Race you to the couch!
Relive the spirit of Cup Week and discover – or rediscover – some of the best films about horses and racing to grace the silver screen.
Ride Like a Girl (2019)
A great Australian film about Michelle Payne’s historic win in the 2015 Melbourne Cup. Stars Teresa Palmer and Sam Neill.
Phar Lap (1983)
Argued as the best racing film of all time, the story of an Australian icon of racing is a period drama like no other and a must-watch for race fans. Stars Tom Burlinson. Fun fact: there are two versions of this film, one released for Australian audiences and one for the rest of the world. While the same scenes are in both, the Aussie version works retrospectively, which will spoil it for those who do not know the Phar Lap story already.
The Cup (2011)
Damien Oliver’s emotional win in the 2002 Melbourne Cup is captured on film. Stars Stephen Curry and Brendan Gleeson.
The inspirational story of the Depression-era horse, Seabiscuit, and how he became one of the most successful horses of all time. Stars Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges and Chris Cooper.
The Man from Snowy River (1982)
Although not a racing film, this classic Australian tale can’t be overlooked. Outstanding horsemanship and the beauty of the Victorian High Country makes this a winner. Stars Tom Burlinson, Kirk Douglas and Sigrid Thornton.
The true story of Ruffian, a thoroughbred filly that dominated horse racing in the early 1970s, who remained undefeated until her death.
A Day at the Races (1937)
This Marx Brothers film is more a set of themed-skits set at a racecourse. In 2000, it was ranked as the 59th funniest film of all time by the American Film Institute.
The true story of Bob Champion, a British steeplechase jockey in the 1970s. Although diagnosed with cancer, Bob recovers and wins the 1981 Grand National steeplechase on the horse Aldaniti.
Based on a series of tall tales, the film follows distance rider Frank Hopkins (Viggo Mortensen) and his horse Hidalgo as they compete in an annual 3000-mile survival race across the Najd desert.
Despite having no horse-racing knowledge, housewife Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) manages to foster one of the greatest racehorses of all time. It also stars John Malkovich as trainer Lucien Laurin.
Look out for Dream Horse, due to be released in 2020. Starring Australia’s Toni Collette, it tells the true story of Dream Alliance, an unlikely racehorse bred by a small town Welsh bartender.