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The 10 Fastest Horse Breeds in the World for Horse Racing

Singapore is famed for their horse racing industry which is operated legally by the Singapore Turf Club. One of the crucial factor to win in horse racing bets is to know the breed of your horses, because some breeds are made for speed.

The 10 Fastest Horse Breeds in the World

Different breeds have different qualities – but in a racing industry, the most important and prized trait is the quality of speed. With that, many pedigrees have been developed with the speediest genetics for racing success.

What you will be reading below is our listed top 10 fastest horse breeds in the world for horse racing bets. Our chosen horses are measured in several ways; short distance sprinters and long-distance gallopers, or better, the best of both abilities.

It's not all about raw top speed too, hence, we have carefully found the exceptional horses for your betting glory.

1. Akhal-Teke

Descended from the now-extinct Turkoman Horse, the Akhal-Teke is one of the oldest horse breed in the world, originated in modern-day Turkmenistan with only 6,000 of them left in the world today. They are bred for stamina and covering vast distances in the shortest possible time. That is why they are prized horses for long-distance racing and war. They also perform well in eventing, dressage, showjumping and other equestrian events.

An average Akhal-Teke horse stands at around 147-163cm (58-64 inches) tall and have a distinctive metallic coat which gave them the pseudonym "Golden Horse". They have a fiery temperament which makes them hard to bond with people. But if they know someone really well, an exceptionally strong bond will be formed.

2. Arabian

This particularly striking and handsome breed is one of the fastest breeds in long-distant races (top speed at around 64km/per hour). The Arabian horse is among the most ancient horse breed, bred in the harsh climate of the Arabian Peninsula for conflict and war. They are well-kept inside the tents by the Bedouin tribesmen to keep them safe and in optimal state.

Their close proximity with humans forms a very people-friendly demeanour along with traits like high intelligence, cooperativeness and willingness. Plus, they are very alert breeds with high spirit which makes them suitable for the battlefield. They are considered a lot to handle for inexperienced horse owners.

3. Thoroughbred

The Thoroughbred is one of the most famous race horse in modern horseracing events. This type of horse is bred in England in the 17th-18th century. The local mares are bred with the Arabian, Turkoman and Barb stallions to create powerful Thoroughbred breeds. The bloodline of modern Thoroughbreds came from the lineage of famous stallions which are the Darley Arabian, Godolphin Arabian and Byerly Turk.

These breed of horse are tall, slim-built with a fiery and lively temperament. They are speedsters that excels in races of around 1 mile in distance and can hold their top speed over distances of around 1.2-2km (0.75-1.25 miles or 6-10 furlongs). Currently, a Thoroughbred named Winning Brew holds the Guinness world record as the fastest horse of all time, with a top speed of 43.97 miles/per hour in their respective distance capabilities.

fastest Horse Breeds

4. Andalusian

Another ancient breed of horse that was bred on the Iberian Peninsula, the Andalusian is also known as Pure Spanish Horse or the Spanish Pura Raza Española. It is intelligent yet docile and a handsome breed with long flowing mane and a long tail that moves with elegance.

They were valued in the past as warhorses because of their outstanding stamina, speed and agility. Now, their abilities are used in long-distance horse races, dressage, show jumping and equestrian activities.

5. American Quarter Horse

The American Quarter Horse is named for its famed pace over the quarter mile distance. This horse are able to clock at speeds up to an astounding 55 miles/per hour, making it the fastest horse known to mankind. However, it cannot beat some breeds such as the Thoroughbred horse over longer distances.

American Quarter Horse first emerged when the English Thoroughbreds were brought to North America to breed with the local stallions. The result; a fast and agile horse breed that was ideal for working with cattles were born.

A sprint master, this breed is ideal for short-distance races and western riding events such as barrel racing. This breed is also well-known for its willingness to work and possessing a calm demeanour.

6. American Paint Horse

The fusion between the Thoroughbred and the American Quarter Horse genes brings about a super horse that can reach high speeds; the American Paint Horse.

Currently, one of the most popular breeds in the US, these are horses with coloured and coat pattern which are kept by some keen-eyed horse owners who like their aesthetic outlook.

The American Paint Horse has low centre of gravity and powerful hindquarters which make them highly suited for western riding disciplines and explosive short distance races.

7. Appaloosa

The Appaloosa comes in distinctive patterned coat with explosive speed, strength and endurance. They were originally bred by the Native American Nez Perce Tribe for hunting, which make them very navigable on undulated terrain. Therefore, they are highly suited for long-distance trail riding.

They are among the most popular horses in the US which is also a crossbreed between the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse. A very powerful horse indeed.

8. Standardbred

Though this breed isn't considered a top competitor in galloping races, its unique strength comes in the form of trotting. These are the fastest trotters and they can trot up to 30 miles/per hour.

Therefore, Standardbreds is an ideal breed in harness racing event. Their friendly nature and intelligence make them a good choice of horse for beginners. Their willingness to learn and versatility makes them popular for other events and usage in daily life such as pleasure riding. Standardbreds are descended from Thoroughbred breeds, which can be traced to a horse named Hambletonian 10 also known as Rysdyk's Hambletonian.

10 Fastest Horse Breeds

9. Mustang

Mustangs are well-known as wild horses. Now, they run wild and breed freely which culminates to a many variations of Mustangs. These breed are domesticated Spanish horses brought to American shores. Some Mustang still retain the characteristics of the original Spanish Horses, but you need to test them thoroughly to find out.

Mustangs are generally friendly, versatile and calm. However, some may have wilder personalities which can be a challenge for beginner horse owners.

For racing purposes, some pureblood Mustangs are bred with Thoroughbred and American Quarter Horse to give birth to Mustangs with impressive speed, endurance and power. These Mustangs, along with their wild nature, make for a good trail riding horse, long and short-distant races and dressage.

10. Mongolian Horse

In Mongolia, breeding and riding horses are deeply ingrained in the local culture. There are even more horses than the citizens of Mongolia themselves.

Mongolia is a country where summer can reach to above 86°F (30°C) and winter can drop to as low as -40°F (-40°C). The horses forage for their own food and remain outside all year making them a natural for the harsh and unpredictable condition of the country. 

Therefore, these are special horses which are able to naturally perform under certain specific or in any demanding conditions. For racing, Mongolian horses bred from the Khentii and Sükhbaatar steppe provinces are considered the fastest. Not to forget, given the tough climate and land condition, the Mongolian Horses have incredible stamina and endurance; they can maintain a gallop for 10km (6.25 miles). These semi-wild horses are used for the Mongolian Derby, the longest horse race in the world ranging at 1,000km (626 miles) in length.

READ MORE: The 8 Ideal Traits of a Racing Horse


Above are the list of the world's fastest horses which are suitable for the race track. Remember to pick your horse according to their suitability of the race condition such as race distances, courses and obstacles. A last piece of advice, always do a background check on the horse breeders before you place your bet as they are the key people behind the breeding of the choice of your horse. 

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