Different types of horse racing tracks
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New to horse racing? There are even a couple of figure-of-eight tracks. Some only hold Flat racing, some only jump racing, while others have both. The lengths of British horse racing tracks and their range of race distances are measured in miles m and furlongs f. A furlong is yards m. There are 8 furlongs to 1 mile m. Divide that by two, which gives you 8 furlongs. The state of the going is usually determined by the amount of moisture in the ground and is assessed by an official called the Clerk of the Course.
It is important information because different horses act best on different horse racing ground types. The factors which go into determining horse racing ground types include surface conditions, type of surface, and track configuration. The surface conditions are influenced by soil type. Different terms are used to describe the horse racing ground and types of going. Horse racing ground types used to be assessed by the Clerk of the Course walking round the track and pushing either his heel or the pointed end of his walking stick into the ground.
It was pretty amateurish and subjective. Horse racing ground types and conditions are measured by a device called a Going Stick. The Going Stick was introduced at all British turf racecourses in From January it became a requirement for a Going Stick reading to be published by each racecourse at declaration stage two days before the race, when horses are declared to run and again on race day.
The Going Stick is pushed into the ground and, depending on how far it goes in, a numerical reading will be produced, showing how much moisture is in the ground. The Going Stick takes various measurements to produce an overall reading. It measures the resistance to vertical penetration into the ground, the amount of force required, and the amount of energy required to pull the Going Stick backwards to an angle of 45 degrees, which equates to the action of a horse striking the ground at a gallop.
The combined measurements produce the Going Stick readings for horse racing ground types. The data is automatically stored on the Going Stick. Multiple readings are taken to produce an average from a sample size. There are different calibrations of the Going Stick for Flat racing and for jumps racing. To determine their respective horse racing ground types, the calibration is simply changed with the flick of a switch. The scale for the Going Stick reading of horse racing ground types ranges from 0 to 15, with 0 being the softest and 15 being the hardest.
Readings of 5 correspond to the heaviest of horse racing ground types, with a reading of 10 corresponding to hard going. Going Stick readings will be specific to individual racecourses. Sandy soils are more permeable horse racing ground types than clay-based soils, which will hold water for a greater length of time.
Sandy soil will thus be looser than clay-based soil which will stick and cling together when wet. So, as the Going Stick takes its reading through resistance to vertical penetration, it will react differently in clay and sand-based soils. For example, Ayr and Pontefract are sand-based soils, Carlisle and Chepstow are clay-based, while Epsom, Goodwood and Salisbury are all chalk-based.
Such different horse racing ground types are likely to produce different Goi. There are six all-weather racecourses in Britain. Their surfaces were once quite different. However, there are now only two types in use for British all-weather racing; Polytrack and Tapeta. Polytrack consists of silica sand and fibres made of recycled carpet, spandex and rubber. The mixture is then covered with wax. There is virtually no kickback.
It leaves less of an impression when raced on and quickly regains its shape. Tapeta is similar to Polytrack. It consists of a mixture of sand, rubber and fibres coated with wax. Like Polytrack, it has almost no kickback. Both types of surfaces are worked regularly with machines such as power harrows and rollers.
Sometimes this can create temporary draw biases, particularly when there has been a distinct change in the weather, such as heavy rain or a sharp frost. Hopefully, this will help explain the various horse racing ground types and how the going is assessed. This information is important for bookmakers and punters alike. Over jumps, horses can line up wherever their jockeys choose to put them. Usually with a horse racing draw, stall 1 is on the left, while the highest number is furthest to the right.
On left-handed courses the lowest draw is next to the inside rail, while the highest draw is next to the inside rail for a right-handed track. The horse racing draw can have a significant effect on the outcome of a race, particularly when there are a lot of runners. The more runners in a race, the more important the draw. The draw is more relevant at some courses than others.
Chester is a good example. For example, in sprint races on a left-handed course, if a horse drawn low is slow leaving the starting stalls, those drawn on outside of it can get over towards the rail. That puts the horse drawn low at a disadvantage, as it then needs to move out wide to go around them.
As for longer races around bends, the horse drawn closest to the rail has less distance to cover is more likely to have an advantage. A horse racing draw bias refers to whether or not a horse has an advantage or disadvantage from the stall they have been drawn in. A tight, left-handed racecourse with a short home straight is the perfect formula to produce a draw bias.
Being drawn low, especially in a sprint race, is an advantage as the horses near to the rail have less distance to cover. Chester has the best-known horse racing draw bias of any course in the country. Horses drawn low in five-furlong sprint races have a massive advantage.
Those drawn in stalls 1, 2 or 3 invariably start at shorter prices than their chance on form suggests. The opposite is true in straight races at Lingfield.
A high draw puts horses closer to the rail than those drawn lower. Races of between five and seven furlongs display the draw bias most often. Horses drawn in gates 5 to 8 win more often than those that start in gates 1 to 4. At Beverley, the last furlong is uphill and slopes to the right. That gives a distinct advantage to horses drawn high who can maintain their position in the closing stages. Similar comments apply to Salisbury and Carlisle in five- and six-furlong races.
However, for six- and seven-furlong races, which start from spurs and run downhill to the home turn, low numbers are the ones to be on. Catterick is a sharp, left-handed track. Runners drawn low in races between five and seven furlongs do better than those drawn in the higher numbered stalls. In horse racing, the runners tend to bunch together as the race progresses.
That can lead to interference, particularly when there are lots of runners. Furthermore, weather conditions can affect the state of the course.
For instance, if it has rained heavily, the way the course drains could make one section of the course quicker than the rest, creating a bias. A course that has a camber and directs the water towards the inside or outside rail will mean that horses drawn on that side will find the turf heavier and slower than the part of the course from which it has drained.
Usually, the longer the race, the less relevance can be attached to the horse racing draw. However, here are two examples of big races where the draw is a major factor. This race used to be run over two miles m but its distance was reduced to one mile six furlongs m a few years ago. Second, the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle, run over two miles m. This is among the most competitive handicaps of the year and there is always a large field of about 20 runners. Again, those drawn on the stands side are disadvantaged.
– Different types of horse racing tracks
Thoroughbreds typically race on a flat track over dirt, turf, or a synthetic surface. A race may be as short as 4. Race tracks are found in all regions of the country, and each track has its own history and offers a unique experience. Visit our track pages to learn more. The Mauritius Turf Club is the second oldest active turf club in the world. Undeniably, racing is one of the most popular sports in Mauritius now attracting regular crowds of 20, people or more to the only racecourse of the island.
A high level of professionalism has been attained in the organization of races over the last decades preserving the unique electrifying ambiance prevailing on race days at the Champ de Mars.
Most of the horses are imported from South Africa but some are also acquired from Australia, the United Kingdom and France. Horse racing is a popular sport in South Africa that can be traced back to The first recorded race club meeting took place five years later in The premier event, which attracts 50, people to Durban, is the Durban July Handicap , which has been run since at Greyville Racecourse.
It is the largest and most prestigious event on the continent, with betting running into the hundreds of millions of Rands. Horse racing in one form or another has been a part of Chinese culture for millennia. Horse racing was a popular pastime for the aristocracy at least by the Zhou Dynasty — 4th century B.
General Tian Ji ‘s strategem for a horse race remains perhaps the best-known story about horse racing in that period. In the 18th and 19th centuries, horse racing and equestrian sports in China was dominated by Mongol influences. Thoroughbred horse racing came to China with British settlements in the middle s and most notably centered around the treaty ports, including the two major race courses in Shanghai , the Shanghai Racecourse and the International Recreation Grounds in Kiang-wan , and the racecourses of Tianjin.
See below. Horse racing was banned in the Republic of China from , and the People’s Republic of China maintained the ban after , although allowances were made for ethnic minority peoples for whom horse sports are a cultural tradition. The racecourse was initially 5 km, but from the 10th National Games was extended to 12 km.
The longer race led to deaths and injuries to participating horses in both and the 11th National Games in Also, with the entry into the sport of Han majority provinces such as Hubei , which are better funded and used Western, rather than traditional, breeding and training techniques, meant that the original purpose of the event to foster traditional horse racing for groups like the Mongols was at risk of being usurped.
At the National Games, Hubei won both the gold and silver medals, with Inner Mongolia winning bronze. As a result of these factors, the event was abolished for the 12th National Games in Club horse racing reappeared on a small scale in the s. In , the China Speed Horse Race Open in Wuhan was organized as the qualification round for the speed horse race event at the National Games the next year, but was also seen by commentators as a step towards legalizing both horse racing and gambling on the races.
Almost all Chinese trainers and jockeys stabled in Wuhan. However, with the demise of the event at the National Games and the government not relenting from the ban on commercial racing, various racecourses built in recent years are all in a state of disuse: The Nanjing Racecourse, which previously hosted National Games equestrian events, is now used as a car park;  the Beijing Jockey Club was shut down in The racecourse in Inner Mongolia has not been active after Horse racing eventually returned to mainland China on the year as the one-day, five-card event for foreign horses, trainers and jockeys.
The British tradition of horse racing left its mark with the creation of one of the most important entertainment and gambling institutions in Hong Kong. Established as the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club in , the non-profit organization conducts nearly races every season at the two race tracks: in Happy Valley and Sha Tin. All horses are imported since there is no breeding operation. Off-track betting is available from overseas bookmakers. In the s, the Hong Kong Jockey Club had race meetings for visitors already.
Visitors were divided into public and member. The charges for these two types of visitors are different. It donates all its profits to the Hong Kong government, charities and public institutions. In economic terms, the Hong Kong Jockey Club is an old-fashioned government-protected monopoly; all other forms of gambling are illegal in this industry.
Sweepstakes were introduced in Hong Kong during the s. Special Cash Sweeps were at first drawn twice a year, and increased to three times a year later given its popularity.
It carried the highest prize money amongst three types of sweepstakes. The Last Race Sweep commanded higher prize money then Ordinary Cash Sweeps, which were drawn for almost every race and therefore carried the lowest prize money. Sweepstakes could be purchased either at sweepstakes stations or from sweepstakes vendors throughout Hong Kong. With different numbers print on each sweepstake, one sweepstake is drawn and assigned, for each horse participating in the race, and the sweepstake attached to the winning horse would win the first prize.
Likewise, the number of the first runner-up and second runner-up would win the second and third prize, respectively, with the rest winning consolation prizes. With the introduction of new bet types in horse racing and the launch of the Mark Six lottery in the s, the club finally stopped selling sweepstakes in Jockey Club of Macau was established for harness racing.
It started to conduct horse races in India’s first racecourse was set up in Madras in Today India has nine racetracks operated by seven racing authorities. Between them they conduct more than 21, horse races a year. The JRA is responsible for ‘Chuo Keiba’ meaning ‘central horse racing’ , taking place on the ten main Japanese tracks.
Racing in Japan is mainly flat racing , but Japan also has jump racing and a sled-pulling race known as Ban’ei also called Draft Racing. Japan’s top stakes races are run in the spring, autumn, and winter.
In Malaysia , horse racing was introduced during the British colonial era and remains to the present day as a gambling activity. Within and only within the turf clubs, betting on horse racing is a legal form of gambling.
Mongolian horse racing takes place during the Naadam festival. Mongolia does not have Thoroughbred horse racing. Rather, it has its own Mongolian style of horse racing in which the horses run for at least a distance of 25 kilometers.
Horse races are held in Pakistan at four clubs. Horseracing in the Philippines began in The history of Philippine horseracing has three divisions according to the breeds of horses used. They are the Philippine-pony era — , the Arabian-horse era — , and the Thoroughbred-era —present.
Horse racing was introduced to Singapore by the British during the colonial era and remained one of the legal forms of gambling after independence. It remains a highly popular form of entertainment with the local Singaporean community to this day. Horse racing has also left its mark in the naming of roads in Singapore such as Race Course Road in Little India , where horse racing was first held in Singapore, and Turf Club Road in Bukit Timah where Singapore Turf Club used to be situated before moving to its current location in Horse racing in South Korea dates back to May , when a foreign language institute run by the government included a donkey race in its athletic rally.
However, it wasn’t until the s that modern horse racing involving betting developed. The nation’s first authorised club, the Chosun Racing Club, was established in and a year later, the pari-mutuel betting system was officially adopted for the first time.
The Korean War disrupted the development of horse racing in the country, but after the Seoul Olympics in , the Olympic Equestrian Park was converted into racing facilities named Seoul Race Park , which helped the sport to develop again. Horses have been an important role in Turks’ lives throughout history. The Jockey Club of Turkey, founded in , was the turning point of both the Turkish breeding and racing industries.
The Dubai World Cup is once again the world’s richest horse race. The Pegasus World Cup had its purse reduced in to make room for a new turf race. The race track complex contains two tracks with seating for 60,, a hotel, restaurants, theater and museum. There is no parimutuel betting in the UAE as gambling is illegal. In Argentina the sport is known as turf. Carlos Gardel’s tango Por una cabeza is about horse racing, a sport of which he was a known fan.
Gardel was a good friend of Irineo Leguisamo , who is the most recognized Uruguayan jockey, who raced numerous years in Argentine. At many horse races, there is a gambling station, where gamblers can stake money on a horse.
Gambling on horses is prohibited at some tracks; Springdale Race Course, home of the nationally renowned TD Bank Carolina Cup and Colonial Cup Steeplechase in Camden, South Carolina , is known as one of the tracks where betting is illegal, due to a law.
Where gambling is allowed, most tracks offer parimutuel betting where gamblers’ money is pooled and shared proportionally among the winners once a deduction is made from the pool. In some countries, such as the UK, Ireland, and Australia, an alternative and more popular facility is provided by bookmakers who effectively make a market in odds.
This allows the gambler to ‘lock in’ odds on a horse at a particular time known as ‘taking the price’ in the UK. Anna Waller, a member of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of North Carolina, co-authored a four-year-long study of jockey injuries and stated to The New York Times that «For every 1, jockeys you have riding [for one year], over will have medically treated injuries.
The study reported 6, injuries during the years — Horses also face dangers in racing. The U. Jockey Club in New York estimates that about horses died at racetracks in Another estimates there are 1, deaths annual in the US.
There is speculation that drugs used in horse racing in the United States, which are banned elsewhere, are responsible for the higher death rate in the United States. In the Canadian province of Ontario , a study of 1, racehorse deaths between and found that the majority of deaths were attributable to «damage during exercise to the horses’ musculoskeletal system «, including fractures, dislocations, and tendon ruptures.
The study also found that the incidence of off-track deaths was twice as high for thoroughbreds. In the United Kingdom, horses were killed as a direct result of racing in Of these died in National Hunt jump racing and 41 in flat racing. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Equestrian sport. For other uses, see Horse race disambiguation. Horse racing at Golden Gate Fields , Main articles: National Hunt racing , Steeplechase horse racing , and Hurdling horse race.
Main article: Harness racing. Main article: Endurance riding. Further information: Horse breeding. Main article: Thoroughbred. Main article: Standardbred. Main article: Arabian horse. Main article: American Quarter Horse. See also: Horse racing in the United States. Main article: Horseracing in Great Britain.
See also: Horseracing in Scotland and Horseracing in Wales. Main article: Horse racing in Ireland. See also: List of horse races in Italy. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources.
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See also: Harness racing in Sweden. Main articles: Thoroughbred racing in Australia and Harness racing in Australia. Main article: Horse racing in India. Main article: Horseracing in Japan. Main article: Horseracing in the Philippines. Main article: Horse racing in South Korea.
Main article: Jockey Club of Turkey. Horses portal Sports portal. Archived from the original on 21 December Retrieved 6 May Official Horse Picks. Retrieved International Federation of Horseracing Authorities. Archived from the original on ISBN Retrieved 12 September Smith, Elder. Fletcher The first recorded event was held at Smithfield Market in London on March 26, Steeplechase horse racing is the original form of horse racing. It originated in Ireland with races across open fields that often contained deep gullies and ditches, hence the name steeplechase steeple meaning a church spire.
There are many different types of steeple horse races that you can bet on and watch. T he Grand National is the most famous and prestigious steeplechase in the world. Endurance riding comes from a long history where riders highly valued certain types of horses primarily due to their ability to endure the most grueling rides across vast distances without being slowed by any obstacle such as mountains or rivers alike. But what makes this increasingly popular sport so exciting?
Typically endurance horse races range from 40 to over miles and often take multiple days to finish depending on the race length. Some endurance races are classified as non-competitive and are usually 25 miles. Competitive endurance races kick up the distance and difficulty with Progressive Trail Riding being around the mile point where riders need skills like map reading and navigation for success—all while enduring some of the most challenging terrain imaginable!
The Tevis Cup is one of the most prestigious endurance races. The race originated in California in and is held annually and covers miles. Interestingly the competition is open and often draws over competitors.
Horses are known for their ability to run far, but these races take it to a new level. In a year-old American named Bob Long , from Boise, Idaho became the oldest person to complete the race, and he also won it. It took him eight days and twenty-eight horses to accomplish his impressive feat. Harness racing is a form of horseracing where the horses race at a trot or pace while pulling a driver in a sulky. A sulky is a lightweight two-wheeled carriage built for one person.
Drivers are integral to the success of harness racing. They must be athletic, intelligent, and strategic in how they maneuver their horse and sulky during a race.
Harness races compete in either trot or pace gaits. The trotting gait is when a horse moves its legs forward in diagonal pairs. Pace horses move their front legs in unison with the hind legs on the same side.
If a horse breaks its gait during a race, it is disqualified. Standardbreds have the ideal conformation and temperament for harness racing; they are muscular yet have long bodies. And they are calm, intelligent, and social animals.
Harness racing is ancient and evolved from chariots initially used in war. During the early Greek games, the four-horse chariot race was the most popular and prestigious event. The two-horse harness races were first introduced in the Olympics in BC and again competed in BC. The races were eight laps in the hippodrome, which is about six miles.
Horse racing – Wikipedia – How far is a ‘Furlong’?
The makeup of the dirt varies little from racetrack to racetrack. Dirt tracks can manifest in the following footing:. The footing of a dirt track can change from day to day and even from race to race depending on weather conditions such as rain, temperature, and humidity. The turf course means racing on the grass or the lawn. The least commonly used racing surface in the United States is turf. However in Europe and Australia, turf is the preferred racing surface.
Turf courses are more susceptible to weather conditions than their dirt counterparts. In the United States, races are usually taken off of the grass if the ground is too wet. Synthetic surfaces are man-made surfaces that are comprised of various materials such as sand, wax, carpet fibers, and oils. There are several different manufacturers of synthetic footing, and each has its own composition. The track bias may be influenced by the weather or how many races have run on the track recently.
There is plenty of material to study, as Saratoga hosts 18 Grade I horse-racing tournaments between July and September every year, including the million-dollar-purse Travers, Whitney and Sword Dancer Stakes. The track has a short run to the first turn, which gives fast starters the chance to reach the front of the field.
This tends to favor horses drawn on the inside. Looking to deepen your knowledge of the types of horse-racing bets you can make and how to place them? Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting. Horse Racing. Share This Share. Belmont Park. Saratoga Saratoga has the distinction of being the oldest major racetrack in the US, hosting high-quality events in Saratoga Springs, New York ever since Up your online horse racing game at BetMGM Looking to deepen your knowledge of the types of horse-racing bets you can make and how to place them?
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Different types of horse racing tracks.Horse Racing Tracks, Ground Types and Draw Explained
› story › sports › /12/09 › breakdown-differen. Types of horse racing · Flat racing · Jump racing · Harness racing · Saddle trot racing · Endurance racing.