Withdrawn Horses

A complex and controversial area with big differences between flat and jump racing. Horses are normally finally declared to run 48 or 24 hours before the race.

Once the final declarations are made there are limited circumstances where a horse can be withdrawn. The two most common are a vets certificate where a vet certifies the horse is not fit to run, the other is where there is a significant change in the going.

The most irksome is with reluctant horses at the start. However as I said there is a big difference between flat and jump racing.

With jump racing if a horse lines up with the others behind the tapes it is deemed to be under starters orders and therefore a runner in the race. If, when the tapes are raised, the horse takes no part in the race it is still deemed to be a runner and all bets on the horse are lost. Some horses do have a reputation for such antics and as a result the bookmakers often make them a longer price to factor in the possibility of them not starting, the advantage of this is if a horse does take part you could end up with a decent priced winner.

With flat racing it’s slightly different. If a horse refuses to enter the starting stalls it’s considered a withdraw horse and is treated as a non-runner. Bets are refunded and Rule 4 applies to the remaining bets. However if a horse enters the stalls but refuses to come out it is deemed to be a runner and all bets on the horse are lost.

There are those who argue, with some justification, that if a horse refuses to start a race for whatever reason it should be declared a non-runner.

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