Horse racing is a global sport watched by millions around the world with crowds of people attending gatherings with the hope of winning big as they try and predict which horses will finish each race. You have chaotic races like the Grand National at Aintree which sees 40 horses compete over a track 4 miles, 2 ½ furlongs long with various jumps to navigate, and prestigious events such as the US Triple Crown which a very select few have managed to win over the last century.
It’s not all about sports betting on horse races though, many enjoy watching from the stands with a drink in hand, soaking in the atmosphere, and watching some of the most exhilarating horse racing events around. There really is nothing quite like the buzz generated at these events as horses gallop at full speed, especially when you have two or three horses neck and neck, requiring a photo finish to determine the winner.
Not all races are so close though, and that’s why we’re here today, to look at some of the fastest horses that horse racing has come to know over the years. So let’s take a look at who they are:
Horse racing’s 5 fastest horses
Not all horses make it into the Guinness Book of Records, but Winning Brew is one that has managed the feat. It wasn’t for winning any big races or having gone undefeated for a prolonged period of time. It did however set the Guinness World Record for the fastest speed for a racehorse in 2008 recording a speed of 70.76 kilometres per hour. Sadly it has done very little of significance since then considering it managed to break such a record at two years of age.
If there is ever a horse you will likely have heard the name of, it was Secretariat. A legend of horse racing who has a film about his life which was released back in 2010. One of his biggest achievements was ending a 25-year streak of no one winning the Triple Crown, and he didn’t just do it but did it in style managing to set records in all three races that make up the Triple Crown.
He still holds one of those records today as well, with no one able to top his time for winning the Kentucky Derby. And he clearly liked the Churchill Downs track because he also holds records for the fastest times for both the 1 ¼ miles track and the 1 ½ miles on dirt.
Here’s an old clip that shows some of his Triple Crown races from back in the day:
Frankel who was foaled in Great Britain in 2008, the same year Winning Brew set its record, is one of, if not the best racehorse of the modern era, He only ever took part in 14 races before being retired but he never lost a single one. And it wasn’t a case of a few close finishes, Frankel dominated the track leaving the other horses in his dust. What is more impressive though is the fact that he earned his owner £2,998,302, which is extremely impressive for a horse with so few races on his record.
The reason that Frankel retired so early was to keep its perfect record intact. This was rumoured to be in order to keep his value high when being loaned out as a stud to impregnate other racehorses.
Possibly one of the greatest horse racing records of all time was set by the Hungarian horse Kincsem, a filly who was foaled in 1874. It won a staggering 54 races out of 54, which just proves that it was by far the quickest racehorse around at the time, with no other horse able to touch it for pace, or over long distances.
Back in the late 19th century, it didn’t earn much at all really, however with inflation and the value of currencies it would be equal to €2.56 million in today’s money, And whilst many may have forgotten about Kincsem, after all, there is no race footage of horses from back then, at least the record books will never let its spirit die.
Man o’ War
The last horse on our list is Man o’ War who shares the same nickname as Secretariat, “Big Red”. It may not be as famous as its US compatriot but on paper Man o’ War actually tops Secretariat in the Top 100 US Racehorses of the 20th Century from Blood-Horse magazine. Man o’ War actually never won the Triple Crown though, not because he lost any of the races, it just never took part in the Kentucky Derby. And had it, there may well have been another Triple Crown winner on the books.
In his entire career, he only lost 1 of the 21 races that he started. Quite ironically to a horse named upset, who would cause his only upset on the race tracks.
And that completes our list of the top 5 fastest racehorses to have ever graced the track in horse racing. Clearly, some amazing horses in that list that managed to achieve some great feats in all their years. Will we ever see horses like them again? Who knows, only time will tell but hopefully they’re not the last of a dying breed and we some more record-breakers in the years to come when it comes to horse racing.
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