Have you ever bet on races from Hong Kong with an online racebook? If so, you have probably noticed that there are many classes of races in Hong Kong. These range from Premier to Class 5. The six classes of Hong Kong horse races are meant to be a reflection of a horse’s overall ability.

You’ll need to understand a bit about the different classes if you want to succeed at Hong Kong horse racing betting. Class evaluation is one of the primary factors in handicapping horse races and picking winners. Here at Ez Horse Betting, we will cover just that!

About Horse Racing Classifications

Let’s begin by discussing horse racing classifications in general. These observations are true in most countries where horse racing events are held. Class is a general reflection of a horse’s talent and the races in which it should be competing. History has validated this method of weighing horses against one another.


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History has also chosen to assign class with two primary methods. The first of these is wins. A horse that has won more events is generally classed higher than a horse with fewer victories. Horses with no victories at all are considered to be unproven. They remain so, competing against other maidens (horses without a win), until they achieve that first victory.

The other method of determining class at most horse racing tracks is earnings. Horses that have earned more money are given a higher class. Some races may be restricted to horses that have earned so much in one year.

If class in horse racing were as cut-and-dried as all that, life would be good for the handicapper. Class is subjective. It is often disregarded by trainers and owners who feel their horse is more talented than it actually is. It is sometimes manipulated by owners and trainers that are looking to pick up an easy win and a nice payday.

The class drop angle has long been a favorite among handicappers all over the world. In this betting angle the bettor looks for horses that are taking sharp drops in class. Perhaps the horse has been competing well against stakes level horses. Now, it is entered against allowance runners. This can be a sign that there is a health issue, or the trainer and owner can simply be trying to snatch an easy purse.

There are some rules put in place by racing jurisdictions that seek to prevent this type of thing.

Here is an individual look at the six classes of Hong Kong horse races.

Premier Class

The Premier Class in Hong Kong horse racing is reserved for the very best horses on the race track. These are horses that you would expect to see in the Triple Crown series in America. Indeed, some of them may have competed in that series before they arrived in Hong Kong to continue their careers.

According to the Sha-Tin Racecourse website, Hong Kong race horses are rated on a sliding scale. The higher the number, the more talented the horse. Premier Class horses would be at the top of the scale, scoring 90 or higher. Compare that with Class 1 animals who are rated in the 25-30 range.

In American horse racing handicappers sometimes rely on speed figures to accomplish the same purpose. A horse with a low speed rating would be considered of lower class than one with a high rating. You would not likely see a horse with a 35 speed figure running against a horse with a 100 speed figure.

Classes 1-5 in Hong Kong Racing

Class 1 horse racing in Hong Kong would be the level just below the Premier Class. After this, the class levels begin to decline along with the talent of the horses in each class. Class 1 animals are regarded as the best on the track.

Beginning with Class 2 the talent of race horses in Hong Kong descends until it reaches the Class 5 level. At Class 5 the races showcase the least talented animals on the track. These races would be equivalent to the claiming ranks that we see on the American horse racing tracks.

There is another class of horse race race in Hong Kong that is not usually grouped among the other six. This is the Griffin class. The Griffin class is for horse that have never won a race in their career. It is the same as a maiden class of race in the United States.

The Purposes of Hong Kong Horse Racing Classes

In Hong Kong races the purpose of classification is to allow for fair and competitive racing. This means that horses of similar abilities can be grouped together. In all sports there is classification. That is why we have professional sporting events in addition to amateur contests. Classification is what college football teams do not compete against high school football teams.

Without classes in Hong Kong races, handicapping would be virtually impossible. The most talented horse would be easy to spot, and there would be little or no betting action on the other horses. To make things fair, a system of classification must be used.

Evaluating Class for Hong Kong Handicapping

As a handicapper, how do you go about evaluating class in Hong Kong horse racing? You begin by looking within each class to see which horses stand out.

For example, a horse that has been getting close to a win in a certain class is usually a good bet. That horse can be an even better bet when it makes the drop to the class just below the one in which it has been competing.

Watching for class drops is just one way to evaluate class. You can also compare the lifetime earnings of horses within a certain class. A horse with more earnings is one that has won more races consistently throughout its career. Such a horse can be worth a wager today.

Are you ready to watch and wager on Hong Kong horse racing? If so, check out our recommended online racebooks. You can receive free past performances and more when you sign up, and you may also qualify for bonus cash just for signing up. You can check out AmWager, Bovada, Twinspires or 5dimes.

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