There are few sporting events as lucrative as the biggest horseraces in the world and the purses only seem to be getting larger. In 2018, the Pegasus World Cup had the glory of the highest prize money in the world with an incredible prize of $16 million, $7 million of which was taken by 5-year-old Gun Runner in the final race of his career. Join us as we delve deeper into the world’s richest horseracing purses.
Pegasus World Cup
Created in 2017 with the aim of being the richest horserace in the world, the Pegasus World Cup is a nine-furlong race contested on a dirt track at Gulfstream Park in Florida. The 2019 edition saw the purse being split across two Grade 1 races, The Pegasus World Cup Invitational and the first Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational, each with an entry fee of $500,000.
Dubai World Cup
Up until the creation of the Pegasus World Cup, the Dubai World Cup boasted the richest horseracing purses in the world and this honour is bestowed upon them once again owing to the new format of the Pegasus World Cup. Held annually since 1996, the Grade 1 Dubai World Cup is held at the Meydan Racecourse in the UAE and the 2019 edition boasts a purse of $12 million.
The Everest is the world’s richest horserace contested on turf and is held at the Royal Randwick in Sydney. Run over 6 furlongs, the Everest was first contested in 2017 and has already surpassed the Melbourne Cup for Australia’s largest purse, making it almost as popular as online blackjack. A race entry costs $600,000 and the purse is set at $14 million for the 2019 edition and will rise to $15 million in 2020.
Breeders’ Cup Classic
Restricted to three-year-olds and above, the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic attracts the best thoroughbred racehorses in the world and is considered to be the unofficial 4th leg of the prestigious Triple Crown. First raced in 1984, the 2019 edition will take place at Santa Anita Park in California and the winner of the 1 ¼ mile race will take more than half of the $6 million purse.
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
A test of speed as much as stamina for three-year-olds and above, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is contested over 1.5 miles and the 2019 edition will once again be held at the Longchamp Racecourse in Paris. Held for more than 150 years at the Longchamp Racecourse, the winner of the 2019 edition will walk away with $3.2 million of the $5.6 million purse.
Held annually at the Toyko Racecourse since 1981, the Japan Cup is the country’s richest horserace and is restricted to three-year-olds and above. Contested over 12 furlongs and limited to just 18 places, the 2019 edition boasts a purse of ¥648 million (approximately $5.8 million) of which the winner will receive ¥300 million (approximately $2.7 million).