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Auction maiden is a horse racing term which specifies the horses to take part in a particular race. Maiden races in general are for horses who have, up to then, never won a race. An auction maiden race is defined by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) as a flat race restricted to two year old or to three year old Maiden horses which have been sold or bought in by public auction under the hammer at specified sales’. A flat race is a race which takes place over a set distance without fences.
Any bet which is made on a horse race has to take account of the type of race in question before any other aspect is considered. Whether the race is flat or over fences, and how long the race is, can have as much impact on the choice of horses to be backed as the form of the horses themselves. In the case of maiden races, none of the horses will have won a race before, meaning that it’s unlikely that any will be priced as a particularly strong favourite. The fact that the horses in an auction maiden race have to have been auctioned for below a specific price means that the overall quality of horse in the race will be set at a certain level. This may mean an auction maiden race is more suited to each way bets, since the chances of any individual horse having the pedigree to prompt the certainty of a place bet are much slimmer.
Given the relative inexperience of any of the horses taking place in an auction maiden race it’s wise to look for other factors when deciding which horse or horses to place a bet on. The most obvious of these is the pedigree of the horse itself – which is to say its ‘parentage’ – as well as the record of the stable for winning races with horses in their first race.