At various times of the year all around the world, famous and fabulous horse races take place. In this article, we’ll briefly take a look at some of the best-known horse races on a global scale in no particular order of preference or legendary status.
The Grand National – England
A race that’s steeped in history, The Grand National is run at Aintree in England and is a race with a difference. It’s comprised of a 4 mile course and 30 fences, with a combination of steeple chase and national hunt. Commencing on a Saturday in early April each year, The Grand National runs for 3 consecutive days and is one of the most watched spectator sports in the country. This famous race has been running since way back in 1839, with prize money well over $1 million.
Dubai World Cup – United Arab Emirates
The Dubai World Cup is a relatively new horse race on the circuit, with the first Cup being run in 1996. With a track length of 2000 metres and a prize pool of around $10 million, the Dubai World Cup has cemented itself as one of the most prestigious horse race meets in the world. Held during the night at the Meydan Racecourse with a luxury hotel overlooking the race track, horses from the Northern Hemisphere must be 4 years or older to enter, while horses from the Southern Hemisphere must be at least 3 and above.
Kentucky Derby – United States
Arguably the most famous and betted on horse race on the USA racing calendar, the Kentucky Derby is known and watched all over the world. Held on the first Saturday of each May at Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby has been a racing tradition since 1875. It’s a short race lasting just 2 minutes, but is often dubbed the “greatest 2 minutes in sports”. Each year 150,000 spectators watch the event live at the track.
The Melbourne Cup – Australia
The Melbourne Cup is definitely Australia’s best known horse race and is run on the first Tuesday of November every year. The great race had its first start way back in 1861 and has steadily grown bigger each season, being dubbed “the race that stops a nation”. It’s also one of the country’s richest horse races and the longest, and the Melbourne Cup 2019 is set to be bigger and better than ever before.
The Japan Cup – Japan
Considered by many in the horse racing fraternity to be the most prestigious race in all of South East Asia, the Japan Cup is run on the final Sunday of November every year, and has been running since 1981. The track at Tokyo’s Fuchu Racecourse is 2400 metres long, and there is a prize money purse totalling well over $5 million US. Being such an opulent and highly regarded race, it attracts horses and jockeys from all over the world. The Japanese consider the Japan Cup one of the most important sporting events on their calendar.
The Royal Ascot – England
Likely one of the oldest known horse races in the world, Royal Ascot was first run way back in 1711. These days it’s comprised of a week long series of races, with a total of 16 group races. Prize money for the main race totals close to $10 million US, or over 6 million British Pounds. More than 300,000 people crowd Berkshire every single year in the middle of June, and the dress code for the event is strictly formal. Royal Ascot boasts one of the richest horse races in all of Europe and was originally founded by Queen Anne.
Paris Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – France
Expect plenty of French champagne to be flowing on the first Sunday of October for the annual running of the Paris Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France. Often shortened to “The Arc”, the race has been run since 1920 and offers prize money in excess of $5 million. Longchamp Racecourse in Paris is the venue for the annual running of one of Europe’s most coveted horse races. The Arabian World Cup is also a feature of the event, where only Arabian horses are allowed.