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The World’s Top Horse Racing Events

Every year, hundreds of annual horse racing events take place from small races to luxurious events in Dubai. These races usually attract thousands of spectators and showcase the best racehorses in the world.

Besides the beauty and glamor of the sport, horse racing has a gambling appeal. It’s the biggest gambling vehicle in the world and presents gamblers with a chance to walk away with impressive cash. Perhaps that’s why it’s loved by the rich.

Whether you like following along on TV or prefer to travel to the events, here are ten high-profile horse racing events around the globe.

10 Top Racing Events in the World

1.   Dubai World Cup

Horse racing in Dubai began in 1996. Since then, it has grown into one of the richest races in the world. The Dubai World Cup hosted in the Meydan racecourse has positioned the UAE as the best destination for horse racers and their fans.

This race stands out from other horse racing events because of its mind-numbing $35 million grand prizes. It takes place between January and March every year. Also, qualifying horses are selected for the finals based on ratings and their previous night’s performance.

Although Dubai hosts many kinds of horse racing events, the Dubai World Cup is the most iconic. It’s a three months race packed with endless fun for horse race fans and bettors.

2.   Melbourne Cup

The Melbourne Cup takes place on the first Tuesday of November in Australia. The iconic race dates back to 1861, and it’s considered the best 3,200 meters (about 2 miles) horse racing event around the globe.

It takes place at Flemington Racecourse every year and attracts thousands of spectators, including international attendees. It’s custom for fans who attend the Carnival to wear customary hats.

That’s not all! There’s also a Fashion-on-the-Field competition that celebrates the best-dressed men and women.

The 3,200m racecourse test the racehorse’s speed and stamina. Horses run counter-clockwise on a turf track. And the winners walk home with a stunning 18.5-carat gold trophy.

There’s only one horse that has won the Melbourne Cup three times. The Makybe Diva won three consecutive victories in 2003, 2004, and 2005.

3.   Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby occurs on the first Saturday of May each year. The race was first held in 1875. Since that time, it has grown to become the most successful American event.

It takes place at Churchill Downs racecourse, Louisville, Kentucky. The event showcases several horse races. But perhaps the most popular one is the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing that attracts over 150,000 spectators every year.

This is a 2,000m (about 1.25 miles) dirt race that lasts only 2 minutes. Winners get to walk away with a cash price of $3,000,000. It’s nicknamed the “run for the roses” because the winning horse is draped in a blanket of red roses.

Kentucky Derby is the most valuable event on our list. It’s hard to think of any other more popular horse racing event than this.

4.   Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot is a top horse race that Queen Elizabeth and Royal Party attend every year. It runs for a week and includes 16 groups of races.

Since 1711, this race has been part of British tradition. It's even a major part of Britain's social calendar. The five days longs event held midway in the year oozes luxury. Everything from luxurious fashion to fine dining and even champagne will leave you yearning for more. Let's not forget the mind-blowing $10 million prize money.

Royal Ascot takes place at the Ascot racetrack in Berkshire. The funny thing is that the Queen is the owner of the racecourse. So, before the events begin, a royal procession is held along the track.

5.   Nakayama Grand Jump

Held in mid-April every year in Funabashi, Japan, Nakayama Grand Jump is a famous steeplechase race that attracts thousands of fans from all over the world. They come to watch as horses navigate twisted turf and dirt track and jump over various obstacles placed along the track.

The 3 miles long race includes over four years old thoroughbred horses. Nakayama Grand Jump was held first in 1999, and it was 4100m or 2.5 miles until 2000.

The grand prize is around $2 million, making it the richest steeplechase horse racing event in the world. However, it doesn’t attract that huge international crowds like mentioned events.

6.   Grand National

Grand Nation horse riding event made it to our list because it’s one of the most popular steeplechase races around the globe. The race first occurred in 1839.

It’s held yearly in early April at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England. People from all over the world flock to watch the horses jump over fences over two laps and enjoy top-notch hospitality as well as elegant fashion.

Besides that, it’s also the biggest betting annual race since most individuals who wager on this race don’t place bets on any other races. Additionally, the official track distance is 4 miles and 414 yards.

The winners of the race receive a $1 million prize fund. In fact, it’s considered one of the richest handicap steeplechase races worldwide.

7.   Breeder’s Cup

The Breeder’s Cup World Championship is held in different locations in America every year. From 1984 to 2005, the event ran for a single day. But in 2007, it became a two-day event.

Although it’s a very popular race, the attendance of the race depends mostly on the track location. The main event usually takes place on the first Saturday of November. However, there are a series of qualifying horse racing events held around the globe. Racers who win in these events qualify to compete at the main event.

Up to fourteen races take place during the two days. The winners get to walk away with a Breeder's Cup Trophy and cash prizes. It's a fun event, and every horse-riding enthusiast should attend.

8.   Prix de I’Arc De Triomphe

The Pix de I’Arc de Triomphe is held on the first Sunday in October at Longchamp Racecourse, Paris, France. It’s arguably the most race in Europe. Arc has a rich history behind it after the first race happened in 1920.

It didn’t take place in 1939 and 1940 because of World War II. And in 1943 and 1994, the event took place at Le Tremblay.

The horses have to cover 1.5 miles on a turf track. Throughout the weekend, 17 races take place. Winners stand a chance of winning a money prize of $5.6 million.

Besides the exhilarating horse riding, the event features jazz music, champagne, elegant fashion, among others.

9.   Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham Festival is another popular horse racing event in Britain. The race happens in Cheltenham racecourse, England, and it showcases top steeplechase racehorses from Britain and Ireland.

The inaugural first took place in 1890. Since then, the Cheltenham festival has become one of the greatest races in the UK. It’s known for the Cheltenham Gold Cup run, which takes place on the last day. But the festival hosts 27 other races, including Queen Mother Champion Chase and Champion Hurdle.

In addition, spectators enjoy top-notch hospitality, and winners receive over $6 million prize money.

10.   The Pegasus World Cup

The Pegasus event takes place in Florida on the last Saturday of January. At the event held in Gulfstream Park Racetrack, Hallandale Beach, fans will enjoy seeing thoroughbred horses compete.

In the second year after its inauguration, the event’s prize fund reached $16 million, making it one of the richest horse racing events in the world.

The Pegasus World Cup has undergone some changes recently. Now there are both dirt and turf events. However, the dirt event still remains the most valuable one.


As we end our article, we want to say there are many amazing races out there besides the ones mentioned here. However, these offer the best horsing experience around the globe.

Whether you’re a gambler or horse-riding enthusiast, we hope this piece proves useful to you. Thank you for stopping by!


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