The Most Anticipated Horse Racing Events in the World

Horse racing is one of the oldest sports in the world and, even to this day, pulls in enormous crowds and huge sums of money both in respect of attendance and bookmakers be it on site bookies or online betting sites. Here we look at some of the most anticipated horse racing events in the world.

What are the best horse racing events in the world?

The Aintree Grand National, United Kingdom

We start our look at the most anticipated horse racing events in the world with the five-day Grand National races that are held at Aintree racecourse, which is neat to Liverpool in England’s north west. It is unquestionably the most high desirable week of racing in England with the Grand National race itself, which takes place on the final day of the meet.

The prize money on offer for that one race alone tops £1m whilst the amount staked on the race from a bettors perspective is said to be around £300m. In 2023, over 500m worldwide viewers tuned in to watch the action unfold as Corach Rambler won the race.

Dubai World Cup, UAE

This next horse race is under half the distance of the aforementioned Grand National and takes place roughly two weeks earlier in late March. What it does boast though is a prize pool that is worth an eye watering £10m! In respect of gambling, you can bet on the event online but the tens of thousands who flock to the Meydan Racecourse in person are purely there to enjoy the horses owing to strict gambling laws in the Middle East.

Even with that considered Meydan Racecourse, which consists of a ridiculous amount of high end corporate boxes and hotel rooms, has now issue filling the 60k grandstand. It’s also worth noting what a modern arena the Meydan is with construction only completing in 2010!

Melbourne Cup, Australia

We now turn our focus to an event at the back end of the calendar year with the Melbourne Cup taking place in November. The race attracts huge interest in Australia where it has peaked with a television audience of 2.8m viewers (Australian metropolitan only) whilst the actual attendance for the race regular tops 100,000 spectators with the record standing some 20% higher than that.

The race itself sees horses battle it out for over 3,000 metres as their jockeys look to bag a share of the €8m prize fund. With the first Melbourne Cup dating back some 162 years, it’s fair to say it’s on the radar of every serious race lover.

Breeders’ Cup, United States or Canada

Another race meet that attracts huge interest from reputable betting sites in Canada is the Breeders Cup. It’s understandable too because there are significant opportunities to make big returns; a good example of that is the current betting market for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, where Cody’s Wish is the favourite to win at a whopping +700!

Combine those sort of betting opportunities with a host of races spread over two days that have a winners purse of between $1m and $6m, a moving location each year and a huge television coverage and you’ve got yourself that is heavily attended from far and near.

Saudi Cup, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia have been dominating sporting held lines in recent months as they look to get their hands on boxing, golf and, most recently with a host of transfer activity, football. Horse racing is no different though and 2020 saw the launch of this lucrative event!

The Saudi Cup takes place a month prior to the Dubai World Cup and blows it out of the water where prize money is concerned with the outright winner scooping $20m and the overall purse sitting at a world high $20m.

Champions Cup, Japan

In recent years, this dirt race hosted at Japan’s Chukyo Racecourse has served as a type of qualifier for the previously discussed Saudi Cup but it is a big event in its own right too. The Champions Cup boasts a first placed prize of ¥120m, which is in the region of $1m, has been taking place since 2000 and is widely considered amongst the biggest races in Japan.

The Kentucky Derby, USA

Last but not least in our look at the most anticipated horse racing events in the world we want to highlight one of the best of them all in the shape of the United States’ Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby has enormous pull around the view where money and viewership is concerned having built up a profile over the past 148 years dating back to 1875.

The race, which forms part of a much larger two week event, pays out a handsome $1.86m to the victor with a $3m purse overall. The race is the most popular horse racing event in North America both in respect of tradition and attendance with the host track, the Churchill Downs, holding a capacity of 170,000! The appeal of the race is further reflected in the monies stakes with bookmakers with the 2022 race seeing $170m wagered.

There you have it, our guide to the most anticipated horse racing events in the world. We’ve taken you on a journey of six different races touching down in six different countries and several continents too.

Now all that remains is for you to decide which events you’re adding to your horse racing bucket list!