Horse races are divided into two categories: jumps and Flat, with each one having its own set of events. Both kinds of races offer great entertainment and are available to bet on so make sure your bookmaker offers.
The Classics are the most prestigious Flat races in the United Kingdom. Horses have been acquired and bred for centuries to attempt to win them, and they have been running for hundreds of years. There are five Classics, each of which is raced only by three-year-olds:
- 2,000 Guineas
- 1,000 Guineas
- St Leger
All of the Classics are Group 1 events, and top-level horses are trained towards them throughout their two-year-old and early three-year-old seasons when several of them compete in Classic trial races.
The most well-known and best races are group races, which are divided into three categories: Group 1, 2, and 3. Many of them are age- or gender-restricted (for example, fillies only), with several taking place throughout the year to create a race program with various distances at various tracks.
The top-level is known as a Group 1 race; these are the main races on the racing program. Class and three-year-old horses against older horses, as well as fillies and mares versus colts and geldings, are all taken into account.
Group 2 and 3 events are still significant, but they’re a notch or two lower in terms of quality than the top level. The weights in these races are calculated similarly to Group 1 events, with the addition of penalties to make them more competitive. Horses that have won at the same or higher level in a shorter period are penalized, in the form of additional weight carried by the horse.
A Listed race is a step lower than a Group race, which is just below Group 3. The same weight penalties apply.
Handicapping is the most common form of competition for horses. Horses are rated after each race by a panel of handicappers, who issue an official rating that usually rises if they perform well and declines if they don’t.
A handicap race is one in which the weights of the horses are determined by their ratings – each point represents 1lb. For example, if a horse with a rating of 90 weighs 9st 8lbs, while a horse rated 88 weighs 9st 6lbs,
The age at which horses begin competing in the hunter class is three. Jumping horses compete from the time they are three years old, although some start when they are even younger. There are five divisions of jump racing (also known as National Hunt racing):
- National Hunt Flat races
- Novice hurdling
- Novice chasing
The grading system for jump racing is the same as that for flat races, except that graded races are called Group races. The top level is Grade 1, in which horses compete with the same weight (but with allowances for age or gender), and these include well-known competitions such as the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle.
The handicap ratings are also greater than they are on the Flat, which is one of the other significant distinctions. Grade 3 handicaps over jumps are frequently prestigious rewards like as the Grand National and Ladbrokes Trophy (formerly called the Hennessy Gold Cup), which have higher handicap ratings than regular jump races (Grade 2).