How to Handicapping a Horse Race

horse race

Usually, horse races are a competition that involves a group of horses that are ridden by jockeys. The horses compete over a set distance and the jockeys control the horses’ pace.

Harness racing

During harness racing, a horse pulls a small chariot or cart. This racing style is a popular hobby that is practiced in over 30 countries around the world.

Harness racing began in the early 19th century. It is an offshoot of traditional horseracing. Harness racing horses are usually Standardbreds and compete in two different gaits. The gaits are pacing and trotting. Pacers are faster than trotters, and tend to break their stride less often.

Flat racing

Whether you’re a racegoer or horse enthusiast, flat racing is a sport that’s sure to excite. In fact, the sport has been around for centuries, and is one of the most popular sports in the world.

Flat racing involves horses running on a level track. It’s also a test of speed, stamina and jockey skill. Unlike jumps racing, flat races don’t involve hurdles.

Most flat races are held on grass, but some are held on all weather surfaces, and some even take place on synthetic surfaces. These surfaces may be rubber or coated with wax.

Jumps racing

Despite the hype surrounding the spectacle of jumps racing, there is a real risk of injury to horseback riders. Jumps horses are heavier than flat horses. This combined with the fact that most jumps races are held over distances of two to four and a half miles, means that horseback riders are at a higher risk of injury than other racers.

Jumps racing has been under pressure for years in Australia. The first protest against the sport was held in Sydney in 1848. Since then, jumps racing has been banned in all but two states. In 2007, Tasmania ceased jumps racing.

Endurance riding

Unlike speed riding, endurance riding in horse races is an organized sport where riders and horses compete over a designated distance. These races may last several days and are held over varied terrain.

The FEI (Federation Equestre International) is one of the major international organizations for endurance riding. Its rules are based on the welfare of the horse. It was established with that in mind.

Stakes races

Often called the pinnacle of horse racing, stakes races offer prize money of millions of dollars. However, these races can be expensive.

Stakes races are typically big races that are handicapped. There are a number of restrictions on age, sex, and weight. Some stakes races require a horse to have won a stakes-type event before running in the race.

Stakes races are also often conditioned. Horses are rated based on their past performance, age, and sex. They are also graded based on the quality of their breeding.


Getting started in handicapping horse races can be a bit of a pain. There are a number of variables that play into your decision making process. Some of these include the distance of the race, the type of competition, and the horse’s ability on the track.

The best way to go about handicapping a horse race is to do a little research and watch some races. Handicapping a horse race can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it does require a certain degree of knowledge and education.