UK Horse Racing's Race Class
One of the things which we pride ourselves on is that we're different to almost everyone else. To produce UK Horse Racing's ratings we started from the very beginning and threw out all of the metrics and preconceptions and started afresh. Some we re-introduced and some we got rid of as we found them to be totally flawed.
One of the things which we threw out was the BHA's (formerly the BHB) idea of Race Class. We have given a brief explanation of why their reasoning is flawed in our Ratings Race Information page.
Our premise is that a class, or quality, of a race is composed only of those taking part. The BHA have an impossible job in classifying a race because they have to say what class it is before the entrants are known.
So they are really forced into lumping races in broad collections and call each lump Class A, Class 1 or whatever they call it these days. In fact we don't know what the current classification system is because we think that it's utterly flawed so when the race classes were to be changed we didn't even bat an eyelid.
Our favourite explanation of this is that if myself and my chum decide to throw a party and we invite a load of those talentless oafs from the X-Factor shows, that woman from the Iceland adverts and a few other pointless celebs then the party is certainly going to be a low class affair. If we then decided to have a second party but then invite the likes of Robert De Niro, Rhys Ifans and Squeeze, Christopher Walken, Robert Plant and Eric Clapton then this is what the BHA would describe as a top class party. But, the thing is that these top celebs may not (actually, they certainly won't wish to come) and if we end up with the same group of useless celebs as before then the party is no classier than before.
So, for us, class depends solely on who is running in a race.
In times before personal computers people would manually try to gauge class on the the prize money offered. Yes, one could do that, but we still think that the class of a race is just an distillation of those who take part and not those invited.