When you next live stream horse racing with Paddy Power be sure to keep an eye out for how your chosen race starts. You’ll notice that the race either begins in stalls — with horses evenly lined up — or it begins as a rabble of runners all fighting for position in a mass bundle.
Well, there are reasons why some races start from stalls and others don’t. And Paddy is here to explain what this weird discrepancy in horse racing is all about in out latest Demystifying Racing guide…
WHAT ARE HORSE RACING STALLS FOR?
Horse racing stalls are used to maximise the competitive fairness of short races. Many Flat races in the UK and Ireland, and the vast majority of track races in the USA, use stalls.
Just like in sprint athletics, it would be unfair if runners getting ready for a short race were stood ahead of their opponents on the start line. So, like in athletics, the stalls act as a starting block for horses, who bolt as soon as the doors open.
This ensures all horses begin running at the same time, and all have exactly the same distance to cover, which makes for better racing betting odds. In major races such as the Melbourne Cup, stalls can be as big as 25-horses wide, which in turn produces enthralling sprint finishes with the majority of runners in contention to win.
WHAT HORSE RACES USE STALLS
As mentioned, the Melbourne Cup is one of the most iconic races in the world to use stalls. In the UK, major Flat races like the St Leger, the Oaks and the Royal Ascot Gold Cup feature stalls.
Meanwhile, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France, America’s Preakness Stakes and the Dubai World Cup also feature stalls starts. And Paddy offers extensive horse racing betting odds on each of these major races.
We are refunding (as a free bet) single bets on Fox Duty Free in the 13:50 Chester after he refused to race as soon as stalls opened, and lost his jockey. pic.twitter.com/j65P5xAk0x
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) September 27, 2020
WHY NATIONAL HUNT RACES DON’T USE STALLS
You may think that not using stalls could give one horse an advantage over another. After all, if a horse is lucky enough to be leading the runners from the off in a National Hunt race, then surely they are more likely to win?
Well, National Hunt races tend not to use stalls because of a number of factors. The primary one is that there are enough fences and hurdles during National Hunt races to ensure that any slight advantage from starting front of the pack is quickly diminished.
Unlike Flat races, National Hunts are more like marathons than sprints — and so the two or three lengths a horse may earn to its advantage when starting on the tape or in a group dissipates.
Another issue is that horses that are running National Hunt races are all set to leap over fences or jumps. Jockeys often trot their horse up to a fence before a race, so the animal can gauge the height and become accustomed to its surroundings. Therefore the last thing they need is further distraction by being placed in a box before setting off!
- 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 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?
- 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?