Horse racing is one of the most widespread events on the annual sports calendar, with one major racing event or the other being scheduled for every month of the year.
Despite the vast numbers, only a handful of these events are internationally acclaimed and prestigious enough to find themselves on this list of the best horse racing betting events.
Saudi Cup (King Abdulaziz Racetrack, Riyadh)
The Saudi Cup was inaugurated only in 2020 and it has already become the world's richest horse racing event. With a total prize purse of $35.1 million, 16 races will be conducted over a period of two days:
- The stc International Jockeys Challenge Day on Friday 25th February
- Saudi Cup Day on 26th February, which will sport the world's richest horse race, aka the Saudi Cup ($20 million)
Cheltenham Festival (Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham)
One of the biggest, richest, and most prestigious jump racing events in the world will complete its 162nd year in 2022. The Cheltenham Champions Day starts off on Tuesday, March 15th, followed up by Ladies Day on Wednesday 16th March, St Patrick's on Thursday 17th March, and Gold Cup Day on Friday 18th March.
Particularly famous for the £625,000 Cheltenham Gold Cup steeplechase on Day 4, this single day will see millions of pounds being won and lost in bets. Looking online, you'll find a big coverage of the meeting, some Cheltenham Day 4 tips to find the schedules, updates, odds, and even the favourites for each of the seven races on 18th March, including the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Dubai World Cup Night (Meydan Racecourse, Dubai)
Always held on the last Saturday of March, Dubai World Cup Night is scheduled for Saturday, 26th March in 2022. With a boosted prize pool of $30.5 million, it will continue to be one of the richest horse racing events in the sport's history.
Grand National Festival (Aintree Racecourse, Aintree)
Just like the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the Grand National will be returning to its full glory on Saturday 9th April in 2022 with a refilled prize pool of £1 million. It's the most prestigious and richest race within the entire horse racing community in the UK, but it's not the only race that's part of the Grand National Festival. A total of 21 races will be held on Thursday 7th April, Friday 8th April, and Saturday 9th April.
Kentucky Derby Festival (Churchill Downs Louisville)
The Kentucky Derby Festival is going to start on Saturday 30th April with the Opening Night, and end on Saturday 7th May with the $3 million Kentucky Derby. In between, look out for Dawn at the Downs on Sunday & Monday (May 1st & 2nd), Champions Day on 3rd May, and the Kentucky Oaks on Friday 6th May.
Epsom Derby Festival (Epsom Downs, Epsom)
The Epsom Derby Festival was built around the richest horse race in the United Kingdom, which is, of course, the £1.125 million Epsom Derby Stakes, also known simply as The Derby. In 2022, keep your schedule free for the races on Friday 3rd June (Ladies Day), but especially on Saturday 4th June (Derby Day).
Belmont Stakes (Belmont Park, Elmont)
The Belmont Stakes Festival is scheduled to be held on Saturday 5th June and a total of 4.4+ million dollars will be contested in a single day. There will be a total of seven Grade I races, and just one Grade II race on 5th June.
Melbourne Cup Racing Carnival (Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne)
As the most prestigious and popular horse race in Australia, the AUD$8 million Melbourne Cup is always the main event at the Melbourne Cup Racing Carnival. Almost as old as the Cheltenham Festival itself, the Melbourne Cup Carnival also follows a similar 4-day event schedule which starts on Saturday 29th October in 2022. Check the schedule below:
- Saturday 29th October - Victoria Derby Day
- Tuesday 1st November - Melbourne Cup Day
- Thursday 3rd November - Oaks Day
- Saturday 5th November - Stakes Day
Sydney Spring Racing Carnival (Randwick Racecourse, Sydney)
Thanks to a prize purse of AUD$15 million, The Everest is Australia's richest horse race, as well as being one of the richest horse races internationally. It's scheduled to be held on Saturday, 15th October as the main event at the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival 2022.
However, the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival is a particularly long one that starts in August and stretches on for eight weeks. With an allotted pool of AUD$45+ million in total on stake, also keep an eye on Epsom Day on 1st October and the Golden Eagle Day on 29th October.
Breeders' Cup World Championships (Keeneland Racecourse, Kentucky)
Probably the world's second richest horse racing event now, the Breeders' Cup World Championships 2022 has a total prize pool of $31 million. The two-day event will be held on Friday 5th November, and Saturday 6th November. All 14 races have a minimum prize pool of $1 million, with the Breeders' Cup Classic being contested for $6 million.
This article was published on March 7, 2022, and last updated on May 18, 2022.