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Thread: Horse Racing - Pure and Simple (Q&A)

  1. #1
    Forum Guru lcredd's Avatar
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    Default Horse Racing - Pure and Simple (Q&A)

    With only one meeting going ahead today I thought it would be a good idea to learn more about the sport of kings.

    I was trading horses before I knew the difference between a stallion and a mare and while my knowledge has improved I still have hundreds of questions. I know I could look them all up on the internet but I thought it would be a good idea to start a Q&A thread about horse racing in general, not about trading, so over time anyone could come and learn everything there is to know. I'll start with a few questions and hopefully others as uneducated as me can carry it on. My knowledge lies in football so there will be references.

    1: While football has owner-chairman-director-board-manager-staff-players, how does it work in horse racing? Owner-stable-trainer-horse-jockey? And which is the most significant?

    2: What is the equivalent of Premier League, FA Cup etc? What horses are eligible for, say, the Grand National and the Gold Cup, and how would the owner/trainer choose which horse to enter?

    3: Regarding Frankel, what is the purpose of a 'pace setter?' Why are horses entered who have very little chance of winning? (If it's to make the race easier for Frankel, how is this fair?)

    4: How much race fixing really goes on in UK races?

    5: Suppose 2 horse are rated equally, would you prefer a horse proven over the distance or a horse proven on the ground? Not all questions will have a right or wrong answer.



    All answers will be greatly appreciated and please add any racing question you can think of to make this a thread of pure knowledge.


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    Question;

    6: Why do you not see jockeys with moustaches?

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    4....... Quite a bit,especially when my moneys on all previous form and class disappears.Alot of times a different jockey will be on board so to form some kind of excuse but we all know theyve been fed brown bread and milk

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    3

    Pace setters are used to ensure that a race over a specific distance is a true race over that distance. For example, imagine a race which is 12 furlongs. All the horses just move very slowly at a slow pace then decide to start running 5 furlongs from home. Now the race is effectively a 5 furlong sprint rather than a mile and a half distance race.

    Frankel was an exceptional horse. A pacemaker was used but it was an insurance policy only. He stuffed every horse he ran against and would have done so without a pacemaker. There is nothing inherently unfair about their use.

    4

    Very little fixing of races happens in the UK. It's just not worth the effort and people risk losing their livelihoods if they are caught out.

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    6. Long, extravagant mustaches have been proven to act similarly to spoilers on cars, changing air flow and increasing down force, thus enabling the jockey to take corners at higher speeds. This puts female jockeys at a disadvantage and a ban on mustaches was introduced.

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    Good answer!

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    very interesting! thanks to lcredd for starting the discussion and thanks to all the other guys who will continue it

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    Quote Originally Posted by custard View Post

    4

    Very little fixing of races happens in the UK. It's just not worth the effort and people risk losing their livelihoods if they are caught out.
    Yes, Custard is correct there is hardly any race fixing these days, far too difficult to get away with.

    But there is alot of horses not running on their merit, each and every day so that their handicap mark can come down, and when the horse is low enough in the handicap so that connections would be confident of winning on his merit they have a punt and, boom ! in it goes.

    A. Horses being run over the wrong distance to get a low handicap mark or to drop down in the handicap(in the case of older horses)
    Trainers excuse for the improvement; The step up/back in distance seemed to suit the horse better today !
    Steward`s Action; None !
    B. Front running horses being held up in races and not showing their true form/Hold up runners being sent to the front and burning them out, so they dont last the race.
    Trainers excuse for the improvement; A return to hold up/front running tactics apper to benefit the horse greatly today !
    Steward`s Action; None !
    C. Running the horse on ground that was unsuitable for it.
    Trainers excuse for the improvement; The horse was better suited by the return to dryer/softer under foot conditions today !
    Steward`s Action; None !
    And My Favourite
    D. All of the above can be totally dismissed by the addition of headgear for the first time, or even the reapplying of headgear after a lengthy absence.
    ie. Blinkers,Cheek pieces,Hood,Toung tie,Eyeshields,Noseband and anything else that would be regarded as headgear.
    Trainers excuse for the improvement; The fitting of herdgear seemed to improved the horses performance today !
    Steward`s Action; None !

    Now, i know of a few other ways of getting a horse beaten, and i`m sure some of you out there will know the odd one or two yourselves.
    So the difficulty for us punters is trying to decide if the horse is trying to win a race or is it working on its handicap mark.
    Which is the punters dilemma !

    The only consistency in all this the action of the Steward`s
    Hmmmm ! That sounds like a job i could do well, i can easily sit around and do nothing all day too Gis-a-job

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    ^

    I agree with everything written above.

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    Hmmmmm, You want a job as a Steward aswell, Custard ?

    Better send in my CV, A.S.A.P.

    Just to be ahead in the queue so.

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    Can we bet on the stewards? looks like it would be a market easy to read

    Great post!

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    Question 7:

    How are horses rated and, given what Bibio2004 has pointed out, how accurate are ratings?

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    Quote Originally Posted by lcredd View Post
    Question 7:

    How are horses rated and, given what Bibio2004 has pointed out, how accurate are ratings?
    Hi Icredd.

    This question is one that the handicapper himself would find difficulty in answering

    There is one thing i can tell you, and thats that the Handicapper is the one person in this world that gets it wrong more often, than he gets it right, regarding giving handicap marks to horses that is. And thats a fact !

    So difficult to give accurate handicap marks to horses ! and even i would not like that job. Because its all about perceptions and educated guess work really and the handicapper has to assume that every horse in the race has run to its merit(but as we know that dose not always happen)
    And i have noticed the handicapper being, eh, well lets just say he appears to penalise the bigger yards a little more than the smaller ones. Like Stoute, Gosden, Cecil, Varian ect, ect, should their horse win a maiden confortably then expect a mark in the high 80`s or low 90`s, where as if it were Martin Bosley or Micheal Appleby and the like your looking at high 70`s low 80`s(probably a 10 pound difference, or there abouts). I know its unfair sounding, but the bigger yards horses would have price tags of 6 figures and the Bosley/Appleby and the like would be in the 4 figure range and a horse 10k plus in their yards would be rare.

    Example; 2.35 Lingfield tomorrow.
    Starfield, given a handicap mark of 88 for a comfortable win over some fairly modest horses, and he has given 88 because the 2nd was rated 78, 3rd rated 75. Now, the handicapper rated that victory 10 pounds superior to the 2nd because of the manner of the win, plus the fact that the 2nd horse was a stoute horse, hence the high mark.
    But i personally think because of the time of the race that the 2nd and 3rd horses did not perform up to their marks on the day, therefor the handicapper, while justified in giving Starfield a 10 pound superior mark, because on the day he was so superior, but as i supect the 2nd and 3rd underperformed on the day(and its only my opinion that they did) Then Starfield has too high a handicap mark and should be running off perhaps 82 or close to it.

    Now ! Should Starfield win tomorrow will it be a case of the handicapper getting it wrong and giving him too low a mark or has starfield improved enough in the last month to perform to his handicap mark of 88.
    Or If Starfield loses tomorrow, will i be right in saying the 2nd and 3rd didnt run to their marks the last day and Starfield has too high a handicap mark or was the handicapper right and that its just Starfield who does not perform to his mark of 88 tomorrow.

    You see the dilemma that the handicapper has to deal with, he has to give a horse a mark after 3 runs so if the horse is run under its wrong optimum conditions for all 3 runs it will ultimately recieve a low mark, with which connections can take advantage of when they run the horse under the right conditions.
    Like a certain Sir Prescott does with his horses

    Regarding Starfield,,,
    Will i Back him tomorrow ? No, because i could be right.
    Will i Lay him tomorrow ? No, because the handicapper could be right(for once)

    So handicapping is an invariable nightmare, and its up to us, the punter to spot if the handicapper has made a mistake and hopefully take advantage of it.
    And that my friend, takes alot of time to understand and hopefully master (Yeah ! I wish)

    I have only scratched the surface of this Question 7,, It could go on for weeks this topic and others out there with different opinions than mine, or perhaps the same.
    Its clearly not a black or white situation. Handicap Minefield

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    Your example shows that handicapping is not an exact science.
    That's why less than 1 in 3 handicap favourites win

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    Quote Originally Posted by old geezer View Post
    Your example shows that handicapping is not an exact science.
    That's why less than 1 in 3 handicap favourites win
    Well put, handicapping in not an exact science, which is why he gets wrong so often and why trainers complain so often about him.

    The handicapper for the want of better words has a Blinkered or a One Dimensional view on giving out handicap marks, because he just goes on what he sees and never takes into consideration race times, going or breeding.
    So trainers can take advantage of this and gain good handicap marks for their horses by manipulating their running styles/conditions without actually breaking the rules of racing
    All honest good clean fun, The Sport of Kings

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    Quote Originally Posted by lcredd View Post
    4: How much race fixing really goes on in UK races?
    The following are only personal inferences, just to put into numbers my feelings after seeing more than 20K races in 20 years:

    Percentage of fixed races (two or more participants involved):
    GBR 0.5%
    IRL 5%
    ITA 25%
    USA 33%

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    Question 8:

    How much of a horse's performance is down to the horse, and how much is down to the jockey? Is it 50/50 or could anyone ride Frankel to victory?

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    Question 9 - Is it correct that horses that jump fences are gelded? I was hoping Kauto Star was going off to stud but he's had the chop unfortunately.

    Come to think of it I have never seen a horse going round the jumps looking "coltish". Probably just as well as it would hurt something awful if you caught your tackle on one of those brush fences on a cold day like today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Portman View Post
    IRL 5%
    ITA 25%
    USA 33%
    I am friendly with a trainer, primarily point to point but they run quite a few in maiden hurdles and in any given race of 20 runners he is adamant that only 3 or 4 are "trying".

    This of course is the run of the mill stuff for small money, big meetings for large money are different.

    We were on a stag wih him one day in Tramore Races and he told us all to back a 14/1 shot having spoken to the jockeys, we did, he won. The jockey was getting married that week (not the guy who's stag we were on) and his present from the other jocks was the winner.

    Happens every day, always has, always will.

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    Shame they don't include the jockey's marital status in the form ...

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