What is the Best Breed of Horse for Horse Racing?

| February 14, 2019
The modern classic thoroughbred has been developed over centuries through selective breeding for speed and endurance.

One of the most popular forms of horse racing is Thoroughbred racing but there are other breeds involved in the sport that often get disregarded or ignored. From a betting perspective, having knowledge of other breeds can be beneficial in understanding the characteristics of each type of horse, and how that may give one horse an advantage over others in the race. These are some of the most popular breeds for racing and the reasons why they’re so popular for certain variations of the sport. 


The biggest races around the globe are exclusively for Thoroughbred horses – they’re synonymous with the glamour of the sport and nothing compares to them in terms of the interest from bettors. The terminology is often interchangeable but while all Thoroughbreds are purebred, it’s not the case that all purebreds are Thoroughbreds. For a horse to be a Thoroughbred, both the dam and sire need to be of the same breed. Thoroughbreds are the breed most are familiar with when it comes to racing and this is largely because they are known for their agility and speed, making them ideally suited to racing and often favored amongst bookmakers like Timeform


Arabians are one of the oldest horse breeds, originally bred for purposes of war because of their strength and stamina, and are small with delicate yet distinctive features, excelling in racing and endurance riding despite their diminutive size. They’re commonly used as a breed for beginners as they’re more affectionate and intelligent, so they’re easy to train and handle, and they have excellent stamina for long and challenging races. 

American Quarter Horse

This breed is incredibly popular today, typically used in rodeos and horse shows, as well as general riding. It gets its name from being used historically for competitive quarter horse racing, where races take place over a quart mile distance.  It’s a breed also renowned for its endurance skills and muscular build. The American Quarter Horse is a breed that is versatile and enjoyable to ride and is well-suited to shorter distances where it really shines. 


Standardbreds date back to the 18thcentury when trotting races first started gaining popularity in the US. They are used primarily for harness racing and are stockier than other breeds used in horse racing. There are two categories of standardbreds in horse racing – one for trotters and one for pacers. Alongside hardness racing, standardbreds are also used for show jumping and trail riding as well. 

When it comes to horse racing, there are various positive characteristics to different breeds in terms of training and handling. But the most popular breed is the Thoroughbred, as it’s build and temperament make it an ideal breed for racing, as well as other equestrian sports. This breed is considered by many as the fastest breed of horse in the world and, as such, it tends to dominate the racing industry and also the betting industry, with punters more willing to seek out Thoroughbreds as a safer bet of winning. 

Category: Special interest

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