Horse racing, often referred to as “the sport of kings,” has been a popular sport since the times of Ancient Greece with records of horse racing dating back to 648 BC. Fast Forward to today and the gambling industry surrounding horse racing is worth more than $115 million. While it is often the jockeys who receive the plaudits for winning races, there have been some horses that have gained legendary status over the years. It is them, after all, who do all of the running and jumping, and the jockeys would not become famous without their trusty steed. Winning Three Consecutive Gold Cups Arkle is one of the most famous horses in the world and is widely regarded as one of the best horses to have ever lived. An Irish Thoroughbred, Arkle was born on April 19 in 1957 and lived a healthy life until his death on May 31, 1970. The

horse was owned by Anne Grosvenor, the Duchess of Westminster, was trained by Tom Dreaper and ridden throughout his career by Pat Taaffe. Arkle raced 35 times during his career, winning 27 of those races, finishing second twice and third three times, which is a phenomenal record. Arkle won three consecutive Gold Cups in 1964, 1965 and 1966. He also won the King George VI Chase, Irish Grand National, Leopardstown Chase, Whitbread Cup, Gallagher Gold Cup, Punchestown Gold Cup, Powers Gold Cup and the SGB Handicap Chase. Timeform gave Arkle a rating of 212, which is still the highest-ever rating given to a steeplechaser. Red Rum Made the Grand National His Own Red Rum was another horse that was a Thoroughbred Steeplechaser and one that was guaranteed to go down in history as one of the greatest horses that ever lived after he won the Grand national three times, in 1973, 1974 and 1977 while finishing second in 1975 and 1976. The Grand National is regarded as one…

Some horse racing meetings are steeped in history and tradition dating back several decades and sometimes up to a century and that is part of their appeal to the public. Others, however, seem to capture the imagination of horse racing fans even though they have not been on the scene for a long period of time, at least in the grand scheme of things. The Breeders’ Cup Championships first appeared on the American horse racing calendar as early ago as 1984. Until 2006, the Breeders’ Cup Championships took place over a single day, but switched to a two-day format from 2007 to present day. Originally, the Breeders’ Cup was created to cap off the North American horse racing calendar. It was initially met with much skepticism from prominent members of the horse racing community, yet it quickly became one of the most popular horse racing festivals in the world. Thanks to the huge purses

on offer, the Breeders’ Cup Championships held the title of the richest turf festival in the world for several year before the Dubai World Cup Night entered the fray. When the Breeders’ Cup expanded to two days, the first day was dedicated to female horses with day two used for colts and geldings. In 2007, the first year of the expansion, there was a staggering $25 million worth of purses up for grabs with $20 million awarded on the second day. Either Churchill Downs or Santa Anita Park hosted the Breeders’ Cup from 2008 through to 2014 with Keeneland hosting the 2015 edition. A year later, Santa Anita hosted the Breeders’ Cup for a record ninth time. Del Mar in California was chosen to host the 2017 Breeders’ Cup. The 13 Breeders’ Cup Championship Races only allow a maximum of 14 starters which often means each of the races are contested by some of the best and fastest horses on the planet. Horse owners from all…

Horse racing meetings are extremely popular around the world and America is no different with several major meets taking place every year where owners and jockeys can win vast sums of money, while punters hope to back the first horse past the finishing post. One of the more popular American race meetings is the world famous Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby is an annual event held in Louisville, Kentucky on the first Saturday of May. The race is a Grade I stakes race for three year old Thoroughbreds at the Churchill Down and it is a fitting ending race for the two week long Kentucky Derby Festival. It is one of the richest horse races in the world with a $2 million purse and a cool $1,425,000 being awarded to the first place finisher. To keep the playing field level, colts and geldings have to carry 126 pounds while fillies carry 121 pounds.

Americans call the Kentucky Derby “the most exciting two minutes in sports” as the horses make it around the 1.25 mile course in approximately two minutes. Secretariat holds the record for the fastest completion of the Kentucky Derby, winning the race in 1:59.4 minutes in 1973. The Kentucky Derby has run over the same 1.25 miles distance since 1896; races prior to this year ran over 1.5 miles. An estimated crowd of more than 10,000 people watched the inaugural Kentucky Derby in 1875 and it was a colt names Aristides, ridden by Oliver Lewis, who romped home to victory. The Kentucky Derby became part of a so called Triple Crown after thoroughbred owners began sending their successful Derby horses to compete in the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. Sir Barton became the first horse to win all three races, doing so in 1919, and 11 years later Gallant Fox became the second horse to complete the Triple Crown of American horse racing. Northern Dancer held the…

The Grand National

There are few events that can match a live horse race for excitement and exhilaration and even fewer that can rival the magic of the annual Grand National in the United Kingdom. The Grand National is a National Hunt horse race held at Aintree Racecourse near the city of Liverpool in England. It is one of the longest and toughest courses in the world with a horses having to jump 30 fences during two laps of the course that comes in at a distance of four miles 514 years, or 6.907 kilometres. William Lynn founded the Grand National in 1829 although there is much debate as to when the first Grand National race took place. Some say it was in 1836 and won by The Duke, which also won in 1837 before Sir William won in 1839. Records from this time are hazy at best and some believe these races took place at Maghull and

not Aintree and have therefore been removed from the official Grand National records. The 1839 race, won by Jem Mason on the horse Lottery that is referred to as the first ever Grand National race at Aintree. A famous Grand National story happened in 1928 when on the day of the race William Dutton, who was to ride Tipperary Tim, heard a friend shout out to him “Billy boy, you’ll only win if all the others fall down!” Amazingly, this actually happened with 41 of the 42 starters falling during the race, which was run in misty conditions and under very heavy going. Tipperary Tim won the race, which finished with only two riders after Billy Barton’s jockey Tommy Cullinan managed to remount and complete the course; Tipparary Tim won at 100/1 odds. In the 1970s, a horse named Red Rum began breaking a number of horse racing records in the United Kingdom and to this day is the only horse to win the Grand…