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Understanding Class Of Races In Hong Kong

Horse racing in Hong Kong is quite neat and orderly as horses are rated on a sliding scale. In other words every horse that races in Hong Kong has a number rating associated with it. The lower the rating the less quality is associated with that animal, a high rating means a high quality racehorse. An example would be that a horse with a 39 rating would have much less ability than a runner rated 81.

Every race in Hong Kong is rated by class. Class 1 & premier class races are the highest. With class 5 being the lowest quality animals. A class 3 event would be somewhere in the middle.

Nearly every race in Hong Kong is a handicap event which means that horses are weighted according to their ability. This means that the horse with the highest rating in the race will carry the most weight. With the lowest rated runner carrying the least amount of weight. The amount of weight is set by the track handicapper who keeps tabs on all horses and continues to rate them on each performance they turn in.

 This makes racing in Hong Kong very competitive and therefore entertaining. The weights carried can be much more significant than in the United States. Top horses can often be weighted around 130 +, while lower quality horses in the same race may only have to carry around 115. The exception to the handicap weights are in stakes races where the runners all carry the same amount of weight.

There is one more class of races in Hong Kong. They are the Griffin events, a Griffin race is basically equivalent to a maiden race in the United States. They are for horses who have never won a race before. A Griffin is defined in Hong Kong as a horse that is imported to Hong Kong unraced.

Now you may have a better understanding of the classes and how they work in Hong Kong.

Below I teach you how to read the class & horse ratings.


 RACE 4 - 2:30 p.m.

 Ratings 52 - 32 : 1200 Metres


No    Horse         Brand No   Rider            Wt    Rtg  Draw

1  COOL SWING  (B364) D Whyte      132     (52)  6

2  PLENTY OF SURPRISE (B395) S K Sit 132     (52)  4

3  A CANDY          (B190) M Cahill       131     (51)  8

4  PAR AVION        (V220) S Dye          131     (51) 13

5  MUNDAHISH (T250) M W Leung(-5)  129     (49)  3

6  WONDERFUL WIN  (A159) G Mosse   129     (49)  2

7  SPORT SEEKER     (B250) W Woods    127     (47)  1

8  BOXING DAY          (A284) Y T Cheng 124     (44) 12

9   SIR TIMAH           (T063) F Coetzee      124     (44)  9

10  WINNING PARADE (A283) A Marcus 124     (44)  7

11  SPEEDY CHAMPION (T264) C Williams 122 (42) 14

12   ASIA STAR       (A264) B Fayd'herbe   121+    (34) 10

13   HAPPY ECLIPSE (V188) K K Lai(-10) 117    (37)  5

14   A RUN OF LUCK  (V055) K C Tsang   113     (33) 11

The class for each race is specified. This race is the Endeavour Handicap, it is a Class 4 race. This means that the race is only for Class 4 horses. Horses eligible to run are between Ratings of 52 - 32. The rating for each horse is listed under the column marked Rtg.

As you can see the horses are assigned weights according to their rating. For example horse #2 Plenty Of Surprise is rated 52. He is assigned a weight of 132.

While horse #14 A Run Of Luck being rated only 33 is only assigned a weight of 113. So #2 Plenty Of Surprise being a higher rated horse is forced to carry more weight in a handicap event. by Kerry Zangara