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Wednesday, 13 November, 2002, 21:21 GMT
National Hunt races
Action from the Martell Foxhunters' Chase at Aintree in 2002
A hunter chase is restricted to amateur riders
National Hunt races can be roughly divided into the following five categories: bumpers, novice hurdles, hurdles, novice chases and chases.

A chase involves larger, rigid fences while a hurdle race is run over shorter, more flexible obstacles.

A bumper is another term for a National Hunt Flat race.

These races are usually confined to four, five and six year olds who have not run on the Flat - and have not yet competed in jumping races.

The principal bumper of the year is run at the Cheltenham festival.

A novice is a horse who has not won a race under a particular code (hurdling or chasing) before that season.

There is nothing to stop novices running in normal hurdles or chases.

The last novice to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup was Captain Christy in 1974 while Alderbrook was still a novice when capturing the Champion Hurdle in 1995.

Another category of race is the hunter-chase.

These are confined to amateur riders and to horses that have hunted.


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