Horse racing is a sport you may not realise is enjoyed all over the world — and fans can watch horse racing online and on TV every day because of it.
Horse racing live stream and on TV
History of horse racing
The global passion for horse racing stretches from the UK and Ireland to the United States, Australia and Dubai. And with meets being held every day, the chances of watching live horse racing and betting at any time of day are actually quite high! Indeed, watching sport on TV is a great way to follow horse racing and enjoy the speed and endurance of these magnificent animals are they career round the track.
Horse racing live as we know it today originated from the upper classes in England during the 1700s. This was the birth of professional horse racing, where the gentry raced their horses and bet against one another in one-on-one battles. It was a lot different from the TV horse racing spectacle we know and love today! Soon racing meets began to spring up, with festivals being held around the biggest races.
This was thoroughbred racing, where the UK’s landed gentry payed big money to breed horses from one of three iconic Arabian stallions: the Byerley Turk, the Darley Arabian and the Godolphin Arabian. Since then all thoroughbreds have come from these blood lines, making horse racing a truly elite sport.
Since the turn of the 20th century horse racing became increasingly accessible to the masses. Betting on horse racing grew rapidly, while fans could soon watch horse racing on TV. Today it is a global sport watched by millions each day, and Unibet offers racing odds on meets taking place throughout the 24-hour cycle across the world.
The Grand National
The most famous race in the world has had its controversies down the years but the Grand National TV viewing figures remain as strong as ever. Around 40 horses run in this iconic race over 30 fences, with around £1m up for grabs. But the Grand National isn’t just about the prize money on offer. Icons are made at this race as millions of horse racing TV viewers tune in to watch and bet on the action.
The Grand National has the unique ability to draw non-horse racing fans into the action for 20 minutes each year. Families and friends create sweepstakes and follow the Grand National live stream throughout the day. Legends such as Red Rum, Hudgehunter and Tiger Roll have been made at the National — and more will follow in the future.
How Cheltenham works
The racing world descends on Cheltenham for a four-day festival every spring that marks the pinnacle of the jumps season. And Cheltenham TV viewing figures are always at their peak during the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Millions of fans from all over the world watch the Cheltenham Gold Cup, with at least £625,000 available for the winner. This lucrative race attracts owners and trainers — many of whom train their horses specifically to compete in the Gold Cup. Fans who watch Cheltenham Gold Cup and bet with Unibet are offered a magnificent spectacle of Grade I racing with the beautiful backdrop of the Gloucestershire countryside.
Biggest horse races around the world
The Cheltenham Gold Cup, Epsom Derby and Grand National are joined in the pantheon of elite horse races by other exceptional meets from around the world. This includes the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on the outskirts of Paris, where fans who bet and watch horse racing are treated to a fine spectacle. The flat race is bettered only by the Epsom Derby and offers an eye-watering €5m in prize money.
The Melbourne Cup is Australia’s answer to elite horse racing and has run since 1861. The flat race is open to three-year-olds and up, and has created legends over the years. Makybe Diva (3) Think Big (2) and Rain Lover (2) are just some of the multiple-winning horses in the Melbourne Cup.
Over in the USA the biggest horse racing live stream spectacle each year is the Kentucky Derby. This Grade I race on an over dirt track is dubbed ‘The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports’. Run at Churchill Downs in Louisville, the Kentucky Derby is all about raw speed. And because the track never changes, speed records can be set! In 1973 Secretariat set the record of winning the Kentucky Derby in just under two minutes. In the 21st century only one horse — Monarchos in 2001 — has run under the two-minute mark.
Best jockeys of all time
For those who bet and live stream horse racing there is no question that AP McCoy is the best jockey in jumping history. McCoy was crowned Champion Jockey a staggering 20 times between 1996 and 2015, was named Jump Jockey of the Year 16 times and won 31 races at Cheltenham. He claimed an iconic Grand National triumph on Don’t Push It in 2010, the Cheltenham Gold Cup twice (1997 and 2012) and the Champion Hurdle three times (1997, 2006, 2010).
Flat racing in the UK is famous for jockey Lester Piggott, who won 11 Champion jockey titles between 1960 and 1982. Ireland’s Pat Eddery and Kieren Fallon have also claimed multiple Champion jockey gongs down the years, while recently Brazilian Silvestre de Sousa has bucked the trend by becoming the first non-European since South African Michael Roberts in 1992 to be named flat racing’s Champion jockey in 2015.