I have only recently developed an interest in Horse Racing – and was trying to understabd the handicapping system – which seems to have been covered a few times in these forums.
I have had a look at the BHR site – and also some of the info on the TurfTrax site. There are a couple of really simple things that I’m not sure about:
First – on Turftrax (for example) some races are labelled ‘Handicap’ and some are labelled ‘Weights’ – are the ‘weights’ races ones where the horses carry handicap weights ? (and are these the BHR rating weights) if so, what are the ones marked ‘Handicap’ ?
Second – having looked at the BHR rating tables – there are separate ratings for: flat, awt, chase and hurdle – so how would you know which (if any) of these were applied to a particular race ?
The term ‘weights’ isn’t one commonly used in racing, but it probably refers to races that are run at ‘weight for age’.
That effectively means the horses all carry the same weight, except that younger horses (2 and 3 years old) carry less weight than older horses based on a long standing scale that allows for their immaturity. In these races, the weight caried has nothing to do with the handicap system or the current handicap rating of the horses.
With regard to the different handicap ratings for flat etc, well in a flat race race on turf, the flat rating applies – in a flat race run on an AW track (e.g. Kempton, Lingfield), the aw rating applies, in a hurdle race it’s the hurdle rating and so on.
I suspect these answers will simply lead to more questions – feel free to ask and I’ll do my best to answer. If you are referencing something from another website, it would help to have a link that would allow me to see the same material.