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Claiming Races







This Article was provided by Peter Walker the betting advisor at

Peter's specialty is claiming races.

Here he answers a few common questions on that particular niche of horse racing.



Q - Can you tell me what claiming races actually are?

A - A claimer is a race where each horse is put up to be claimed ( bought)
win or lose at a set price. The higher the price set, the more weight it
has to carry.

Q - Are there any sub divisions within the overall bracket of claiming

A - A claiming race can have conditions in terms of age and ratings, but
basically the trainer handicaps his own horse. Assume the top claiming
price is £10,000; if the trainer wants his horse to be claimed at no less
than that price he will accept top weight. The conditions of the claimer
will allow horses to carry less weight down the scale but for each drop in
weight the claiming price reduces.

Q - What is the situation after the race in terms of claiming horses from
other yards?

A - All the horses in a claimer can be claimed regardless if they win or
lose. That why a lot of trainers run older horses in them as they are
confident no one will want to buy an old horse. 11 year old KILKENNY kept
winning claimers and the trainer was shocked when someone claimed him after
one of these races. However, the claim proved sound as he won next time out
in a handicap.

There can be a lot of dead wood in claiming races as they are often used
simply as a way of getting runs into horse. If a still fit and useful horse
enters, it has major chance regardless of age or weight. However, recent
form is vital. It doesn't have to be winning form but if its run within a
few lengths in better handicap races, then back in claimers it would seem
to hold a sound chance.

Q - Is it normal for winners to be claimed or is it deemed to be "not the
done thing" amongst trainers?

A - Claiming races in the USA are more common and its fair game if your
horse is claimed. You are right - it is not considered sporting if you
claim an old family favourite, but in my opinion if you enter your horse in
a claimer, you have effectively put it up for sale at the claiming price
and it's fair if someone wants to buy it.

Q - What sort of angles will you be looking for when betting on claiming

A - It's all down to finding the right horse in the right race. Class,
fitness and trainer placements are everything in these types of races.
Also, one should beware of young horses entered who haven't had many runs
as they wouldn't put a horse that had potential in a claimer. Hype horses
are just the opposite of what you are looking for and sad old handicappers
who keep running well but are too high in the handicap to win handicaps are
the one to note dropped into claimers.

Peter Walker