UK Horse Racing Course History
The exciting discipline of British horse racing dates back to the roman chariot racing, held at the amphitheaters in order to entertain the masses and determine the great racers then the lesser ones.
Rome was also a factor in the development of British horse racing as roman soldiers introduced the concept of horse racing to Great Britain in Yorkshire at around 200 AD, though the first formal recorded horse racing event took place in London around the end of the 12th century, in the days of Henry II.
The Different Types Of Courses
As the field of horse racing grew, the need for the UK horse courses became only natural.
Today, there are 60 horse racing courses in the UK which populate the two types of racing: National Hunt, in which horses are required to jump over obstacles referred to as hurdles, and Flat racing which present no hurdles or fences but rather a flat, clear, predetermined distance race course. Some courses are exclusively Flat, some National Hunt and some are mixed courses, hosting both types of racing. Both course types and races generate enormous activity in betting on UK horses, each contributing its different aspects of a course length, grade and conditions to the speculating of estimated winning and odds.
National Hunt Course and Race
Though considered less glamorous then the Flat race, National Hunt is still as popular. Its main season is winter, when conditions meet to allow an optimal racing experience, as the Flat race events decrease and the wet ground makes it easier jumping over the hurdles or fences and landing back on the ground. This race is more about the horse’s endurance and athletic capabilities together with its jockey’s ability to coordinate the horse for a proper hurdle jump. Also, most horses competing the race on the National Hunt horses are castrated and therefore don’t retire at the age of 4 or 5 like the flat race horses and since they have no breeding value, they are cheaper. There are 24 National Hunt horse courses in the UK alongside 18 mixed horse courses in the UK, which host both types of races.
Within the National Hunt racing category lies three types of races:
Chase: 2 to 4.5 miles long, over “fences” that must have a minimum height of 4.5 feet.
Hurdling: 2 to 3.5 miles long, over “hurdles” that must have a minimum height of 3.5 feet.
National Hunt Flat race: 1.5 to 2.5 miles long, intended for horses yet to compete in Flat or jumps race. Usually referred to as Bumper races.
Flat Course and Race
The Flat course is another type in the UK horse racing courses. It is a no obstacle course that runs over from 5 furlongs (about 1km) to over two miles. The course is usually oval and is surfaced with either natural turf or synthetic (all season) turf when natural turf is commonly used in Europe, and synthetic turf is commonly used in the US and Canada.
There are 18 Flat horse courses in the UK alongside 18 mixed horse courses in the UK, which host both types of races. The flat race is actually a series of different races which are conditions races, handicap races and classics races.
Horse Racing In the Media
As one of the most popular recreational activities in the UK, if not the most popular, horse racing in the UK is widely covered on TV, newspapers and online sources forming a rich, vast horse racing news coverage of results, going reports, statistics analysis and tips and horse racing videos for missed races or for statistics and handicapping purposes.
Betting on UK horses Racing
Both types of courses host many events throughout the year and horse betting in UK horses racing is an non separable part of the experience in and around the courses. There is a racebook to be found at any course and even online for placing bets at the comfort of your home. The courses facilities and condition have a huge effect on the final results of the race. Betting on UK horses racing should be based on the analysis of the horse’s and jockey’s performance and statistics, as well as the courses conditions.