What does handicap mean in horse racing?

In horse racing, a handicap is a method used to equalize the chances of horses with different abilities. A handicap race is a race in which horses carry different weights based on their past performance or perceived ability. The weight is assigned by the handicapper, who is responsible for assessing the horse’s form and potential and assigning a weight that they believe will make the race as competitive as possible.

The aim of the handicap system is to create a level playing field for all horses, so that every horse has an equal chance of winning the race. The better the horse’s past performance, the more weight it will carry in the race. The weaker the horse’s past performance, the less weight it will carry.

The idea behind the handicap system is to make the race as exciting and competitive as possible, with all horses having an equal chance of winning. The handicap system is commonly used in horse racing, especially in flat racing, and it is often seen as a fair and effective way to make races more competitive.