KINGSTON, Jamaica - Quickgallop.com attempts to bring our readers closer to the sport of horse racing, by trying to explain, as best as is possible, the basic class system for horses in local racing.
1 - Usually when a horse (for purposes of this article — Horse A) races for the first time that horse does so in a maiden race.
2 - If successful, the winner of a maiden race moves on to non-winners of two; then non-winners of three and so on.
After three wins, it is now time for Horse A, if Horse A is a four-year-old or older, to enter the non-winners of three Other Than category — which is nothing more than a non -winners of four.
3 - Three-year-olds, after winning two races then go on to what is termed Restricted Stakes where they can win two races.
4 - After four wins – Horse A — whether, three- or four-years old and upwards — is entitled to race in what is probably the toughest grouping, at the moment, in local racing — Overnight Allowance.
5 - In this Overnight Allowance category — one or two wins are allowed.
Overnight Allowance is comprised of two levels — Non-Restricted Overnight Restricted Overnight.
A Restricted Overnight is designed for horses who have raced in Non-Restricted Overnight a minimum of two times without a win in that category.
Please note, the winner of a Restricted Overnight is allowed to race and win in a Non-Restricted Overnight, thereby, making for two wins in Overnight overall in these special cases.
A Non-Restricted Overnight event is simply an Overnight with no restrictions.
6 - If Horse A wins the one or two races in Overnight, it is on to Open Allowance where two wins within a SIX - MONTH period are allowed before reaching the top Grade One stage, which is essentially the “A” Class of old.
Note should be taken of the following:
A - If Horse A cannot win the one or two races in Overnight Company, that is Horse A cannot make the grade, then running in Claiming or Optional Claiming races is the only viable option.
B - If, however, Horse A moves to Open Allowance and is unsuccessful in winning any of the allotted two races, then after a FOUR-MONTH period in Open Allowance, Horse A can retreat to run in Overnight again.
C - If Horse A moves to Open Allowance and is successful in winning ONE of the allotted two races, then after a SIX-MONTH period in the category, Horse A can retreat to run in Overnight again.
D - There is a difference moving from Open Allowance to Grade One and back down.
If Horse A is good enough to win the two allotted races in Open Allowance in a SIX-MONTH period, thereby moving to Grade One after which there is a failure to find a victory in Grade One then to return to the Open category takes FOUR-MONTHS.
If Horse A is good enough to win the two allotted races in Open Allowance, thereby moving to Grade One and after a win is accomplished in Grade One then to return to the Open category takes SIX MONTHS.
If Horse A is good enough to win one Open Allowance race and then follows-up by winning a Grade One race, that victory in Grade One is treated as an Open Allowance victory, thus making for two wins in Open Allowance.
MORE SPECIAL NOTES — A maiden foreign horse, three years and over starts against local horses at the non-winners of two level, and then progresses up the classes like the local horses.
A foreigner who wins one race before racing in Jamaica can enter a non-winner of three race and so on.
A maiden foreign horse age two years is allowed to race against local two-year-old maidens.