Amazing Facts about Horse Racing in Australia
Horseracing is a huge and popular leisure activity among all social groups in Australia. The sport has become well established in and around Sydney since 1810. From its very first official race which was ran on the month of October 1810, horse racing has come a long way. What we see today is a well-organised spectator sports with millions of fans and thousands of races each year.
Like any other sports, horse racing has amazing statistics and facts to look at. They are in the records not only to highlight those that excel in the industry but also to celebrate the sport that became a permanent part of the Australian culture.
Fact #1 – Horses in Numbers
According to a research, there are 18,000 horses that are being bred for racing each year in Australia alone. Also, there are 31,000 thoroughbred horses that undergoes training at any given time.
Fact #2 – Races in Numbers
Australia is home to over 479 racecourses, the most number compared to any country around the world. In average, there are 22,000 races held in Australia with 60 races every day. More than 60 of these yearly races are classified as Group 1 Races – which are the pinnacle of the sport and where competitors battle it out to win the biggest prizes in the form of fame and money.
Fact #3 – Wagering in Numbers
According to the Australian Racing Fact Book 2016–2017 edition, total thoroughbred wagering turnover in Australia was $18.063 billion (an increase of $2.345 billion or 15 per cent from 2015–2016). More than a third of this amount was bet with Northern Territory bookmakers. The horse racing industry helps boost the economy by $7.7 billion.
Fact #4 – The Legendary Phar Lap
Phar Lap is considered as the greatest horse race in the country. He dominated the Australian racing during a his career, winning a Melbourne Cup, two Cox Plates, an AJC Derby, and 19 other weight-for-age races. He even won the Agua Caliente Handicap in Tijuana, Mexico. His fame has earned him a huge space in the Melbourne Museum with his memorabilia, his heart is currently displayed in the National Museum of Australia in Canberra.
Fact #5 – Melbourne Cup
The Melbourne Cup is Australia’s most prestigious annual race and is one of the biggest horse racing events in the world. It is dubbed as “the race that stops a nation”. Makybe Diva is the most successful horse having won 3 races in 3 straight years. The 2018 Melbourne Cup is set to run on November 6, 2018 with a total of $7,300,000 prize money at stake.
Fact #6 – Youngest Winning Jockey
The youngest jockey to ever win the Melbourne cup is Peter St. Albans. He won in the year 1876 on board Briseis. His recorded age during that race was 13. However, he was actually 11 years old – eight days short of his twelfth birthday.
Fact #7 – Cups King
One of the most successful Australian racehorse trainers, Bart Cummings won the the Melbourne Cup a record twelve times with five quinellas. His first win was when he was still 23 years old.
Fact #8 – Drongo
Drongos is often the word used by Aussies when referring to fools and hopeless cases. However, only few people know that “Drongo” is actually a racehorse. This horse raced in the 1920’s and was known for creating hype and showing promise, but when race day comes, doesn’t deliver. He failed to win in any of the 37 starts in participated on.