MODERN horseracing has its roots in Britain and many other countries simply adapted or copied that programme book when establishing their own fixture list.

One of the reasons why horse racing is one of the most loved sports is that many of the great races have long and storied histories.

The classics are the best known. Let's take a look at the five classics in British racing and their international equivalents.


Location: Newmarket

Distance: One mile

The 2000 Guineas is confined to three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies. It is also the opening leg of the Triple Crown followed by the Derby and St Leger. The race was first introduced by the Jockey Club on April 18th, 1809, under the direction of Sir Charles Bunbury.

Now staged on the first Saturday in May, it is one of the most popular betting races on Sportsbet and other sites.

Some of best-known international variations of the 2000 Guineas include:

>Irish 2000 Guineas, Ireland

>Mehl-Mülhens-Rennen, Germany

>Poule d'Essai des Poulains, France

>Premio Parioli, Italy

>Australian Guineas, Australia

>Satsuki Sho, Japan


Location: Newmarket, England

Distance: One mile

This race is confined to fillies and now takes place on the first Sunday in May. It is the opening leg of the Fillies’ Triple Crown, followed by the Oaks and St Leger. The international variations include:

>Irish 1000 Guineas, Ireland

>Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, France

>Henkel-Rennen, Germany

>Premio Regina Elena, Italy


Location: Epsom Downs, England

Distance: One and a hall miles

Confined to fillies, the Oaks is the second oldest of the classic races. It is now staged one day before the Derby, usually on the first weekend in June. Some of the international variations include:

>Irish Oaks, Ireland

>Preis der Diana, Germany

>Prix de Diane, France

>Oaks d'Italia, Italy

>AJC Oaks, Australia

>New Zealand Oaks, New Zealand

>Yushun Himba, Japan


Location: Epsom Downs, England

Distance: One and a half miles.

The Derby is open to fillies but is usually contested only by colts. It is also referred to as 'the Blue Riband' of British racing as it is the most prestigious race of all. Most if not all countries have their own 'Derby', including the Kentucky Derby in America.


Location: Doncaster, England

Distance: One mile and three quarters

The St Leger is held every September and is the final leg of the Triple Crown. It is the oldest of the five classics and the longest race. The international variations include:

>Irish St Leger, Ireland

>Prix Royal-Oak, France

>Deutsches St Leger, Gemany

>St Leger Italiano, Italy

>Kikuka-sho, Japan

>New Zealand St Leger, New Zealand

>VRC St Leger, Australia

So, watch out for these races on Sportsbet and horse racing sites and place your wagers!