There are various different types of horse racing and that can be often overwhelming if you are just starting out. Taking the time out to learn the different types of horse races will make you a more experienced and confident bettor in the long run, even though you might not use all of them it is definitely worth knowing about them all.

Handicap Races

The most popular type of horse racing is handicap racing and these races match horses of similar ability together. In this type of horse racing, the weight will be scaled depending on the horses rating, horses rated higher will carry more weight than the horses rated lower.

Apprentice, Amatuer, Lady & Gentlemen Rider Races

You may see races titled as one of the above racing types. It means that the race is restricted to that type of jockey.

Selling and Claiming Races

These races normally have lower class horses compared to the other types of horse racing. These races are different as any horse attending the race is also up for sale and can be purchased after the race. The difference between Selling and Claiming Races is that in sellers the horses will run the race with a set weight, but in claimers races the weight the horse carries depends on its auction price, therefore if the horse as a higher price, the weight is higher too.

Nursery Races

This is handicap horse racing but for younger horses. Horses here are 2 years old, which is when they can first enter horse racing.

Conditions and Classified Stakes

These two races are similar. Conditions Stakes tend to be of a higher quality but both races see horses carry the same weights, even if their official ratings are different to eachother.

There is a ceiling rating to make it somewhat fair, but those horses which are just under the ceiling rating will have the most advantage as they are carrying the same weight as all other participants

To qualify for a classified stakes a horse needs to have run at least three times or run twice with at least one victory.

Group/Grade Races

Group races (or Graded races depending on the country/code of the racing) are the top level of racing. There are Group 1, 2 and 3 races with Group 1 being the highest class and these races are usually only contested by the very best horses. Horses may carry penalties in these races if they have won at a higher level, as there is no higher class than Group 1 it means the horses of the same age will compete off level weights.

These are some of the main horse racing types that you may find, you may not bet on all of these types and probably only deep your feet into one or two of these types, but having an awareness of other options is a wise choice in making the best decisions and picking the most profitable types of horse racing.