Horse racing is considered a social occasion with the thrill of placing a bet and watching your chosen horse striving for the line. It is vibrant with color and atmosphere and all provided by a team of people who work hard to provide a good day out. If you have never been racing before the noise, movement and the jargon can seem daunting but a little home work can make the event much more pleasurable. This is a little article for Horse Racing Beginners to bring you up to speed.
Horse racing is split into two categories, National Hunt or jump racing, or flat racing. Flat racing consists of a group of younger horses racing around a track at speed, whereas in jump racing, obstacles are put on the course to test the skill of older horses, alongside their speed. Flat racing is fast and furious, whereas jumping is longer, slower but with the added excitement of praying your horse clears the obstacles cleanly.
There are many different categories and levels of racing, with the top quality horses entered into Pattern and Listed races. A race card at most meets will show a variety of different types of races, including selling races, which means all the horses are for sale and maiden races, which means the horses running have not yet run a race. Horses are given handicaps dependent on their last results, the aim of which is to even the field as much as possible.
There are 60 courses around the UK to choose from and generally there is a course within easy distance. However, some are prepared to travel to attend famous racing festivals. The Grand National Festival at Aintree is possibly the most famous of all, as is the Gold Cup Festival at Cheltenham. Newmarket is known as the home of racing and Ascot the place where the Royals like to go.
Try and understand a little bit about betting before you go. Stake relates to the amount of money you have gambled on your chosen horse and the probability of him winning are expressed as the odds, which will affect how much money is paid out should you be lucky enough to win. If he has less probability of winning, the odds will be longer and you will win more if he comes over the line first. You can also put money on each way, which means you will be paid if he comes in the top three, albeit at a lower rate.
Many newcomers gamble on a whim, because they like the color, or the look of a particular horse, or just choose a name. Bizarre reasons are given to choices made, such as betting on a horse called Littlewoods because the person has a copse of trees behind their house. More experienced gamblers study what is known as form, or how well a horse goes under particular conditions, based on past performances. How ever you choose to bet, the aim of the game is to have fun and try and come away with a little more than you started. Regardless of the state of your purse at the end, the thrill of the day will bring you back time and again.
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