Now that American Pharoah won the Preakness Stakes on May 16, 2015, horseracing aficionados once again have their hopes up because, for only the fourteenth time in the last 36 years, a horse will enter the Belmont Stakes with the opportunity to become a Triple Crown champion. Winning all three races--the Kentucky Derby, the Belmont Stakes, and the Preakness Stakes--is considered not only the Holy Grail of thoroughbred horseracing, but also one of the greatest accomplishments in any sport. If American Pharoah wins, he will be only the twelfth horse to win the Triple Crown since the competition began in the late 1800s and the first since Affirmed won in 1978. There has never been such a long period of time between Triple Crown winners, and fans of the sport are beginning to wonder if one of the greatest horse races in the world will ever again see such a victory.
At 1.5 miles, the Preakness is only a quarter-mile longer than the next longest race in the Triple Crown, but the extra distance proves to be an insurmountable obstacle for many horses vying to come out on top of the "Test of the Champion." On June 6, 2015, all eyes in the horseracing world will be on Elmont, New York, to see if American Pharoah can accomplish the dream so many hope he will.
Although the Triple Crown is undoubtedly the most famous and most prestigious horseracing event in the US, there are many top competitions around the world that bring together the best horses, jockeys, trainers, and owners to compete for big purses and even bigger bragging rights. If you're looking to go beyond the Triple Crown, check out the greatest horse races in the world.
1. The Royal Ascot - Berkshire, England
The Royal Ascot isn't just one race, but rather a series of races spread out over a week that has been an important part of British tradition since 1711. This event is all about pomp and circumstance; the races are held near Winsor Castle, home of the British Royal Family, and the Queen and other members of the monarchy are often in attendance. If you want to go, consider a luxury car rental in England, and don't even think about wearing jeans or sneakers. The world's wealthiest are always in attendance, so polish your look with a top hat and coattails while you watch the races.
2. The Dubai World Cup - Meydan City, Dubai
A relatively new addition to the prestigious world of top-tier horseracing events, the Dubai World Cup is most famous for having the largest purse of any horse race in the world; ten million dollars are up for grabs, and the race lasts only two minutes. Many of the previous winning horses have been trained in the US and the United Arab Emirates by American and Emirati owners, but no horse has ever won the race twice. In a sport draped so heavily in history and tradition that it generally has little room for newcomers, this race--still in its relative infancy--has made quite a splash in the horseracing world thanks not just to its unrivaled purse, but also thanks to the event's flamboyant displays of wealth and the region's deep, enduring love of horseracing.
3. The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe - Paris, France
The French consider the Prix l'Arch de Triomphe, often known simply as the Arc, not so much a horse race but more a cultural monument. Rent a car in Paris at the beginning of October and head to the banks of the Seine to sip champagne, listen to jazz, and take in the glamour and prestige of this Parisian horse race. Since the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club became a sponsor, the purse jumped to over five million dollars. The 1.5 mile race goes by quickly, so keep your eyes on the track to catch the horse that will become the next champion.
4. The Melbourne Cup - Melbourne, Australia
Known as "The Race That Stops a Nation," the Melbourne Cup is the most famous and most captivating horse race in Australia, and the race is a public holiday for everyone working within metropolitan Melbourne and some parts of the state of Victoria. The first Melbourne Cup was held in 1861; back then, the jockeys competed for the modest prize of a gold watch, but today the race has one of the largest purses in the world. The horses generally run the two-mile race in just over three minutes.
5. The Grand National - Liverpool, England
Held at the Aintree Racecourse almost every year since 1839, the Grand National is not only over four miles long and can take some horses ten minutes to complete, it's also a steeplechase race, which means the horses jump over hurdles as they race. The longer distance of the race and the unusually high hurdles have created a race that many call the "ultimate test of horse and rider." Due to the race's high level of difficulty, many horses that begin the race never make it to the finish line.
There is no better time to arrive in style than at one of the greatest horse races in the world. When you're ready to drive the car of your dreams, give Auto Europe a call at 1-888-223-5555. We'll get you to the race in the lap of luxury with an exotic sports car rental or with one of our trusted chauffeur services. Our award-winning customer service representatives are here to help you from the time you book until the time you return the car!