Horse racing jargon is one of the trickiest to tackle in any sport. And we know just how complex it feels for newcomers betting on racing!
From racing odds to form guides, jockey silks to Cheltenham tips, understanding the world of horse racing isn’t easy.
This guide will take you through the difference between graded, handicap and selling races so you can gain greater knowledge of the sport before placing your bets!
What is a graded horse race?
Graded horse races are found during the National Hunt season and are the pinnacle of the sport.
They feature the best jumps horses in the UK and Ireland and boast some of the biggest prize purses in the world.
The Grade system is split into Grades 1, 2 and 3. These are followed by listed races and then six lesser class divisions below.
Grade 1 races include the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the King George VI Chase. The UK and Ireland will stage around 150 graded races during the NH season each year.
What is a handicap race?
A handicap race is simply a horse race where some of the runners have been given a different weight allowance to others.
Horses run with lead weights attached to their saddles in order to even out the contest. A handicapper will decide the weight a horse must carry, depending on its age, sex, experience of the jockey and other factors.
What’s more, a horses Official Rating (OR) will also be used to determine its handicap. The higher the horses OR, the more weight it will carry. The weight added to the horse includes the weight of its jockey.
Handicap races are great for horse racing betting because the odds can fluctuate depending on how much weight a horse is carrying. A horse currently enjoying a strong run of form may be given more weight, which could affect its odds and make them more viable to bet on.
What is a selling race?
A selling race is one of the most basic forms of horse racing in the UK and Ireland.
It features inexperienced horses from owners who are hoping to sell them on if they win the race.
In selling races, whichever horse claims victory will immediately be put to auction. These races are generally low in standard but can nevertheless produce against-the-odds shocks in the racing betting markets as the horses are largely untested.
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- What does it mean when a horse has spread a plate?
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- 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?