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Horses

What is a race distance?

The race distance is simply the total length over which the race will be run (for example 1 mile means the horses will compete to see who wins when travelling over a distance of 1 mile in the race). To fully understand horse racing distances you will need to be aware of the different measurement types used and appropriate conversion.

How are distances calculated in horse racing?

In British horse racing, the distances between horses are calculated by converting the time between them into lengths by a scale of lengths-per-second. The actual number of lengths-per-second varies according to the type of race and the going conditions.

What is the distance horses race over?

Distances Information & Help. The distance horses race over is an essential element when studying horse racing. The race distance is simply the total length over which the race will be run (for example 1 mile means the horses will compete to see who wins when travelling over a distance of 1 mile in the race).

What is racing like in the US?

Emphasis is on sprinting, and even longer races in the US are verging on middle distance for many European staying race horses. Additionally, Thoroughbred racing in the US is flat racing only, and very little racing occurs on grass; most races are held on dirt or on synthetic tracks (similar to the All-Weather in the UK).

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How are distances measured in horse racing?

Horse racing distances are typically measured in miles, with furlongs used for any distance shorter than a mile. Once a race exceeds a mile, any remaining distance is generally measured by fractions of a mile.

How are the horses ordered in a race?

Each race horse is ordered by the fastest final time at the top. Par for the class is also listed in bold type above the race. This is useful in determining which horses are a strong fit for the class.

What does between 4&4 mean in horse racing?

Between 4 & 4 would return only horses who were beaten by 4 lengths exactly in their last race. This particular system builder category looks at the horses previous race and to the distance it finished ahead of the next finishing horse.

How many meters in a furlong in horse racing?

And there are two-hundred-and-one metres in a furlong. An average race horse can run a furlong in about twelve seconds which, is an impressive forty miles per hour (mph). So a furlong is an eighth of a mile or two-hundred and twenty yards.

How important is past performance in horse racing?

For more experienced horses, past performance over the distance travelled (and other comparable distances) can be an excellent indication of their anticipated handling of future trips. A simple example of this could be that the horse has raced 25 times yet all of its 4 wins have came on the same distance.

How much does weight affect a horse’s race time?

I have read that for every extra pound a horse carries it will run a mile race 1 length slower. I have no idea who came up with that, but I guess its just one of those things that has been assumed from decades of handicapping horse races.

Do horses with more weight have to work harder?

Yes because a horse carrying more weight will have to work harder compared to a horse with lower weight. No because there are so many things that happen from when the gates open to the first horse crosses the wire.

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How does a horse’s personality affect its running style?

In addition to personalities dictating running style, a horses attributes can also have an impact on the way that it is ridden. Runners who possess a sharp turn of foot and instant acceleration, are typically held up towards the back in their races. Conserving energy early, they can utilise their fast burst to best effect at the end of the race.

Why do horses have different body types?

Another important conclusion drawn from years of study of horses is that different functions require different body mechanics. With this in mind, breeding has created some strikingly different body types that produce the patterns of movement and gaits most suited to the job of the horse.

What does a weight allowance mean in horse racing?

A weight allowance is given when horses of a certain age race against older horses or when an apprentice rider is on board. An artificial surface (usually polytrack or fibresand in the UK) on which racing takes place. Lingfield, Kempton, Wolverhamption and Dundalk all have all weather surfaces.

Are all horses the same size and weight?

My second assumption is that all horses are the same size and weight (without rider and ballast) and have identical stride lengths. We know this is actually not true, but for the interest of comparing the impact of assigned weight on the race, this vastly simplifies the arithmetic involved.

Why do horses get thrown in at the weights?

It counts for little that the horse is thrown in at the weights if it has no pretensions whatever to staying the distance, or is unable to act on the prevailing going.

What are the weights assigned to each entry in horse racing?

The weights assigned to each entry relate to the benchmark rating assigned to the race. In a BENCHMARK 78 race all horses can enter. A horse rated 78 will receive 60kg. A horse rated 79 will receive 60.5kg, a horse rated 80 will receive 61kg and so on.

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What is an allowance in horse racing?

The younger jockeys, or certainly the less experienced jockeys, may be given an allowance. This means that if such a jockey is riding a horse then the weight to be carried is reduced by the jockey’s allowance. Such a rider is known as a “Claiming Jockey”, or “Claimer”, because he’s claiming some weight to be taken out of the horse’s saddle cloth.

Are tall horses bigger or smaller?

Tall horses can be slim and sleek or big and bulky. While the size can be the same between two seemingly similar horse breeds, there can be a big difference between their weight.

Why do horses overuse their muscles?

If there is discomfort, lack of balance, poor conformation, or injury, the horse can easily compensate by overusing some muscles and under-using others.

What does special weight mean in horse racing?

The term special weight is derived from the fact that arbitrary weights are assigned to horses by age. (e.g. 3 year olds 118 pounds, older 122 pounds.) A stakes race limited to non-winners. This type race is an Optional claiming race that is run under Handicap conditions. (See both race types listed for a further explanation).

Do all horses carry the same weight?

All horses in a race are assigned a weight to carry. In some races, all horses carry the same weight. In others, horses are permitted allowances and receive weight deductions based on certain conditions. An apprentice jockey is allowed a five pound weight deduction to compensate for their inexperience.

How much does a horse’s weight matter in horse racing?

Those five pounds can matter a lot. It’s generally accepted that a horse will run about a length slower for each additional pound he carries compared to his competitor, assuming they’re equally talented horses. A special kind of allowance race is known as a “starter allowance,” or abbreviated to “starter.”

What is an allowance horse race?

These horses are not for sale and the purses (the money available for horses and owners to win in each race) are greater. The horses in these races must carry a certain amount of weight or be allowed to carry less weight due to certain factors, thus the name “allowance.”