Horse racing is a sport that encapsulates a lot of interesting data, facts and figures, not just about the horses but also the races. Here are 15 stats you might not have known about relating to this ever-popular sport. There are many betting guides you can look through if you were interested in getting into horse race betting.
1. Thoroughbred horses are bred to ensure they’re lightweight yet agile, which is why they don’t weight more than 1,000lbs – much lighter than other horse breeds.
2. In the history of horse racing, no horse over the age of 18 has ever won a race. Horses typically live for up to 30 years and the maximum age for a competing horse is around 15 years, but winners are typically much younger than this.
3. Thoroughbred horses are usually almost twice the size of Arabian horses which were raced exclusively over 1000 years ago.
4. Quart-bred horses are an American breed of racehorse which are bred for their ability to sprint short distances, such as quarter-mile racing. These types of horses are shorter and have a more muscular frame which gives them speed and stamina in these races compared to Thoroughbred horses.
5. Standard bred horses are bred for harness racing, as they’re more skilled at racing at a trot rather than at a gallop.
6. A punter betting on each race in an average nine-race meeting will read approximately 24,000 pieces of information if they were to learn the record for each competing runner.
7. Many believe horse racing is an old sport that no longer provides interest, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Horse racing actually increases in popularity each year and more than 5.6 million people attended fixtures back in 2013, a figure that shot up to six million by 2015. In 2016, more than 10 million people watched the Grand National alone around the world.
8. Horse racing is the second most popular sport in the UK, bringing in £3 billion in earnings to the UK economy.
9. Being big-hearted is not just a phrase in this sport – it’s more literal in horse racing, as race horses who have larger hearts are considered to have an advantage over horses with average-sized hearts.
10. The lowest recorded weight for a jockey is just 49 pounds.
11. The slowest record winning time in a race was back in 1945 when Never Mind II finished a two-mile race in 11 minutes and 28 seconds. He was actually abandoned by his jockey but when all of the other runners had fallen or been disqualified, he returned and finished the race at a leisurely pace.
12. Jockey Alfred Johnson once lost 14 pounds in a single day in order to qualify for a race.
13. The richest race in the world is the Pegasus World Cup that had a purse of $16 million in 2018.
14. The richest American racehorse of all time was California Chrome, who earned a total of $14,502,650 over the course of his career.
15. Racehorses are allowed to race from the age of two, but many races specify that runners are aged three years or above.