Horse race is an exciting sport by nature and that is one of the reasons why punters love to place a bet on different events via betting companies like Timeform – the anticipation for the outcome is often tense and adrenaline-inducing. These are five of the best horse races to have ever taken place.
Quashed and Omaha in the Gold Cup at Ascot – 1936
When Omaha, winner of the US Triple Crown in 1935, went head to head with Quashed, winner of the 1936 Oaks, it was the biggest all-aged race of the flat season at that point in time. Throughout the final quarter-mile, Quashed maintained a slight lead but the two were seemingly equal as they passed the post. There was no photo finish in those days, so it was tense as everyone waited for the results. In the end, Quashed took the winning title.
Mandarin in the Grand Steeplechase de Paris at Auteuil – 1962
Both horse and jockey were praised for this particularly tense race when Mandarin’s bit broke early on in the race leaving Fred Winter without brakes or steering around the four-mile Auteuil racecourse. Between leg power and willpower, the two of them remained together and then just three fences out Mandarin broke down with exhaustion in one of his front legs. He continued on regardless, but Lumino, a French horse, pipped Mandarin at the finish line.
Crisp and Red Rum in the Grand National at Aintree – 1973
Red Rum is one of the biggest names in horse racing, but this particular race goes down in history as one of the most astonishing outcomes. As Crisp jumped and built a huge lead of more than 20 lengths ahead of Red Rum, everyone was sure they knew how the race was going to end. But at the penultimate fence, Crisp became fatigued and began to slow down just before the winning post, where Red Rum pursued him and won the first of three Nationals. Commentator Peter Bromley announced that ‘we will never see another race like that in a hundred years’.
Affirmed and Alydar in the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park – 1978
This 1978 race was the last of three massive head to head battles between these two in the US Triple Crown races. Affirmed had already beaten Alydar by one length in the Kentucky Derby and by a neck in the Preakness. Throughout the last mile of the 12-furlong track at Belmont Park, Alydar seemed to have the upper hand but Affirmed found a final burst of energy who then managed to gain a win by a head.
Arkle and Mill House in the Cheltenham Gold Cup – 1964
This race is so famous that there’s even a song written about it by Dominic Behan that details the incredible showdown between these two steeplechasers. Arkle was representing Ireland and Mill House representing England and there was an exhilarating tension in the lead-up to the race. While all seemed well for Mill House, Arkle eased into the lead and leaped over the last before racing up the hill to win by five lengths. While this race wasn’t the closest, the anticipation and excitement it garnered has placed it in history as one of the greatest races of all time.