Horse racing can be a minefield of terminology and language that new punters will not have heard of before. This isn’t a surprise considering the horse racing industry is centuries old – and many words have become common parlance over the years.
But that’s why Paddy Power is here to help with our Demystifying Racing series of betting guides, which aim to help you cut through the jargon!
Today we’re looking at listed races and what they mean for your horse racing odds. Thankfully it’s one of the most straightforward concepts in the business — so let’s see what all the fuss is about…
What is a listed race?
When horse racing betting you will notice some races are branded as ‘Listed’ events. This could be, for example, the Chesham Stakes at Ascot, or the Windsor Castle Stakes.
These races are present in both Flat and National Hunt seasons, and feature horses that are not quite good enough to run in Group/Grade 1, 2 or 3 races, but are pushing to make the step up to that level.
However, don’t assume these races aren’t worth betting on!
Listed races are still considered Class 1 standard in Flat and National Hunt racing. That’s the best class in the business.
But, while Flat Class 1 is subdivided into Groups 1, 2 and 3, and National Hunt Class 1 into Grades 1, 2 and 3, listed races in both actually come after that.
It’s a little complicated but the crux is that the Group/Grade subdivisions within Class 1 truly filter the best horses from the rest.
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What are the rules of listed races?
Listed races follow the same weight penalties as are found in Group/Grade races. So, horses will generally run at the same weight but some, such as mares or fillies when they compete against against geldings or colts, are docked weight.
Listed races are run throughout the year and are valuable for horses that are progressing up the Class levels.
How do listed races affect betting odds?
Racing betting odds during listed races can be a little different to those found in lower Class categories.
That’s because horses are expected to carry the same weight here, regardless of their Official Rating.
As we explored in our Horse Racing Ratings guide, each horse is given an Official Rating (OR).
This OR, based on a horses form, age, sex and other factors, is used to gauge the horses standard, which in turn places it within racing’s Class hierarchy.
If a horse has a strong rating, it will run at a higher Class of race. Classes 2 to 7 require horses to carry weights in handicap races depending on their OR. However, once the horse reaches Class 1 standard – with an OR of 96 or above – then some weight differentials disappear.
In terms of betting, this means the range of odds in a Class 1 race can be wider than those from Classes 2 to 7, because there is no or little weight differential to even out the runners.
So, you could see heavier favourites and bigger outsiders in Class 1 listed races — although this is by no means guaranteed.
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