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Conditions races are horse races in which the weights carried by the runners are laid down by the conditions attached to the race. Weights are allocated according to the sex of the runners, with female runners carrying less weight than males; the age of the runners, with younger horses receiving weight from older runners to allow for relative maturity, referred to as weight for age; and the quality of the runners, with horses that have won certain values of races giving weight to less successful entrants.
Conditions races are distinct from handicap races, for which the weights carried are laid down by an official handicapper to equalise the difference in ability between the runners. In Great Britain, for example, the British Horseracing Authority's rules define a conditions race as being one "which is none of the following; a Handicap Race or a Novice Race, a race restricted to Maiden Horses, or a race governed by Selling or Claiming provisions."
Conditions races are staged at all levels of horse racing. As all of the most important races in Europe are conditions races, the term may also refer to races for the very best horses, known as Group races. That is not the case in North America and Australia, where handicaps are included in the Group race/Graded race system.
Thoroughbred horse racing is a sport and industry involving the racing and hound racing of Thoroughbred horses. It is governed by different national bodies. There are two forms of the sport: flat racing and jump racing, called National Hunt racing in the UK and steeplechasing in the US. Jump racing can be further divided into hurdling and steeplechasing.
Horse racing is an equestrian performance sport, typically involving two or more horses ridden by jockeys over a set distance, for competition. It is one of the most ancient of all sports, as its basic premise – to identify which of two or more horses is the fastest over a set course or distance – has been unchanged since at least classical antiquity.
Horse racing is the second largest spectator sport in Great Britain, and one of the longest established, with a history dating back many centuries. According to a report by the British Horseracing Authority it generates £3.39 billion total direct and indirect expenditure in the British economy, of which £1.05 Billion is from core racing industry expenditure and the major horse racing events such as Royal Ascot and Cheltenham Festival are important dates in the British and international sporting and society calendar.
Thoroughbred horse racing is an important spectator sport in Australia, and gambling on horse races is a very popular pastime with A$14.3 billion wagered in 2009/10 with bookmakers and the Totalisator Agency Board (TAB). The two forms of Thoroughbred horseracing in Australia are flat racing, and races over fences or hurdles in Victoria and South Australia. Thoroughbred racing is the third most attended spectator sport in Australia, behind Australian rules football and rugby league, with almost two million admissions to 360 registered racecourses throughout Australia in 2009/10. Horseracing commenced soon after European settlement, and is now well-appointed with automatic totalizators, starting gates and photo finish cameras on nearly all Australian racecourses.
In horse racing in the United Kingdom, France and the Republic of Ireland, National Hunt racing requires horses to jump fences and ditches. National Hunt racing in the UK is informally known as "jumps" and is divided into two major distinct branches: hurdles and steeplechases. Alongside these there are "bumpers", which are National Hunt flat races. In a hurdles race, the horses jump over obstacles called hurdles; in a steeplechase the horses jump over a variety of obstacles that can include plain fences, water jump or an open ditch. In the UK the biggest National Hunt events of the year are generally considered to be the Grand National and the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
The Yorkshire Cup is a Group 2 flat horse race in Great Britain open to horses aged four years or older. It is run over a distance of 1 mile, 5 furlongs and 188 yards at York in May.
The Australian and New Zealand punting glossary explains some of the terms, jargon and slang which are commonly used and heard on Australian and New Zealand racecourses, in TABs, on radio, and in the horse racing media. Some terms are peculiar to Australia, such as references to bookmakers, but most are used in both countries.
Group One, Group 1, Grade I or G1 is the term used for the highest level of Thoroughbred and Standardbred stakes races in many countries. In Europe, the level of races for Thoroughbred racing is determined using the Pattern race system introduced in 1971 and monitored by the European Pattern Committee. To attain or maintain a Group One status, the average rating for the first four finishers in the race must be 115 or higher over a three-year period. The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities works to ensure consistent international standards. Group One races may only be restricted to age groups or a stipulated sex: they should not be restricted to horses bred in a certain country. Group One (G1) races may be run under handicap conditions in Australia, but in Europe weight-for-age conditions always apply.
Weight for Age (WFA) is a term in Thoroughbred horse racing which is one of the conditions for a race. It means that a horse will carry a set weight in accordance with the Weight for Age Scale. This weight varies depending on the horse’s age, its sex, the race distance and the month of the year. Weight for age races are usually Group 1 races, races of the highest quality. It is a form of handicapping for horse racing, but within the horse racing industry is not referred to as handicap which is reserved for more general handicapping.
Group races, also known as Pattern races, or Graded races in some jurisdictions, are the highest level of races in Thoroughbred horse racing. They include most of the world's iconic races, such as, in Europe, the Derby, Irish Derby and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, in Australia, the Melbourne Cup and in the United States, the Kentucky Derby and Breeders' Cup races. Victory in these races marks a horse as being particularly talented, if not exceptional, and they are extremely important in determining stud values. They are also sometimes referred to as Black type races, since any horse that has won one of these races is printed in bold type in sales catalogues.
National Hunt Flat races, informally known as bumper races, are a type of Flat racing but run under National Hunt racing rules in Britain and Ireland.
A steeplechase is a distance horse race in which competitors are required to jump diverse fence and ditch obstacles. Steeplechasing is primarily conducted in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Australia and France. The name is derived from early races in which orientation of the course was by reference to a church steeple, jumping fences and ditches and generally traversing the many intervening obstacles in the countryside.
A graded stakes race is a thoroughbred horse race in the United States that meets the criteria of the American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA). A specific grade level is then assigned to the race, based on statistical analysis of the quality of the field in previous years, provided the race meets the minimum purse criteria for the grade in question. In Canada, a similar grading system is maintained by the Jockey Club of Canada. Graded stakes races are similar to Group races in Europe but the grading is more dynamic in North America.
The 2005 World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings is the 2005 edition of the World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings. It is an assessment of racehorses which was issued by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) in January 2006. It includes horses aged three or older which raced or were trained during 2005 in countries where the flat racing year runs from January 1 to December 31. These countries are generally in the Northern Hemisphere.
The Wolferton Stakes is a Listed flat horse race in Great Britain open to horses of four-year-old and up. It is run at Ascot over a distance of 1 mile 1 furlong and 212 yards, and it is scheduled to take place each year in June on the first day of the Royal Ascot meeting.
The Lancashire Plate was a flat horse race in Great Britain open to Thoroughbreds aged two years and over. It was run over seven furlongs at Manchester Racecourse in September from 1888 to 1893. It was one of the most valuable races in the country and its winners included Classic victors Seabreeze, Donovan and La Fleche.
The Sandringham Handicap is a flat handicap horse race in Great Britain open to three-year-old fillies. It is run at Ascot over a distance of 1 mile, and it is scheduled to take place each year in June on the fourth day of the Royal Ascot meeting. The race was called the Fern Hill Rated Stakes until 2001, and was part of the Ascot Heath meeting held on the Saturday after Royal Ascot. Prior to 2018 it was run as a Listed handicap but was downgraded by the British Horseracing Authority to comply with a new rule that no handicap race could carry Listed or Group race status.
The Hambleton Stakes is a handicap flat horse race in Great Britain open to horses aged four years or older. It is run at York over a distance of 7 furlongs and 192 yards, and it is scheduled to take place each year in May. Prior to 2018 it was run as a Listed handicap but was downgraded by the British Horseracing Authority to comply with a new rule that no handicap race could carry Listed or Group race status.
The John Smith's Silver Cup Stakes is a Group 3 flat horse race in Great Britain open to horses aged four years or older. It is run at York over a distance of 1 mile 5 furlongs and 188 yards, and it is scheduled to take place each year in July. Prior to 2016 it was run as a handicap race and before 2018 it was also open to three-year-olds. In 2018 it was upgraded to Group 3 status and restricted to four-year-olds and up as part of the European Pattern Committee's commitment to improving the race programme for stayers in Europe.
A handicap race in horse racing is a race in which horses carry different weights, allocated by the handicapper. A better horse will carry a heavier weight, to give it a disadvantage when racing against slower horses.