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|Introduction to Marathon|
|Marathon races are very similar to regular flat races. The primary difference is that marathon races are 14, 16, and 18 furlongs and only for horses who are 4 years old or older. Marathon horses all have a distance range of 14-18 furlongs. Marathon races are also open breed races, but only including Goldblood or Thoroughbreds.|
Unlike all of the standard distances, no horses are born with a preference for marathons. It is something a horse can be retrained for anytime after they turn 4. Every horse is eligible to transition to marathon.
Marathon races are held at the standard tracks (on both dirt and turf) and use your standard flat jockeys. There are marathon divisions within the World Championship Festival, which are the second highest paying divisions after the Classics. Marathon horses also have their own series races in the form of the Crusader's Challenge.
|Transitioning to Marathon|
|A horse must be at least 3 years of age and 90% maturity before they can be trained for Marathon, and must be at least 4 years old before they can be entered in a marathon race. It is a permanent change, but useful in many ways.|
In addition to making the horse eligible for a new group of races, it will also give them a new favorite distance within their new range, has a chance to increase their athleticism, increase their Longevity, and add approximately one year to their Prime. Because of the Longevity/Prime bonus, transition to marathon races can be great for older horses that are low on Longevity or declining in Peak. This can be used as a way to extend a horse's racing career by a year or more.
|Introduction to Steeplechase|
|Like marathons, steeplechases (SC) are a type of race that is not available at birth, but can be trained for. Also like the marathon races, they are also open breed races that only include Goldblood or Thoroughbreds.A horse must be at least 3 years of age and 90% maturity before they can be trained for steeplechase racing, and must be at least 4 before they can be entered in a steeplechase race. |
Steeplechase is offered at a variety of grades, 20 to 24 furlongs, and only on turf. The races are held every meet, but since steeplechase takes more energy than a regular race and many steeplechasers are older horses, they may race slightly less often than flat racers. There are Gold Cup and World Championship Festival steeplechase races held each year in all the usual divisions. However, horses who transition to Timber (explained below in the 'Endurance' section) have their own series races in the form of Timber Tournaments.
In addition, points earned through SC races count towards stud eligibility requirements and other point-based awards/achievements!
Allowance steeplechase entries earn you 6 Golden Apples instead of 2!
|Transitioning to Steeplechase|
|Training a horse for SC has quite a few benefits. First, it will improve your horse's Longevity (to a maximum of 40 possible races). Secondly, it will add over a year's worth of Prime. It also has a chance to increase their athleticism. Last, but certainly not least, your horse will reroll all of their maximum stats, for better or worse earning new maximum potential. A horse who is a 10 potential could possibly go up to 50+ potential if they have high Jump and steeplechase stat genes. This is an excellent option for aging horses that could still be money earners in the SC realm, and also for stud prospects who just aren't earning points on the flat.|
Once trained for SC, a horse can never return to flat or marathon racing. If their potential happens to go down because they had poor Jump genes and/or steeplechase stat genes, it will remain lower even after retirement. This change in potential will have no impact on the flat racing ability of their foals, since foal potential is not at all derived from their parent's potential. However, the change will impact their future as a workout buddy (if they are a gelding), as their SC potential will be what is used.
After transitioning, most SC horses will have to spend a period of time training up their new stats (if they maxed higher than they did originally). However, if your horse runs in and completes them resulting in a recorded PR in at least 10 marathon races, their stats will automatically max when they transition to SC. For this reason, it's a great idea to transition your SC prospects to marathon as 4 year olds, race a few times, and then transition to SC at the end of their 4 year old racing season.
All steeplechase horses will learn turf as if they have a ‘Strong’ turf bias. This means that there is no downside to transitioning a horse who has a stronger preference for dirt or low preference for turf. This will apply to all training types that impact surface.
|Introduction to Driving Trials|
|Standardbreds can be transitioned to Driving, which works exactly like Jumping does for TBs/GBs. The exception to this is that the Endurance gene does not come into play and there is only one division of Driving races.|
A horse must be at least 3 years of age and 90% maturity before they can be trained for driving, and must be at least 4 years old before they can be entered in a driving race. Races are held at all flat tracks in each month and are always Trotting races.
|Transitioning to Driving Trials|
|Much like steeplechase, driving trials have similar benefits. Transitioning to Driving will improve your horse's Longevity and it will also add over a year's worth of Prime. Your horse will also reroll all of their maximum stats, for better or worse earning new maximum potential. A horse who is a 10 potential could possibly go up to 50+ potential if they have high driving and driving stat genes. This is an excellent option for aging horses that could still be money earners in the DT realm, and also for stud prospects who just aren't earning points on the flat. Also much like Steeplechase transitioning, if your horse runs in and completes them resulting in a recorded PR in at least 10 races, before transitioning their stats will automatically max when they transition to Driving.
Once trained for DT, a horse can never return to flat racing. If their potential happens to go down because they had poor Driving genes and/or driving stat genes, it will remain lower even after retirement. This change in potential will have no impact on the flat racing ability of their foals, since foal potential is not at all derived from their parent's potential. However, the change will impact their future as a workout buddy (if they are a gelding), as their DT potential will be what is used.
All driving horses will learn trot as if they have a ‘Strong’ trot bias. This means that there is no downside to transitioning a horse who has a stronger preference for pace or low preference for trot. This will apply to all training types that impact surface.
|Stat Genes, Jump & Driving|
Steeplechase aptitude is genetic and is based upon the Jump gene and steeplechase stat genes.
Steeplechase Stat Genes are the main genes that determine how well your horse will handle steeplechase races. Jump genes are also important and can improve or harm a horse's aptitude for steeplechase. Although you cannot see the Stat Genes for SC, if both a sire and dam had very high SC stats (when transitioning in Y43 or later), their foals have a strong chance to have high SC stats as well. Because these genes are so straightforward, with no influence from other genetics, Bloodline, or Producer Quality, it is very easy to focus on breeding steeplechase horses if you know (or can estimate) the steeplechase abilities of your breeding stock.
Driving Trial Stat Genes and the Driving Gene act in a similar way to the above but for Standardbreds only.
|Endurance is a gene that determines if a horse has enough stamina to run Timber races, or only Hurdle. Hurdle chases are chases with smaller jumps on easier terrain. Timber chases have larger, more difficult jumps and varied, challenging topography. Horses with low Endurance genes can only run in Hurdle races. Horses with higher endurance genes can choose between Hurdle and Timber Races. Once you select a division, a horse is locked into that division for the rest of their career. Both divisions have GC and WCF races, and Timber divisions have the Timber Tournament series.|
|Tracks & Jockeys|
There are six racetracks created only for the purpose of hosting steeplechase races - three in each region. (You can view these tracks from the Racetracks page.) Marathon races do not have their own tracks. Steeplechase tracks do not have the standard oval track, but have turf steeplechase courses and can host steeplechase races at a variety of distance with varied jump types.
When you decide you'd like to do steeplechase races, make sure you go hire your first training assistant at one of those tracks. Your first SC track assistant is free and is necessary to house your horses at a SC track so they can race. In the future, should your SC string continue to grow and prosper, you can hire assistants at additional SC tracks.
There are regular jockeys available who specialize in riding steeplechase horses. These jockeys cannot be used on flat racing or marathon horses, and flat racing jockeys cannot be used on steeplechase horses. Like flat jockeys, you can contract a SC jockey of your choice and will earn all of the same benefits in races. You are allowed to contract one steeplechase jockey in addition to your 2 flat jockeys.
Custom jockeys, however, may be used for both flat and steeplechase horses. If you already have a custom jockey for your flat racing horses, you will not need to hire a new one just for steeplechase.
All races other than Stellar and special series races have an entry limit of 3 horses per stable. This has been increased from only allowing 1 entry per stable. To enter multiple horses, you must have a different jockey on each horse.