As a horse racing enthusiast, you’ll likely be familiar with the term ‘whee l’. If not, the ‘whee l’ may be new to you. It is short for ‘wheeling’, which is the process of a racehorse turning or rotating at the end of a race. The term comes from the practice of racing on large circles, or ‘wheels’, which is now a popular form of betting in the UK and beyond.
Unlike some sports where ‘homers’ are largely unknown, the term ‘wheeler’ in horse racing is fairly common – and it carries a specific meaning. A ‘wheeler’ is a horse that completes at least five circuits of the track in the allotted time. It’s often used as a measure of a horse’s fitness or race-readiness, particularly in handicap races. As well as being a popular way to bet, racing on wheels also makes for some exciting television.
In an attempt to simplify handicapping and get more accurate readings in race-times, many track and race-surfaces have adopted electronic timing systems. These systems, which are generally race-specific, calculate a horse’s average speed over the race and provide an accurate representation of how a horse performed throughout the entire duration of the event.
While most importantly a way of measuring a horse’s performance, the term ‘whee l’ has also become synonymous with betting against the favourite in a horse race. When the favourite is pre-determined, as in certain national sports halls of fame like the Cheltenham or Ascot, you’re really only betting on whether or not the form will hold true. If the favourite does indeed come in at its published price, you’ll have little chance of losing your money. However, if the favourite falls short of expectations, you’ll have backed the wrong horse. In the UK alone, there are over 70,000 registered race-horses, and this number is constantly expanding. There are also hundreds of race-meetings and carnivals across the globe every year, which provide amateur and professional riders alike with the opportunity to show off their talent and earn some extra cash.
Why Are You Betting On Wheels?
Whether you’re a seasoned sports fan or are just getting involved in gambling for the first time, you’ll likely have heard of the unique appeal of betting on wheels. The simplicity of placing a wager and watching the action unfold on a large display is both intriguing and addictive. Plus, you’re constantly reminded that you’re “betsting against the favourite”, which puts a pleasant spin on any lose-faith experience.
The number of people that regularly engage with and bet on horse racing is on the rise, and with good reason. There is a wealth of opportunities for those that have the passion and drive to follow racing in one way or another. Whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast or simply want to dip your toe in the water, you’re sure to have fun.
Why Do They Call It A ‘Whee L’?
If you’ve ever been to a horse race and watched it unfold in real-time, with each lap represented by a large spinning wheel or ring, you’ll know exactly what a ‘whee l’ is. As the wheels spin, the riders guide their horses in a counter-clockwise direction for the first half of the race and then switch their direction to clockwise for the final leg. This is called a ‘counter-clockwise loop’, or simply ‘CC loop’. It is a measure of a horse’s performance that the amount of times it travels around the track in a counter-clockwise direction.
The term ‘whee l’ is also used as a general term for the counter-clockwise loops that a horse completes. For example, a horse may travel around the track once, in a counter-clockwise direction, but the term ‘whee l’ would still be used to reference that particular lap.
How Long Does It Take To Be A ‘Wheeler’?
The length of time it takes for a horse to complete five or more counter-clockwise loops around the racetrack determines if it is a ‘wheeler’. Depending on the surface, it can take anywhere from three to seven and a half minutes to travel around a quarter of a mile. The more experienced and fit the horse, the more quickly it can complete a full circuit. Hence, why this measurement is used as a gauge of a horse’s fitness and ability.
When Do You Use The Word ‘Catch’?
In addition to measuring a horse’s performance, the term ‘whee l’ also represents the point at which the race is fixed in the participants’ minds. In the UK, we use the term ‘Catch Point’ to describe the point at which the race-course is made known to the public. Most tracks and betting firms will have specific dates and times for this to happen, hence the popularity of betting on wheels around these parts. In Ireland, it’s known as the ‘Declaration of Racing’, while the Australian sporting scene uses the term ‘post time’ to describe the point at which the betting slips are tallied and the race is officially over. This way of thinking is reflected in other parts of the world too, with the Japanese having a hand in both golf and soccer, using the word ‘shinji’ to represent the moments just before and after the race-clock stops ticking.
What Do The Japanese Mean By ‘Shinji’?
If you’ve ever watched any form of Asian gaming, where bets are placed and won on a roll of the dice or a spin of the wheel, you’ll know exactly what ‘shinji’ means. The word is used throughout Japan’s national sport of ‘pachinko’, which is played using metal balls and springs. The game was first played in Japan for religious reasons during the 11th century and later evolved to include gambling and the use of modern day methods of payment. Due to its increasing popularity in the UK and other parts of Europe, many ‘wheeler’ tracks now offer online betting and betting exchanges, making it much easier to place a wager wherever you are. Some countries, like Belgium, also limit the maximum win-amount that can be staked on each individual spin of the wheel. While this may not sound like it would be that important, when you’re talking about thousands of pounds, the little things can end up making a massive difference.
Do You Have To Be At The Races To Place A Wager?
In most cases, you’ll need to be at the races to place a wager. However, there are instances where you can place a wager from home. Most major betting agencies offer in-play betting, where you can place a wager while a race is still being run. For instance, if you’re watching a horse race that started 30 minutes ago, you can generally still place a bet. However, this will likely be restricted to bigger sports and the major UK and Irish bookmakers. In the UK, you’ll also need to use an official coupon to make the wager, as some betting agencies will not allow this.
What Is The Difference Between Skilled And Unskilled Horse Racing?
Horse racing can be broken down into two distinct categories; skilled and unskilled. When we think of horse racing, the first image that typically comes to mind is of jockeys, wearing bright colours and performing graceful moves on their mounts to guide them around the track. However, a jockey is only a part of the story. There is also the role of the groom, who looks after the horse’s daily needs, and the saddle-maker, who crafts the bespoke pieces of leather worn by the jockey. Without the skilled assistance of these individuals, the sport would not continue to exist.
Many people are under the misconception that only skilled jockeys can ride well. While it’s true that some jockeys are born with an inborn ability, the reality is that most develop this skill through intensive training and experience. In fact, the majority of jockeys in training are not even expected to make it to the starting line as a jockey – they begin their working life as an apprentice, learning the trade from the ground up.
Horse racing can also be classified as skilled or unskilled based on the type of horse used for the game. It is widely accepted that there is no substitute for experience when it comes to riding a thoroughbred, as these are the true aristocrats of the equine world. While many people enjoy the thrill and excitement that comes with backing the proverbial ‘long shot’, it’s important to remember that winning in the handicap division of a horse race is all about the breed of the horse. Getting a top-class horse will undoubtedly make you a better rider, but putting it all into practice will take some time.