The Richest Horse Races in the World

It’s called the sport of kings and when you see the sums of money involved it’s easy to see why!

We have previously covered sporting events with the biggest prize pots and racing is always on the list and like most top-tier sporting events, prize money is only going up up and the rich are getting richer.  In this sport of kings, there is a lot of competition with the big races all trying to outdo each other, and the title of world’s richest race changing hands three times in the last two years.

Sit back and enjoy this!

Saudi Cup – February

There’s a new king in town – The Saudi Cup in Saudi Arabia offers the massive prize money of $20 million with a first prize of $10 million – three times as much as for Europe’s richest race the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.  The race will fit in the calendar between the Pegasus and the Dubai World Cup and in an effort to modernise the image of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is allowing women jockeys and trainers compete!

The Saudi Cup will take place at the King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh every February with the dirt track holding 14 of the best horses from around the world and competes across 9 furlongs.

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Dubai World Cup – March in Dubai

Richest horse races

The Dubai World Cup got knocked off the top spot last year Pegasus World Cup but with the new format for 2022 the Dubai WC will now regain its position as the richest horse race in the world.

Held annually on the last Saturday in March at the stunning $1.25bn Meydan Racecourse, the event was created in 1996 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai who owns Darley Stud and Godolphin Racing.

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The prize fund has been boosted to $12m and the winner of the 2022 edition will take home a massive $7.2 million.  The total prize pool for the Dubai World Cup festival is $30.5 million

Run over mile-and-a-quarter (10 furlongs), the race invites four-year-olds or above from the Northern Hemisphere and three-year-olds or above from the Southern Hemisphere.

Pegasus World Cup – January in Florida

Richest Horse Race

Introduced in 2017 as the richest race on earth, the Pegasus World Cup is stinking rich, entry to each race costs a mere $1 million.   It is a very new race only starting in 2017 where the prize pot was $16 million!  But since it’s debut the prize money has been dramatically slashed

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It’s run over nine-furlongs on a dirt track at Gulfstream Park, Florida, the winner, Gun Runner, collected $7 million in 2018.  For 2019 the prize pot will be split across two Grade 1 races — the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and the new Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational over 1 3/16 miles.

The revamped Pegasus World Cup Invitational will command a prize fund of $9 million with $4 million going to the winner, while the turf race will offer a pot of $7 million with the winner bagging $3 million.

The prize pool for the Pegasus dropped to $3 million in 2022.

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The Everest – Sydney in October

richest horse races

Held at Royal Randwick, Sydney, Everest is six furlong race that brings the world’s best sprinters head to head.  It’s only been in existence since 2017 and has dethroned it’s rival Melbourne Cup as the country’s richest race with prize money of $15,000,000, making it the richest race in Australia and the richest turf race in the world.

It’s a 12 horse race costing $600k per entry.  The 2017/18 races were won by the same horse Redzel, winning 4.5 million on 2018 for his effort!

The Everest’s prize pot has been $15 million since 2020.

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The Breeders’ Cup Classic – Different location in Oct / Nov

It’s only small money compared to the above but the winner still takes home $3 million out of the 6 million prize pool.

The Breeders’ Cup Classic has been ran since 1984 and attracts the best thoroughbreds restricted to three-year-olds or above, the Classic is by some margin the biggest race on the Breeders’ Cup card and is usually dominated by US-bred horses

Uniquely, this race is held at a different location each year and has only once been hosted outside of the USA — the 1996 edition was held in Ontario, Canada.

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Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – Paris in October

 richest horse races

The richest horse race in Europe may not have the dazzling prize money of some of the above but it still remains one of the most prestigious and oldest races in the world.

The Prix de l’Arc is a 2,400m race three-year-olds and above, with the winner earning $3.2 million out of a fund of $5.6M.  The event has been ran at Paris’ Longchamp Racecourse since the old times in 1863 (apart from 2 years when it was hosted at Chantilly for refurb).

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The Melbourne Cup – Melbourne in November

richest horse race

This iconic race was first held in 1861 and has long been the richest race in Australia before being overtaken by The Everest.  The prize pot Melbourne Cup is $8 million, with the winner receiving $4.4 million.

The Melbourne Cup is held at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne every year on the first Tuesday in November.  Run on turf it’s the richest “two-mile” handicap in the world.

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Japan Cup – Tokyo in November

Japan’s biggest racing event is held every year in November at the Tokyo Racecourse, with the world’s best three-year-olds and above descending on the country’s capital.

It’s an invitational contest, limited to 18 places, racing for a share of the $5.8 million prize pot.  The mile-and-a-half race had it’s debut in 1981 and the winner takes home $2.8 million.

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The Kentucky Derby – Kentucky in May

Along with the Prix de l’Arc, Melbourne Cup, and Breeders Cup the Kentucky Derby among the most prestigious races on the racing calendar.  Held every May at Churchill Downs, Kentucky. The mile-and-a-quarter sprint on dirt, has a first place prize of $1.86 million, with a total prize pool of $3 million.

It’s long been known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” and 2019 will mark it’s 145th anniversary.

The Kentucky Derby Race is the first of the US Triple Crown which is held in Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky held on first Saturday of May.  It’s the most awaited annual stakes of all horse racing events in the country.

The Epsom Derby – Epsom Down in June

The richest and most prestigious flat race in the British racing calendar and one of the richest in Europe.  The Epsom Derby is run over a distance of one mile, four furlongs and 6 yards (2,420 metres), on the first Saturday of June each year and has a prize fund of at least $1.9m (£1.5m).

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