5 bucket-list horse races that every fan should watch

5 bucket-list horse races that every fan should watch

While football fans are fascinated to see how Xavi’s new-look Barcelona will fare in La Liga this season, and tennis fans are digesting the news regarding Roger Federer’s retirement, horse racing enthusiasts are gearing up for a selection of memorable events that are taking place all over the world. They aren’t short on options either.

A sport that is steeped in history, horse racing first entertained the masses in 700 BC and has since gone on to become a much-loved global sport that is thriving from the UK and Ireland, to Japan and Australia. For fans, races occur all year round and serve up a strong dose of excitement along the way. But what are the biggest horse races in the world that are worth following? Let’s take a look at some of them below.

Melbourne Cup

One of the main events on the horse racing calendar in Australia, the Melbourne Cup is held on the first Tuesday on November every year at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. Also known as ‘the race that stops the nation’, it’s watched by millions of fans who are hoping to come out with a memorable win after reading some helpful Melbourne Cup tips, alongside being served up the genuine thrill and excitement a race of this magnitude typically provides. Since the inaugural Melbourne Cup race in 1861, this 3,200-meter turf handicap for three-year-olds and up has become one of the most unmissable horse racing events in the world. In fact, when Melbourne Cup day takes place over the four-day racing feast, it’s a designated public holiday for the people of Melbourne and parts of Victoria.

Epsom Derby

A summer event where the winner can take home as much as £1,125,000, the Epsom Derby was first held in 1780 and is a Group 1 flat race for three-year-old colts and fillies run at 2,420 meters. With over 130,000 spectators watching on, alongside members of the royal family, it’s a horse racing event that manages to gain a lot of interest in England and outside of it. Its history is perhaps what separates it out from many other races on earth too, with it being created after Sir Charles Bunbury and Edward Stanley discussed the idea before letting a coin toss decide whether it had any legs. The rest, as they say, is history.

Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is officially the longest continuously-run sporting event in America and one of the most iconic sporting events globally. First taking place in 1875, the drama unfolds at Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville and is a thrilling two minutes of pure horse racing action. With fans and celebrities watching on, this particular race serves up an atmosphere like no other, with some of the most iconic races and horses shining on this particular stage. A race featuring three-year-old Thoroughbreds in a 1 1/4-mile run on dirt, it makes up the first leg of the Triple Crown and is an event sports fans simply don’t want to miss.

The Everest

Another iconic horse racing event from Australia, the Everest is officially the richest race on turf, with the winners receiving a staggering $15 million should they come out on top. A 1,200-meter weight-for-age event that requires an entry fee, it occurs on the second or third Saturday in October every year at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney and is watched by millions of fans of the sport. For many, alongside the Melbourne Cup, the Everest is the ultimate horse race in Australia.

The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

The undisputed highlight of the French horse racing season, “The Arc” is one of the most prestigious events in world racing. The tagline used for the 2003 event was “ce n’est pas une course, c’est un monument” – it’s not a race, it’s a monument – probably sums up the historic nature of this historic event at Longchamp. If the Melbourne Cup is the race that stops a nation, then this one does the same in France. Other huge horse races include the Gold Cup at Ascot Racecourse (England), the Breeders’ Cup Classic (rotating venues each year), the Dubai World Cup (United Arab Emirates).

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