For as long as humans have been breeding horses, they have been racing them against each other.
While the modern-day sport has its origins in Britain, people have been racing horses for as long as they have been domesticated. Nomadic tribesmen are known to have been running horses in Central Asia as far back as 4600 BC, while the first horse racing tournaments held on British soil took place around 210 AD.
It’s been called the sport of kings, and when one looks at some of the prize pools and the amounts of money involved in some of the most prestigious horse races, it’s clear to understand why.
Many horse races allow betting on the results. In 2021 a global estimated wagering handle in the US topped over $12.2 billion, an increase of 11.86% from 2020. Picking winners in this sport isn’t easy, though; it’s important to do your research before placing a bet.
Let’s have a closer look at some of the most well-known race events across the globe.
The Grand National
The Grand National is likely one of the most well-known and prestigious events on the horse racing calendar. This event takes place in the month of April at the Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England. People from all over the world flock to this event which features top-notch catering and hospitality as well as a spectacle of fashion.
In 2019 over 10 million people watched the races over the course of the three-day event. The prize purse is over $1 Million, with more than half going towards the winning owners, and the rest is awarded to the second-place horse owners, and the jockeys will be allocated a percentage as well.
The Kentucky Derby
The Kentucky Derby takes place in the month of May at the beautiful Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. It’s a fairly short dirt track of about 1.25 miles and is known for being one of the quickest and most exciting races. Being one of the most valuable events with a prize pool of over $ 3 million, it has earned the nickname “The run of the roses” as the winners get draped in a blanket of flowers.
During the event, an estimated $155,000,000 worth of bets are made. It’s a true spectacle indicative of race-horsing culture, including traditions of Mint Julep cocktails and the attendees singing “My Old Kentucky Home”. The ladies wear extravagant attire paired with the most elaborate hats that are so well known at these events.
The Cheltenham Festival is held annually in the month of March at the Cheltenham Racecourse in England. It is a left-handed course over 3 miles long and has a prize purse of over $ 6 million. You can Check the Cheltenham betting guide to find the best opportunities during this event by pro bettors and novices alike.
The Cheltenham Festival is a long-standing event that began back in 1860, attracting both British and Irish fans alike since it falls on the Irish holiday st. Patrick’s Day. The event is considered one of the most prestigious steeplechase races on the horse racing calendar.
The event is known for its warm hospitality and roaring crowds as the races kick off on day 1. Over the course of 4 days, there are 28 races, including the Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, and the ever-famous Cheltenham Gold Cup.
The Dubai World Cup
The Dubai world cup is a fairly new event on the calendar, first started in 1996. The race takes place at the Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. Other than being on the race track, the event can also be viewed from the well-known Meydan hotel giving a unique vantage point of the race.
The course is also short in comparison to others, with a dirt track just over 1.24 miles long. It has an impressive prize purse of $12,000,000, with the most valuable race being the Dubai World Cup.
With Horse racing and breeding becoming ever more popular, there are sure to be more events to choose from in the future, but these are without a doubt some of the best-known and most prestigious events in the world. People will always be drawn to these events for their explosive atmosphere, betting opportunities, and extravagant fashion displays. Click here for Tips for Successful Betting on Horse Racing.