The going in horse racing is a term many new punters may be unfamiliar with. But don’t worry because Paddy Power is here to explain what it’s all about!
If you’ve ever heard a race commentator talk about the ‘going’, or seen it written down on a race card in the Paddy Power racing sportsbook, then you might wonder ‘what is this jargon?’.
Well, the ‘going’ is actually a vitally important metric for trainers, jockeys and punters to gauge conditions before the start of a race. It relates to the firmness of the ground the horses run on, and offers a quick indication of where a race might be won and lost.
There are six main different types of going in horse racing. So let’s take a look at each one, starting with the softest…
TYPES OF GOING IN HORSE RACING
When the ground is sodden with rainwater it is described as ‘heavy’. These conditions are difficult for horses to run in and those with stamina will likely fare better here.
A likely condition of National Hunt meets during the winter season when the ground is wet and soil reasonably saturated. Some horses love running on soft ground, while others labour with the conditions beneath them.
Good to Soft
The ground is by no means dry but is firming up after a few days without rain at the course.
Having well-irrigated soil means a racecourse will be able to produce good conditions on an average race day. There is less moisture in the ground and horses generally run freer. Most horses are adept at running on good ground.
Good to Firm
A dry spell in autumn and spring may produce a good to firm ground that favours sprinters. However, if the ground gets too firm then the staff will likely add water to soften it up.
Flat racing during the summer often encounters firm ground, which is why jumps aren’t used at this time of year. Here the sun can bake the ground and, while it rarely turns to dust, it requires watering from staff.
HOW CAN THE GOING HELP MY RACING BET
Knowing what the going is could be crucial when horse racing betting in the Paddy Power sportsbook. After all, if you know the conditions of a race are perfect for a particular horse, then you may decide to back that runner.
Every race at Paddy Power features details of the going. You’ll see it next to the class of the race on the front page of the race card. The going may also describe the course as having area-specific conditions, such as ‘good in places’ or ‘firm in places’.
You can also see ‘more information’ on each horse running while racing betting to access stats on their past results and what the going was like during those races.
If a horse appears to struggle on a slow surface and today’s going is slow, then it may be worth avoiding them.
Discover more in Paddy’s Demystifying Racing series…
- What does it mean when a horse is On the Bridle?
- What is a Black type horse race?
- What is a bumper horse race?
- What are blinkers and why do some horses wear them?
- What is an Allowance Race in horse racing?
- What is the difference between hurdles and fences in National Hunt racing?
- What is the Rule 4 betting rule in horse racing?
- What is a halter and why do some horses wear them?
- What does it mean when a horse has spread a plate?
- What is the difference between graded, handicap and selling horse races?
- What does a novice hurdle in horse racing mean?
- What is a listed horse race?
- What does a novice chase in horse racing mean?
- Why do race horses have different ratings and what do they mean?
- When does the National Hunt season start and when does it end?
- Why are there different grades of horse race?
- Why are there 3 different types of National Hunt race?
- Why are race horses given different weights and what does it mean?
- How many different classes of horse race are there?
- What is a claiming race and what do they mean?
- What is an optional claimer in horse racing?
- What is a shadow roll and why do some race horses wear them?
- Why do some races start from stalls and some not?
- What is the difference between Derby and Oaks races?
- What does it mean when a horse knuckles during a horse race?
- What is a stayer in horse racing?
- What is a yearling horse and when are they ready to race?
- What does it mean if a horse has won a point race?
- What does a maiden mean in horse racing?
- How are horses’ ages calculated and why is it not the same as humans?
- What advantages do apprentice jockeys get when riding against professionals?
- What is a conditional jockey?
- What does the term ‘connections’ mean in horse racing?
- Why do some horses wear cheekpieces?
- Who are the stewards in horse racing?
- What does ‘weighed in’ mean at the end of a horse race?
- What is a nursery race?
- Why are some National Hunt races run without fences?
- Why are some horses given a tongue tie during races?