Horse Racing Class System

Understanding the horse racing class system in the UK can only be of benefit to the form student or the Systems player. Other factors such as course, distance, going and weight may be in the horses favour but if it is racing in a grade that is too high for it, the horse will be outclassed by speedier animals.

Each race horse will have its optimum level, whether it improves from a lower grade, it will eventually reach a class of race where it simply cannot match the performance of other contestants in the race.

Others may be highly tried and then be dropped down a level where it can cope with the pace, stamina and determination of its competitors.

Here is a very effective way of obtaining Horse Class Ratings for individual animals that really shows whether they are amongst the top rated runners in the race.

The UK horse racing class system runs to a scale of 0 to 140lbs

  • Class 1 Group 1
  • Class 1 Group 2
  • Class 1 Group 3
  • Class 1 Listed (incl Handicaps)
  • Class 2 rated 86-110
  • Class 3 rated 76-95
  • Class 4 rated 66-75
  • Class 5 rated 56-65
  • Class 6 rated 46-55
  • Class 7 rated 0-45

That's the basic structure, but within that frame work there are different types of races.

  • Pattern races are for Group horses.
  • Listed races are just under the standard of the group horse.
  • Classified stakes races have a set maximum rating for individual contests.
  • Conditions stakes are non handicaps restricted to maidens.
  • Handicap races including Nurseries(2yo races)
  • Maiden races (non winners)
  • Novice flat races for 2yo horses that have not won 2 or more races of Class 1 or 2 standard.
  • Auction races for 2yo's sold at certain sales.
  • Selling races, mostly for very poor class horses where the winner goes up for auction and other horses can be claimed from the race.
  • Claiming races where the owners set the weight by the value they rate their horse.
  • Apprentice races are for young Jockeys learning their trade.
  • Amateur races are for non professional Jockeys.

A review of a horses past performance in the class of race it has contested can be very revealing whether for the form student or the system builder.

Here's an example of a profile of the career record of a racehorse.

  • Class 2 Starts 1 Wins 0 rating 67
  • Class 3 Starts 4 Wins 0 rating 89
  • Class 4 Starts 5 Wins 1 rating 92
  • Class 5 Starts 5 Wins 2 rating 82
  • Class 6 Starts 4 Wins 1 rating 81

This horse looks an improver, very effective at Class 5 and beyond that level now, best rating at Class 4 with 1 win from 5 starts, decent rating at Class 3 but no wins from 4 starts. At levels 3 and 4 there have been 9 starts and 1 win (11%) the best ratings have been achieved at that level but will it produce more success or will the horse find one too good on many occasions?

Will the horse have to drop back to a lower level for a confidence booster?

A structured horse racing class system reveals the optimum level the horse can achieve, there can be questions to answer or to put it another way the picture can be cloudy at times but evidence is there to decipher.

A form based system that provides for a horse to have won at the class level or higher can only be of advantage in building a winning method.

Here is a working method of Class Rating where points are awarded for a horses willingness to win and the class level at which the winning performance/s were obtained.

Return from Horse Racing Class System to Past Performance

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