Racing is the sport of kings and ultimately winning is the name of the game.
To that end, owners and trainers want their horses to run in the most valuable races available to try and accumulate prize money.
In an ever-changing world, there are some major pots to be secured in far flung locations. Here are the world’s five richest races according to the prize funds offered.
5. Pegasus World Cup ($4m)
The Pegasus World Cup commenced as recently as 2017. It’s run over a nine-furlong distance at Gulfstream Park in Florida and, like many of these mega-rich races, is run on dirt.
So far, the Pegasus has been won exclusively by American trainers, with Arrogate, Gun Runner, City Of Light, Mucho Gusto, Knicks Go and Life Is Good the winners.
Bob Baffert (two) is the only trainer so far to win twice. Prize money has dropped from an initial $12m on the first running to $4m in 2022.
4. Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (€5m)
Europe’s richest race, the Arc was first run in 1920 and is still recognised as Europe’s ultimate middle-distance test. In spite of prize money, it has the sort of history and prestige some of the other races on this list can only dream of.
There have been eight two-time Arc winners, including Treve and Enable this century, while iconic French trainer Andre Fabre (eight wins) has enjoyed more success than anyone and Frankie Dettori (six wins) is the most successful jockey in Arc history.
3. Dubai World Cup ($12m)
Once the world’s richest contest, the Dubai World Cup has been usurped in recent times. Backed by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the race was inaugurated in 1996.
It is the culmination of the Dubai Racing Carnival at Meydan Racecourse, held each spring, and the World Cup Night card in late March remains one of the richest cards in the world, with the feature race run on the dirt track.
Thunder Snow, winner in 2018 & 2019, is the only two-time World Cup winner, while Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation has won the race nine times and Frankie Dettori achieved a joint-record fourth win via Country Grammer in 2022.
2. The Everest ($15m)
In 2017 Australia launched The Everest, a six-furlong sprint at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney aimed at bringing some of the fastest horses in the world Down Under.
It’s a weight-for-age allowance race with a $600,000 entry fee and The Everest is run on turf. It is also the world’s richest flat turf horse racing event.
Redzel won the first two renewals for Kerrin McEvoy and trainers Peter & Paul Snowden, with Chris Waller saddling two of the three winners since – Yes Yes Yes and Nature Strip. Classique Legend won in 2020 – with all five Everest winners trained in Australia.
1. Saudi Cup ($30.5m)
The Saudi Cup only got started in 2020 with a prize pool of $10m but the Riyadh contest has quickly pushed forward to become the richest race in the world – with a prize pool in 2022 of a cool $30.5m. The Saudi Cup takes place at the end of February on dirt and is run over a mile and a quarter.
Maximum Security, Mishriff and Emblem Road won the first three Saudi Cups – the latter causing a major shock when scoring for Saudi-trainer Mitab Almulawah.