Horse Racing in the United Kingdom is the second biggest spectator sport in the country. Having been a part of the UK’s identity for hundreds of years, there is a long-running history of horse racing legends, and we are here to tell you about it. Keep reading to find out more about the most successful racehorses of all time, along with the most successful jockeys.
Most Successful Race Horses Of All Time
Have you ever wondered who are the most successful racehorses of all time? We have, too – so we did the research for you! Below, we have listed the top three most successful racehorses, along with a short debrief into their racing journeys.
|Number Of Victories
|37 Races From 51 Starts
|Man ‘O War
|20 Races from 21 Starts
|16 Races From 21 Starts
First up, we have Phar Lap. A rich red chestnut gelding from humble beginnings who went on to become a legend of Australian sporting history. In the difficult years of the 1930s depression, Phar Lap made history, winning 37 races from 51 starts, alongside many other incredible achievements. Phar Lap was so successful that the circumstances surrounding the equine’s sudden passing in 1932 were questioned due to his superb form. Fast forward to 2023, and the exact circumstances are still unknown.
Find out more here with our guide to horse racing around the world.
Man ‘O War
Up next on the list is Man ‘O War. An older breed who was incredibly powerful cemented his place in the list of the most successful racehorses of all time. This is due to his success in one of the most recognisably challenging eras of human history. Born in 1917, as the Industrial Revolution was reaching its peak and major challenges were presented across the world, this hardened thoroughbred horse is often considered one of the greatest of the 20th century. In a short career spanning just two seasons, he won 20 of 21 races with seven-track records for his speed.
Completing the top three is the American Thoroughbred Secretariat. With 16 victories and becoming a record-breaking money winner, this incredible racehorse only registered four race finishes that were not won in a brilliant 16-month career. Secretariat was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1974.
Most Successful Jockeys Of All Time
We have covered the most successful racehorses of all time, but what about those who race them? There are some incredible horse racing jockeys who have long-spanning careers with their equine pals, and below, we have highlighted the top three of all time.
|Number Of Wins
|Lanfranco ‘Frankie’ Dettori
|Laffit A. Pincay, Jr
Lanfranco ‘Frankie’ Dettori
Perhaps the most famous jockey in the world and a much-recognised household name, Frankie Dettori, is first on the list. An Italian jockey based in England, Dettori has had a hugely successful career spanning over 35 years, where he won big races in 24 countries. Having been champion jockey three times, Dettori will always be best remembered for riding all seven winners in one day at Ascot in 1996 in what was labelled his “Magnificent Seven.” Now? Dettori has moved to the US to continue his career after a decision to pause his initially announced retirement.
Laffit A. Pincay, Jr
One of thoroughbred racing’s most accomplished figures, Laffit A. Pincay, Jr, came to the US from Panama at the age of 19. He won eight of his first 11 events in the US, becoming one of the most esteemed jackets in US flat-racing history. By his retirement in 2003, he was one of the world’s most successful jockeys.
Finally, we have Russell Baze. Ending a staggering 42-year career in June 2016, Baze secured 12,842 career wins, with 270 of the stakes, more than any jockey in North American racing history. This number caused him to steal the title of the world’s winningest rider from Laffit A. Pincay, Jr. The recipient of many awards, Baze most recently was named the 2023 recipient of the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award, given to riders who have made significant contributions to Thoroughbred racing.
There is so much incredible history behind the sport of horse racing and its world-famous horses and jockeys. As the sport only continues to grow and become more accessible, the sky is the limit for the future of horse racing as records continue to get broken and achievements marked down in the history books.