UK Horse Racing's Ratings
The stall number, if given, indicates from which starting stall, or gate, the horse starts from.
The stalls are only used on flat racing, either on the turf or the all-weather. Sometimes, for various reasons, stalls aren't used and instead a flip tape is used as in the National Hunt racing.
Whilst this practice of a flip tape is used continually in National Hunt racing it is nonetheless considered not very satisfactory in flat racing and is, thankfully, a rare occurance.
The numbering of the stalls was changed in 2011 so that the stalls on the inside of the tracks were given the lowest number. The idea was to prevent confusion between other racing countries: confusion where none existed and all it finished up with people here in the UK being utterly lost by these new improvements which were supposed to be a simplification. Now no-one at a racecourse can understand what's going on beccase which is the 'inside' of a figure of eight course or a straight course?
Until the flat season of 2011 the stall positions were numbered so that the stall on the side of the course nearest to the stand is number one. The stall on the rail furthest away from the stands has the highest number.
The stall position can have a massive effect on a race and some races in some courses can have a massive stall bias whereas other races may not.
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