Horse Racing – The Sport Of The Kings


For a long period of time, horse racing was thought to be exclusively the sport of the Royal House. Not anymore and not entirely true. Historical records prove that horse racing events were part of the Greek Olympics back in the BC time. The British claim their country is the home of modern horse racing. They were indeed the ones who recognized the value of this noble sport, formed the first Jockey Club ever (in 1750) and established standards, rules and regulations. This sport has traveled (together with the most popular subject: the British Crown) in all the territories they have colonized, finally reaching America as well.

In the United States, as well as around the world, many people consider horse racing as a fashionable pleasant sport. Many people participate to such events mainly consisting of betting on a horse because of several reasons: they are interested in earning money, having fun or admiring beautiful horses. But however attractive this activity may be for many inexperienced race fans, they still have to learn a few things to bet correctly on a horse. What people need to know is how to pick the future horse racing champion. They need to learn horse racing history, to familiarize with different horse breeds, racing categories, horse racing jargon and distinguish between different types of bets. These technical aspects are ignored by the largest part of the horse racing onlookers, but are passionately studied by horse devotees or ardent gamblers.

The horses running on the track in these racecourses are not common at all. Only certain horse breeds are physically capable of sprinting on either short or long distances maintaining a high speed at the same time. Race horses have been bred in Europe from a mixture of selected sires, including two Arab sires and a Turk sire, for only one purpose: to run. The most important horse breeds used in horse racing events are the Thoroughbred and the Quarter Horse. Each of these breeds has particular outstanding features, making them quite different in terms of physical aspect, temperament and strength.

The Thoroughbred is a refined and intelligent looking horse, able to carry a certain weight at a fairly constant high speed during long distance horse racing. Thoroughbreds have a hasty neck breaking temperament, thus not being recommended for beginner riders. On the other hand, the Quarter Horse has a kind and patient temperament, compatible with a variety of riders. Quarter Horses have thickly muscled bodies, which fully qualifies them for fast sprints on short distances. Knowing all these details about race horse breeds can make the difference when betting on a horse online or at a horse racing track. It is a good advice to navigate on for news and detailed information.

Any bettor or bystander should know that there are several types of horse racing: thoroughbred racing, harness racing and quarter horse racing, on long or short distance, flat or hurdled surfaces. Thoroughbred horse racing is the most popular type, in which the horse, mounted by a jockey, runs on flat tracks for distances up to two miles. In a harness type horse racing, a standard breed horse pulls a two-wheeled bike conducted by a driver over a one-mile course, distance on which it is not allowed to gallop or run as the couple horse-jockey is disqualified. Quarter horse racing is a short distance flat type, the shortest race being organized on a five furlong distance. Never heard of a furlong? Check this out: a furlong is one-eight of a mile, which means four furlongs is half of a mile, so five furlongs is a little longer than half a mile. You need to be good at mathematics! Don’t ask why they still use a furlong despite the international measuring system because everyone will say it is tradition.

Of course, different countries have diverse horse racing types or distances. Also, the going, the draw and the trip might show significant differences. The going refers to the state of the ground, which can be firm or softer, on flat dirt or grass surfaces. All these influence the performance of a horse during the race and those better on one type are rarely good on the others. The draw, designating the stall a horse comes out of, can make a win or a loss especially in short trips, while a trip is not a riding escapade, but the actual distance of the race.

Keeping all these basics in mind, you can let yourself drawn into the tumultuous life of bettors, also known in the world of horse racing as punters. When betting on a horse you should decide which type of bets to choose out of straight bets, exacta, quinella or sweep. In the States, bettors may claim a “double” if betting on a horse scheduled to run in the first two events of the day.