After nearly 2 years of race after race being canceled by the COVID-19, 2021 has been the first year where we could enjoy some of our favorite races. If you haven’t been following these races as closely as the rest of us – here are the 7 best races of 2021 so far…
The Grand National
The Grand National is always one of the highlights of global horse racing. The Grand National is the biggest race in Europe and draws millions of viewers every year. It is an exciting and fast race that tests both horse and rider to their absolute limit.
This year was the 173rd Grand National race and it was held on 10 April 2021. Eventual winner Minella Times took the lead on the final hurdle but the whole race was close. Winning jockey Rachael Blackmoore became the first woman to ever win the Grand National.
The Kentucky Derby
In May the 147th Kentucky Derby was held. The 20 horses that had qualified for the race through The Road to the Kentucky Derby events lined up at Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only 25% of the tickets were allowed to be sold. However, this was an improvement on the completely empty stands of the year before.
While the race saw Bob Buffets’ horse Medina Spirit one as expected, the real excitement of the race came from the aftermath. The winning horse tested positive for betamethasone. This could mean disqualification for Buffet and his team – if so, Mandaloun would be crowned the winner.
Prix de l’arc de triomphe
The Prix de l’arc de triomphe is the biggest horse racing event in France. This race has given us the most unexpected and exciting races of the year. There was a huge upset at Longchamps race track at the start of October.
Favorites Tarnawa and Hurricane Lane ended up coming second and third in the race. The surprise winner of the race was the German horse Torquator Tasso, ridden by Rene Piechulek.
The most interesting part of this story is that the bookies had Torquator Tasso at 80-1 to win the race.
Dubai World Cup
The 25th Dubai World Cup was run at the Meydan Racecourse in Dubai on 27 March 2021. This competition has one of the biggest prize pots in the world – $12 million dollars in total, with the winner taking home $7.2 million for one race victory.
Like the previous year, there were no spectators at the event. Instead, the whole event was televised across the world.
The horse Mystic Guide stormed its way to the finish line, winning by a margin of 3 ¾ lengths. Mystic Guide is an American horse ridden by Luis Saez. Their winning time was 2:01.61.
Pegasus World Cup Invitational
The Pegasus World Cup Invitational is one of the first big races of every year and takes place within the first 3 weeks of January. The race is held in Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino, Florida.
Just like in the Dubai World Cup the winning horse really ran away with the race. Knicks Go took the lead at the beginning of the race and held onto it until the end of the race. In the end, Knicks Go won by a margin of 3 ¾ lengths.
It was an exciting race despite the fact there was very little competition for Knicks Go.
The 25th Sheema Classic was run at the Meydan Racecourse in Dubai on 27 March 2021 – in the same location as the Dubai World Cup. This race is a little smaller than the Dubai World Cup and has a smaller prize pot. It is one of the best turf races that happen each year.
The Sheema Classic was won by Mishriff. Long before the race, Mishriff was not predicted to do very well in this race. But as the race got closer and closer Mishriff’s odds got shorter and shorter. Eventually, he was the bookies’ favorite and proved them right.
Upcoming…. The Breeders Cup
Finally, we want to talk about our favorite race of the year – the Breeders Cup.
The Breeders Cup is going to be held in Del Mar, California on the 5th and 6th of November. The Breeders cup is such a prestigious event and so late in the year that you really do get to see the best of the best on show at this event. By the time we reach The Breeders Cup, it can be hard to predict who the winning horse is going to be.
If you are interested in betting on the race, you can do breeders cup wagering on tvg.