If you are new to horse racing and need guidance around which races are the best to watch, look no further! Horse racing is a sport that covers the whole world. Although most of the races will be in England, there are hundreds of others from different countries for you to watch.
If you need an extra hand, you can use TVG’s horse racing betting guide to break down the betting elements.
Now onto the best horse races to watch!
Cheltenham Festival – 15 to 18 March 2022
The Cheltenham Festival is based in Cheltenham, England. It is one of the most anticipated horse racing events of the season and takes place over 4 days. In total, they have 28 races over this time period; some are based on jumps, trainers, jockeys, and the horses themselves. You don’t have to watch them all, in fact, these are the best to get into.
The Unibet Champion Hurdle race is the most prestigious hurdle-based race in the season. It is played on Day 1 midway through the listings. It is a 2 mile and 87 yard long race (approximately 3.3 kilometers). Irish trainers are historically the most likely to win this race, to keep an eye on the horse’s details before placing a bet.
The Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase is on Day 2, and it’s a race all about stamina. The horses have to race for 2 miles (approximately 3.2 kilometers) and outrun their competitors to be added to the Roll of Honour.
The Ryanair Steeple Chase is set for midday Day 3 and is a race created for older horses ages 5 and upwards. This allows horses who were once the pick of the crowd to continue competing without harming themselves. The race is still around 2 miles long, so each competitor will need to be in good shape.
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is set for midday Day 4 and is the most prestigious steeplechase in the whole world. If you only watch one race at the Cheltenham Festival, make it this one. The prize money for the whopping £625,000, which is US$ 849,590.62. The winners of this race end up becoming legends in the world of Jump racing.
The Grand National – 9 April 2022
The Grand National is a name that even non-horse-race fans know about. It is arguably the most iconic horse race in the world, as 600 million people tune in to watch the horses sprint to the finish line. The racecourse is in Liverpool, England, and you can expect a massive crowd to come out to watch the race in pubs across the city.
On the day, there are a couple of extra races played out, but the Grand National is the only one you should dedicate your time to. You will see high-class performances, unbelievable speeds, and an atmosphere that is so palpable that you will feel as if you are in the stands while watching from your own home.
Dubai World Cup Carnival – 13 January to 26 March 2022
This particular cup is relatively new. It first began in March 1992 in the hopes of bringing horse racing to Dubai; as a result, these races have become the most popular sport in the community’s social calendar. The outlandish prize money is worth US$ 30.5million, and the races are less traditional than their English counterparts.
There are 6 races in total, but the best ones to look out for are Emirates.com, which is a handicap race for horses who have yet to prove themselves, and the Emirates Holidays, which feature a Maiden race of 2,000 meters.
Kentucky Derby – 7 May 2022
The best race in America is the Kentucky Derby. It is a Grade 1 stakes race for thoroughbreds around 3 years old. 20 horses compete to win the cup, which is an unusually high number. The English races, for example, would typically hold 8 horses per race. The Derby itself has around 35 races in total, so here are the ones you should be looking out for.
The obvious one is the primary race, the Kentucky Derby Race. It will determine who the winner is and who will be collecting the Garland of Roses and the Kentucky Derby Trophy. The other races to watch are the Old Forest Turf Classic and the Handicap Races. These two will give you some perspective on the best of the best while also showing you a cutthroat game.
Breeders Cup – 4 to 5 November 2022
Another fantastic US Kentucky race is the Breeders Cup. They have a long list of races for you to watch, all of which showcase the breeders and the horses more than the jockeys. The best ones to watch would be the Filly & Mare Sprint, the Juvenile Fillies Turf and Challenge Series, and the Qatar Racing Spring.