Horse racing is a hugely popular sport enjoyed by millions of spectators, horse and sporting fans from around the world.
Aside from the general lovers of the sport it’s also become an increasingly popular sporting event amongst gamblers of all skill levels including amateurs looking simply to place the odd bet in hope that they’ll be able to pick a winner and land themselves a windfall.
And it’s the often unpredictable nature of the sport and the thrill of the race that keeps them coming back for more.
Whilst my racing tips may not hold you in good stead with the bookies at least movie fans can take solace in my pick of the best horse racing movies for you to enjoy.
INTERNATIONAL VELVET (1978)
It’s arguably the most well known movie that revolves around the world of horse racing and this late 70’s drama starring Christopher Plummer, Anthony Hopkins, Nanette Newman and a young Tatum O’Neal is one of the most memorable.
The story follows a young girl who goes to live with her aunt (Velvet Brown) in England after her parents are killed in a car crash. Velvet herself was a successful jockey who just missed out on a Grand National victory after being disqualified when she was at a similar age to that of Sarah.
Her young protégé soon becomes hungry for success and along with her horse Arizona Pie competes at the Olympics.
Nominated for 7 Oscars, but sadly not managing to pick up any awards on the night, is this popular adaptation of the bestselling novel by author Laura Hillenbrand.
The story itself was based loosely on the true story of Thoroughbred race horse ‘Seabiscuit’ who despite many drawbacks managed to win a number of events unexpectedly making him an overnight success in the racing world during the Great Depression.
The movie itself starring Tobey Maguire, Chris Cooper and Jeff Bridges follows the championship horse and his relationship with his jockey, trainer and owner.
RACING STRIPES (2005)
In this hilarious sporting children’s comedy the focus is purely on the racing world with one minor difference, the racer just happens to be a circus zebra.
The abandoned beast is saved and raised by a former Thoroughbred-racehorse trainer and his daughter and grows up to believe himself to be a horse.
In later years he finally gets his chance to race along with Chan Walsh (the trainer’s daughter, played by the beautiful Hayden Panettiere. It’s a heart-warming family friendly affair and one that those of all ages can enjoy.
50 TO 1 (2014)
There have been plenty of examples of horse-based sporting action in the movie world throughout the decades and still to this day every now and again a filmmaker will dip into the exciting world of horse racing.
Just a few years back award winning writer/director Jim Wilson gave us ’50 to 1’, the true story of Mine That Bird, the undersized thoroughbred that caused one of the biggest upsets in racing history when he rode to victory to win the 2009 Kentucky Derby.