Learn About Handicaps In Horse Racing

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In the popular sport of horse racing, a handicap is a race that features horses which are given additional weights with the aim of equalizing each competitors chance of winning, the weight is determined by their form or ability. In theory, if the handicapper has assessed each of the horses correctly, they should all gallop past the winning line at exactly the same time, though in reality this never happens.

The system of handicapping used today is usually the responsibility of the authority which oversees the sport. Once a particular horse has taken part in enough racing events, it is assessed and given a rating. The rating varies between 0 and 140 for flat races, and 0 and 175 for jump racing. Usually, the classification is not given until a horse has been raced three times, or unless it has been victorious in its first or second competitive event. Only those horses that have been assessed by the official authority are eligible to take part in handicap races.

The system in use is thankfully not that difficult to understand for beginners. For each rating point an extra pound of weight is added, for instance if a horse is given a rating of seventy, it would carry ten pounds more than those that are rated sixty. The extra pounds are carried in the form of a lead weight on the saddle.

Each week during the racing season, the ratings are revised, they can go up or down. The ratings would change depending on how the horses have performed. A handicapper may often consider the performance of other horses as a way of determining the rating that should be given to an individual animal.

When it comes to betting on handicap races, a useful strategy that you can adopt is to search for a horse that has won with a particular rating and which is lined up to race again before the ratings are revised. In such a circumstance, it is possible to win big and beat the handicapper. Horses taking part in flat races are more likely to be ahead of the handicapper as they participate in more events than those lined up for jump races.

Some trainers try and trick the handicapper into giving their horses a lower rating than what it should have through various means. The way that they can make this happen is if the horse does badly, or at least appear to perform badly, it will not have to carry so much weight in the subsequent races. Though some may say that this strategy is dishonest, it is one that is regularly used in the world of racing today. It is this trick that results in expected winners performing badly in certain races, and then performing well in following competitions.

There are various ways in which a trainer can get their animals to under-perform on purpose. All horses have certain conditions that they prefer. For example, those horses that are known to enjoy left handed courses can be entered in a right handed event, the result of which will be a poor showing.

Understanding handicaps can be the key to winning big on the races when betting. If you are to bet on a handicapped race, make sure you understand the history and background of each of the competitors.

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