Racing records: the need-to-know facts

This week Royal Ascot 2016 hosts the finest racehorses in the world, in a sport that has broken some of the most exciting records in history. Here's what you need to know...

For Godolphin, Royal Ascot is the race of the season. 

'Royal Ascot to me and more importantly to Sheikh Mohammed is the most important meeting of the year,' remarked John Ferguson, chief executive and racing manager of Godolphin, last week. 

'You have a good Royal Ascot and you have a good season and if you have a tough Royal Ascot, you have a tough season.'

An unprecedented number of stallions from England, Ireland, France, Australia and the USA are travelling to Newmarket this year on behalf of the Dubai-based racing stables.

Competing alongside them at the biggest flat-racing event of the year will be eight other countries including Australia, Britain, Ireland, Hong Kong, Japan, the US, France and Germany. 

But how much do you know about 'the sport of kings?' Here's a round-up of the most exciting horse racing records in history:

Godolphin Royal Ascot Horse Racing

95% of thoroughbreds can be traced back to a single 18th Century stallion, the Darley Arabian 

70kmh Highest race speed recorded over two furlongs, seen by Winning Brew in 2008 

22M People tuned in to watch American Pharoah win the Triple Crown in 2015 

3,400+ Number of races won by Goldolphin Racing since the outfit’s inception in 1992 

US$1M Highest-ever stud fee, for Canadian champion Northern Dancer from 1984 to 1987

57kg Maximum jockey weight (including equipment) allowed by the Kentucky Derby 

Godolphin Royal Ascot Horse Racing Dubai World Cup

History lesson

17th Century Popularity among British aristocracy sees racing dubbed 'sport of kings'

18th Century Queen Anne founds Ascot racecourse and the royalcarriage procession

19th Century Aristides is the first winner of the Kentucky Derby

20th Century Dr Fager runs a 1:32s mile on dirt in 1968 - a record that still holds today

21st Century Michelle Payne beats 100/1 odds to be first female jockey to win Melbourne Cup