Getting the Most Out of a Horse Race
Getting the most out of a horse race involves a bit of judgment. A race is usually a field of ten or twelve runners, but in some races there are as many as 80,000 in attendance. The fastest horses are rated on speed, while slower horses are said to be slow on the uptake.
A horse’s performance is measured by average speed rating over the last four races. The winner of the race gets a small amount of money, usually shared by first, second and third place finishers. In some countries, there are restrictions on whipping a horse in an effort to avoid distress.
The first documented horse race occurred in France in 1651. A wager between two noblemen led to the event. The following year, the horse racing craze spread to the colonies. During the reign of Louis XIV (1643-1715), racing based on gambling was common.
A modern day horse race is a combination of the past and present. The most notable changes to horse racing in the 20th century were the introduction of the modern Thoroughbred, a breed that originated in Newmarket, England, and the rise of organized racing in North America. In the 18th and 19th centuries, races were mostly limited to townships, and were run on short distances, typically six furlongs or less.
The best and most prestigious flat races are those contested over a distance in the middle of this range. In the United States, the Belmont Stakes is a classic race. Moreover, a few races are held over natural brush fences. In other parts of the world, the aforementioned Melbourne Cup Carnival is held the first Tuesday in November.
The most impressive feat of horse racing is the ability of horses to reach peak performance at age five. In fact, the most successful Thoroughbreds in the US are known for their stamina. The classic age for a racehorse is three years. In addition, weight is adjusted based on the horse’s age.
The horse race craze has also reached the Middle East and other parts of the world. In Brazil, for example, the country’s most prestigious flat race is the Grand Premio Sao Paulo Internacional. Other high profile races are the Sydney Cup in Australia and the Durban July in South Africa.
Aside from the obvious name brands, horse racing has produced international favorites like the Dubai World Cup and the Caulfield Cup. In the United States, the richest events are financed by stakes fees paid by owners.
As with all sports, the complexities of a horse race are vast, but in many cases it is difficult to pick out a winner. One way to do so is to compare percentages from different tracks. Another is to use point-based ranking systems. For instance, the top horse in a four horse race receives four points. The bottom horse in the same race earns only two. You can also consider the relative size of the field in relation to the prize.