017. It is therefore not currently eligible for official Group status, but the sheer amount of money involved earns it a place on this list. The purse is around $15 million AUSD, or around $11 million USD. For this reason alone, it attracts some of the greatest talent in horse racing and breeding from around the world.
It is roughly a six-furlong race, or 1,200 metres, with a hefty price tag of $600,000 for entry. There are 12 slots in the starting gate up for grabs, the feature race being the Spring Carnival. It was initially won in 2017, and then again, a year later, by a gelding named Redzel.
Moving over to the United States, we have the Belmont Stakes, held every June in Belmont Park in New York. This race does not have as big a prize purse as Everest, at only around $1.5 million, but it has been run for much longer—the inaugural race having been held in 1867. This is the Grade 1 race for ranking thoroughbreds, being one of the top five most highly attended races in all of North America. In 2004, almost 22 million people tuned into the race on TV.
The race challenges three-year-old horses to a 1 and a half mile stretch of dirt, and a number of horses have won the Triple Crown over the centuries, dominating the event for that year.
But despite the huge size of this event, it is not even the biggest in North America on this list.
Dubai is nothing if not the home of extreme wealth, so you can guess a lot of horse racing goes on there. This race is part of the Dubai Night of races, involving the World Cup, and is a certified Group 1 flat race. The horses must be aged four and up and run a fairly long distance of 10 furlongs—around 2,000 metres.
It was first raced in 1996, and so while that is quite young in the span of many horse racing traditions, it is still becoming one of the biggest and most prestigious races in the world. It carries a hefty purse of $12 million, and a total of $30 million is carried over the course of the eight races in the cup.
It is hard to compete with the titan of the horse racing world that is the Kentucky Derby. Initially run in 1875, it has since become the premier horse racing event outside of the UK. It is typically held on the first Saturday of May, where enormous crowds and well-known celebrities flock to the Churchill Downs in Kentucky. For the winner, there is a prize purse of $3 million. Some of the most famous horses and jockeys of all time made their name at the Kentucky Derby, being garlanded with the famous roses in the winner’s circle.
The race is for three-year-old thoroughbreds, and they must run a 1 and a quarter mile race which makes up the first part of the Kentucky Triple Crown. Even famous racehorses like Secretariat cemented their place in history at this race.
Horse racing has grown to fill more or less every niche it can in the world. Where ever you look there are grand races and prestigious events. It’s easy to see why, given that horse racing has likely been around since at least the year 700. No doubt we will continue to see the sport grow in scope and popularity over the years to come.