Best Racehorses of All Time

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Only horse race enthusiasts know how hard it is to decide among so many brilliant runners, but combining various criteria we’ve managed to create this top 5 list of best racehorses of all time.

Man O’War

This amazing horse set three world records, two American records, and three track records. He also won 20 races out of 21 starts. His only loss was his first race ever in 1919 at the Sanford Memorial Stakes. He was the last off the starting line, was put into disastrous positions by his inexperienced jockey and still made second place.

The BloodHorse magazine ranked Man o’War as the greatest horse to race in North America in the 20th century and Sports Illustrated rated him the best horse in racing history.


This American Thoroughbred is widely considered the greatest horse of the second half of the 20th century. Second only to Man O’War, Secretariat is included within top 100 US horses of the 20th century.

In 1973, he became the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years and one of only 11 horses to win this prestigious series. Secretariat won sixteen of his twenty-one career starts and was showered in honours. He won five Eclipse Awards, including Horse of the Year honours at ages two and three.

Often regarded as the fastest horse ever, in 1973 he broke the track record virtually every time he was sent out fit, as well as two world records. Importantly, he broke these over wide-ranging distance (7f to 13f) over wide ranging surfaces (dirt and turf, wet and dry).

Phar Lap

The best known and most celebrated Australian racehorse, Phar Lap won 19 major race titles and achieved a massive winning streak of 14 wins in a row. His unbelievable achievements captured the public imagination and lifted him to the level of a national hero.

Who knows what this gorgeous stallion might have accomplished if he hadn’t been poisoned by the competition, bringing his stellar career to a tragic end.

The secret of Phar Lap’s success was revealed in the autopsy; his heart was much larger than that of a regular horse.


Adored by an army of fans, the Thoroughbred of the millennium finished his fourteen-race career unbeaten. Mind-blowing performances followed one after the other, none more breath-taking than his victory in the 2,000 Guineas in 2011, described as “one of the greatest displays on a British racecourse.”


The first superstar of thoroughbred racing, Arkle went on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup for three consecutive years (1964-1966), and scored victories in every important steeplechase he entered – including, the Hennessy Gold Cup, the Irish Grand National and the King George VI Chase. He was posthumously inducted into the British Steeplechasing Hall of Fame in 1994. His Timeform rating of 212 is the highest ever awarded to a steeplechaser.