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.
- What does it mean when a horse is On the Bridle?
- What is a Black type horse race?
- What are the different types of going in horse racing?
- 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 a halter and why do some horses wear them?
- What does it mean when a horse has spread a plate?
- What is the Rule 4 betting rule in horse racing?
- 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?
- What does it mean when a horse is ‘pushed out’?
- How are horse racing ratings calculated?
- What does it mean when a horse has a ‘wind operation’?
- How high are the fences and hurdles in horse racing?
- What is an apprentice jockey?
- What is a Bull Ring in horse racing?
- What does the phrase ‘Look of Eagles’ mean in horse racing?
- Why do some horses wear a ‘weight cloth’ during races?
- What is the Triple Crown in horse racing?
- What is a Steeplechase race in horse racing?
- How high are the Cheltenham Festival fences and hurdles?
- Why is the Champion Chase named after the Queen Mother?
- Why does Cheltenham racecourse have an Old Course and a New Course? What’s the differences between the two?
- What is the Cheltenham roar? What difference does it make in races?
- Why are there no jumps in the Cheltenham Festival Champion Bumper?
- How many fans usually attend the Cheltenham Festival? How big is the capacity?
- What is a juvenile in horse racing?