The World's Richest Horse Races

By Captain Thomsen on 28 Sep 2015

The "Sport of Kings" offers racehorse owners large sums of prize money at races around the world, but nowhere more than at the nine races featured below:

1. The Dubai World Cup

There’s no disputing the richest horse race on the planet. Every year The United Arab Emirates hosts the Dubai World Cup, a race that attracts a selection of the finest 4 year old and older racehorses in the Northern Hemisphere, as well as a smattering of 3 year old and older talent from the Southern Hemisphere. The 2 000 meter race over dirt awards a purse of $10 million.

2. Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe offers the second largest purse in thoroughbred racing. Run over a distance of 2 400 metres, the race brings together the finest thoroughbred talent from the United Kingdom, Ireland and continental Europe. The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe rewards horses that place handsomely with a purse of €5 million (around $5,68 million), which is shared between the top five finishers.

3. The Breeders' Cup Classic

The Breeders’ Cup constitutes another of the world’s richest horse races. The race is run over a distance of 1½ miles by a collection of the finest 3 year old and above thoroughbred races on the planet. Success in the race generates significant rewards, with $5 million in prize money on offer for the second biggest race at the Breeders’ Cup meeting.

4. The Melbourne Cup

Australia’s Melbourne Cup is billed as the ‘race that stops a nation’, and carries a proportionately significant prize fund. In fact the Melbourne Cup is the world’s richest handicap flat race, paying out a prize fund of A$6,2 million (approximately 4.5 million US dollars).

5. The Hong Kong Cup

The Hong Kong Cup is Asia’s answer to the Epsom Derby and the Kentucky Derby. Run over a distance of 2000m by Asia’s finest 3 year old and above thoroughbred racehorses, the Hong Kong Cup doesn’t slouch when it comes to gargantuan payouts, and tosses up a $3,2 million purse for the top performers in the race.

6. The Rest of the Breeders' Cup

rest of breeders' cup

There’s no competing with the Breeder’s Cup when it comes to enormous prize funds. Rated as being the single richest sports event in the world, the Breeders Cup awards well over $24.5 million in prize money for races run over the course of the two-day event. Whilst the Classic and Turf pay out the biggest prizes at the meeting, six other races pay out purses worth $2 million.

7. The Kentucky Derby

There’s more to Kentucky than its famous fried chicken. Every year the finest three year old thoroughbreds in North America gather to run in the Kentucky Derby, the opening race of the American Triple Crown of thoroughbred racing. The 1¼ mile race is the richest in the Triple Crown series, paying out $2 million in prize money.

8. The Irish Derby

Irish thoroughbred racing is no longer the poor second cousin of the racing that takes place across the Irish seas. The Irish Derby, Ireland’s answer to the Epsom Derby, is one of the richest races in the world, and by far the richest on the Emerald Isle. Every year the 1 mile 4 furlong race awards a purse of €1.25 million – approximately $1.4 million.

9. The Epsom Derby

Few thoroughbred races can rival the Epsom Derby when it comes to heritage and prestige. The richest of the five English Classics, the Epsom Derby is not only a horse race but also a cultural institution. The 1 mile 4 furlong Derby rewards its participants handsomely with a purse of £1.325 million (approximately $2 million), which is up for grabs in the race.

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