Horse Racing Questions

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We get asked lots of questions about horse racing every week. Some of them we explore in detail in our horse racing blogs, otherwise, we have answered some quick-fire questions below; they cover a whole range of subjects connected to the exciting world of racing!

If you have any questions you’d like us to answer drop us a message today.

Here the most popular horse racing questions:


Horse Racing Questions

What does SP mean in horse racing?

SP in horse racing stands for Starting Price, this is the odds that a racehorse is at the start of a race. These odds are what a punter will typically be paid at by a bookmaker, whether that is a UK betting shop, an online betting website or a betting app.

To find out more about starting price betting or betting odds in general, our blogs cover the subjects in more detail.

Is horse racing on today?

Horse racing in the UK happens on most days of the week, especially with the introduction of Sunday racing a few years ago.

Typically there is no racing on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day but apart from that, you will find British racecourses and Irish racecourses hosting meetings all year round.

To check out today’s racecards or tomorrow’s racecards, follow the links for more specific daily information.

What does nap mean in horse racing?

A “nap” in horse racing is a tipster’s best and most confident winning selection at a particular horse racing meeting; essentially is the horse that think is most likely to win out of all their selections for that day.

Sometimes it is also referred to as a “nap of the day”.

The term actually derives from the card game Napoleon!

How much does a racehorse weigh?

A racehorse weighs around 1000 pounds or 450kg, it obviously varies on the individual horse but those figures are the typical averages.

What does each way mean in horse racing?

An each-way bet in horse racing is basically betting on a horse to finish first or be placed in a race.

This type of bet is popular in big field races such as The Grand National, Ayr Gold Cup and competitive handicap races.

The number of places in each way betting is:

  • 4 or fewer runners – just the winner
  • 5 – 7 runners – winner and the second
  • 8 – 15 runners – winner, second and third
  • 16 runners or more – winner, second, third and fourth

Sometimes bookies offer generous extra placing and may out for more places.

What is a bumper horse race?

A bumper horse race is a National Hunt flat race. They are used by jumps trainers to give horses experiences of racing, before they progress to hurdles and steeplechase race.

Bumper races are run under National Hunt racing rules.

How does virtual horse racing work?

Virtual horse works on a computerised random number draw system.

The betting odds of the horses are created by having the horses with the shorter odds (the favourites) having more numbers in the draw than horses with higher odds. This reflects the theory that horses at shorter odds are more likely to win.

How fast do racehorses run?

Racehorses run at about 40 mph, this will obviously depend on the length of the race and natural ability.

Obviously, a horse running over a shorter sprint trip (such as the July Cup) will run faster than a jumps horse competing in the Welsh Grand National.

How do you read racehorse form?

To read racehorse form you will need to know the meaning of letters and numbers:

  • Numbers next to a horse indicate where it has finished in its previous races. 1 would mean first, 3 would mean third, 8 would be eight etc. A figure of 0 will means it finished 10th or worse
  • F – means the horse fell
  • U – means the horse unseated the jockey
  • P – means the horse pulled up and failed to complete the course
  • S – means the horse slipped on the flat
  • B – means the horse was brought down by another horse in the race
  • R – means the horse refused to race or refused to jump a fence

These numbers and figures will go from left to right, with the final figure on the right its last race and the other figures working back from that its other races.

For more information on how to read complex racecards check our dedicated page on today’s racecards or tomorrow’s racecards where we go into more detail.

Is horse racing fixed?

Horse racing is not fixed.

In all works of life there are people who will attempt to cheat but the horse racing regulatory boards across the world, including the BHA and the IHRB, are very strict and have rules, regulations and procedures in place to stamp out cheating.

Read more in our is horse racing fixed blog.

What is a handicap horse race?

A handicap horse race is a race where each horse is allocated a weight based on its ability. These weights are determined by official horse racing figures based on previous runs.

The aim of the horses carrying different weights is to equalise each horse’s chance of winning.

Weights are allocated in pounds and stones in the UK.

Handicap races take place on both the flat and over jumps.

Read more in our article what is a handicap horse race?

What is a novice race?

A novice race is a race for inexperienced horses. Novice races can take place over jumps or the flat.

The types of novice races are:

  • A novice hurdle – is a race for inexperienced hurdlers, typically in their first season of jumping.
  • A novice chase – is a race for a horse who is having its first season jumping larger chase fences.
  • Novice flat race – is for a horse who has not won more than two flat races or race which is classified as a Class 1 race

What is the oldest racecourse in the UK?

The oldest racecourse in the UK is Chester, it was established in 1539.

Find out more about Chester Racecourse today in our full guide and review.

What are the main racecourses in the UK?

Our favourite racecourse in the UK are:

Read more in our Top 10 UK Racecourses guide.

Who are the best two-mile Champion Chase winners?

The best two-mile Champion Chase winners are:

  • Altoir
  • Viking Flagship
  • Badsworth Boy
  • Flying Bolt
  • One Man
  • Moscow Flyer
  • Master Minded
  • Sprinter Sacre

Read more in our Cheltenham Festival guide and our Queen Mother Champion Chase review.

How many fences are jumped in the Grand National?

There are 30 fences jumped in The Grand National.

In total there are 16 fences per circuit for the Grand National course, 14 of which are jumped twice throughout the course of the race.

Find out more about The Grand National today, one of the biggest horse racing events in the world.

What does draw no bet mean?

In a sports betting market “Draw No Bet” means the elimination of the outcome of a draw on three-way markets.

This means that a punter can choose to bet on either a home or away win. You cannot bet on a draw.

What should I wear to the horse racing?

What you should wear to the racing depends on the racecourse and the fixture that you are going to attend. Some fixtures such as Royal Ascot will require you to dress more formally than an afternoons winter racing at Bangor Racecourse.

Some racecourses have dress codes but mainly you should always dress for the weather and something that you feel comfortable in.

Check out what to wear at the races tips.

How long is a furlong?

A furlong is 220 yards long.

Although typically measures in yards it is also 201 metres or 660 feet.

How many furlongs are there in a mile?

There are 8 furlongs in a mile.

What is the length of a horse race?

The lengths of horse races differ but the minimum racing distance is 5 furlongs and the maximum is 4 miles and 4 furlongs.

Races are run at all different distances in between.

What are the top betting sites?

The top betting sites in June 2024 are:

For more information read out top horse racing betting sites review.

How much are racehorses worth?

Racehorses are worth anything between £100 to millions of pounds. The worth of a racehorse is based on a number of factors:

  • Breeding
  • Previous racing experience
  • Future racing potential
  • Breeding potential

The majority of racehorses are sold at public auction such as Goffs and Tattersalls, they are valued and sold in Guineas.

How long is a length in horse racing?

A length in horse racing is typically 8 – 9 feet.

Lengths are the winning distances and distances between horses that are used to record finishing positions.

Is there horse racing on Good Friday?

There is racing on Good Friday.

It used to be one of two days when no racing took place, the other being Christmas Day, but now racing does sometimes happen on Good Friday.

What does “ran out” mean in horse racing?

Ran out in horse racing means that the horse (with the jockey on) ran off the main course.

This can be taking a wrong turning on a course or avoiding a jump.

What does void mean in horse racing?

Void in horse racing means that the bet on that horse is voided (cancelled), this will be for a legitimate reason.

In the case of a voided bet, all stakes will be automatically returned to the punter.

What horse races make up the Triple Crown?

The horse races that  make up the Triple Crown in American racing is:

The British Triple Crown is:

Where is Gulfstream horse racing?

The official address for Gulfstream horse racing is:

901 S Federal Hwy
Hallandale Beach
FL 33009

Are racehorses insured?

Some racehorses are insured, that decision is up to the owners.

As most racehorses are expensive it is an option that most owners tend to take up.

Do horses enjoy racing?

Horses enjoying racing, it is what they are bred for, enjoy and are trained for.

How do you join a racehorse syndicate?

You join a racehorse syndicate by contacting one directly and signing up to their terms and conditions.

With most racing syndicates you get to choose which horse you want to be part of, whilst some also have multi horses so you are part of a group of horses.

Find out more about the best horse racing syndicates.

When is the next big horse racing event?

The best way to find out when the next big horse racing event is to read our horse racing events page where we review all the major UK and international races.

Horse Racing Quiz Questions

If you are looking for some great horse racing quiz questions then our free guide has many great horse racing quiz questions. They are perfect for those who have limited or advanced knowledge of the sport and a mixture of fun and factual content!

What does bar mean in horse racing?

Bar is a phrase used when a horse does not show in the betting market.

A Bar Price is a price quoted for horses that aren’t individually showing, this means that horse is a larger betting odds than the ones shown.

How do you write out a betting slip for horse racing?

To write a betting slip for horse racing you:

  1. Pick up the type of slip you want, this will depend on the type of horse racing bet you want to place.
  2. Fill in your horse racing selection. In the case of a multiple bet such as a Yankee, Lucky 15, accumulator or Placepot etc, fill in the numerous selections.
  3. Enter the amount of want to bet (the stake).
  4. If betting in a betting shop hand the slip to a cashier.
  5. If betting online click BET NOW, or the equivalent.
  6. Sit back and watch the races!
  7. If you have won your online account will be automatically or if you have bet in a shop you go back to the cashier and collect your winnings.

Don’t forget to use our free bet calculator to work out what you have won.

What do the letters mean in horse racing form?

The letters in horse racing form stand for an event that happened to cause the horse not to finish the race, these are:

  • B – brought down
  • F – fell
  • P – pulled up
  • R – refused
  • S – slipped up
  • U – unseated the jockey

What does post time mean in horse racing?

Post time in horse racing means the start time of the race.

What is Tapeta in horse racing?

Tapeta is an artificial surface used in horse racing. Tapeta is made of silica sand, wax and fibres. It is meant to simulate the feel of turf.  Like most artificial surfaces it can handle wet weather very well.

Wolverhampton Racecourse has a Tapeta surface.

What is the best position in horse racing?

There is much debate about the best position in horse racing. Often it depends on the individual horse, the type of course, the racing conditions and the other competitors. For more information read our article on what is the best position in horse racing?

Does 4th place pay in horse racing?

4th position pays in horse racing in a race with more than 16 runners.

Sometimes bookmakers will do “each way extra” promotions where they pay more positions than the standard.

How old do horses have to be to race?

Horses can start racing on the flat from 2 years old.

Horses can start racing over jumps from 3 years old.

What does black-type mean in horse racing?

Black type in racing means that the horse has won or been placed in a race of high quality, these being either Listed or Group races.

What is steeplechase horse racing?

Steeplechase horse racing (sometimes just known as chase racing), is racing that place over large jumps made of birch and spruce.

Steeplechases are run over distances from 2 miles and upwards. The jumps include plain fences, water jumps and open ditches. The fences in chases are a minimum of 4½ feet (1.3m) high.

Chases do not use starting stalls as is the case in flat racing.

The most prestigious steeplechase is the Cheltenham Gold Cup, other races include the Grand National, bet365 Gold Cup, Clarence House Chase, Tingle Creek and the Coral Gold Cup.

Who regulates horse racing?

Horse racing in Britain is regulated by the British Horseracing Authority.

Where is the national horseracing museum located?

The national horseracing museum is in Newmarket, the official address is:

The National Horseracing Musuem
Palace St

What is BOG?

BOG stands for best odds guaranteed. This is an incentive offered by online bookmakers and means that a punter will be paid out at the best odds possible, whether that is a starting price (SP) or early price.

Find out more about best odds guaranteed bookies or check out the individual bookies below:

Can you live stream horse racing?

You can live stream horse racing from your mobile, tablet or PC as long as you have fulfilled the requirements of that online bookmaker.

Find out more about live horse race streaming in our article.

How many places in an 8 horse race?

There are 3 places paid in an 8 horse race.

What does pulled up mean in horse racing?

Pulled up in horse racing means that the horse didn’t finish the race. A horse is often pulled up after a mistake in a jumps race or it has no chance of winning in a flat race and has got too far behind the other runners.

Often a horse is pulled up to protect the horse from injury or it has sustained an injury in a race.

Summary of Horse Racing Questions

We hope that you have found the answer to any question you have about horse racing, if not drop us a message on social media and we will answer and add them here.

Many of these questions make great horse racing pub quiz questions, so if you are holding a quiz then feel free to use them!

All the bookmakers above are the leading UK and Irish bookmakers in June 2024.