New to Betting? Horse Racing Explained

When you’re new to betting on horses there are a lot of questions you’d like to ask, but are usually afraid to do so because you may feel silly or embarrassed. Even the simplest of things can seem strange, so in this article we’re going to explain a few of the simpler things about horse racing and hopefully any betting newbie’s can take something from the article and not feel so embarrassed any more.

Kinds of Racing

Basically there are two types of horse racing “Flat” and “Jumps-sometimes called National Hunt Racing.

Flat Racing
They start at distances from 5 furlongs up to over 2 ½ miles. Five and six furlong races are referred to as sprints, while one mile two furlong to one mile four furlong races are referred to as middle distance races. Any race from around one mile six and further is classed as a staying race.

Races are normally started by putting the horses into stalls. Flat horses start racing from two years old.

Jump Racing
As the term suggests these races have obstacles placed around the course which the horses have to jump over. Jump races don’t start by horses going into stalls, but are started by lining up in front of a tape barrier which is then raised to signal the start of the race.

Jump races start at 2 miles in distance to 4 ½ miles. Older horses tend to take art in these races normally starting around the 4-5 years of age mark, although some 3 year olds do participate.

The type of races are categorised as Hurdles-which are smaller brush type obstacles around 3ft 6 high and Chases (steeplechases) which are much bigger obstacles and vary in style.

Point to Point
Point-to-Point racing is amateur horse racing over fences for hunting horses run at. In the UK regulations state that Point to point races must be run over 3 miles. There are a few exceptions to this rule however.

Many of the races are run on farm land or private land, but some do take place on National Hunt Courses like Ludlow and Market Rasen. Currently there are 116 point to point courses in the UK.

Types of Races:

All horses are allocated a weight to carry by the official handicapper. This weight is decided on by assessing the individual ability of the horse. In theory they all have an equal chance of winning the race as the best horse will be given a high weight to carry, while horses of less ability will carry less.

This is a handicap race run on the flat for 2 year olds.

Group Races
Run on the flat these are valuable races offering good prize money for top class horses. All the horses carry the same weight .Group 1. 2 and 3. Group 1 races are the most valuable.

Just below Group standard but still quite prestigious, it is a ‘weight for age’ race.

Conditions Races

There are usually certain conditions that apply before a horse can enter this type of race-winner of one race or more, or winner of a race of a certain value- these races are just below listed standard.

The classics are the most valuableGroup1 races on the flat racing calendar. They are the 2000 guineas (colts) 1000 guineas (fillies) The Oaks (fillies) The Derby (Colts) The St Leger.

For horses that have never won a race before.

For hurdles and chase runners who haven’t previously won a race prior to that season. A previous hurdles winner can run in a novice chase and vice versa.

A flat race for young jump horses.

J Beith writes sportsbook reviews and sports betting tips for

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