Biggest Horse Races Of 2022 | Kentucky Derby To Grand National

Check out the key horse racing dates for 2022 and plan your year ahead – including US Triple Crown races, the Grand National and the Melbourne Cup!

Best Bets

The horse racing calendar for 2022 is full of elite-level events every month of the year – and we’ve got them detailed right here.

From January’s Pegasus World Cup to the King George VI Chase on December 26th, through the Triple Crown events and the Melbourne Cup, there’s always a race to bet on!

These events are taking place all over the world. America stages the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes over the summer; the UK has Cheltenham and the Grand National to capture the world’s attention; and France’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is a race not to be missed.

With so much Grade I racing taking place over the year, we’ve crushed the horse racing calendar to reveal the biggest horse races of 2022.

These are the races that offer the most prize money, feature the very best thoroughbreds and – naturally – attract the most attention from sportsbooks and racing betting fans alike!

Betting On Horse Racing

Horse racing betting fans generally split into two camps: the ante-post punters and the live bettors.

The first camp love to wager on horses at larger odds in the weeks and months before big races. The reason these odds are greater is because there is no guarantee the horses will run – and in the ante-post markets, you don’t get your money back if the horse isn’t selected to race.

The second camp are those who wager once the race card has been finalized. This is where you’ll find punters wagering on more varied horse racing bets, such as Place, Show, Trifecta and various parlays.

Whichever type of bet you prefer, choosing from the top online sports betting sites to place those wagers should be your priority.

Horse racing

There are thousands of horse races that take place around the world each year, and below are the biggest to keep an eye on

Biggest Horse Races Of 2022

Here’s our 2022 horse racing calendar featuring the biggest races of the year…


Pegasus World Cup 2022

Saturday, January 29th | Gulfstream Park, Florida @ 5:55 PM ET

The Pegasus World Cup has a $3m prize purse and kicks off horse racing’s new year in style. This event has only been going for a few years and the prize money has already been significantly reduced.

Yet there is still plenty of interest in the Pegasus World Cup – particularly in 2022 where Knicks Go seeks to defend his crown won last year. There will be plenty of betting interest on this race and the bookies’ favorite is by no means guaranteed to even show here!


Winter Derby

Saturday, February 26th | Lingfield Park, UK

The Winter Derby in England provides a rare flat race during the UK’s National Hunt (jumps) season.

The Winter Derby showcases horses who impressed during the previous year’s summer classics and who are seeking to make ground in the hot months ahead. This is by no means a big-purse event but for flat racing fans it’s a rare thrill during the depths of the British winter.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Cup in Riyadh takes place on the same day (February 26th) and features a $20m purse – the biggest in the world. Mishriff is the hot favorite here. Check out the Saudi Cup 2022 draw and latest odds ahead of the big race.


Cheltenham Gold Cup

Friday, March 18th | Cheltenham Racecourse, UK

March is when horse racing truly comes alive. It’s when the UK stages the Cheltenham Festival – four days of non-stop racing action over fences and hurdles, which culminates in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The Gold Cup was first run in 1924 and takes place on the Friday of the festival. It boasts a prize purse of $640,000 and, perhaps more importantly, the prestige of winning British and Irish horse racing’s premier event.

The Dubai World Cup also takes place in March at Meydan Racecourse. This is one of the world’s most expensive races with a prize purse of $12m and a winner’s share of $7.2m. Iconic horses Arrogate, Thunder Show and Captain Steve have won this race in the past.


Grand National

Saturday, April 9th | Aintree Racecourse, UK

April is all about the Grand National, which remains the UK’s and the world’s most-watched horse race. This is the race where non-sports bettors enjoy a small wager on one of the 40 horses jumping the 30 fences around the Aintree course.

The Grand National can produce winners priced as wide as +10000, while favorites rarely win. It’s a racing spectacle like no other and totally different to the two-minute sprints witnessed at most US racetracks. Check out our Grand National betting preview here!


Kentucky Derby

Saturday, May 7th | Churchill Downs, Kentucky

May sees the start of the US Triple Crown events as the Kentucky Derby gets underway at Churchill Downs. This magisterial setting plays stage to two of the most dramatic minutes in American sports each year – and racing betting fans pile wagers into the race.

Medina Spirit was the controversial winner last year, and there is always plenty of betting taking place in the weeks leading up to this race. In fact, the Kentucky Derby post position draw is almost as big a spectacle as the race itself!

The second race in the Triple Crown – The Preakness Stakes – also takes place in May. Should a horse win both of these races then full focus will turn to June’s Belmont Stakes and a potential Triple Crown winner.

Now, the Preakness doesn’t get nearly the same amount of attention that the Kentucky Derby receives, but it is usually a safer wager for punters. That’s because many of the horses running in the Preakness were on display at Churchill Downs just a few weeks earlier – so bettors have a greater knowledge of which horses are on form, and which should be avoided.


Belmont Stakes

Saturday, June 11th | Belmont Park, New York

The Belmont Stakes in New York is one of the classic American horse races that capture the imagination of the public. Thousands turn up to watch this sprint and potentially see a Triple Crown winner.

Both American Pharoah and Justify have won the Triple Crown since 2015 – and perhaps another champion will write their name in the history books this year too!

Over in the UK the Epsom Derby takes place on Saturday, June 4th. This is billed as the Greatest Flat Race in the World – although Kentucky Derby organizers would argue that’s not the case! – and features the best of Europe’s flat racing horses.

Royal Ascot (June 14th-18th) then sees out the month. While the Ascot Gold Cup is certainly one bettors should keep an eye on, this festival is more about the celebrities and royalty who attend, rather than the racing!


Travers Stakes

Date TBA | Saratoga Race Course, New York

July features few big races, so let’s move on to August. The Travers Stakes is one of the core US horse races of the year and has been held in New York for more than 150 years. This race features a $1.25m prize purse and is fairly short at just 1-1/4 miles.

This race is often referred to as the Midsummer Derby and its notable previous winners include Arrogate, Medaglia d’Oro and Damascus.


St Leger Stakes

Date TBA | Doncaster Racecourse, UK

The UK’s St Leger Stakes forms the last leg of the English Triple Crown and is often a close race between three or four frontrunners. Like the Belmont Stakes, the St Leger is ideal for bettors as you can track the progress of horses in the 2,000 Guineas and the Epsom Derby, and make smarter bets here.

Other big races in September include Japan’s Sprinters Stakes, the Woodbine Mile in Canada, and Australia’s Moir Stakes.

Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is France’s biggest horse race


Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

Sunday, October 2nd | Paris-Longchamp Racecourse, France

French horse racing reaches its pinnacle in October when the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe takes place at Longchamp – perhaps the most stylish setting for horse racing in the world.

“The Arc” is a race steeped in prestige and is rarely won by a horse more than once. In fact, it’s often not the case that the favorite wins. Because of that, racing betting on the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is fierce and wagers on horses such as Torquator Tasso, who won in 2021 at odds of +7200, aren’t so surprising.

October is also the month The Everest takes place in Australia. This is a typical sprint at Randwick Racecourse but what’s special about the race is the $15m purse.

With such riches at stake, it’s no wonder The Everest attracts horse racing owners and trainers from all over the world. There’s a $600,000 entry fee for each horse – and that’s seen as a bargain considering the potential winnings on offer for the victor!


Breeders’ Cup Classic

November 4th-5th | Keenland, Kentucky

Back in the US for November and the Breeders’ Cup Classic takes center stage. This race is the biggest jewel of the Breeders’ Cup World Championship that is played out over two days.

Racing betting fans love to wager on the Breeders’ Cup Classic as the main race (with its $6m purse) usually features the stars of that summer’s Triple Crown events.

Elsewhere, Australia’s Melbourne Cup takes place in November and is always a spectacle to behold. The Melbourne Cup is the classy older bother of the punk Everest, and captivates Australia for two minutes every year.

The last Sunday of November witnesses the Japan Cup which, like the Melbourne Cup in Australia, is Japan’s most prestigious race. The Japan Cup is open to three-year-olds and upwards, which means past champions can defend their crown. Only Gentildonna (2012 & 2013) has achieved that feat so far.


King George VI Chase

Monday 26th December | Kempton Park, UK

Another classic race from the UK, this time in the depths of winter. The King George VI Chase isn’t the most expensive of races but it carries plenty of prestige. The race has run since 1937 and covers a three-mile excursion into the English countryside, before swooping back down to the post.

This race is all about jumps and features horses that are likely to then progress to the Cheltenham Festival the following March, or even the Grand National.

Meanwhile, the Welsh Grand National takes place a day later and is another perfect race for punters who enjoy long-distance jumps racing that is rarely found in the US.

Discover how much do you win for Kentucky Derby, or learn more about the most accomplished Kentucky Derby horse trainers.

Dave Consolazio

Dave Consolazio has been passionate about writing and sports journalism since his high school years. He has a degree in Broadcast Journalism from USC where he worked with the school's radio and television stations. His work has been featured in SportsbookReview, Sports Illustrated and SB Nation. Dave's experience ranges across multiple fields in the gambling industry. You can find his sports, casino, and poker articles in

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