Horse Racing Basics for Online player

There are two types of horse racing, there are flat races with no obstacles, and horse racing with steeplechase fences called Jump races.

The flat racing season reaches it’s a peak in the summer and autumn and features the five Classics (2000 Guineas, 1000 Guineas. Oaks, Derby and St Leger) as well as a number of major meetings such as Royal Ascot which features the world’s most valuable thoroughbreds as well as all the leading jockeys taking part.

Jump racing on the other hand is over steeplechase fences or hurdles. Steeplechase (hurdles) starts quietly during the summer months and reaches its climax with the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival (Gold Cup) in March and The Grand National at Aintree which takes place in early April.

The Races

At the head of each race listed in the racecard will detail for that event, including the prize money on offer, and it may be helpful to know the different categories of race.

Conditions Race

Conditions Race (or Weight-for-Age) – The horses carry specified weights according to such factors like age of the racehorse, sex of the horse, whether the racehorse have won before or the nature of the races they have won.

Handicap Handicap

This is a contest in which the weight each horse is to carry is individually allotted (by the official handicapper) according to past performance, the theoretical object being to equalize the chances of all horses in the race. A Nursery

A nursery is a handicap for two-year-olds. A-Rated Stakes on the flat or a Limited Handicap in jump racing is one in which the range of weights is kept narrow: this encourages the participation of high-class horses, who will not have to make large concessions to other runners.

Selling Race

Directly after a Selling Race, the winner is offered at public auction – a highly interesting and often entertaining sight for racegoers.

Maiden Race

These are for horses that have not won a race yet.

Jump Racing

Novices Race (hurdle or steeplechase), for horses which have not won a hurdle or chase respectively before 1st May of the previous season;

National Hunt Flat Race

National Hunt Flat Race (popularly known as a ‘bumper’), in which prospective jumping horses race without the hassle of having to clear obstacles; Hunter Chase for horses which have been regularly hunted.

Information about horses


The filly is a female horse up to four years old


A foal is a horse of either sex from the time of its birth until 1st January the following year. All racehorses are given the nominal birthday of January 1st. Thus a “two-year-old” born in June and one born in January of the same year are considered to be of the same age for the purposes of satisfying the conditions of some races re-weight carried. The January horse will be considered to have a significant advantage in terms of physical development at this early stage in its career.


A Gelding is a castrated horse


A Jolly is betting parlance for the favorite in a race – the horse with the shortest odds


Juvenile is a two-year-old horse


A Maiden is a horse which has not won a race


A Mare is a female horse five years and over


A Plater is a horse which usually runs in selling races


A Schooled horse is trained to jump


A Sire is a father of a horse


A Yearling is a horse of either sex from 1st January to 31st December of the year following its birth

The Form

The form is information about a horse’s past performances and data about the going, the course, weight carried, style of running, jockey, time the race took to run, a distance of the horse race, the distances between the horses at the finish, and more.

Horses have an ideal range of distances over which they run.

The ‘going’ is the state of the ground – ranging from firm to heavy – and many horses run better on one particular surface than on others.

The form is relative, and running fifth in the Derby would be better-class form than winning a very minor race

Although horses do not race against the clock, the time of a race can be highly significant when measured against the standard for course and distance

‘Horses for courses’ – that is, that some horses perform particularly well at certain courses.


Are they inform? A trainer out of form may indicate illness in the yard and while a jockey doing well recently may help his confidence, it may also dampen the price of the horse.

Your horse may be carrying too much weight.

Has the horse ever worn blinkers before? Will it be better off with blinkers.

Parade Ring
The parade ring the good signs in a horse before the race are a coat with a good sheen to it, an intelligent and alert appearance, high head with big alert ears, a well-muscled body and a springy step, etc.

Don’t get carried away with form. Some people study their whole lives and make no inroads into understanding a way to predict a value for money in horse racing.


There are three ways of having a bet during a day at the racecourse:

Horse racing Betting points can be found in every enclosure, including Members. It operates on a pool basis, whereby all the money bet in a particular pool is shared out among the winners.

If you bet on a horse to win all the money that everybody else has bet on to win, the combined money gets pooled together. When the race is over,16% of the money is taken away as government tax, and the rest is distributed back to the people who bet on the winning horse, pro-rata with how much each person bet. The same goes for the betting place, if your horse gets placed then you will receive part of the pool back after 24% tax has been removed. Other tote bets

These are to be found at horse racing meetings in the Tattersalls/Grandstand and Paddock and Silver Ring/Course Enclosure. It is very simple, be aware that you can only bet to win and some will take an each-way bet.

Remember: • shop around to get the best odds on horse racing • state the name of the horse • always keep your card as a receipt • never throw away a bet until the ‘weighed in’ signal has been given • no betting tax is levied on on-course bets

The Racecourse Betting Shop
Betting in a racecourse betting shop is very similar to betting in any off-course shop. You can have a variety of bets (including combination bets such as doubles and trebles) at much smaller stakes than a ring bookmaker would appreciate. You can also bet at the horse racing at other meetings.

As in an off-course betting shop, you fill in a slip and hand it over together with your stake. The slip is receipted and you are given a duplicate, which you return to the counter for paying out should you be successful. Winnings are calculated at the Starting Price.