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Epsom Derby, popularly known as The Derby.

Top 20 Greatest Horse Racing Events in the World

Horse Racing Event News, Reviews & Resources (42) Top 20 Horse Racing Events

A DERBY is a type of horse race named after the Derby Stakes run at Epsom Downs Racecourse in England. That was in turn named after Edward Smith-Stanley, 12th Earl of Derby, who inaugurated the race in 1780. Perhaps the best-known example after the original is the Kentucky Derby in the United States.

Traditionally, the term "derby" is used strictly to refer to races restricted to three-year-olds, as the English and U.S. Triple Crown races all are. The most notable exceptions to this rule are the Hong Kong Derby and Singapore Derby, restricted to four-year-old Thoroughbreds, and the Canadian Pacing Derby, an annual harness race for "aged pacers" (Standardbreds) four years old and up.

In Scandinavian harness racing Derby is restricted to four-year-olds. Exception is the Finnhorse Derby, which is restricted to five-year-olds.

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    Horse Racing Event News, Reviews & Resources
  • BELMONT STAKES - since 1867. American grade 1 stakes thoroughbred horse race held every June at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. The race is the third and final leg of the Triple Crown, following five weeks after the Kentucky Derby, and three weeks after the Preakness Stakes.
  • BREEDERS' CUP - since 1984. A Grade 1 Weight for Age thoroughbred horse race for 3 year olds and older run at a distance of 1¼ miles (2012 m) on dirt. Location: North America.
  • Caulfield Cup - since 1879. Melbourne Racing Club Group 1 Thoroughbred horse race held under handicap conditions, although the Melbourne Racing Club is in the process of turning the race into weight for age (WFA) conditions. This is for all horses aged three years old and older. It takes place over a distance of 2400 metres at the Caulfield Racecourse, Melbourne, Australia in mid October. The prize money is A$5,000,000.
  • Cheltenham Festival - since 1860. A meeting in the National Hunt racing calendar held annually in March in the United Kingdom, with race prize money second only to the Grand National. The meeting usually coincides with Saint Patrick's Day, and is particularly popular with Irish visitors.
  • Dubai World Cup - since 1996. "The world's richest horse race and day of racing." A series of six thoroughbred horse races held annually at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Run under the auspices of the Emirates Racing Authority, the event currently offers purses totalling US$30 million and is the single richest day of Thoroughbred racing in the world.
  • EPSOM DERBY (THE DERBY) - since 1780. "The greatest flat race in the world." Epsom, Surrey, England. A Group 1 flat horse race in Great Britain which is open to three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies. 1st prize: £709,625 (2009).
  • Goodwood Festival - since 1979. Group 3 flat horse race in Great Britain open to thoroughbreds aged four years or older. It is run at Goodwood over a distance of 1 mile and 4 furlongs (2,414 metres), and it is scheduled to take place each year in late July or early August. Goodwood Racecourse, W. Sussex, England.
  • GRAND NATIONAL - since 1839. World-famous National Hunt horse race held annually at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England. First run in 1839, it is a handicap steeplechase over 4 miles 3½ furlongs (7.141 km) with horses jumping 30 fences over two laps. It is the most valuable jump race in Europe, with a prize fund of £1 million in 2015.
  • Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris - since 1874. Group 1 steeplechase in France which is open to horses aged five years or older. It is run at Auteuil over a distance of 6,000 metres, and during its running there are twenty-three fences to be jumped. It is the richest and most prestigious jumps race in France, and it is scheduled to take place each year in late May.
  • GROUP 1 FLAT HORSE RACES - list of British flat horse races.
  • HONG KONG DERBY - thoroughbred horse race held annually since 1873. Restricted to horses four-years-old only since 1981.
  • IRISH DERBY - since 1866. "Where Champions Are Made." A group 1 flat horse race in Ireland which is open to three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies. It is run at the Curragh over a distance of 1 mile and 4 furlongs (2,414 metres).
  • KENTUCKY DERBY - American grade 1 stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbred horses, held annually since 1875 in Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY, U.S.A.
  • MELBOURNE CUP - since 1861. Australia's major Thoroughbred horse race. Billed as The race that stops a nation, it is a race for three-year-olds and over, over a distance of 3,200 metres. It is the richest and most prestigious "two-mile" handicap in the world, and one of the richest turf races in the world.
  • Palio di Siena - (known locally simply as Il Palio) is a horse race that is held twice each year, on 2 July and 16 August, in Siena, Italy. Ten horses and riders, bareback and dressed in the appropriate colours, represent ten of the seventeen contrade, or city wards. The Palio held on 2 July is named Palio di Provenzano, in honour of the Madonna of Provenzano, a Marian devotion particular to Siena which developed around an icon from the Terzo Camollia. The Palio held on 16 August is named Palio dell'Assunta, in honour of the Assumption of Mary. Siena, Italy.
  • Pegasus World Cup - American Thoroughbred horse race whose first running was on January 28, 2017 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. It is run over the dirt at the distance of 1⅛ miles (9 furlongs) and is open to horses four years old and up. The Grade I rating was assumed from the Donn Handicap.
  • PREAKNESS STAKES - American grade 1 stakes race 1-3/16 mile (1.91 km) thoroughbred horse race for three-year-old horses, held on the third Saturday in May each year at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.
  • Prix d'AmÉrique - harness race held at the Vincennes hippodrome in Paris, France. The race takes place on the last Sunday of January every year, and has been doing so since 1920, with the exception for the years 1940-1941 when it was cancelled due to World War II. It is widely considered the most prestigious harness race in the world.
  • Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe - Group 1 flat horse race in France open to thoroughbreds aged three years or older. It is run at Longchamp over a distance of 2,400 metres (about 1½ miles), and it is scheduled to take place each year, usually on the first Sunday in October.
  • ROYAL ASCOT - since 1711. Royal Ascot has established itself as a national institution and the centrepiece of the British social calendar as well as being the ultimate stage for the best racehorses in the world.
  • Saudi Cup - since 2020. International horse race held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia at King Abdulaziz Racetrack. The first edition of the race was held on February 29, 2020, the most valuable horse race ever held. The race is notable for its US$20,000,000 prize pool, which makes it the most lucrative event in horse racing.
  • Travers Stakes - American Grade I Thoroughbred horse race held at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York. First held in 1864. The field for the Travers is limited to three-year-olds, Colts and geldings carrying 126 pounds (57 kg) and fillies carrying 123 pounds (56 kg) and since 1999 the purse has been US$1,000,000. The race is the highlight of the summer race meeting at Saratoga, just as the Belmont Stakes is the highlight of the spring meeting at Belmont Park.
  • White Turf horse race St. Moritz, Switzerland.
  • WHITE TURF ST. MORITZ - "International Horse Races since 1907." Every winter this alpine village hosts the "White Turf" horse race on the frozen Lake St. Moritz, Switzerland on the first three Sundays in February.
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