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4 Biggest Horse Races in the World

In this guide, we’ll highlight the 4 biggest horse races in the world. 

Horse races have fascinated mankind for millennia. Every year, millions of horse racing fans flock around race tracks to spectate, wager, and soak up the buzz of these special events. Nearly all countries From France to Japan have horse racing traditions – they also host unique horse racing events. 

In this guide, we’ll highlight the 4 biggest horse races in the world. 

Kentucky Derby 

Horse racing is intrinsically linked to horse race betting, and at no other horse race is this more apparent than the Kentucky Derby. 

This is the longest-running horse racing event in the US and dates back to 1875. Still held at Churchill Downs, this annual event remains a symbol of Southern heritage. 150,000 people attend each year to spectate “the Run for the Roses” while sipping on mint julep cocktails. 

The track measures 1 ¼ miles and typically takes 2 minutes to complete. The purse for the 2024 derby is set to be $5 million. 

According to the sites listed in this Kentucky Derby Festival gambling guide, the favorites for the 2024 Derby have odds of around 3-1 each. However, upsets can happen, like in 1913 when Donerail won at 91-1 odds! 

To help you make the most out of your bets this year, Adam Haynes says you should look to the results of trial races, and use betting platforms that offer the best bonuses and rebates. Many of the gaming sites listed also accept cryptocurrencies. 

The Grand National 

The UK is home to several major horse races, but the Grand National is the most well-known and attended. The Grand National regularly sees over 150,000 in attendance on race day in addition to the 600 million people watching from home. 

It’s bigger than the UK’s Epsom Derby, which attracts around 100,000, as well as the Cheltenham Gold Cup, which had just under 71,500 on its main day in 2024. 

Part of what makes the Grand National so unique is its fences, which are considerably taller than standard course obstacles. 

The Grand National measures a total of 4 miles and 2 ½ furlongs. It takes a horse somewhere between 9 and 11 minutes to complete. The winner of the race receives upwards of $625K. 

Prix De L’arc De Triomphe 

Not only the biggest event of the French horseracing season, but the Prix De L’arc De Triomphe is also the most famous horse race on mainland Europe. 

This race is held on the first Sunday of every October and has a purse the equivalent of $5.49 million. It’s been running since 1920 and takes place at Longchamp Racecourse in Paris. 

The track itself is 1 ½ miles, meaning it’s a slightly longer race than the Kentucky Derby. On top of the 60,000 people who watch the race in person, many people worldwide watch a livestream of the event. 

The winner of this race receives the equivalent of $5.3 million. Interestingly, this race is the only one in the world to award separate prizes to the owner, jockey, and trainer of the winning horse. 

Dubai World Cup 

Despite being one of the newest horse racing events, the Dubai World Cup has grown to become one of the world’s premier racing events. Since 1996, the last Saturday of March has been dedicated to this event. 

The prize money for the main race in 2024 was $12 million, making it the second-richest race in the world (second only to the Saudi Cup, which has a purse of $20 million). However, several races take place at the Dubai World Cup which takes the total amount that can be won on the day up to $30.5 million, according to the Dubai Racing Club. 

The event is held at Meydan Racecourse and attracts a crowd of around 50,000 people. The racetrack measures 1.2 miles which is about 10 furlongs. 

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