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Racing Guide

Never watched Horse racing? Or bet before? Well in this Begginers Guide to Racing we’ll give you the bascis. So lets stat with the two types of racing Flat & Jumps.


Flat Race Starting Stalls

Flat racing is a test of Stamina & Speed for the horse & a test of the jockey skill, he or she has to use their ability to choose the best postion for their horse and when to restrain there ride or when to ask it to make more effort. Races vary in distance from five Furlongs to over two miles. And under conditions based on eligibility of Sex, Age or the ability of the horse.

The vast majority of flat races in the UK are run on grass, but there are several synthetics tracks up & down the country. Refered to as “all weather” they offer better drainage and enable racing to go head when normally it would be cancelled due to frost or frozen ground.

Examples of Flat races include:

    • Classics (The crown jewels of British Flat racing; five races considered the ultimate test of a generation of horses.)
    • Group and listed races (Group 1, 2 and 3 are the highest class of race / Listed races are just below group class.)
    • Maidens (For horses that have never won.)
    • Handicaps (Races where the weight a horse has to carry is determined by the official handicapper. The better the horse, the higher its handicap rating. Horse can only run in races where the max rating is higher or equal to its rating.)


Jumps Racing Standing Start

Jump racing is considered by many as tougher bet to call as there are jumps around the course that the jockey & horse must negoiate to win the race. Smaller jumps known as hurdles or larger ones known as fences align the track.

Jump racing occurs all year round, and it traditionally takes place in the Autumn, Winter and Spring. Jump racing’s official name is National Hunt racing, a reference to its origins. Jump racing is a huge test of the stamina & jumping ability of the horse, these horses tend to be older than flat horses & have a bigger physique that give them the power to take on the fences.

Hurdlers and chasers, are horses who are specifically bred for jumping, spending the first few years training or have previously run on the Flat.

Races are held over varying distances from 2 to 4 and a half miles, conditions are based on sex, age and the ability of the horse. Some races are restricted to inexperianced jockeys, known as conditionals.

National Hunt Jumps Exampls (left to right) Hurdles – Fence – Water Jump

Examples of Jump races include:

    • Bumpers (Races run under the rules of Jump racing without any hurdles or fences to provide racing experience for horses that have not run on the flat under rules. Despite being run on the Flat, they do not use starting stalls.)
    • Hurdle races (A race where the horses jump over obstacles called hurdles. These are smaller than fences and are a minimum of three and a half feet high. Quicker paced than steeplechases due to the hight of the hurdles.)
    • Steeplechases (Commonly known as a chase, its run over a variety of obstacles that can include plain fences, water jumps or open ditches. Generally run by horse who have gained experiance over the smaller hurdles.)
    • Handicaps (As with the Flat races a horse has to race under weight determined by the official handicapper according to its ability, in an attempt to equalise every horse’s chance of winning.)

Race Grading

Like Flat racing these races are also broken down into skills levels this time classified as Grades & Classes

  • The Grade 1 Jump (or National Hunt)  (‘Weight-for-Age’ races; meaning the weight the horse must carry is determined by age & sex only, no penalties for previous wins apply, As the highest ranking section of the jump racing season, the Grade 1 meetings usually offer the biggest prizes along with the best contenders.)
  • Grade 2 Jumps (Also conducted as Weight-for-Age races with additional penalties for previous wins.)
  • Grade 3 Jumps (Considered a lower grade and conducted as traditional Handicap races, meaning the horse’ handicap rating determines the weight is has to carry.)

Grades 1-3 are considered Class 1 races, After we have classes 2 through to 7. Horses can enter these races based on their handicap rating.

  • Class 2 – Heritage Handicaps, Handicaps of rating 86-100, 91-105 and 96-110
  • Class 3 – Handicaps of 76-90, and 81-95
  • Class 4 – Handicaps of rating 66-80, and 71-85
  • Class 5 – Handicaps of rating 56-70, and 61-75
  • Class 6 – Handicaps of rating 46-60, and 51-65
  • Class 7 – Handicaps of rating 46-50

Wether its Flat Racing or Jumps Racing, punters have to use all knowledge availble to them from the horses ability, Form, Handicap Rating, Class of race its in, Age, Weight, Race Conditions (eg Track firmness) to pick a winner.  So now you’ve got the basics lets have a look at Our Betting Guide

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