Horse racing is one of the most renowned pastimes in the world, and its popularity in this modern era continues to grow. Some of the biggest race days on the calendar attract millions of fans to their television screens, while thousands choose to take these days in at trackside. Of course the sport generates millions in revenue through betting, which has become so accessible with bookies taking so many payment methods with paypal being one of the most popular.
The possibility of getting up close and personal with these equine athletes is too good to miss out on for some; especially when you get to see the best in the world take each other on. But, what are the biggest horse races in the world?
When a race can claim that it stops the entire nation, you know that it’s a pretty big deal. The Melbourne Cup takes place on the first Tuesday at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. This race is competed over 3,200 metres and has a prize pot of a staggering $5.3 million. The race is designed to test the stamina of horses aged three-year-olds and older and has been an ever-present on the Australian sporting calendar since 1861.
Cross Counter made history in 2018 by becoming the first British-trained horse to win the Melbourne Cup, while Makybe Diva holds the record for winning the race on three occasions.
It may not be the most lucrative of races, but the Kentucky Derby is one of the most well-known. It is run over 2,000 metres and is renowned as the fasted two minutes in sport. It is part of the prestigious Triple Crown in the US and was first run in 1875. The Kentucky Derby is one of the biggest betting days of the year, with hundreds of millions of dollars spent in bets for the race.
Secretariat recorded the fast time in this race, and he remains one of the only horses to have surprised the Twinspires.com Kentucky Derby odds in under two minutes.
Breeders’ Cup Classic
Racing in America is hugely popular, but not many race days are able to get the same attention as this one. There is $6 million in the prize purse for the winner, and the concept is unique as it is held at a different racecourse every year. The horses that compete in the race must qualify in races that take place around the world. This race was first introduced in 1984 and is ran over 2,000 metres. The only horse to win this illustrious race on more than one occasion is Tiznow, who won the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2000 and 2001.
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
One of the biggest races to take place in Europe over the racing season is the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. The history in this race is extensive, as it has been run since 1920. It is run over 2,400 metres at Longchamp, with $5.6 million being awarded to the winner.The Arc is open to horses aged three and over, and there are eight horses that have won the race on more than one occasion. It takes place on the first Sunday in October, and it is a day that much of Europe is brought to a standstill.
The race was even run during the Second World War, as Le Tremblay hosted the event in 1943 and the following year. Sea The Stars and Enable are just two of the most famous horses to have won the race in the past 20 years.
The biggest race of the jumps season takes place at Aintree in April. Everybody in the United Kingdom stops for the Grand National, with the field over 40 horses having to travel over four miles and 30 fences.People who wouldn’t normally wager money would opt to stake a bet on this race, with it often being called a lottery. Tiger Roll made history in last year’s race to become only the second horse to win the race in consecutive years. This year he will be looking to match Red Rum’s record of three wins in the Grand National.