While some people are fond of horror movies, others prefer comedies; then there are many who love watching rom-coms, crime thrillers and/or sci-fi films instead. No matter what your favourite movie genre might be, if you’re a racing fan, you’ll find it very hard to turn down a film with a racehorse as its main star!
The storyline might be fanciful, factual or plain absurd, horse racing fans get drawn to it as long as it’s themed around horseracing. Although there have been a handful of amazing horseracing documentaries produced over the recent years, the best films are those which are true period dramas. These films don’t age and always stay relevant, irrespective of the times.
The great amount of love received by horseracing themed films is also because of popularity gained by horse betting in general, over the centuries. Today, people in every part of the world indulge in some or the other form of horse race betting as their favourite pastime. If you too are a horseracing enthusiast, below detailed are few such films that you cannot afford to miss.
An extremely popular Disney film themed around a great horse named Secretariat who became the first ever Triple Crown winner in 25 years after he annihilated the competition and won the Belmont Stakes by 31 length, in the year 1973, in New York. Many people consider that victory as the best performance ever witnessed in an American horse race.
The film shows Penny Chenery who takes charge of her father’s Meadow Stable, as he’s diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She faces all kinds of obstacles a woman of her stature is expected to face, owing to her limited horseracing experience, and also because of her gender.
Another memorable horseracing themed film which is often compared with Phar Lap, this one’s set in the United States. Seabiscuit proved to be an inspiration for a country that had been trying desperately to get back on its feet, post the Great Depression. The star of the film, Seabiscuit, turns out to be an unlikely champion owing to his small size and the fact that he had lost in his initial 17 starts. To make the matters worse, he’s ridden by Red Pollard, a down and out jockey and trained by Tom Smith, well-known to be an introvert.
Gary Stevens does an excellent job being War Admiral’s jockey, as Seabiscuit goes into a head-to-head showdown with the Triple Crown champion.
Phar Lap (1973)
An epic horseracing themed film, Phar Lap shows the amazing rags to riches story of a horse which is widely considered the best ever to have raced down under. He proved to be an inspiration for millions of people who were battling the effects of Great Depression during the 1930s. Having won 32 of his last 35 races, his winning inconsistency made him many enemies in the book making circles.
The movie’s climax shows him participating in North America’s richest race Agua Caliente Handicap, held in Mexico. That was the last race he won, before passing away two weeks later, due to suspected arsenic poisoning.