Horse Racing Terms

Maiden – These races are for horses that haven’t won a race before

Handicap – A handicap race sees all horses carry weights based on their ability, which is assessed by the official handicapper. The highest rated horse carries the most weight and the lowest carries the least. Theoretically they then all have an equal chance of winning. A Nursery is a handicap for 2-year-olds only.

Novice – These races are hurdles and steeplechases for horses that haven’t won such a race prior to that season. However, a horse that has won over hurdles the season before can still run in a novice chase and vice versa. (?)

Bumper– A Bumper is a special flat race for young jump horses (also called National Hunt Flat Races). Run over 2 – 2 1/2 miles, these are usually confined to amateur jockeys.

Group 1, 2, 3 (Flat) – These names indicate valuable races (Group 1 being the most valuable) in which the weights carried are the same for all horses.

Listed – These races are just below Group standard but still quite prestigious, and are ‘weight for age’ races.

Conditions Race – A notch below listed standard, Conditions Races require certain conditions for qualification, e.g. winner of one race or more, winner of races of a certain value etc.

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