Horse racing is a popular sport worldwide, boasting fun-filled meetings and a massive gambling community. These are the top 10 popular horse racing events in the UK and worldwide.
The Royal Ascot
This famous event goes down in June every year. It is a British social sporting occasion that receives various top-class guests, including Royal families. The dress code for this festivity is specific, featuring suits, hats, and the finest dresses and corsets. The tickets are not easy to come by, but you are free to stream the races live and place bets.
The Grand National
Featuring 30 fences, the Grand National attracts over 600 million viewers in-person and on tv. It is an iconic steeplechase competition that has been taking place since 1839. The racecourse is welcoming, including several hospitality tents, restaurants, and nightly festivities.
Unlike the Royal Ascot, anyone can get tickets to the Grand National for as little as £57. However, you have to book your entry well in advance because the thrill of this jump race attracts many people.
Dating back to the 1860s, The Cheltenham Festival is among the UK's oldest and most prestigious horse racing events. This annual competition runs for 4 days, usually in March, at Cheltenham Racecourse in Gloucestershire.
There are usually about 30 races in the event, providing a huge betting opportunity. The Cheltenham Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle are especially considered the most prestigious hurdle and chase horses worldwide.
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The famed Derby at Epsom debuted way back in 1780 and continues to be one of horse racing’s most significant spectacles. It attracts a diverse attendance of over 100,000, among them celebrities and royalties.
It also has a few unique and exciting prizes, such as a £5,000 reward for the best-dressed lady. However, the Investec Derby, boasting an incredible prize pot of £1,5 million, is the highlight of the competition.
One of the most popular sporting events in the United States, the Kentucky Derby, has made its mark in the world of sports. It has a prize purse of $3 million (£2.2 million). The competition dates back to 1875. It takes place on the first Saturday of May at the Churchill Downs Racetrack, Louisville. Among the most competitive races on this track is the US Triple Crown of Thoroughbred. It has been crowned the “greatest 2 minutes” of sports action.
Dubai World Cup Carnival
Some have argued this is the biggest horse racing meeting in the world. It began in 1996 and quickly made the UAE one of the top destinations for horse racing fans. The top perk of the event is its jaw-dropping $35 million prize purse. It is known to be the richest meeting in the world.
Racers stream to the city every year from January to March, during which race events run throughout. That is three months of intense horse racing action for participants, bettors, and other enthusiasts.
Pegasus World Cup
The first running of the Pegasus World cup was only as recent as 2017. The US-based event broke the record of the richest prize fund ever during its second running. Recent adjustments lowered the prize purse to $9 million and later $3million (2022), making it one of the most extravagant globally.
Qatar Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe
Also known as the Arc, this is among the most significant horse racing meetings in Europe. It takes place every first Sunday of October on the Longchamp racecourse in Paris, France. The race covers a distance of about 2.4 km, and the race track is made of turf instead of dirt, as is the standard for Europe. It has a money prize purse of €5 million (£4.2 million), making it the most extravagant flat race in Europe.
This is the most prestigious horse racing event in Japan. It kicks off every year on the last Sunday of November, providing a great end-of-the-year racing thrill. The first Japan Cup was held in 1981 at the Tokyo Racecourse, Fuchu. It has a prize purse of just under $6 million. However, it does not welcome more than 10 horses that have been trained outside of Japan.
The Breeders Cup is another one for the end-of-year festivities that goes down every November in a different location within the US – although the 1996 edition was held in Canada. A series of qualifying races are carried out worldwide to make it into the Breeders Cup.
Among the highlights of the races are mares, fillies, and juveniles. Each race takes a maximum of 14 runners. It has a prize purse of $6 million. Punters can enjoy up to 14 races that take place during this time.