It’s not the Grand National in the UK or the Kentucky Derby in the US, despite those two great horse races being regarded as two of the most famous track events in the world. Although history and prestige mean a great deal to trainers and jockeys, so too does cold hard cash and that’s an increasingly important allure for participation at the richest races over the coming year.
When the inaugural 2017 Pegasus World Cup was held at Gulfstream Park (Florida, USA) it was by far the richest horse race in the world at that time with a purse of $12 million on offer, which increased to $16 million in 2018. Despite the purse dropping to $9 million in 2019, this event still ranked amongst the biggest prize funds in racing.
It was, however, revealed that the Pegasus prize had reduced further to just $3 million in 2020. So among the races that generate a huge amount of interest, not to mention plenty of wagers from eager punters around the globe, we take a look at which three horse races will now be the richest in 2020.
3 – The Everest
Although “the race that stops the nation” is still the Melbourne Cup, annually held on the first Tuesday of November, that prestigious event is no longer the richest horse race in Australia. The accolade now belongs to The Everest, which has been run over the Randwick Racecourse in Sydney since 2017.
The world has watched the Sydney Harbour Bridge light up in the colours of jockey silks with the barrier draw for The Everest, the world’s richest race on turf #TheEverest https://t.co/BJB1hhjJPq pic.twitter.com/2A1ybT1WUZ— The Daily Telegraph (@dailytelegraph) October 15, 2019
The 2019 race offered a total purse of $14 million, with three-year-old colt Yes Yes Yes scooping a then-record $4.8 million as the winner. Given there’s a $600,000 entry fee, it’s not only punters betting on the race that’ll be eagerly monitoring the latest horse racing tips and form guides, ahead of the 2020 event. Owners and trainers will be too, as they aim to win the richest race on turf anywhere in the world.
2 – Dubai World Cup
One of the more established events in the racing calendar, the Dubai World Cup has often presented one of the biggest prize funds in racing each year and at the 2019 event, an impressive purse of $12 million was up for grabs. The same amount will be available again for the main race at the 2020 event, due to be held on 28 March.
Nominations close Jan. 8🏆https://t.co/B3knChIiUw— Meydan Racing (@MeydanRacing) January 5, 2020
$12M G1 Dubai World Cup
$6M G1 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic
$6M G1 Dubai Turf
$2.5M G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen
$2M G1 Al Quoz Sprint
$1M G1 Dubai Kahayla Classic
$2.5M G2 UAE Derby
$1.5M G2 Dubai Gold Cup
$1.5M G2 Godolphin Mile pic.twitter.com/C8EATUXzXc
Run over a dirt track at the Meydan Racecourse, Irish-foaled colt Thunder Snow has won the last two events, ridden by Belgian jockey Christophe Soumillon on both occasions. This was a milestone feat, given that no horse had ever achieved back-to-back wins since the first race in 1996. Given this magnificent steed has now retired, there will be plenty of new competitors aiming for the big prize in 2020.
1 – The Saudi Cup
Scheduled to be held in Riyadh on February 29 at the spectacular King Abdulaziz Racetrack, the inaugural 2020 Saudi Cup will officially become the richest event in horse racing history. The main race will boast a whopping $20 million prize fund, with the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia pulling out all the stops and aiming to make this event the most spectacular in the world.
And they're in…— The Saudi Cup (@thesaudicup) January 14, 2020
The entries for The Saudi Cup and all undercard races!
Find out who is entered for the world's richest horse race along with the glittering undercard on 29 February here 👉https://t.co/zRChROAWeG#TheSaudiCup#TheWorldsRichestRace pic.twitter.com/VcRv8Xdzza
While there will be additional undercard races held on the new inside turf course at the venue, the main Saudi Cup event will feature a field of 14 runners over nine furlongs on the dirt track. The first past the winning post will receive a whopping $10 million prize, with the remaining $10 million shared to amongst the other runners down to tenth place.
In 2020 and potentially for a number of years to come, nothing looks set to come close to the incredible $20 million purse offered by the Saudi Cup, unless of course some of the other events on the rich list up their funds.