5 Iconic Racehorses


Interested in racehorses today? Find out more about great racehorses of the past and present in our guide to great racehorses!

Horseracing is an unusual sport in that it allows animals to become celebrities. Indeed, some iconic racehorses, such as Sea Biscuit, Red Rum or Shergar, have acquired legendary status and fame that goes beyond the ranks of horseracing fans. If you want to be a success at betting on racehorses results then you need to learn as much as possible about these magnificent animals. Here, we’ll take a closer look at five mighty steeds who acquired iconic status in the ‘Sport of Kings’.

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Five iconic racehorses to know about

Red Rum

Anyone who grew up in the UK in the 1970s and 1980s will know the name Red Rum very well indeed, mainly because of the three Grand National wins the horse enjoyed in 1973, 1974 and 1977. That feat is yet to be matched by any other horse. A powerful steeplechaser who never fell once in 100 races, his endurance and determination were perfectly exemplified by the way he won from being 30 lengths down in the 1973 Grand National. He died in 1995 and is buried, fittingly, by the winning post at Aintree Racecourse, the scene of his Grand National triumphs.

Desert Orchid

This grey has been hailed as one of the most charismatic racehorses of the 20th century, such was the depth of affection that the public held for him, particularly in the UK and Ireland. Usually known as ‘Dessie’, this star of the turf was trained by David Elsworth, and won four King George VI Chases. In addition to that iconic feat, Dessie also won the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Irish Grand National, on the way to recording a stunning 34 victories from 70 starts. Surprisingly perhaps, he never ran in the Grand National, however, as he was considered too beloved by the public to run in this live horse race.

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Credit: Betway


This famous mare has won most of her races in Australia, and is perhaps most famous for winning 33 consecutive flat races. She retired in 2019, having amassed four victories in the prestigious Cox Plate, as well as three victories in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Now a broodmare, during her storied career she was the world’s top-ranked filly or mare and the world’s highest-ranked turf horse in 2016. In 2018 she was co-ranked as the world’s best horse, and is viewed as one of the best racehorses today.

Best Mate

Another iconic presence in this list of great racehorses, Best Mate won the Gold Cup on three occasions between 2002 and 2004. He competed in 22 races in total, winning 14 of those and finishing second in seven. Like the great Red Rum, Best Mate never fell at a fence or a hurdle. Trained by Henriette Knight, this mighty steed was ridden by jockey Jim Culloty for most of his biggest victories. Best Mate sadly passed away in a live horse race in front of his adoring public, suffering a heart attack during a race at Exeter in England in 2005.


Not many horses become the subject of a movie, but Aldaniti did. Indeed, this horse, who was ridden to victory in the 1981 Grand National, starred as himself in the 1983 film Champions. Bob Champion, his jockey for that 1981 victory, had not long recovered from cancer before the race. Aldaniti himself had suffered a broken leg in 1979, making his Grand National victory even more impressive, as he had been out or racing for a year while recovering, a feat that is recognised by fans of racehorses today.

Find a horse betting strategy for beginners

Anyone who is new to the world of horse racing might find it tricky to formulate a successful betting strategy at first. Studying the form of racehorses is an important foundation on which to build your horse racing betting strategy.  While jockeys play an important part in racing, the horse is the key component in the equation. Always check to see what ground and weather conditions a horse tends to favour, as these are really important factors in determining the outcome of races. Some horses like it wet and muddy, whereas others prefer to fly over firm ground.


The five amazing horses here represent just a small sample of the many thousands of courageous animals who contest races across the world every week. Anyone who is looking to formulate a successful strategy for betting on horse racing should never neglect studying the form and record of horses. Racehorses and jockeys work closely together to win races, and bettors need to respect the significant role played by the horse in racehorses’ results. If you don’t pay close enough attention to the horse, your strategy will miss an important foundation.

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