Both the United Arab Emirates and Australia host some of the most prestigious and richest races in the world. People travel from all over the world to attend these events and many horses, jockeys, trainers, and owners vie to get into these exclusive races. Here is a list of just a couple of the best races from both countries
Dubai World Cup
Meydan Racecourse in Dubai is home to many world-class horse races, none of which compete with the prestigiousness of the Dubai World Cup, which was inaugurated in 1996. It is currently the world’s richest horse race with a total prize purse of US$12,000,000. The race distance is 2000 meters and is run left-handed on the Meydan dirt track. The inaugural winner of the race was American thoroughbred Cigar and the race has seen many champions win over the years, most notably Silver Charm in 1998, Invasor in 2007 and Thunder Snow, who won the race twice in 2018 and 2019. The most recent winner of the race was Mystic Guide in 2021.
Australia’s biggest event on the horse racing calendar is the Melbourne Cup. It is known as the ‘race that stops the nation’ and is held at Flemington Racecourse every year on the first Tuesday of November, during the Melbourne Cup Spring Carnival. With a prize purse of $8,000,000AUD, it is one of Australia’s richest turf races, so it is best to get up to date on your Flemington racing odds when the time of the year rolls around. The distance of the race is 3200 meters and is raced left-handed. It was first run in 1861 and has seen legends win such as Phar Lap, Makybe Diva (three times), Think Big and Archer to name just a very few. The first female jockey, Michelle Payne, won the race in 2015 on Prince of Penzance. The exact time of the main race is 3 pm AEST and horseracing lovers and pundits stop all over the world to watch this exciting event.
This race was first run in 1996 on a dirt track at a distance of 2000 meters but was moved to one of Meydan’s turf tracks in 2000 at a distance of 1800 meters. It has a current total prize purse of US$5,000,000 and has seen champion jockeys such as Gary Stevens, who won twice and Frankie Dettori who also won the race twice including most recently in 2021 on Lord North who also won the Prince of Wales's Stakes in 2020. Japanese thoroughbred Just A Way not only won the race in 2014 but set the speed record of 1:45.52.
WS Cox Plate
Held at the Moonee Valley racecourse every October, the WS Cox Plate is one of the biggest races in Australia. It has a total prize purse of $5,000,000AUD and is raced over a distance of 2040 meters. It was inaugurated in 1922 and has seen many champions win the race since it began including, Phar Lap, who won the race twice, Kingston Town, who won the race three times, Tulloch in 1960, Makybe Diva in 2005, and most recently Winx, who won the race four years in a row from 2015 to 2018 and was ridden by champion jockey Hugh Bowman all four times. State Of Rest was the most recent winner in 2021, ridden by jockey John Allen.
There’s nothing that the UAE and Australia love more than a horseracing champion and with international events like this, it’s not hard to see why.