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 of the toughest, if not the toughest, test of a horse and jockey. The horse was going to race in the 1978 Grand National but suffered a hairline fracture the day before the race and was retired from action. Red Rum was something of a British celebrity and he even opened supermarkets and even opened a rollercoaster in Blackpool called Steeplechase. Red Rum died in 1996 aged 30-years old.
The Highest-Rated Horse in History
Another British horse that was adored by the public was Frankel who only raced 14 times during a short career but managed to win all 14 of those races. Frankel emerged triumphant in races such as the 2000 Guineas Stakes and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and won just short of £3 million in prize money.
Frankel was retired in January 2013 with a Timeform rating of 147, which is still the organisation’s highest-ever rating for a horse. After retirement, Frankel was sent to stud and the fee was set at £125,000. He covered 133 mares in his first season as a stallion, earning his owners £16,625,000. Frankel’s stud fee is now £175,000 due to fathering several notable winning horses.