Horse racing is a fast-paced sport that has been around for almost two centuries. It is played in many countries worldwide, including Great Britain, France, Belgium, Hungary, Canada and Asia. The history of horse racing dates back to the Greek Olympic Games in 700 BC, when riders competed both in four-hitched chariots and mounted bareback races.
The sport of horse racing has evolved significantly over the years. In recent decades, new technologies have impacted the racetrack and the horse industry in numerous ways. Some of these innovations include thermal imaging cameras, MRI scanners, X-rays and endoscopes to spot health conditions before they progress into serious problems. X-rays and 3D printing also enable the creation of casts, splints and prosthetics for horses that have broken bones or are unable to walk freely after a race.
A horse’s form is a key factor in handicapping a race. This information is displayed in figures (and letters) next to a horse’s name on a race card. The figure represents how the horse has performed in similar races over a given distance and time.
For instance, a horse with form figures of 1 or 2 is said to be in top form. This is a good sign that the horse will win or place well in the race.
The term is also used to describe a horse that is close to the lead early on in a race. However, the term does not mean that a horse has to win the race, only that he is close to the lead at the beginning of the race and may gain ground on the leaders with each stride.
This term can be confusing, as it can be applied to a number of different things. For example, a horse that has a good lead but begins to fade midway through the race can be described as JUST LASTED. In other words, he has gained ground on the leaders but not enough to overcome them.
In a number of instances, the term can also be applied to a horse that is closing ground with every stride, particularly at the stretch. As with JUMPED TRACKS, this term is sometimes used to describe a horse that is leaving its feet and jumping shadows that cover the track from time to time.
Another term that can be confusing, this is a term that can be applied to a horse that appears to get untracked and then disappears. This can be a problem in a number of circumstances, including when the horse is running very slowly or if it is running on an off track.
Often used to describe a horse that is in contention during the race but does not respond to a jockey’s requests for a change of direction. This term is also used to describe a horse in the lead that appears to be drifting or swerving from side to side.
The terms above are just a few of the many that can be used to describe a horse’s performance in a race. They can be interchangeable with a number of other terms, including NO THREAT, NO FACTOR, FAILED TO MENACE and TRAILED THROUGHOUT.