When you're thinking about champion racehorses, you usually summon to mind the likes of Phar Lap and his ilk and while you might know a little about racing, you might not know who the most legendary race horses of all time are. To help you, we've compiled a list of the horses with the best track records throughout the ages. An interesting fact about racehorses is that they all have very big hearts - with a huge amount of blood and oxygen needing to be pumped around the body to get them across the line. Horses also need to have a long stride and the ability to synchronise their breathing in time with the estimated 150 strides per minutes that they are required to take in order to make them a winner.
Let's take a look at some of the biggest winners of all time.
This horse became the first racehorse to win the famous Melbourne Cup on three occasions: 2003, 2004, and 2005. Makybe Diva is British-bred and Australian-trained and in 2005, she also won the Cox Plate. This horse is the highest stakes-earner in Australasian horse racing history, and she had winnings of more than A$14 million when she retired on 1 November 2005. A claim to fame for Makybe Diva is that she is one of only five horses to have won the Cup more than once in the long history of the event, which was first run in 1861.
This prizewinner is one of the most celebrated horses and yet he only raced for two years between 1972 and 1973. He ran a total of 21 races and won 16 of them, and his most impressive year was his second, when as a three-year-old colt he won horse racing's Triple Crown - the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes. In addition to this, he managed to set set new track records at each venue.
This horse became the first to win more than $1 million. He won the 1948 Triple Crown and then won the Pimlico Special where no other stables dared to race their horses against him. He races for four years and of his 45 starts in racing he took first place a grand total of 32 times, with a second placing ten times and third place twice. Not really a guy that likes to lose!
Even more keen on winning, the horse by the name of Man o'War took 21 starts and then managed to lose only one. This was a race when he was a two-year-old horse and was running in the 19191 Sanford Memorial Stakes - and only because his back was turned to the starting barrier. This horse is best known for winning - even despite the handicap weight that he was forced to wear - in one race saddling 130 pounds, a weight unheard of.
Seattle Slew was dubbed an -ugly horse' because he was plain coloured and had big floppy ears, so it wasn't until a veterinarian studied his bloodline that it was discovered that Seattle Slew could be a strong runner. Lucky they took the time to study him as he had 14 wins in 17 starts, netting more than $1.2 million. His claim to fame? In 1977, Seattle Slew became the 10th horse to win the Triple Crown - not so impressive, but he was the first to do so in an undefeated season.
This poor guy was a gelding male (which means he had been castrated - something that often removes competitive drive) but he was named out as American Horse of the Year five times in a row from 1960 through 1964 by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. He managed to dominate the industry for five years - something unusual in a sport where many horses retire after only two or so years.