If you are a fan of world championship horse racing, you have a rich selection of events to enjoy annually!

The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, the Caulfield Cup 2015 in Melbourne, Australia, and the Breeder's Cup World Championships (locations change annually) are three of the top horse races in the world.

All are designed for thoroughbred racers, and the purses for these races are also amongst the richest the world over.

Let's take a look.

1. Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

Like the course at Caulfield, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe course is one and a half miles in length and open to thoroughbreds ages three and up. This race typically takes place during the first Sunday each October, and is often referred to simply as "The Arc."

In 2015, The Arc will take place October 3-4 at Longchamp Racecourse in Paris, France. Since the race first began in 1920, for many, being able to compete in The Arc has been considered a true career highlight.

Side by side over the two-day race period, two races will occur: the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and the Qatar Arabian World Cup, which is for Arabian purebred horses only.

The total purse is 6 million euros (a little over $6.8M dollars), 5 million euros for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and 1 million euros for the Qatar.

2. Breeder's Cup World Championships

The Breeder's Cup is nearly neck-and-neck with the Caulfield Cup as one of the richest prize purses in the horse racing world.

The location changes annually. Past locations have included Kentucky's Churchill Downs and Canada's Woodbine Racetrack. For 2015 it will be held at Kentucky's Keeneland Racecourse.

The Breeder's Cup is for Grade 1 thoroughbred racehorses and includes three of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) top Grade 1 races in the world: the Mile, the Distaff, and the Classic.

First held in 1984, the event was founded stateside and was a hit pretty much immediately, so much so that it was expanded to a two-day event in 2007.

The 2015 purse is valued at $27 million. The race will take place October 30-31, 2015.

3. Caulfield Cup

This championship horse race is held annually in Melbourne, Australia, at the Caulfield Racecourse on the final day of the Caulfield Carnival.

Handicap conditions apply. Group 1 horses must be at least three years old to compete. Both horses from Australia and international candidates are eligible.

The purse for this one and a half mile (2400 metres) race is one of Australia's richest prizes, currently valued at A$3,000,000 (or just over $2.3M American dollars). The race itself permits 18 horses with four emergency backup entries as needed.

Horses are selected via ballot with major qualifications including past wins and places and purse sizes. Only winners in the 2015 Caulfield Cup will be allowed direct entry into the Melbourne Cup, which takes place a mere 16 days later.

Only 11 champion horses have won a "Double Cup" (winning both the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup) since the races were inaugurated in 1879.

As you make your plans to experience these three legendary horse races, even if you re not able to be attend in person, there are many places where you can watch the races live or on video playback, and even wager on your favorite horses!

By Tony Samboras


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