Technically, the history of horse racing dates as far back as the Olympic Games of Greece which were held in the period 700-400 BCE, when there were chariot and hitched horse races. Although knowledge of the very first organized horse race is lost in prehistory, it’s presumed that organized racing began in China, Persia, Arabia and some other countries of the Middle East and in North Africa. Here, horsemanship became highly developed early on. From these countries, too, came the Turk, Arabian and Barb horses that influenced the earliest horse racing in Europe.
Today, fans all over follow the world’s biggest horse racing events. Arabian horse racing is one type of racing that’s become popular. Below is a look at some of the main Arabian horse racing events in the world and also at where you can bet on Arabian horse racing.
Betting on Arabian horse racing
Placing a bet on Arabian horse racing is straightforward. The easiest place to bet is online by visiting an internet sportsbook, where you can create an account, check the horse racing odds and place your bet. This is as simple as finding a reputable site, registering and providing a few details to create your account, and then funding your account with some credit.
You can then view the races taking place, click on the race you’re interested in, click on the odds of the horse you wish to bet on and how much you wish to bet to select a horse on your betting slip.
Of course, if you’re a fan of live racing, you can attend a race meeting and place your bet at one of the betting locations on site. If betting online doesn’t appeal to you and you don’t have sufficient funds to attend a race meeting, you can call in at a sportsbook and make your bet there in person.
Dubai World Cup
The Dubai World Cup is one of the highlights of the UAE sporting calendar and is one of the most prestigious race days in the world. The event takes place at the Meydan racecourse and consists of nine races.
This year, the total prize purse up for grabs was 30.5 million US dollars, 12.5 of which was at stake in the title race. Ushba Tesoro won the title race at this year’s event, which took place in March. Out in the Arabian horse race itself, the Kahayla Classic, which was ran by 14 competitors over 1 mile and 2 furlongs on a dirt track, Hayyan beat the rest of the field, with Barakka coming in second and First Classs crossing the finishing line third.
UAE President Cup — UK Arabian Derby
This year’s UAE President Cup — UK Arabian Derby placed £80,000 in spoils for the winning horses to share, with £45,768 going to the winner and the rest being shared between the three runners up in amounts corresponding in size to where they finished. The race took place at Doncaster, where it has done so now since 2016. This year, seven horses competed in the race, which lasted 1 mile, 2 furlongs and 43 yards. Al Doha was the victor.
Qatar Arabian World Cup
The Qatar Arabian World Cup is held on l’Arc de Triomphe racing day at the Longchamp course, one of France’s most prestigious courses, which hosts around 30 race meetings each year and has four courses. These courses are all linked together. In 2022, Lady Princess won the event, which was contested over 1 mile, 1 furlong and 207 yards on a turf racing track. Sixteen participants ran the race and were competing for €630,000.
The increasing dominance of Arabian horse racing
Arabian horse racing has its sceptics, but it’s a horse racing niche that’s becoming increasingly influential and is clearly coming into its own. Some supporters of Arabian horse racing would say without it, there’d be no Thoroughbred horse racing to speak of. The Darley Arabian, the Godolphin Barb and the Byerley Turk were the founding fathers that arrived in Britain and led to the breeding of the Thoroughbred.
The withdrawal of Sheikh Mohammed from the sport triggered a slump in sale prices and in the number of Arabian horses in training. However, an investment scheme and a series of £10,000 races for those who only have a few horses in training allowed the Arabian horse market to bounce back. Competition between some countries in the Middle East has also helped the sport to grow. More than 20 countries around the world conduct Arabian racing.
Arabian horse racing is growing bigger and now several countries host Arabian horse racing. Other events you might wish to follow in this niche include the Qatar International Stakes and the Saudi Cup.