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The basics of betting

Last Updated: Jul 23, 2014 02:08PM CEST
Horse racing has been an important part of British culture for centuries with the Royal family being keen supporters of the sport. Horse racing is currently the second biggest spectator sport in the UK and is still the cornerstone of British betting.

Despite the notoriously bad climate in the UK horse racing can be offered all year round (All Weather Racing) thanks to four venues that have synthetic tracks; Lingfield, Kempton, Southwell and, Wolverhampton. Some of the tracks have a Polytrack surface, while others use fibresand, so finding a horse with good form on each track is important.

When betting on horses it is important to do a bit of research before you place your bets. The most important part is researching the form of each horse, look at the form of the trainer, what type of distance the horse runs best at and the type of ground it prefers, certain horses need good ground, where others perform better when the ground is soft.

British racetracks also vary for both flat and jump racing, certain tracks will suit certain horses better. For example some racecourses are flat, galloping tracks and others are undulating with steep up-hill finishes, which suit stamina horses better. Some tracks the horses will run left-handed and others are right-handed. Course form is often more relevant at some tracks than others.

There are two different types of British racing: Flat and National Hunt, or jump racing. Jump racing has three main types of races: Hurdles, bumpers and Steeplechase (or chase as it is commonly known). Chase races are for more experienced horses as the obstacles they jump are a lot bigger.

More than half the races in the UK each year are handicap races. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) have a team of 12 handicappers who study the form of race horses and assign them a weekly handicap rating. The reason that race horses are assigned handicaps is to try to give all horses an equal chance of winning otherwise the top horses would win every race and then there would be nothing to bet on! The highest rated (best) horses are giving a higher weight to carry and the lower rated horses get assigned a lower rate to carry.

There are also different Class Groups of racing, Class 6 being the lowest standard ranging up to Class 1, followed by Grade and Group races, with Grade (jumps) or Group (flat) 1 being the highest standard. So it is important to see what standard of racing the horses have been running in prior to the race you are interested.


 



 

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