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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

THE WORLD’S BIGGEST HORSE RACES ARE SUPPORTED BY OUTSIZED PURSES

By HRI Foreign Staff — In horse racing, prize money keeps growing, and the final prize can be life-changing in certain uber-rich races. Racing is a ”sport of kings,” and winning is part of the game. Because of this, trainers and owners want their horses to participate in the biggest horse races and try to earn a huge prize.

The world is ever-changing, as are the significant horse racing pots globally. This article curates the world’s most valuable races you can bet on the Racebook according to the prize money offered.

Japan Cup

The richest race in Japan is held annually at the Tokyo Racecourse, with the best 3-year-olds and above coming to the capital. It is an invite-only race, limited to 18 spots, and offers participants a share of the $5.8M prize pot.

The race is 1.5 miles, started in 1981, and has been happening yearly. Home-grown talent has dominated the event, with each winning owner and trainer being a Japanese since 2008.

The Breeders’ Cup Classic

The Breeders’ Cup Classic is a sprint racing in the USA. It attracts the best breeds, with the winner getting more than half of the six-million-dollar prize pot. The race is restricted to 3-year-olds and above. It is considered the unofficial 4th leg of the famous Triple Crown and plays a massive role in deciding the Horse of the Year.

The race is 1.25 miles and is run on dirt. It has existed since 1984. The race is unique because it is held in different locations yearly. The 1996 edition happened in Ontario, Canada, and is the only event held outside the United States.

Kentucky Derby

This is one of America’s most anticipated horse racing events, popularly known as ”Run for the Roses’ and ”the fastest 2 minutes in sports”. The inaugural race happened in 1875, and the prize pot was $3M. It takes place at Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky, on the first Saturday in May.

Pegasus World Cup

The Pegasus World cup has not been around for many years. It began in 2017 and is run over a 9-furlong dirt distance like most mega-rich races. It takes place at Gulfstream Park, Florida. So far, only Americans have won this cup, with City of Light, Arrogate, Mucho Gusto, Gun Runner, Life is Good, and Knicks Go as the winners.

Bob Baffert is the only trainer to emerge victorious twice. The cup’s prize money has fallen from 12 million dollars on the 1st to $4M in 2022.

Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

The Arc is one of the oldest and wealthiest races in Europe. It first happened in 1920 and is still known as the best middle-distance test in Europe. Apart from the prize money of €5m, it has the kind of prestige and history most of the races in this list don’t have.

Arc has seen eight two-time winners, such as Enable and Treve. The legendary French trainer Andre Fabre has won eight times and is the most successful trainer.

Dubai World Cup

Dubai World Cup was, at some point, the richest horse contest in the world. It was inaugurated in 1996 with the backing of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and prime minister and vice president of the UAE.

The race is run on a dirt track like the wealthiest races. Thunder Snow is the only two-time winner in the contest winning in 2018 and 2019. The prize money is $12M.

The Everest

The Australian race began in 2017 and had prize money of $15M. It’s a six-furlong sprint held at Randwick Racecourse, Sydney. The contest aims to bring the fastest horses across the globe Down Under.

The Everest is a weight-for-age allowance contest with a $0.6M entry fee run on turf. It’s the richest flat-turf horse race in the world. All five winners in the competition were trained in Australia. The winners are Redzel, Nature Strip, and Classic Legend are some of the winners.

Saudi Cup

Although it only started in 2020, it now boasts the giant prize pool in the world. It began with prize money of $10M, which was pushed high to a record $30.5M in 2022 to become the world’s wealthiest race. The race is run on dirt in February and covers more than 1.25 miles.

Mishriff, Maximum Security, and Emblem Road won the first three contests. Emblem Road shocked many people after scoring for Saudi trainer Mitab Almulawah.

Final Words

Horse racing is one of the world’s oldest and most popular sports. Some horse races are more prestigious, have more public appeal and prize money than others, and attract thousands of fans annually.

The events in this article are some of the richest, thanks to their vast prizes and entertainment. They are the most wagered on races on online sports betting platforms and physical casinos.

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2 Responses

  1. Just read about Bravo and Plat being admonished, fined and taken off rides for having hit their own horses ONE Time too many on the stretch. Funny how these ‘rules’ are not fully enforced everywhere with Everybody, in the USA or everywhere else. Why can`t they all keep and enforce this rule of conduct in Every Track, from Australia to England to France, Japan and why at it ,why can`t ALL tracks, foreign and local, keep the same colored numbers,ie,1 is Red, 9 is purple ? Is it because in several other tracks…they would run out of Colors[ such at a 2 Mile plus ,25 horse Fox Hunt steeplechase ?} ? It is not easy to follow your horse when every other equine has the same[Green, Blue] color. It would also make it easier for the race callers who wont hesitate like that Parx woman… who still sounds as a high school sophomore reciting a Latin book passage for the first time…. PS; Virginia Payson; classy woman. RIP.

  2. Agreed, Mrs. Payson was one classy woman and a racing icon… With you on the uniformity theme, JG–saddle cloths being only the tip of that iceberg. Uniformity on drug detection and rulings is long overdue as everyone knows. Don’t know how long it will take, but HISA has its work cut out for it. It’s the player’s–and the sport’s–last best hope. Like the law itself, lamentably, it won’t happen overnight…

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