Horse racing is a popular sport around the globe. From Japan to the Middle East, some of the fastest and strongest horses are being bred for racing purposes. With the advent of streaming television, these events are easier than ever to watch. Below, we give three of the biggest horse races in the world that you may want to watch.
Cheltenham Gold Cup
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is held as part of the Cheltenham Festival in the United Kingdom. This is the most important event in a meeting that contains a host of major races, filled with the best horses, jockeys, and trainers. The winning horse bags a cool £625,000 for its trainer.
First held in 1819, it was run on flat ground. Now it is a steeplechase, and the horse must run a distance of three miles and two and a half furlongs, with 22 fences that must be jumped.
This year’s event will prove to be just as competitive as the previous one. Last year jockey Rachael Blackmore was the first female to win on A Plus Tard and is expected to return with a 15/2 shot to reclaim her victory in Cheltenham Festival bets. Top jockey Paul Townend will also be vying to get first place with the 6/4 favorite Galopin De Champs.
The Kentucky Derby
The Kentucky Derby takes place annually and is held in Louisville, Kentucky, US. It is a grade one stake race for colts of three years and older. This means young horses get a chance to show their potential and make a name for themselves and their trainers.
This short, fast race is ideal for sprinters. Run over one and a quarter miles, its quick duration often earns it the moniker of the fastest two-minutes in American sport. Starting in 1875 with its first race, it is part of the American Triple Crown along with the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.
In true US fashion, there have been several traditions that surround the race. The winner is often draped in roses after the event, and spectators are known to enjoy a mint julep cocktail while watching.
The Melbourne Cup is one of Australia’s premier races and is famous for being one of the richest races in the world. This year a staggering AUD 8 million will be on offer for the winner. First held in 1861, it has mainly been a race of two miles long, though this has been changed sporadically.
Last year’s race was won by Verry Elleegant, an Australian and New Zealand-bred and trained horse who also won the Caulfield Cup and the Horse of the Year award. Makybe Diva is the horse that holds the record for the most wins with a back-to-back triple in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
By no means are these the only important races. However, for Nigerian horse lovers who are keen to see what events the world of racing has to offer, they are a great start.
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