What does it mean when a horse is exposed?

A horse being exposed may sound a bit strange but in fact it’s a useful description for those wanting to bet on horse racing

exposed horse

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Horse racing is awash with jargon these days. But what would you expect from a sport that is more than three centuries old?

If you ever go to a racecourse in the UK or Ireland you’re likely to be introduced to plenty of new words and phrases. Spreading a plate, Rule 4 and novice races aren’t the sort of thing most of us sports fans regularly discuss.

But in the horse racing betting world, knowing your hurdles from your fences is paramount if you’re to place bets with confidence. And so, Paddy Power is here to help with our series of Demystifying Racing guides. In your latest guide, it’s time to talk about exposed horses…

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What is an exposed horse?

Something you might hear a tipster or commentator claim is that a certain horse is ‘exposed’.

An exposed horse is a term giving to a horse that has found its level. The horse will have run numerous races at varying grades or classes, and therefore the handicapper knows exactly what Official Rating to give it.

For punters, exposed horses have no more secrets. They’re unlikely to break free of their form and surprise anyone, and so their odds are likely accurate of where they will finish in a race.

So what does unexposed mean?

In contrast, an unexposed horse is one we probably haven’t seen the best of yet. This might be because they haven’t been tested on enough races, or is too young to compete in higher grades. It might also be that a horse has never run on certain course conditions, which means they’re unexposed to a particular going.

Unexposed horses carry odds that are likely to be less accurate of their actual ability, because bookmakers and handicappers simply don’t yet know how well or poorly they will perform.

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