When a horse runs outside of the handicap it means that it cannot run off the correct weight for its official rating in the class it runs in.

For example, in a race, say the top weight is Rocky Two who has a handicap mark of 68.

The conditions of the race state that the top weight runs off 9st 7lbs and that the minimum weight a horse can run off is 8st 2lbs.

Another runner, Spats Columbo, runs off a mark of 47.

Theoretically he should run off a weight 21lbs lighter than Rocky Two (68 – 47 = 21), but that would mean he would be carrying 8st 0lbs.

So the fact he has to carry 8st 2lbs means that he is 2lbs wrong, or 2lbs outside the handicap.

Allison is the Publisher of Eclipse Magazine. She loves going to the Races and is learning to bet (despite being officially the worst bettor in the History of the Universe), there's a lot more to learn...

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