Coronavirus has closed now only Essex’s only racecourse, Chelmsford City Racecourse, and all others including favourites in the region such as Newmarket, Kempton and Ascot, which are all very popular for Essex horse racing fans. Luckily, horse racing has started again, although the public are not able to attend yet. So, many horse racing fans are now looking further afield to see what big events and meets are being shown on the TV.
Horse racing is a beloved sport for spectators, with world famous races filling the sporting calendar and betting sites offering Epsom Derby guides and Royal Ascot offers to build up the excitement for these legendary events. But when it comes to taking part, which ones are really the most attractive to trainers, owners and jockeys? All races come with generous prizes as the popularity of the sport continues to grow they are able to increase the size of the purses, but some are a cut above the rest and offer breathtaking prizes to those that place. So let’s take a look… when it comes to horse racing here are the races to follow, and to win!
The Saudi Cup
When it comes to horse racing, no event is more lucrative than the Saudi Cup, which you can watch on SKY Sports Racing and Racing TV. With a pot of $20 million and $10 million of which will go straight in the pocket of the winner, the remaining $10 million will be given to those that place all the way down to 10th.
The event took place at the King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh in February 2020, in which competitors ran 1800 meters on the dirt track at a chance to have a slice of the second to none purse. Don’t think that just because of the large prize that only the wealthy can enter, the race is both free to enter and run, as well as organisers offering to cover travel fees for the horses that are invited to run.
Pegasus World Cup
Before the Saudi Cup, the Pegasus World Cup was introduced in 2017 as the richest race in the world and the lavish event is popular with many, both fans and competitors. As of 2018, the purse reached $16 million, with a maximum of 12 competitors facing a $1 million charge to enter and the purse being made up by the organiser.
The American thoroughbred race was first run in January of 2017 in Florida and is a distance of 9 furlongs open to thoroughbred horses of four years and older. Again, Sky Sports is the best place to watch in the UK.
The Grand National
When it comes to horse racing, many will think of The Grand National and despite not being the wealthiest in the world, the race does have the largest purse for a horse race in Europe, offering up a whopping £1 million, just over half of it going to the winner. The event is not only favourable for its prize fund but for the rich history it holds in the sport, as unlike the other events above, the Grand National has been held for 181 years.
The Grand National is also known for the difficulty of its track, with it stretching over 4 miles and 514 yards, with 30 fences to clear across the two laps. The event has seen some of the best horse racing talents grace the track and despite the significantly smaller purse, many compete to prove their talent and skill as over the years the track has put competitors through its paces and shown the crowds the best of the best – these crowds, including TV viewers across the world, reach an average 600 million.
Luckily, we might be able to get back to the races for the Grand National 2021 – and fingers crossed, Chelmsford City Races will be open again too!