Reaching the conclusion of 2022 and another wonderful year for sports, we have been treated to many spectacular events with global reach, ranging from continental and worldwide soccer championships to high-stakes international horse races. There has been something for everyone to enjoy, whatever the disciplines involved, and in the thoroughbred equestrian scene there is even more to enjoy in 2023.
For those of us who enjoy wagering on the outcome of major events, many will be seeking out the latest tips for potential winners, carefully weighing up the value of odds and the recent form of those competing. But when it comes to the ‘Sport of Kings’ and the finest steeds, the best advice is to find the best horse racing betting sites, backed by honest and reliable reviews from SBO experts. Their aim is to educate and inform punters, via in-depth and informative guides.
Insofar as the sport itself is concerned, 2023 could become the biggest ever in terms of purses available, as venues around the world look to encourage greater participation. Gaining prestige for major events can inevitably take time, although when it comes to horse racing, the richest prizes can quickly grab the attention of horse trainers and owners. But which horse racing events are likely to have the biggest purses in 2023? Let’s take a look…
Dubai World Cup
Much more than just a single race, the Dubai World Cup is part of an entire weekend of equestrian activities, hosted in the United Arab Emirates over the last weekend of March. The headline race itself now offers a total purse of $12 million, of which $7.2 million was awarded to the winner in 2022. These figures are expected to remain the same in 2023, although with increased competition from elsewhere, they could lose the “World’s Richest Horse Race” tag.
Hosted at the remarkable Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, this venue goes way beyond what many of us would expect from a location for horse racing events. Aside from the gigantic 60,000-capacity grandstand, there is a museum dedicated to the sport, luxurious accommodation for people and horses alike, plus a nine-hole golf course and IMAX theatre.
But what makes this race even more interesting is the criteria for entry, open to 3-year-olds and above from the Southern Hemisphere and 4-year-olds and upwards from the Northern Hemisphere. An additional factor for invitation is prestige, with many of the participating horses having won major events in other locations around the world since the first annual running back in 1996.
Already boasting the “World’s Richest Race on Turf” tagline, The Everest is one of the newer events on the international horse racing scene, first run with ambitious intentions in 2017. Already by far the richest and biggest equestrian event of its kind in Australia, this is the feature race of the annual Sydney Spring Carnival, held at Randwick Racecourse.
While newer events in horse racing can sometimes encounter difficulty attracting attention, The Everest has always remained firmly in the headlines, principally because of the whopping $15 million purse available, of which $6.2 million was awarded to the winner in 2022. Ahead of the 2023 event scheduled for October 2023, prize numbers are expected to remain the same.
Compared to some other major horse racing events around the world, including some of the newer flagship races now being held in the Middle East, entry conditions for The Everest are quite straightforward. Owners and stables must pay the $600,000 entry fee to participate, which does mean quite a significant risk, albeit with lucrative potential rewards.
One of the newest events and already firmly established as the richest, no bigger prize is available anywhere in horse racing that can top the Saudi Cup, now held annually towards the end of February each year. The total purse on offer is a staggering $20 million, with $10 million of that awarded to the horse, which romps first past the finishing post.
Held at the King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, the venue was named after the monarch, whose love for horse racing also inspired the Saudi Cup itself. And in 2022, it was Prince Saud bin Salman Abdulaziz who was the owner of the winning horse when outsider Emblem Road romped home in first position.
Assigned Group 1 status ahead of the third annual running in 2022 by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities’ Grading and Planning Advisory Committee, the Saudi Cup has now become a major event in the sport in pretty much every respect. If the 2023 running is anything like the last edition, this high-profile race will attract champion horses and owners from every corner of the globe.