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Horse racing fans all around the world will have a different style in which they will prefer, National Hunt or Flat Racing - two very different forms of racing. To the regular uninterested outsider of horse racing, the sport is the same regardless. There are many differences between the two, but which is better?
Jumps racing commences at the beginning of October, through the wet and winter months and reaches its climax at Sandown at the end of April. From then on, the official flat calendar begins with the first classic of the season - 2000 Guineas, through the warm summer and concludes at Champions Day in October.
They both test different parts of a horse’s racing calibre. Flat stars are usually faster and shorter, rewarding sprinters and middle-distancers, while National Hunt’s many jumps and longer distances make it suited to horses that excel at endurance and stamina. Inevitably, the runners have different characteristics in National Hunt and flat races.
Flat-track specialists come with larger fore-quarters which make them quicker over shorter distances than the jumps, however it comes at a cost as they are significantly less robust and most of them will reach the heights of their abilities between the ages of three and four. The most successful horses are then sent to the stud house to create the next generations superstars.
Meanwhile, National Hunt horses are more sturdy and prosperous, racing for longer, and usually reach peak between the ages of seven and ten.
This is a great unique selling point for jumps racing as horses therefore run for a longer period of time resulting in punters being able to build a connection with individual horses.