Horse racing has quickly become one of the biggest and most followed sporting events around the world, with huge diversity in demographic and fandom coming from all ages, genders, and backgrounds. With a simple racing concept, it can appeal to those who are purely interested in the racing, to those there for the horses. With the fast-paced racing and events that run year-round to provide little gap in competition, it’s no wonder horse racing has become so big.
Whilst most fans will typically stick to watching events that take place in their own region, certain events attract a much bigger international audience, as fans from across the world tune in. The biggest races in the sport take place in the modern home of racing in Britain but have quickly started to branch out to other parts of the world, including countries such as Dubai. They now hold the title for the richest race in the world, after previously being unseated by the Pegasus World Cup. One of the big surprises for this race too, is how quickly many fans have adopted one of the biggest aspects of horse racing in betting, as horse racing and sports betting in the UAE at Arabian Betting has only seen an increase. With that being said, which are some of the biggest horse racing events from around the world?
Breeders’ Cup – Although not one of the Triple Crown races, which includes the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. The Breeders’ Cup remains one of the biggest and most attended races in the US. Whilst it was once a one-day event, it has since changed to run for two or more days for the better part of a decade. Hosted toward the end of the year in November, it helps to round out US racing for the year, as one of the last big horse racing events to take place for the year too. Whilst there is some variance in the purse, it’s certainly a big event with total prizes totalling more than $30 million, certainly not something to snuff at.
Royal Ascot – The biggest horse racing event of the year certainly can’t be missed out, as even the Queen herself attends each year. With the Ascot being owned by the Queen too, the event becomes much more than just racing but instead more of a ceremonial event as pageantry and fashion have played just as important a role in the success of the event throughout its history. Although that isn’t to say it doesn’t still have some top-notch racing. The event runs over a five-day period with last year seeing a number of new races added to the card (likely in response to the pandemic) and as such it’s uncertain whether these same options will remain in the future. However, with the best horses from the UK, Europe, and all over the world being featured, this will always remain as one of the biggest and most impactful races of the year.
The Grand National – The longest race in the UK and perhaps one of the most iconic for its unique jumps that make up the course, have helped it to become the most popular steeplechase racing events in the world. The race is probably more well known however for the huge betting scene that follows it. Often regarded as the most bet event in horse racing, as many fans who wager the event will only do so at the grand national. It is widely advertised in countries such as the UK, just for this reason. With the event falling in the middle of the year, it comes a month after the Cheltenham festival, which is another marquee racing event in the calendar.
Dubai World Cup Carnival – The biggest event taking place in Dubai at the Meydan racecourse in the UAE, rounds out the end of the Dubai World Cup. Hosting a prize pool of $12 million in 2019, it is the richest horse racing event in the world. Whilst the whole event runs from the start of January through to the end of March, the finals don’t come until the end of March. Welcoming racers from all over the world too, it remains as one of the biggest races of the year. With the 2020 event being cancelled due to the pandemic, the 2021 race will see the 25th Anniversary celebrations get underway again too.
There are certainly many honourable mentions that haven’t been put in this list but mentioned such as the Cheltenham Festival from the UK and the Triple Crown Races in the US. However, this certainly does cover some of the biggest and most coveted races in the world, as horse racing as a whole continues to move from strength to strength.