As the lockdowns continue across the majority of the world, we’ve picked out five of the best horse racing films to keep you entertained until our usual freedoms return.
There are plenty of sports films on the market, and often they are some of the most famous that have ever been created by Hollywood. The Rocky series needs no introduction, and boxing in particular, seems to match the rags to riches storyline that sells so well when it comes to the world of movies.
However, the likes of football and horse racing have been difficult to recreate for the big screen and although there have been plenty of decent attempts, very few can rival the award winners of the cinema industry.
Horse racing, however, is more popular than ever at the minute as the sport continues to carry on behind closed doors. For many, racing has been something to look forward to which is why many of the online bookmakers are reporting record profits across 2020.
Many punters have enjoyed placing a bet on the action from the likes of Cheltenham or Royal Ascot, and have started comparing odds between the likes of Bet365 and Betfair, to make sure they are getting the best price on their racing bet.
Betting is something that we also see in many of the great horse racing movies, which are often set in America, although there have been a few classics that have been made in the UK.
Below are our top three selections from the world of horse racing movies, and we’ve even given them a rating to help you decide on what to watch next.
Available to stream on Disney+
As is the case for most racing films, Secretariat is based on a real-life story and follows the career of the remarkable 1973 Triple Crown winner of the same name.
With a star-studded cast that includes John Malkovich, the film follows housewife Penny Chenery, who takes over her late father’s Stables in Virginia. Boasting an impressive $35 million budget, the story is given the full Disney treatment as Chenery attempts to make an impact in a hugely male-dominated sport, and features some brilliantly realistic racing scenes.
Our rating: Five stars
The Cup (2011)
Available to rent on Amazon Prime Video for £3.49
Highlighting a more humble spending budget of $15 million (Aus), this Australian creation tells the phenomenal story behind the 2002 Melbourne Cup. It follows the account of one of the nation’s top racers at the time Damien Oliver, whose more established sibling Jason heartbreakingly died in an accident seven days before the ‘race that stops a country’.
Having additionally endured the demise of his dad Ray in a similar way earlier in his life, Oliver is left addressing whether he has the heart to tackle the big race. Step forward the great Dermot Weld, who is sublimely played by Brendan Gleeson and has a live possibility in the Cup with the memorable Media Puzzle
Our rating: Four and a half stars
Available to rent on YouTube or Google Play for £2.49
With a fabulous spending budget of over $87 million, Seabiscuit is perhaps the most prominent horse racing film that has ever been constructed, and it follows the story of the life and career of the racehorse with the same name.
A real life tale, Seabiscuit the horse, was a media sensation during the 1930s thanks to his seemingly impossible achievements, and now has his name etched in Hollywood history for the rest of time.
Earning just short of $150 million, the film was a success and was named for a large group of Academy Awards, including ‘Best Picture’. That makes it the most successful horse racing film of all-time and one that certainly brought the sport to the big screen and into home TV’s around the globe.
Our rating: Four stars