UNITED STATES—Sports are all about entertaining, and when it comes to horse racing, over the years there has been no shortage of some seriously entertaining moments. Often causing some upsets for the bookies, some horses have defied the odds and beaten records to win races they had absolutely no right to win. You can maximize your chances of doing the same by betting on day 4 of Cheltenham. As 2020 comes to a close and with the ending of a sad year for racing, we look to 2021 to bring some much needed and vital entertainment value back to our screens and lives.

But before jumping into the new calendar year which is packed with fixtures, what better time to take a look back at some of horse racing’s greatest records. Like every other sport, horse racing has had its fair share of remarkable champions and with every new year there are challengers looking to break the records set by their predecessors. But it seems like some records will never be broken, they are just that good. Let’s have a look at some of horse racing’s greatest records and see just why they are so impressive.


By far and large the quickest time of its generation was set during the Belmont Stakes race in 1973. The racetrack in Baltimore, Maryland was host to one of horse racing’s greatest ever moments. Winning by an incredible 31 lengths (smashing the world record and remaining the existing world record to this day) this incredible feat blew spectators and horse racing experts away. This horse had just prior to this ran the Preakness Stakes in 1 minute and 53 seconds, speeding from the start to the finish at lightning speed that had never been seen before and will be rare to be seen again. For a horse to travel over a mile in such a short space of time is incredible and it is no surprise that this race has gone down in horse racing history. This was an astonishing record at the time, and almost 50 years on remains just as gobsmacking. A worthy Triple Crown winner.

American Pharaoh

Many in recent years have doubted the ability for jockeys and horses to still pull off a Triple Crown victory, but this thoroughbred defied all the odds – including the bookmakers. With the explosion in sports betting and the advancements in technology, horse racing has developed massively in recent times. This has led it to become much more than what you would famously and traditionally dub one horse races. With the sport more unpredictable than ever it came as a massive surprise for everyone when American Pharaoh smashed the race records in 2015 to become the 2nd fastest recorded time at the Preakness Stakes for a Triple Crown winner. The feat achieved here is one of the best performances by a horse in the 21st century.

Al Jabal

Horse racing as a sport allows for more veteran, older participants when compared with other sports. Indeed, jockeys can compete into their 50s. But when it comes to the horses, they tend to retire around 10 years old as they no longer can compete at the same level when they get to this age. Infact, some retire as early as 4 or 5. But purebred Arab chestnut Gelding that went by the name of Al Jabal had other ideas. This horse set a record as being the oldest horse to win a competitive race. Running in 2002 at Barbury Castle in Wiltshire this unlikely codger flew to victory in the Three Horseshoes Handicap Stakes, setting a world record which is still unbeaten to this day. This is an astonishing victory for such an old horse and shows the power of never giving up.

Whilst this is by no means an extensive list of horse racing records, we have picked out our 3 favorite records of horse racing from across the years. If you want to check out more, have a look here.