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Types of Races

Common Race Types Description
Group Group 1, 2 and 3. The highest class of race.
Listed Just below group class.
Rated Stakes Valuable handicaps with a 10 to 14lb weight range.
Classified Stakes Races with a max rating for horses that have run at least 3 times, or run twice and won at least once.

Handicap
Races where the weight a horse has to carry is determined by the official handicapper. The better the horse, the higher its handicap rating. A horse can only run in races where the max rating is higher or equal to its rating.
Nursery Handicap for 2yo horses only.
Maiden Handicap For 3yo+ maidens with a max rating of 70 that have run at least 4 times.
Maiden For horses that have never won.
Novice For 2yos that have not won more than twice.
Selling For low class horses. The winners are offered for auction. Any other runner can be claimed too.
Claiming Each horse is allocated a weight according to the claiming price determined by the connections. The lower the weight, the lower the claiming price. Any horse can be claimed after the race.
Apprentice Races for apprentice jockeys only.
Novice (NH) Chase or hurdle race open only to horses which have not won that type of race before the start of the current season.
Hurdle In this race, the jumps are smaller and more flexible than those in the Chase, and they are a minimum of three and a half feet high. Courses are between two miles and three and a half miles long.

Chase or Steeplechase
This race has larger and more rigid fences than the other types of races. Fences are a minimum of four and a half feet high and the race is between two miles and four and a half miles long. The most prestigious Chase event is the Grand National.
National Hunt Flat These races are flat races held under National Hunt rules so as to give inexperienced jumping horses experience of racing without any jumps. These races are between two and two and a half miles long and are informally known as Bumper races.