When it comes to high-paid sports, it is usually soccer, boxing, and ones with lucrative sponsorships that spring to mind. Yet horse racing has some of the highest payouts in the world.
Owners take the largest share of the money from winning races, but jockeys can also earn afterward through media appearances and the physical prizes they are given for winning. Below, we give the highest-paying horse races in the world
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The Melbourne Cup is Australia’s premier horse race. Ran since 1861, it was introduced by the Victorian Turf Club as a way to trump an event held by their rivals, the Victorian Jockeys Club.
When they disbanded, both entities formed as one and started to hold races in Melbourne and Victoria. Traditionally, the race has been held on the 1st Tuesday in November since 1875.
Back in 1861, the winner of the race received a gold watch before a cash purse was introduced. Later, a trophy would become the prize synonymous with the race. The prize pot for all races is now $8 million making it one of the highest-paid races in the world. This gets broken down across the top ten places.
The winner gets $4.4 million from that and the trophy itself, which is worth $250,000 in gold. This year’s winner was Gold Trip, ridden by Mark Zahra. The jockey gets 5% of this, the trainer 10%, and the owner 85% percent.
The full Melbourne Cup results can be viewed here, also showing second place Emissary, third place High Emocean and all the runners up to 21st position. You will also be able to find next year’s runners as they become available and submit themselves to the race later in the year.
Breeders’ Cup Classic
The Cup Classic is part of the larger Breeders Cup event, the top-flight race meeting in the US. Throughout the year, different meetings and races take place, which allows horses to qualify. This ensures the best of the best are at the event. The Classic is run on dirt for over 1 mile and is for older horses.
This year’s race had some great surprises, with many of the favorites making true to their word and some surprising high placings. The favored Flightline ridden by Flavien Prat took the first-place position, netting the prize fund of $3,120,000. This was followed by Olympiad and Taiba. However, another favorite, Life is Good, quickly tired and fell back to the fifth position, shocking many.
One of the most exciting events in UK horse racing, the Grand National is a spectacle of endurance. The race itself has a prize pot of over $1 million. Surprisingly, over half of that goes to the winning horse, around £561,300. A second-place position nets around £350,000 less, with around 25% of horses in the race receiving a payout. With an average of 40 runners, this makes the race extremely competitive.
However, that money does not come easy. Not only is there a huge field of runners, but it is also a long four-and-a-half-mile steeplechase. On average, winners have odds of around +2000. Though the race is unpredictable, there have even been winners of +10000 in the past and even higher.