With Champions Day at Ascot pretty much rounding off the British Flat racing season for another year, attention is quickly turning towards the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Set to be held over the course of two days at the picturesque Del Mar Racecourse in California, the prestigious meeting boasts over $31 million in prize purses and awards. So, it is no surprise that the best horses from all over the world flock stateside for the festival.
But, with two action-packed racecards, both of which are littered with Grade 1 races, it can be rather daunting for the regular bettor, who might not know where to look when checking the Smarkets horse betting pages. That is why we have put together this guide of the biggest races at the Breeders’ Cup World Championship. Read on to find out more!
Breeders’ Cup Classic – $6 million
Almost level on par with the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, which is the richest race in Europe, the Breeders’ Cup Classic boasts an eye-watering $6 million prize purse — making it the richest race in the United States. Contested over a mile and a quarter, which is considered as America’s ‘Classic’ distance, this Grade 1 contest is the USA’s premier race. Open to horses three years old and up, the Breeders’ Cup Classic has the ability to attract the best of the best and that makes it an incredibly difficult race to call. Tiznow, who won the Breeders’ Cup Classic back-to-back in the early 2000s, is the only horse to win the race on more than one occasion. This year’s favourite is the Brad Cox-trained Knicks Go, who is owned by the Korea Racing Authority.
Breeders’ Cup Turf – $4 million
With a prize purse of $4m, the Breeders’ Cup Turf is next in line. Open to horses three and over and ran over the European Classic distance of a mile and a half, it is no surprise that this Grade 1 race attracts the top talent from across the pond and is more often than not won by a British or Irish-trained horse. In fact, trainers John Gosden, Aidan O’Brien, Sir Michael Stoute and several other familiar names have picked up their fair share of victories over the last two decades or so, whilst Frankie Dettori holds the record for the most wins as a rider (5). In 2018, Enable became the first horse to win both the Arc and the Breeders’ Cup turf in the same year. This year’s potential entries include defending champion Tarnawa, Mishriff, and Love.
Breeders’ Cup Mile – $2 million
Another race set to be contested by some of Britain’s best produce, the Breeders’ Cup Mile will feature some of the greatest grass milers from the world. Ran around two turns on the turf course at Del Mar, the race is again open to horses aged three and older.O’Brien won the race for the first time in 2020 with Order of Australia, who wasn’t even supposed to compete in the mile-long race until One Master was scratchedjust days prior to the event, winning the race. This year, we could see Space Blues and Baaeed, both coming off fresh Group 1 victories at the Prix de l’Arc Triomphe meeting at Longchamp in Paris,go head-to-head for the $2m prize purse.
There are another five races worth $2m, including the Breeders’ Cup Sprint and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, while some six races boast prize purses of $1m.