Often, we spend so much time thinking about how much we can win on the Grand National, the Kentucky Derby or the Arc that we forget just how much is up for grabs for the jockeys and trainers who take part. Because of some of the eye watering winnings, however nervous you are during a steward’s inquiry or a photo finish you can rest assured that those who quite literally have a horse in the race are feeling it even more.
The Saudi Cup
No race offers a prize as colossal as the Saudi Cup with an incredible $20m pay-out with half of that going to the winner. The most lucrative event in racing history, it is held on the King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The inaugural race was held in February 2020 and won by American Thoroughbred Maximum Security, rode by Panamanian jockey Luis Saez. The opening race has been embroiled in controversy however after The Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia announced that it would withhold Maximum Security’s purse money pending an investigation, following the indictment of trainer Jason Servis in the United States. There was no dispute following the second race however, when British-Trained Colt Mishriff led by Irish jockey David Egan won by a length.
Contested by Jockeys from the UK, Europe, the USA, Japan and Australia as well as two from Saudi Arabia, it is truly the race of champions with an incredible amount of talent. Thousands are expected to attend again this year as trainers John and Thady Gosden go for back-to-back wins with Mishriff. You can punt on this year’s race and tonnes more horse racing betting using 888 Sport, one of the most trusted sportsbooks in the world. With plenty of great offers for new and existing customers, you can sign up and start betting now using your smartphone, tablet or PC.
Of course, the Saudi Cup is not the only game in town and there are hundreds of other races throughout the year all over the world that offer purses that whilst not as gargantuan as the race in Riyadh, are still a pretty penny to say the least. Let’s take a look at some other competitions with spectacular payouts.
The Pegasus World Cup
The Pegasus World Cup is the most lavish race in the United States. Somewhat the American answer to the Saudi Cup, it is run over 9 furlongs on a dirt track just like its Saudi cousin. In fact, before the inception of the Saudi Cup, The Pegasus was once the richest race in the world with a huge prize pot of $12m in 2017 and 2018. Prize pots aside, it is one of the most entertaining horse racing spectacles whether you are attending in person or watching from home with your 888 Sport app open.
One of the biggest days on the sporting calendar in the UK, Royal Ascot is not just a big day for racing but also for culture and high fashion. The first event took place in 1839 and has been run nearly every year since with royalty in attendance. Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the Royal Family can often be seen spectating at Ascot, one of the most breath-taking racecourses in the world. It is fitting that the Royal Meeting is the richest meeting in the UK with 2019s prize fund totalling to £7.5m.
The Everest is the richest race run on turf in the world. Ran in Sydney, Australia on the Randwick Racecourse, it is one of the most modern races with its inaugural event taking place in 2017. It hosts some of the greatest sprinters in the world and was most recently won in 2021 by Nature Strip, a gelding trained by four-time winner of Australian Horse of the Year Chris Waller. In 2020, the prize pot amounted to a whopping $14m.
The Breeders’ Cup Classic
This race is often referred to as the unofficial fourth leg of the racing Triple Crown alongside the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and the Belmont Stakes. What is unique about this race is that there is no permanent home with the venue changing every year. Hosting the finale of the American Flat race season with some of the best horses from around the world, there is over $3m up for grabs for the winner.
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
This race is inarguably the most premium race in Europe and has been held at Longchamp in Paris, France for over 150 years. The Group 1 flat race is run on turf and remains one of the biggest races in the world with jockeys, trainers and horses from all corners of the globe competing. It is no wonder then that it boasts a prize pot of over $5m.