What is a ‘Racehorse’?
A racehorse is any horse bred and trained for the purpose of entering races as a professional or amateur competitor. Horse racing is one of the oldest forms of spectator sports with a gambling element, and it is one of the most popular types of bet at the modern bookmakers’ shop. Bettors can select a racehorse and wager against the posted odds for the chance of a return on their stake.
Racehorses are horses who enter races in order to win prizes, usually cash sums. Gamblers often bet on racehorses, especially in handicap stakes where any competitor has a chance of winning the event. Most racehorses are ‘thoroughbred’ horses – that is, they are specially bred from a tight circle of genetic lines which are thought to be superior for racing, and they often (but not always) fall into the purebred category. As well as competitive racing, these racehorses are often seen in other equestrian events like showjumping and polo.
Racehorses are often bought as an investment because there is very good money to be made off a successful racer, and they are usually given to trusted trainers who have experience in the industry. The trainers prepare the horses for the races and make sure that they are ready for the event, taking a cut of any prize along with the owner. Racehorses may be owned by an individual, a business, a charity or a collective.
There are many high-profile events around the world into which racehorses can be entered. Some of the most famous are the Kentucky Derby and the Grand National, which are attended by the most prestigious VIPs and high-society members. These big races are some of the busiest days for the bookmakers, attracting thousands of bets worth millions of dollars or pounds in the process.