The Top 5 Most Prestigious Horse Racing Events to Attend

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The Top 5 Most Prestigious Horse Racing Events to Attend

Horse racing is such a global phenomenon that there are hundreds of races to choose from. However, although it has gained a world of popularity, that doesn’t mean that the core racing events have lost its prestigious and glamorous atmosphere. 

In fact, many of the horse racing events around the world require a level of sophistication with their betting. 

Today we want to show you where the most prestigious horse racing events are, so you know which ones to attend this year!

1. Royal Ascot

Don’t think that royalty has swayed our judgment, as the Royal Ascot has more prestige than just its namesake. With a winning jackpot of $8,101,800 (£6 Million) at stake, this 5 day event has every horse racer twitching.

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World class riders come to this event year after year, but it’s not just the track that is filled with recognizable names. The seats are also filled with retired jockeys of past wins and legendary breeders. Of course, we cannot ignore the royal seats for the British monarchy either. 

If you want to sit in the same stadium as the royals, then you need to wear a specific dress code, including suits, dresses, corsets and hats. If anyone tries to show up wearing jeans and a nice top, they will not be allowed in.

The most impressive seats in the whole event are in the royal enclosure. These tickets are very rare, so if you get one, drink in the moment.

2. Kentucky Derby

Across the whole of America, the Kentucky Derby is the most prestigious horse racing event. You can expect A-List celebrities and billionaires aplenty to enjoy the amazing races. The one-day event all leads to a winner taking home an amazing $1,860,000 (£1,397,408) as well as the title of Kentucky Derby Champion.

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The title alone is what most racers hope for, as this 2-minute long race can put even a novice on the map!

The race is 2,000 meters long, and despite it being the one of the most famous horse racing events in the world, it still holds the name “2 Minute Sport”. Still, as the first leg of the American Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby will always be remembered as a fantastic horse racing event!

3. Belmont Stakes

From the first race in the American Triple Crown to the last race. The Belmont stakes first started in 1867, and that long history has brought with it a level of historical prestige.

The Belmont is also known as the “Test of Champions,” as it is the final hurdle in America’s most loved horse racing tournament. 

It starts off with three-year-old horses, and once they have completed the race, these thoroughbreds will be fully matured. It’s almost as if this legendary race is a test of skill to allow the next generation to become even faster. 

With a race as detailed and important as this one, you may need a Belmont Stakes Betting Guide to help you navigate through the entire event. 

4. Qatar Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe

Also known as simply the Arc, the Qatar Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe is one of the biggest horse racing events in Europe outside of the UK. It is based in Longchamp Racecourse, Paris, and the race track itself is 2,400 meters of turf and not dirt.

Across most of Europe, turf is the expected racing surface which is wildly different from the US. The difference in the ground will give the horses either a firmer grip or a flatter surface. This means that US horses who prefer the flat surface of dirt might be slowed down when running on turf, while European horses who like the grip of grass may slip and slide when presented with dirt.

Of course, a horse race doesn’t measure its prestige in mud, but one way it does is through the grand prize. The Qatar Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe is one of the most profitable flat races in the world, earning riders $5,775,750 (€5 Million or £4,336,404).

However, unlike the American Triple Crown races, to qualify for this event, the horse needs to be three years of age or older.

5. Japan Cup

Just like most things in Tokyo, you can expect lights, stunning displays, and a fantastic atmosphere from the Japan Cup. As with the majority of these races, the length is over 2,400 meters long with an eye-watering $4.1 Million (¥476 Million or £3.6 Million). 

This event is much newer to the scene of horse racing, having only started in 1981. However, it has become an amazing place of sport, not just because of its ability to draw in fantastic jockeys and breeders, but also because of the remarkable finishes they often show us!

For example, in the 2021 race last year, we had a leading horse in Aristotle, which was surprisingly overtaken by Keisuke on a wide run around the back. Most of us thought this was it, Keisuke had won it, but with half the race still to play for, you can bet more shenanigans happened!

As the finish line was in sight, 3 horses created a line in the front for a breakneck finish. Authority, Sharia, and Contrail all battled to get the last sprint, but then Contrail managed to beat his rivals and rush to the end. 

It was a race for the ages, and just what you should expect in the Japan Cup!

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