Australian thoroughbred horse racing is big business, there’s no doubt about it. Which is why so much money is invested in it year after year. One of the main reasons so many people want to own, train and ride racehorses is because major Australian horse races have some of the biggest prize money on offer anywhere in the world.

In this post, we’re going to explore some Aussie thoroughbred races that pay the biggest prize purses in the country. So read on through to learn more about the top five richest horse races in Australia!

1. The Everest

The Everest might be a race that’s not as renowned in comparison to some other long-standing races on the Australian thoroughbred calendar, but it won’t be long before it is.

What’s the reason The Everest will soon rise up the ranks to become one of the most prestigious horse races in the country? Because it pays the most prize money, and not only in Australia. The Everest is currently the world’s richest horse race on turf!

When the race is run again in October at Sydney’s Randwick Racecourse, it’ll boast a total prize pool of $13 million! For a race that’s only existed since 2017, it’s rapidly risen up the popularity ranks because of the enormous money pool on offer.

Differentiating itself from other major races, The Everest has one of the highest entry fees for the horses at a staggering $600,000 per slot. Owners buy slots in the race, which is a huge gamble in itself, but the payoff can be huge.

2. Golden Eagle

The Golden Eagle is a new race that is yet to be run. It’s slated for its very first showing at Sydney’s Rosehill Gardens on November 02 2019. The reason it’s made it to second on this list is that the race organisers are offering a total prize purse of $7.5 million.

Sydney now boasts the two richest horse races in Australia, relegating the Melbourne Cup down to number three.

The Golden Eagle is only open to four-year-olds and will be run over a distance of 1500 metres, making it the first feature race exclusively for this age group. However, 10 per cent of the prize money will be donated to charity.

3. Melbourne Cup

The illustrious and world-famous Melbourne Cup was once Australia’s wealthiest race as far as prize money is concerned. But, as of recent, it has obviously been recently pipped by The Everest and now the Golden Eagle.

Still, it’s likely it’ll always hold the title of being the country’s most popular race, and still boasts a very healthy prize pool each time it’s run on the first Tuesday in November. It is also one of Australia’s longest races at 3200 metres, almost tripling the 1200 metre spring at The Everest.

The 2018 running of the Melbourne Cup saw a total prize money pool of $7,300,000. So still big bucks for a four-minute race. That’s an amount that’ll likely increase for the 2019 event, and with 24 first-class horses competing, it always promises to produce an exciting finale. It surely is the race that stops a nation.

4. Queen Elizabeth Stakes

The 2000 metre race makes up a part of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and offers up a total prize money pool of $4 million. Held on the second Saturday of April at Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse, the running of the Queen Elizabeth Stakes means that Sydney hosts three of the top four richest horse races in Australia.

The Group 1 weight for age classic actually shares the day with several other prestigious horse races such as the Sydney Cup, the Queen of the Turf Stakes and the Australian Oak.

5. Golden Slipper Stakes

This 1200 metre sprint exclusively for juveniles has always been a lucrative race to win, with a total purse of $3.5 million. It’s yet another race held in Sydney, being run in April at Rosehill Gardens. It’s truly a sprint to the finish for the two-year-olds, making for a fast and heart-pounding race with so much prize money at stake for the winner.

The Golden Slipper has been an integral part of Australian thoroughbred racing since its inception way back in 1957. It used to be Australia’s fourth richest race but now drops down to number five.

Feature image: Photographed by Gene Devine. Image via Unsplash.
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