If you’re new to horse racing betting, understanding the grading system is an excellent way to figure out which races are the most important of the season. Horse racing is all about ensuring that racegoers receive the best possible sporting experience. So, to keep things interesting throughout the year, Flat racing assembles horses into categories. This can really help your understanding when betting on today’s race cards. So we’ve created a racing grading and classes guide to assist you!
A graded race is a form of horse race that classifies its quality. The top band of the hierarchy is divided into three grades: Grade 1, Grade 2, and Grade 3.
The top races in the United Kingdom and Ireland are run over hurdles and fences, with the most famous horses in British and Irish racing competing. Grade 1 is regarded as the highest racing class, but it does not imply that lower grades such as Grade 2 and Grade 3 aren’t competitive!
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is considered the most prestigious Grade 1 race, with thousands of spectators lining the stands each year. The Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, and Stayers’ Hurdle are just a few of the 14 Grade 1 races at the Cheltenham Festival, which also includes the Grand National.
Graduating to Grade 2 races is a step down from Grade 1 races, but they are still exciting to watch and bet on. Horses carry weight in Grade 2 events known as “weight-for-ages” since age or previous victories determine the range, but it is limited.
The Grand National is the most well-known Grade 3 race, regardless of whether or not you’re a horse racing enthusiast. This is a unique race in which 40 horses run over hurdles; however, other Grade 3 races are still worthwhile betting on.
Let’s begin with the Flat classifications. They range from Class 1 to Class 7 and are meant to provide a sense of racing quality to the runners.
- Class 1 ) Official Ratings 96+. Features Classics and subdivided into Groups 1, 2 and 3
- Class 2 – Official Ratings range from 86-100, 91-105, 96-110
- Class 3 – Official Ratings range from 76-90 and 81-95
- Class 4 – Official Ratings range from 66-80 and 71-85
- Class 5 – Official Ratings range from 56-70 and 61-75
- Class 6 – Official Ratings range from 46-60 and 51-65
- Class 7 – Official Ratings range from 0-45
There are also classifications for flat racing called “Group races.” These are the top-level competitions that all fall into Class 1. There are three groups, each with its own category (except for minor specialisations). Because a horse’s official rating does not contribute to the amount of weight they carry, it has no impact on their stamina. All they need is their raw speed and the ability to see them across the finish line.
The Classics are also classified as Class 1 Flat horses. They are actually Group 1 runs, which fall under the Class 1 category of Flat horse racing. They are the top five biggest Flat races of the year and attract a lot of interest from racing betting enthusiasts.