Which international racing event are you most excited for?

March 26th, 2021

The Kentucky Derby (G1) and Breeders' Cup are household names in North America, but what are big race days abroad that should be included, as well?

Get to know these major races and racing festivals abroad, and then let us know — which are you most excited about?

Arima Kinen

How exciting is a Group 1 race that lets fans vote for the horses who run? Run since 1956, the Arima Kinen is a 2,500-meter (about 12 1/2 furlongs) turf race at Nakayama, and 10 of the 16 slots in the starting gate are reserved for Japan Racing Association horses chosen by racing fans!

The other entrants are determined by committee, and NAR (National Association of Raging) and foreign-trained horses are eligible for those spots, as well.

Its winners' list reads as a who's who of Japanese greats, including Shinzan, Symboli Rudolf, T M Opera O, and Deep Impact.

Dubai World Cup Day

The Winter Carnival at Meydan, which begins in January and stretches through early spring, culminates with one of the world's great race days.

Held in late March each year, the carnival's final day draws the world's best on both dirt and turf.

Its feature, the Dubai World Cup (G1), is a 2,000-meter (about 10 furlongs) dirt race that has been won by superstars like Cigar, Silver Charm, Curlin, California Chrome, and Arrogate. Some of its other major winners through the years include Golden Shaheen (G1) victor Secret Circle, Sheema Classic (G1) winner St. Nicholas Abbey, Dubai Turf (G1) champ Almond Eye, and Al Quoz Sprint (G1) winner Sole Power.

Hong Kong International Races

One day every December, the racing world turns its eyes to Sha Tin.

The history of the Hong Kong International Races dates back to 1989, when the Hong Kong Cup began as in invitational race for horses in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia. Now it invites horses from all over the world to compete in four top-level turf races — the Hong Kong Sprint, Hong Kong Mile, Hong Kong Cup, and Hong Kong Vase.

Stars who have shined on HKIR Day include Breeders' Cup winners Fantastic Light, Ouija Board, and Highland Reel, two-time Mile winner Beauty Generation, and two-time Sprint winner Lord Kanaloa.

Melbourne Cup

Have you ever heard of getting a day off for a horse race? In Victoria, Australia, the first Tuesday of November is an official public holiday for the Melbourne Cup (G1) — the Race that Stops a Nation.

The 3,200-meter (about two miles) turf race has been run since 1861, and its winners include greats like Archer, Phar Lap, Rising Fast, and three-time winner Makybe Diva.

And, with four days of top-class racing at Flemington built around the Melbourne Cup, including the Victoria Derby (G1) and the Kennedy Oaks (G1), it's worth the trip.

Royal Ascot

In the words of the song from My Fair Lady, "Every duke and earl and peer is here. Everyone who should be here is here."

Royal Ascot has been a tradition at Ascot Racecourse in England since 1768, and each day begins with a royal procession.

The racing is fit for royalty, too. The five-day meeting features eight Group 1 races, as short as the five furlong King's Stand and as long as the 2 1/2-mile Gold Cup.

Some of its biggest stars over the years include undefeated Gold Cup winner and prepotent stallion St. Simon, Prince of Wales's winner Iroquois, the first American-bred winner of the Epsom Derby, and undefeated Diamond Jubilee winner Black Caviar.

Previous week's poll results

Looking back at last week's poll, we asked, who was the best Louisiana Derby winner in history?

There was a tie!

Though Black Gold, Rushaway, and Grindstone all got a little interest, 1988 winner Risen Star and 2016 runner Gun Runner each got 38% of your votes! One was a dual classic winner at three and the other became a superstar as an older horse, but they both went on to do great things after their big wins in New Orleans.