Greatest Horse Races Of All Time


The races which are remembered as the greatest races of all time are usually a result of the horses which are racing in them.  Listed are just a few of the most famous races in which are still talked about to this day.  Whether they are heroic victories, close shaves or losing it down the last, the spectacle and tension which they create are the reason why they make the list.  Have a look at some our favourite moments.

Horse Racing

Greatest Horse Races Of All Time

Secretariat – Belmont Stakes (Belmont Park, 1973)

“He could not have moved faster if he had fallen off the grandstand roof” were Charlie Hatton’s words as he described Secretariat’s 31 length victory to win the US Triple Crown.  This has gone down as the greatest display on equestrian excellence this side of the eighteenth century.  An even more meaningful testimony was the 5,617 winning Tote tickets which did not get cashed.  They were instead taken as souvenirs.

Quashed and Omaha – Gold Cup (Ascot, 1936)

It was neck and neck between Omaha and Quashed as they approached the final quarter-mile.  Omaha was the winner of the US Triple Crown (1935) and Quashed won the Oaks (1936); the major all-aged horse race during the flat season.  Quashed maintained his narrow lead and held strong as he refused to allow Omaha past.  As they neared the post, there was very hardly anything in it.  There was no photo finish back in the thirties and the minutes were tense before the result was published – Quashed won by a head.

Grundy and Bustino – King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (Ascot, 1975)

This memorable race was a classic clash of generations as Grundy, a top three-year-old and Bustino, a four-year-old.  After a quit departure from the start line, the two found themselves head to head down the final straight.  Grundy held the advantage, but Bustino was far from out the race. Bustino began to fade in the final furlong, rallied and eventually pulled through first by half a length.

Arkle and Mill House – Cheltenham Gold Cup (1964)

This race rooted itself so firmly in horse racing history that a song was written about it –a boozy ballad called ‘Arkle’, which told the story of two young and unbeatable steeplechasers.  Arkle was initially in Mill House’s slipstream as both jumped the obstacles flawlessly.  Arkle finally struck, and overtook over the last before cruising to a victory of five horse lengths.  Although we have seen many closer finishes, the anticipation, quality and excitement as they came down the hill is incomparable to many other races.

Mandarin – Grand Steeplechase de Paris (1962)

This race demonstrated absolute brilliance from horse and jockey alike.  Mandarin’s bit broke, leaving Fred Winter with no brakes as he steered round the four-mile figure of eight.  With no means of communication with the horse, a combination of leg power and willpower held the duo strong. Mandarin still had the lead with 100 yards to go, only for French horse Lumino to overtake at the line.

About the Author

Simone Wright-Eddison is the lead writer for the UK’s most popular grand national portal. With an in-depth knowledge on the worlds greatest steeplechase you’re more likely to find her reading the Racing Post than Vogue. Follow her on Twitter @grandnational09