Curlin has become the first racehorse in North American history to top $10m in career earnings.

The Steve Asmussen-trained colt took his winnings to $10.25m (£5.68m) when he won the $75,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup for the second year in a row at Belmont Park last Saturday (27 September).

Curlin, who was named Horse of the Year in the annual US Eclipse Awards, surpassed Cigar’s previous record of $9,999,815 — which had stood for 12 years. Cigar was one of America’s most successful and best-loved racehorses, winning 15 consecutive races and being twice named Horse of the Year. He retired in 1996.

The four-year-old is now set defend his title in the $5m Breeders’ Cup Classic next month (25 October) in Santa Anita.

He secured his spot in the Classic’s line up with the Jockey Club Cup win where he beat Wanderin Boy by just ¾ of a length.