Interesting Facts About the Most Valuable Racehorses of All Time

The numbers surrounding the sport of horse racing are astronomical.

This is a sport enjoyed in dozens of countries across multiple continents, with thousands of horses battling it out for billions in prize money each and every year.

Here are some more fascinating facts about the sport of horse racing.

The Leading Sire Has Made £150 Million in Prize Money

When you bet on racing, one of the characteristics you’re taught to look for in the horses you back is a strong pedigree. There are famous sires, such as Frankel, who have a history of producing classy progeny – in fact, so much so, his stud fee is a cool £275,000 a turn.

Mostahdaf, one of Frankel’s current top-rated offspring, will feature amongst the horse racing tips for the 2024 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, alongside the likes of Ace Impact (8/1), Equinox (14/1) and Hukum (16/1).

But Frankel can’t compete with the most successful sire in racing history. Northern Dancer was an outstanding racer in his own right, winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and a host of other major renewals.

And he has since passed his genes on to a stellar bloodline of progeny, who combined have amassed a staggering $183.7 million in prize money across the world – that’s nearly £150 million.

English Triple Crown champion Nijinsky, Classics winners such as El Gran Senor and The Minstrel, and the French champion miler Sadler’s Wells – who went on to have a fine stud career himself – are just some of the horses produced by Northern Dancer over the years.

The Leading Racehorse Has Won £15.4 Million for His Owners

Most racehorse owners simply love the sport and love their animals.

But if you can invest in a horse that has incredible speed, staying power or ability to jump well, it can pay off handsomely.

So you have every right to feel green with envy about Stanley Chan Ka Leung, an owner whose Golden Sixty has become the best-paid racehorse in history.

The horse, who has been campaigned largely in Asia throughout his career, has brought home a whopping £15.4 million in prize money for Ka Leung, with three wins in the Hong Kong Champions Mile – including the 2023 edition – and nine Group 1 victories overall.

Golden Sixty surpassed the previous mark of £14.5 million set by Winx, the Australian ‘wonder horse’, who won 33 races in a row, including a mammoth 25 Group 1 outings.

Nice work if you can get it…

The Longest Unbeaten Streak in Horse Racing is 54 Races

The Hungarian horse Kincsem won a remarkable 54 straight races between 1876 and 1880.

Horse racing was an incredibly popular sport in mainland Europe at the time, with Germany, Austria and Belgium putting on prestigious meetings to compete with those in the UK and France.

And Kincsem won the lot, proving herself to be an unbeatable force across the continent – her wins in the prized Goodwood Cup and Grand Prix de Deauville confirming her extraordinary status.

Horse racing is a sport that has remarkable facts dating back centuries, with many new records likely to be set in the years ahead too.

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Last Update: October 12, 2023