Instructions

Please note that this document contains instructions for the PC version of the game. If you have the iPad version please ignore the sections that are not relevent to your game.

Starters Orders 4 Instructions

1. Installation and system requirements

2. General Navigation

2.1.          Race sequence controls

2.2.          Saving and Loading

3. Game Modes and the Options

4. The game menus

4.1.          Stable/Home menu options

4.1.1.     TRAINING

4.1.2.     BREEDING

4.1.3.     FINANCE

4.1.4.     APPRENTICES

4.1.5.     RACECOURSES

4.1.6.     TRAINERS

4.1.7.     JOCKEYS

4.1.8.     TOP HORSES

4.1.9.     HALL OF FAME

4.1.10.  FORMBOOK (cards and replays)

4.1.11.  MY DATA

4.1.12.  NEWS

4.1.13.  DIARY/DIGITAL NOTES

4.1.14.  DECLARATIONS

4.1.15.  ANTE-POST BETTING

4.1.16.  PRE MEETING/MULTIPLE BETS

4.1.17.  GO RACING

4.1.18.  SKIP DAY

4.1.19.  SKIP – NEXT DECLARATION

4.1.20.  SAVE/QUIT

4.2.          Racecourse menu options & betting

4.2.1.     THE RACECARD

4.2.2.     VIEW RACE

4.2.5.1.            Jockey control.

4.2.3.     SKIP RACE

4.2.4.     SKIP DAY

Continued…

5. Other screens

5.1.          The Auction

5.2.          Horse data screen

5.2.1.     Exporting Horses

5.2.2.     Horse Lineage screen

5.3.          Trainer data screen

5.4.          Jockey data screen

6. The Race Construction Kit

6.1.          Constructing races

6.2.          Viewing a ‘league’ or exported replay race

6.3.          Viewing exported horse files

7. Appendix

7.1.          Race categories and entry fees

7.2.          Sex/Age allowances

7.3.          Bet Types

7.4.          Tactics/Tips

7.5.          Horse temperament/disposition

7.6.          Changing Trainer and Jockey names and portraits

7.7.          Links / Online Help

1. Installation

The Starters orders 4 download comes with two applications. A demo and the full version. The full version requires a key/licence to be entered before it is unlocked. This key if forwarded to the user once they have paid. To run the DEMO double click the SO4 DEMO icon on your desktop. To run (or pay for) the full version double click on the SO4 icon on your desktop and then click BUY NOW or click the BUY NOW button from the demo. Any problems with payment please email support@startersorders.com.

It is recommended you install the game to the default destination that appears when you run the installer.

System Requirements

Starters orders 4 requires DirectX8 or above to run correctly. You are likely to have a compatible version of directx already installed on your machine. If you do not have download it from Microsoft’s website. Go to: http://www.microsoft.com and search for ‘directx’.

Starters orders 4 has been designed to run on a range of hardware. The minimum spec very much depends on the Graphics card your machine has installed and it is recommended you try the demo and make sure this runs on your machine before you purchase the full version. The following is a rough minimum spec:

Windows XP/NT/VISTA/WIN7

Pentium 1.5ghz

256mb graphics card

1GBb ram

1GB free hard drive space rising to 2gb if all save game slots are used.

2. General and Navigation

Note: If you are playing the UK flat/jumps schedule you will see a context button regularly displayed on menu screens. This button will read either FLAT or JUMPS to indicate the current context (changing the context changes some display items on the page). The user can toggle the context by clicking this button.

Note that there are in-game help pages available for most menu screens. Move the mouse over the small help icon (question mark) that appears at the top-left corner of the screen.

Tool Tips are also available and are displayed when you move your mouse cursor over objects on screen (tool tips can be disabled in the options menu before you start a fresh game).

Much of the game is based around two main menus. The STABLE/HOME menu and the RACECOURSE menu. The Stable menu allows the player to deal with training, finances, horse race planning and entries, jockey bookings and form analysis. The Racecourse menu is arrived at when the race day starts and allows the player to view current race details, entries, stats, analyse the current form and place bets. Finally settling down to watch the race unfold or taking to the saddle to ride!

To scroll data within a Window use the mouse-wheel or drag the slider bar that may appear to the right of the window. You may also use the ARROW UP and DOWN keys and the PAGE UP and PAGE DOWN keys to scroll window contents.

Horse data and form cards, Trainer, jockey and racecourse data screens are designed to be readily accessible. Whenever an item of text appears in YELLOW it can be clicked to reveal more information. The player can build a branch of sub-screens in this way by clicking as many times as is desired. This is ideal for form analysis where the player may wish to view a horses for card, then access another horses data from that card, then access another form card from that screen and so on. As the list of sub-screens is built up a ‘stack’ of back buttons (top-right screen) will appear indicating the size of the path. At any time the player can click on the small cross icon next to the branch icons to go straight back to the branch top.

2.1. Race sequence controls

To quit the race sequence and see the result hit SPACE during the race.

To skip to the end of the NEXT furlong (or 200m) press TAB. Note that TAB cannot be pressed until the horses have completed 2f (or 400m). This option is NOT available in jockey control mode.

Move the mouse over the horse name to highlight the horse in the main race window.

To slow pan to a horse off the screen left-click on it’s name.

To jump to a horse off the screen right-click on it’s name.

To return focus to the leader (default) left-click the LEADER button. Right-click the LEADER button to jump to the leader.

To toggle motion blur on/off press M.

To Display FPS (frames per second) press F. Note that FPS should be close to 60. If 55 or below you should look at disabling functions such as SHADOWS, PARTICLES or ZOOM in the options.

Zoom Functions (must be enabled in OPTIONS)

To zoom in/out use the mouse wheel or PAGE_UP,PAGE_DOWN keys.

To revert to full zoom out press V.

To Toggle small/large TV monitor (only displayed when zoomed in on field) press T.

To toggle Auto-zoom on/off press A.

2.2. Saving and Loading

There are ten available save game slots.

During a game the player must exit using the SAVE/EXIT button on the main Stable/Home menu. Each time the player exits the game is saved.

To continue the Last saved game click the NEW GAME button on the main menu and then click the LOAD (disk) icon for the required game.

To clean a slot (you should do this in the event you un-install the game) click the DUSTBIN icon (note – once a slot is cleaned it’s contents are lost!).

3. Game Modes and the Options

Click on START GAME from the main menu and the LOAD/CREATE GAME screen is displayed. Make sure the DISPLAY OPTIONS check box (bottom right) is checked so the options box is visible. These options are self explanatory and can be changed at the start of a new game or when loading a saved game.

You may also choose from eight game schedules:

  • UK (flat)
  • UK (flat and jumps)
  • US (flat)
  • Irish (flat)
  • Irish (flat and jumps)
  • Irish (jumps)
  • US (flat)
  • Australian (flat)

Click on a game slot’s right hand icon to start a new game and reveal more game options:

Game mode

There are two game modes:

  • Standard Training game (single and multi-player)
  • Punter Match (single and multi-player)

Punter Match

Note that Jockey control is not available in Multi-player modes.

Select the number of players and enter their names (note that there is no need to select SILKS for punter mode). In Punter-Match there are no player-owned/trained horses. Players take it in turns to view forthcoming meeting details then view race details and place bets. After the last player has finished the race can be viewed or skipped and payouts are made. The first player to win a million wins the game.

Trainer Game (standard)

The player begins with £100 000 and three horses to train. By careful planning and betting the player must try to accumulate funds while climbing the Trainers Championship table.

Trainer Game (simple mode)

Select SIMPLE MODE (under GAME SETTINGS).

This mode is the same as the standard Training Mode except the player need pay no attention to the training of his/her racehorses as this is done automatically.

Auto Days

Selecting Autodays results in a number of day’s races being automatically run before the game starts. The only real benefit of this option is that horses have previous form at game start. Note that in Trainer mode, weekly deductions (stable bills etc.) are still made during Auto Days resulting in the player starting the game with less funds.

4. The game Menus

4.1.      Stable/Home menu options

The Stable/Home menu consists of four windows.

Owned horses

The top window contains details of any horses the current trainer may own. As usual, by clicking on the yellow horse name the player can access more detailed horse data. Note that in Punter-Match mode this window does not exist. If one of your horses is currently injured a small ‘I’ icon will appear to the right of it’s name. From left to right the fields are:

FORM – The horses past performances (click to view detailed formcards/replays).

NAME/SLR – The name of the horses and the number of days Since Last Run. Click to view the horses data screen.

AGE/SEX – The horses age/sex (F=Filly, M=Mare, C=Colt, S=Stallion, G=Gelding)

SEASON REC – the horses strike rate and earnings for the current season.

CAREER REC – The horses lifetime strike rate and earnings.

LWR/R – Last Winning (handicap) Rating and current (handicap) Rating.

NEXT ENGAGEMENT – details of the horses next engagement (if any).

STATUS – horses readiness to race. Green = ready. Red = not ready.

TRAINING OPTIONS – quick training options. See 4.1.1. (training) for more.

Race meeting(s) details

The Centre two windows describe the coming days meeting(s) and racecourse details. If a feature race is listed in yellow you may click for the specific feature races history screen. There is a small betting slip icon next to the meeting(s) (under the header ‘Today’s Meetings’). Click on this icon to place a pre meeting bet (see section 4.1.16.).

Runners and riders (for selected meeting)

The bottom window contains a full list of runners and riders for the selected meeting. This window can be scrolled and many of the fields can be clicked to provide further data. For a full description of the icons that may appear see section 4.2.3. (the racecard).

The following pages detail the screens accessed via the buttons on the left of the screen.

4.1.1.   Training

This screen is not available in Punter Match. In ‘simple Training’ mode it contains some deactivated training options.

Prepping a horse (end of season)

Trainers can choose to have horses prepped for early season fitness by making sure the horse is set to LOT1 on the last day of the season. Setting the horse to LOT3 will result in the horses beginning the season requiring a lot of work to raise it’s fitness. The penalty for prepping a horse to peak fitness at the start of the season is that the horse may well take less racing throughout the season. The benefit to beginning the season with a rested (unfit) horse is that it will probably stand more races during the season.

Training

Training is based around the LOT system. Each horse is allocated to a ‘Lot’. There are three lots available. NOTE: you can change the individual horses ‘lot’ from the main stable/home menu:

LOT3   (BLUE) Gentle exercise (walking)

This is the most sensible option for horses returning from an injury or extended rest. The horse is brought on slowly to avoid injuries. Train horses under this lot who a have very low FITNESS level. Once the horses FITNESS improvement has slowed or stopped move the horse onto LOT 2. Note that training a horse with a high Fitness level in this lot will result in the horses fitness levels reducing.

LOT2   (AMBER) Moderate exercise (cantering)

Training horses under Lot2 is the preferred option for bringing a horses Fitness level to a point where the horse is ready for pre-race training (Lot3). Note that training a horse with very low Fitness level in this Lot instead of Lot1 increases the horses risk of injury.

LOT1   (RED) Speed work (gallops)

Once the horses Fitness levels begin to peak under Lot2 (roughly between 70% and 80%) the horse is ready for more vigorous exercise. Training under this Lot will bring the horses Fitness level to 100% as long as no injuries occur. It’s quite possible to keep a horse training under this lot however intense training takes it’s toll and the horse will be unable to maintain it’s form for as long as if more attention was paid to ‘peaking’ a horse at the correct time with consideration to the horses planned campaign. A horse will remain ‘fresh’ for longer if a correct and realistic campaign is planned and in-between races the horse is rested or reduced to moderate exercise. This will reduce the horses fitness levels which must be increased in time for the horses next planned race. Some horses will take (or stand) more races than others, only time and experimentation will reveal many of the horses more subtle characteristics. Generally the end of season break will totally refresh a horse and may leave the horse slightly ‘rusty’. Note that training a unfit horse in this lot may result in the horses Fitness levels rising very quickly but at the expense of higher risk of injury and the horse likely to become jaded more quickly.

Continued…

In addition to allocating each horse one of the above Lots the player can also choose to focus on a certain area. Click the small square icon (second icon in the TRAINING column):

  • SPEED. Speed training emphasis.
  • MID. Default.
  • STAMINA. Stamina training emphasis.

Please note these extra training options may or may not have an effect on the horse and can often take a long time to work at all.

Special training

The next icon (the third in the row of three under the TRAINING column) allows the player to specify one of the following special training schedules:

  • AGILITY (the horses general agility)
  • BREAKING (the horses starting ability)
  • JUMPING (the horses jumping ability)

It is important to note that these training options are exclusive. So while under one of these schedules your horse cannot be involved in regular fitness training). This means that following a period on ‘special’ training you will probably need to improve your horses fitness or condition to race.

Please note these special training options may or may not have an effect on the horse and can often take a long time to work at all.

4.1.2. Breeding

The Breeding Barn

Players will be able to retire their horses to a breeding barn. Once retired to the breeding barn a horse may never race again. The horse will remain in the barn until it is retired from the game or dies. The horses within your breeding barn are displayed in the top window. Clicking on a horse name displays some horse data and also selects this horse for possible breeding.

Lineage

Players can view Lineage details for every player bred horse. This is a separate screen that is accessed via the HORSE DATA or the BREEDING BARN screens LINEAGE button that lists the horses ancestors up to three generations. For ancestors that are current (still in the game) the player can then access their full details via the ancestors HORSE DATA screen. For horses that are no longer in the game the player can still view some basic data on the ancestor plus a list of the ancestors FEATURE RACE WINS. The list of the horses FEATURE WINS never expires. For feature wins that are less than 100 years old the player can view the full form card.

Breeding

To select a breeding pair select an eligible male and female horse from the list boxes or by clicking on the horse names. Click CONFIRM. In this game, each breeding ‘session’ lasts for a period of fourteen days. By clicking on either name of the pair the selected horse details will be displayed to the right of the screen.

Important: Make sure you have the (main) stable capacity to accommodate the new horse otherwise it will immediately be sold!

When a session is complete the BREEDING button on the STABLE/HOME menu will flash. Click on the BREEDING button to find out is the pairing has been successful. If successful the female will be listed in the HORSES IN FOAL box at the bottom-left of the screen.

In this game, any horse ‘in-foal’ will give birth after the end of the season. At the beginning of the next season an UN-NAMED YEARLING (1yr old) will appear in the YEARLINGS box. The yearling is cared for automatically by stable staff/vets and cannot be raced or named until the beginning of next season.

At the beginning of the next season the 2yo horse is ready to race. Name the horse by accessing it’s HORSE DATA screen (click on the horses name to access this screen). To name, simply click on the horses name box and type a new name.

4.1.3.   Finance

The player can view weekly deductions, purchase stable add-ons or modify some stable related settings here. Stable add-ons are detailed at the bottom of the screen. Each Stable add-on provides a benefit that will improve you horses performance in some way:

Stable Add-ons

Breeding Facilities

Enables the player to breed new horses.

Swimming Pool

Aids horse Stamina.

All-Weather-Gallops

Weather unlikely to interrupt training + improves horses familiarity with artificial surfaces.

Training Stalls

Improves Starting ability – Less likely to break badly.

Increase Stable Capacity

Increases capacity for one more horse (main stable). Capacity for the breeding barn increases automatically.

Stable deductions (including staff wages etc.) are made weekly. Note that there are no deductions in Punter-Match mode.

Settings (stable)

You can choose to adjust a number of stable related settings. These will have an effect on your weekly outgoings. Although the effect of these settings may be very small you should endeavour to reach a level of income where you can set them all to their highest setting.

Staff Level: The number of staff you employ.

Staff Wages: The level of wages you pay your staff.

Feed quality: Grade of feed you use for your horses (the higher the more expensive).

Paddock/Start assistant: Some horses are prone to getting over excited at the racecourse. A paddock assistant will help calm your horses (see 7.5).

4.1.4.   Apprentice jockeys

To Hire an apprentice or replace your current one select the jockey by clicking on his/her name and then click the HIRE APPRENTICE button. Apprentices are eligible to a weight allowance to offset their inexperience. This allowance decreases as the jockey wins more races. Although apprentices are inexpensive in comparison to more experienced jockeys their judgement may not always be as good. Also Apprentices may not be as strong as older jockeys in a finish.

Each trainer may only have one apprentice on the payroll at a time. To replace your stable apprentice simply hire another. If hiring an apprentice that is currently attached to a stable/trainer then the apprentice may be bound to ride any remaining bookings that have been made for the previous trainer even though he/she is now signed up in your stable. You can Fire your apprentice by clicking on the FIRE APPRENTICE button.

4.1.5.   Racecourses

This screen provides access to racecourse data for all racecourses in the game. The entire list of racecourses appears on the left.

Top right is the course data for the selected racecourse.

Racecourse records

The RACECARSE RECORDS window lists current records for the selected racecourse for all available distances. You may click on the horse name to access the horses data screen. Checking the ‘2yo records only’ will list records for 2yo horses only.

Overall Distance records

This table lists record holders for a specific distance at any racecourse. Checking the ‘2yo records only’ will list records for 2yo horses only.

Future meetings at selected racecourse

This table lists any imminent meetings at the selected racecourse.

Some horses have a notable preference for certain racecourses. Generally horses with certain physical characteristics will be better suited to specific racecourses. For example, a large horse is more likely to be inconvenienced by the tight turns of Chester.

4.1.6.   Trainers

This lists all trainers (computer controlled and players) in championship order, based on current season’s wins. By clicking on any trainer’s name the player can view the selected trainers Data screen.

A small cup icon next to the trainer indicates this trainer is leading the trainers championship. The championship is for local (UK) trainers only.

4.1.7.   Jockeys

This lists all jockeys in championship order, based on current season’s wins. By clicking on any jockey’s name the player can view the selected jockeys Data screen.

A small cup icon next to the jockey  indicates this trainer is leading the jockeys championship. The championship is for local (UK) jockeys only.

4.1.8.     Top 100 Horses

Here are listed the TOP 100 horses. Set the filters at the bottom of the screen as desired.

A small cup icon next to the horse  indicates this horse  is leading the jockeys championship. The championship is for local (UK) horses only.

4.1.9.     Hall of fame

This screen lists the top 100 horses from all games you have played on the computer.

You may select between the top 100 all comers or the top 100 player owned horses.

Click the horses name to view a small horse data panel and to view a summary of the horses feature race win record.

4.1.10. Formbook (cards and replays)

Click the BROWSE button to browse the entire formbook in last-first order.

The formbook stores roughly 8 years of races and will be mostly accessed by clicking on form strings next to the horses name. However, the player can browse the entire formbook by clicking the FORMBOOK button from either the Stable/Home menu or the Racecourse menu and then clicking the BROWSE button. Note that the order of card display is last-race-first.

To search for a horse by name type in the SEARCH ON HORSE NAME box. You can then select a horse to view by clicking on it’s name in the small box that appears under the FORM BOOK QUERY OPTIONS box. Selecting a horse will display both the horses details and the horses form summary box (a list of all the horses races). You may then browse the full details of these races by simply clicking on a race.

Note: whenever you see the FORM SUMMARY BOX (a list of all the horses races) you can move the mouse over a specific race description (without clicking) to view the horses actual race form description string describing the horses run.

The Formcard

The player can view the entire replay of the race by clicking the ‘R’ button in the bottom right of the screen. You can also save the race to disk as a GAME REPLAY file. These files have a ‘.rac’ extension and are saved into the ‘.\EXPORTS\GAMERACES\*.RAC’ folder. Note that races in which the player took control over the jockey cannot be replayed or exported.

Each formcard contains the following data:

The race header: The header at the top of the screen details the race type and conditions. The WINNING TIME is displayed along with a comparison to the racecourses STANDARD TIME.

FinPos/DRAW/ The horses finishing position and Draw and paddock indicator.

Paddock indicator Paddock indicator is a small upward pointing arrow that can be either blue (relaxed), none (normal), pink (on-edge) or red ( very excited). See 7.5. for more information on the horses paddock state.

NAME The horses Name. Click on this field to access the HORSE DATA SCREEN.

TRAINER The horses Trainer. Click on this field to access the TRAINER DATA SCREEN.

AGE The horses age.

Continued…

WEIGHT The weight the horse carried.

JOCKEY The horses Jockey (along with any overweight). Click on this field to access the JOCKEYS DATA SCREEN.

SPLITS (can be disabled through the OPTIONS menu). Splits give a

breakdown of the times it takes a given horse to reach a certain

point of the race. The split positions are described in the

header. For example, ‘2f,4f,str,fin’ means times are taken

at the 2f, 4f poles and the ‘straight’ (1 furlong out) and the

finish.

POS/Lengths Used in conjunction with the SPLIT times above. Describes

The horses position and (in brackets) the distance behind the

Leader at the given points during the race.

ODDS The ODDS available on the horse at the off.

(distance behind) The Distance BEHIND the horse that finished infront (if any).

RATING The horses HANDICAP RATING before the race.

The Form Description line

Below the horses data line is a textual description of the horses actual run. This

Description is VITAL to form analysis as it gives clues to many things including:

  • Did the horse have the ‘run of the race’?
  • Was the horse ‘slowly away’?
  • Did the horse appear to be suited by the distance? Was the horse outpaced or did it weaken in the closing stages?
  • Did the horse appear to run unusually below form? And why?
  • Is the horse showing improved form? One to note next time out?

4.1.11. My Data

This screen is simply the TRAINER DATA screen for the current player (see section 5.3.).

4.1.12. News

This screen lists and daily reports on events of note within the games world (with appropriate links).

The table on the left lists news items (items expire after seven days). Click on an item to display the news page (right of the screen). There may be links available towards the bottom of the news page to relevant screens.

Note: The icons next to the news items are simply to allow identification of news categories (for example Winners of a feature race or Horse changing ownership etc.).

4.1.13. Diary/Digital notes

The DIARY screen serves two purposes. Firstly it lists all the current seasons remaining meetings complete with details of showcase races (note that in the demos you can only player the first 14 days). It also shows a list of DIGITAL NOTES that the current player may have made. The player may make a NOTE on any horse in the game. When a horses name highlights (by moving the mouse over the name) press ‘N’ to make a not. Afterwards the horses name will be preceded by a small icon. By moving the mouse over this icon the player can view the horses notes. This is very useful for post race analysis, for example: a horse appears to run well over an inadequate distance. The player may want to make a note reminding him to back the horse when it runs over a longer distance.

Diary settings

You can choose to interrupt the SKIP DAYS process if a horse is due to run that you have made notes on. You can also choose to have the DIARY button (on the main stable menu) flash.

Similarly, you can also choose to interrupt the SKIP DAYS process if a feature race is scheduled.

4.1.14. Declarations

This screen is Key to planning campaigns for your horses.

Selecting your horse

To enter a horse in a forthcoming race it must first be selected. You can select a horse by either clicking on the ‘S’elect (small white) icon in the OWNED HORSES table or by viewing the horses data screen by clicking on the horses name within the OWNED HORSES table.

Once a horse is selected the list of races (FUTURE MEETINGS table) will now be updated to list only the races your horse is eligible to enter.

You may apply further filters to this list by setting the other list boxes in the RACE FILTERS window. This feature is invaluable for quickly locating the correct race for your horse.

Note that you should make use of the horse readiness indicator in the OWNED HORSES table. A square icon either green (ready to race), amber (almost ready) or red (not ready) is displayed before the ‘Next engagement’ field.

Selecting a race

Next, select the desired race by clicking on its description in the large Declarations window. Note that you should plan to declare your horses at least two weeks in advance of the race. You can declare your horse later if you wish but a late declaration penalty will be deducted. So make sure you declare after the indicated ‘late declaration penalty cut-off).

Two more windows will appear. To the centre right a list of Jockeys that are willing and available to ride your horse in the selected race. You can sort this window by clicking on the headers).

Below this window is a list of CURRENTLY DECLARED horses. These horses have been entered for the race by their computer-controlled trainers. This window is important as it provides the player with a means of assessing the opposition, assessing the weight the horse will have to carry and judging the terms for claiming races (where other trainers will have set their horses weight).

Don’t forget though. Other trainers may still enter or withdraw horses before the race day affecting the weights in some cases. The player can click on the objects in this window to obtain even more data.

Entering your horse for the selected race

The next step is to enter your horse for the selected race. Click on the ENTER HORSE button in the HORSE ENTRY SELECTIONS box.

Note that for claiming races the player will have to enter the WEIGHT his/her horse will carry. Enter a number between 0 and 32 (each unit equals 1lb). If you don’t enter anything then 0 will be presumed and the horse will carry the minimum weight.

Continued.

Note that after successfully ENTERING your horse for a race the CURRENT DECLARATIONS window will be updated and your horse will appear with it’s predicted (if an handicap race) weight.

NOTE: There are NO PENALTIES for withdrawing a horse from a race. If in doubt how much weight your horse will be required to carry – this depends on race conditions and also other runners handicap ratings (in handicap races). Enter your horse and view the amended race field. Remove the horse if you consider the weight conditions to be unfavourable.

Choosing a Jockey

You should now choose a jockey. Note that if you haven’t chosen a jockey by race day one will be selected for you by your stable minions. To choose a jockey click on his/her name (this is one of the few times clicking on the jockey name doesn’t take us to the JOCKEY DATA screen). Then click on the BOOK JOCKEY in the ENTRY SELECTIONS window.

Note: If one of your horses is currently injured a small ‘I’ icon will appear to the right of it’s name in the owned horses table (top-left of screen). Do not race an injured horse!.

4.1.15. Ante-Post betting

You can place a bet on a feature race up to five weeks in advance of the race taking place. During this period there are a number of events that may cause the odds to be changed: Player bets, horse declarations/withdrawals, horses racing (new form).

To view forthcoming feature races and the current field details and odds you click on the Ante-post button from the main Stable/Home menu.

The available races are listed in the ‘Available Ante-Post races’ table (top-left). Click on a race to reveal the field and current odds in the table to the top-right of the screen. The current odds are displayed to the far right of the table along with the ‘last’ odds (if the odds have changed). Next to the current odds is a small betting movement indicator icon. Blue indicates the horses odds are ‘drifting’ (getting bigger). Red indicates the horses odds are contracting. A number of factors can be behind changes in the horses odds. Maybe the horse has had another race, the result will affect the odds for this feature race. Maybe other horses have been declared or scratched (Note that if you back a horse that is later withdrawn you lose your stake).

You may place a WIN or EACH WAY bet on any of the selected races current field at the current odds displayed. Click the yellow highlighted odds of the horse you wish to back. As with other betting screens complete the betting slip by entering your unit stake and the bet type and then click place bet. You bet will now be listed in the ‘Current Ante-Post bets’ table on this screen and will remain there until the race is run and any bets are settled.

Note that details of and Ante-Post bets will be displayed on the raceday screen on the day of the race also.

4.1.16. Pre Metting/multiple bets

You can place a single bet or a multiple bet (an ‘accumulator’ bet including more than one horse) from the Stable/Home menu before you go to the racecourse.

Click the small betting slip (white) icon in the ‘Todays Meeting’ box next to the desired meeting. You can place single (win or each way) bets here or right before the race.

If you place a pre-meeting bet you should be aware that the horses paddock state (see 7.5) is not yet available (paddock state indicates if the horse is getting upset in the paddock or at the start). The horses paddock state could significantly affect the horses odds before the race!

You can place multiple bets from two to six horses (one in each race). There are two multiple bets available: WIN ACCUMULATOR and PLACE ACCUMULATOR. A win accumulator requires that ALL of your selections win. The returns from the first winner are automatically placed onto the second runner and so on. The place accumulator requires that all your selections are placed (the number of places varies from 2 to 4 depending on the number of runners and the race type – see section7.3).

To select a horse for inclusion in the bet click on the ‘S’elect icon to the right of the ’Today’s runners’ table and complete the betting slip. For multiple bets click on all your selections before completing the bet.

4.1.17. Go Racing.

Clicking this button takes the player to the RACE MENU.

In Punter-Match mode this button may be replaced by the NEXT PLAYER button that ends the current players turn.

4.1.18. Skip Day

Clicking this day skips the entire days racing. View the day’s results by clicking on the FORMBOOK button.

In Punter-Match mode this button may be replaced by the NEXT PLAYER button that ends the current players turn.

4.1.19. Skip to next declaration

If you have declared on of your horses to run at a future date this button will be visible from the Stable/Home menu. Clicking this button will skip all days until the day before your next horse is due to run. You should then check the going prediction for the next day suits your horse (via the DECLARATIONS screen), if not you may withdraw your horse from the race.

Note that you have a number of options to interrupt the skip-day process (if for example a feature race is due). See the DIARY section (4.1.13) for more information.

4.1.20. Save/Quit

Clicking this button will save you game and return you to the main game menu. Please note that the save game process may take some time.

4.2.    Racecourse menu options & betting

The Racecourse menu represents the arrival of the player at the current race meeting. As the meeting races are run the results will appear in a small window in the upper-centre of the screen. Clicking on the race title will reveal the detailed FORMCARD for the selected race.

Betting

Any bets (single, ante-post or multiple) for the current race will be displayed in the ‘Bets on this race’ table (centre of screen).

The current list of runners is displayed to the right of the screen, along with the odds on offer and the last odds (greyed out) in the event the odds have changed, on the Bookmakers Blackboard. It is important you have studied the form via the RACECARD and the FORMBOOK before you place a bet!

Towards the bottom of the screen is a blank betting slip. To place a bet the player simple clicks on the selected horses name on the blackboard (Note that this is one time where clicking a horses name does NOT take us to the horses DATA screen).

Once clicked the horses name will appear on the betting slip. Next enter the STAKE (the amount the player wishes to bet).

Next select the BET TYPE. The bets available for a single horse are either WIN or Each Way.

A WIN bet will pay the STAKE * ODDS. The players STAKE is also returned in the event of a win.

An EACH-WAY bet will pay if the horse WINS or is PLACED. See the appendix for further information on this bet.

The player may also place two further bets. Both bets require TWO horses to be selected. To select a second horse click on another horse. Two names will now appear on the betting slip. If an error has been made click on another horse name to erase the current selections.

The two MULTIPLE bets are Straight Forecast (SF) or Reverse Forecast (RF). SF requires the first selected horse finishes first and the second selected horse finished second. RF costs double the stake but the two selected horses can finish in either of the first two finishing positions. See Appendix for more details on these bets.

Once the horses have been selected, the STAKE set and the BET TYPW selected. Click SUBMIT to place the bet.

The player can place more than one bet on each race. Once placed the bets will appear in the ‘BETS ON THIS RACE’ window.

Continued…

Jockey Orders

If you have a runner in the current race a box will appear to enable Jockey Orders to be set. Select your orders or leave to the discretion of the Jockey. Most are self explanatory although by selecting the GO-EASY option you are requesting the Jockey to ‘ride quietly’ out the back. It’s unlikely your horse will win under these orders if the Jockey can help it! However, if spotted the stewards will fine the Trainer and a deduction will be made from the Trainers Funds automatically. Also there may be a note in the formbook. If so don’t expect the odds to reflect the poor finishing position next time out as the bookies and the public may be wise to your games! You may select the PACEMAKER option to help ensure the race is run at a good pace. You horse however, is less likely to last home using this tactic, which is most useful for trainers competing with a number of horses in a race with decent prize money who want to ensure a good pace for one or more of their runners.

TAKE THE REINS allows the player to control the jockey. Jockey control is described in detail in the RACE SEQUENCE section. This option is only available in single player games. Also races where the player takes control of the jockey cannot be replayed at a later date.

Additional (or secondary) Jockey Orders

In addition to the main tactic request selection box there are a number of additional tactical options. These are set using the bullet points. Note that these are considered to be requests to the jockey and they may or may not be carried out to the trainers satisfaction based on a number of factors.

1.     DON’T LEAD. The jockey will try to avoid leading the field. However, depending on the main tactics selected and the pace of the race combined with other factors this may not be possible.

2.     DON’T TRAIL. The jockey will try to avoid trailing the field.

3.     DON’T GO CLEAR FINISH. The jockey will try to avoid winning the race by a large margin. Note that selecting this option could possibly result in the jockey easing up too soon and getting caught!

4.     CHALLENGE LATER. The jockey will (using his judgement) attempt to challenge a little later. Possibly useful for horses who have trouble staying the trip.

5.     CHALLENGE EARLIER. The jockey will (using his judgement) attempt to challenge a little earlier. Recommended if you know the horse stays further than the current trip and/or may be likely to get outpaced at some point.

6.     HANDS AND HEELS ONLY. This option instructs the jockey not to use the whip. This can significantly reduce the horses effectiveness in a finish (depending on the horses parameters).

Continued…

Tactical considerations

Most horses have a preference for certain tactics. This preference can vary to the point where holding up a horse that prefers early pace for example, will be guaranteed to result in the horse running well below form. For other horses, using variable tactics may not have such a dramatic effect.

One of the most important priorities for a trainer is to satisfy himself to the horse’s key preferences. Tactics, going and distance preference, are the most important. The only way a player can really judge tactic preference is by experimentation. Note also that a good jockey is more likely to judge the horse’s tactical requirements correctly  – so it can prove beneficial to leave the tactics to the jockey for a while and study the results.

Menu Buttons

Note that the RACECOURSES, TRAINERS, JOCKEYS, TOP HORSES and FORMBOOK buttons have already been detailed in section 4.1.

The following pages detail the screens accessed via the buttons on the left of the screen.

4.2.1.   The Racecard

This screen is central to analysing the current race for betting purposes. As usual, YELLOW fields can be clicked. Each race card contains the following fields:

NO. + PADDOCK The horses finishing position and Draw and paddock indicator.

INDICATOR Paddock indicator is a small upward pointing arrow that can be either blue (relaxed), none (normal), pink (on-edge) or red ( very excited). See 7.5. for more information on the horses paddock state.

FORM Horses recent form – Click on this field to browse each of the horses previous formcards individually.

NAME/SLR/CDG Horse Name followed by days Since Last Run (SLR) and Course/Distance/Going winner. Clicking on the horse name displays the horses Data screen.

TRAINER Current Trainer (and strike rate). Clicking displays the Trainers Data screen.

AGE Horses age.

WEIGHT Weight the horse must carry (dependant on race conditions – see Appendix for race types).

JOCKEY Jockey Name(and strike rate). Click to display the Jockeys Data screen. If a number follows the name it is OVERWEIGHT carried (The jockey is heavier than the weight the horse is allocated to carry).

CAREER REC Horses total career record. Wins/Runs and Prize money.

GROUP WINS Group 1,2 and 3 wins.

(today’s going) This item Summarises the horses record under TODAYS going conditions in format WON/PLACED/UNPLACED.

(today’s dist.) This item summarises the horses record over TODAYS distance in format WON/PLACED/UNPLACED.

LWR/R LastWinningRating/Rating. Corresponds to the Handicap rating of the horse when it last won a handicap race and the horses current rating.

ODDS The odds offered by the bookmaker (this can be set to either fraction or decimal in the OPTIONS).

(silks) The colours the horses jockey will race in (the player can choose his own colours in the OPTIONS menu).

4.2.2. View Race

Controls:

To quit the race sequence and see the result hit SPACE during the race.

To skip to the end of the NEXT furlong (or 200m) press TAB. Note that TAB cannot be pressed until the horses have completed 2f (or 400m). This option is NOT available in jockey control mode.

Move the mouse over the horse name to highlight the horse in the main race window.

To slow pan to  a horse off the screen left-click on it’s name.

To jump to a horse off the screen right-click on it’s name.

To return focus to the leader (default) left-click the LEADER button. Right-click the LEADER button to jump to the leader,

Left clicking on the horses name will slowly scroll the view are to focus on this horse. Right clicking the mouse will quickly jump focus to that horse.

The Race:

Races start automatically. The race camera is positioned to the right hand side of the field for left-hand and figure-of-eight courses and the left-hand side of the field for right-hand racecourses.

The race is played out in the top half of the screen. The horse names for the current race are displayed in the window at the bottom left of the screen. Also in this window is the current racecourse map which allows the player to track the progress of the field around the racecourse. During the race moving the mouse pointer over one of these names will Label the respective horse in the main race window.

Pay close attention to the race and make notes afterwards if required (using the ‘N’otes system – 4.1.4). Especially watch for horses given an ‘easy time’ by the jockey as they may be available at a price that does not reflect their ability next time out. These are not always picked up by the formbook compilers! Did the jockey use unusually little ‘persuasion’ during the race? Was the horse dropped right out and given little chance of winning?

4.2.5.1.            Jockey Control

Flat Races:

There are two jockey control modes. Simple (arcade) mode and the standard mode (detailed below). Specify the method you would like to use in the OPTIONS before starting your game.

Simple (Arcade) Jockey mode.

After breaking (same as step 1 and 2 below) you control the jockey using the CURSOR (arrow) keys and the CTRL key. The UP DOWN keys control the horses vertical position on the screen. The LEFT and RIGHT keys will slow down or speed up your horse. Repeatedly pressing the speed up key will result in the WHIP action. In jumps races press CTRL to jump and be sure to judge the distance right as jumping too early or late will result in an error or fall!

Standard (complex) jockey control mode.

1.         Before the off we need to specify our basic tactical pattern preference by moving the cursor in the jockey mode controller (circle bottom right of screen. As you move the cursor the central bar will fill up. The higher this bar the more early pace we want. Right at the top specifies ‘early pace’. Right at the bottom specifies ‘hold up’. Centre specifies even pace. You have a couple of seconds to get the cursor in the desired position before the bell goes. When the bell goes for the start of the race your tactical preference is set and the jockey mode controller is used to control the jockey actions. Note that this setting instructs the jockey on how to settle his horse in the early stages. You can over-ride this in the race by changing the jockey actions but it is recommended that you ride the race in accordance with you selected tactical patters. For example if you set ‘hold up’ then try to hold your horse up during the race and avoid closing too early.

2.         Breaking. Just before the starting bell a green ‘GO’ icon appears in front of the stalls/runners. This icons brightens and then quickly dims again before disappearing. For a good break hit the mouse button while the ‘GO’ icon is brightest.

3.         Jockey actions. During the race you directly control the jockeys actions by moving the cursor in the jockey mode controller circle. Pull on the reins (restrain) by moving the mouse down, below half way. Push and urge the horse to quicken but moving the mouse up. You can activate the whip by clicking multiple time. For normal whip you need to click aporx one per second. For a stronger whip action click aprox three times per second. The central bar will fill up depending on your selected jockey action with ‘strong whip’ being full. Note that this bar is also duplicated above the horses head so you do not have to keep glancing away from your mount.

Caution: You should take car if you are approaching another horse from behind at speed. If you are approaching too fast your mount may stumble and fall when it impacts the other horse. If you reach the other horse at a suitable relative speed your mount will simply slow and race behind the other horse.

4.         Steering. You can pull the reins left or right by moving the cursor in the jockey mode controller circle to the left or to the right. When moved for enough, either the left or right bar will fill and the horse will move. A small arrow will appear next to your mount indicating the horses direction so you do not have to glance at the jockey mode controller.

Caution: Moving across other horses, taking their ground or bumping can invoke a stewards enquiry. If you are deemed to have caused interference to a horse that may have otherwise beaten you, your horse may be disqualified. You can also be fined or even banned from riding for a number of days.

Taking the wide route: Racing wide can be the easiest way to avoid traffic problems but by running wide on the bends you will be losing ground. Also pay attention to any jockey reports (during the race day) indicating variable going on the racecourse.

5.         The speedo. A small speedometer appears above your horse. This does not indicate the horses actual speed but more the speed the horse is currently settled at in relation to it’s ‘cruising speed’ and the overall tactical pattern that the player sets at the start of the race. If the speedo is pointing up (in the centre). The horse is travelling at or close to it’s cruising speed. If the speedo is pointing to the left (low) then the horse is settled below it’s cruising speed. In this state the horse is more likely to be accumulating ‘potential’ and the longer the horse can travel below it’s cruising speed the better it should be able to quicken when required. When the horse is travelling above it’s cruising speed (high speedo) the horse will be using any potential it may have and be more likely (depending on it’s parameters) to start to fade or slow. When settling your horse you should consider the general race conditions and your horses suitability to the distance, going, current pace etc.

6.         Out of position indicator. Horses have a tactical preference. Some prefer to be held up (closers) while other may prefer to be more prominent. During the early/mid part of the race it is important to get your horse in the correct position. If you have selected the JOCKEY MODE RACE POSITIONING help (in the game options) then a small dark circle will appear under the speedo if you are racing in a field position that does not suit your horse. If a small red exclamation mark appears over the circle then you are significantly out of position. Your horse may de disadvantaged by racing out of position. Some horse are more adaptable in this area than others and may not be so inconvenienced by racing out of position. This option is only recommended for novice players as it gives away horse preferences that you should discover through experimentation.

7.         Potential/state indicator. A small circle next to the speedo. A green circle indicates the horse is going well and has the potential to quicken. The lighter the green the more potential the horse has. An amber circle indicates the horse has very little potential and a red circle indicates the horse has no potential and may well fade.

Jumps races:

The jockey mode for jump races works the same at for the flat but with additional jump related controls. Horses, generally speaking can jump fences on their own pretty well. Starters orders 4 puts the emphasis on the player/jockey to assist the horse in getting over the fence or helping the horse avoid mistakes and maybe making the decision to forfeit a little ground in exchange for a safer jump! There is no clicking to make your horse jump and often you can simply let the horse jump on it’s own and make zero input. Getting the jockey control right, especially over fences may take some time and patience.

The approach

For a short period before an obstacle a APPROACH INDICATOR will appear. This is a small square that can be either green, blue or red. This will indicate one of three different categories of approach your mount is felt to be making and quick input may be needed! Note that you can influence your mounts jumping by changing the jockey actions (moving the mouse cursor in the jockey mode circle). When the horse has jumped the mouse cursor will revert to where it was before the approach indicator appeared (so you don’t inadvertently change the jockeys non jumping riding action).

1.         Good stride (green). The horse is approaching the fence on a good stride. Generally you should make no input here so once the indicator appear quickly move the mouse to the centre of the jockey mode controller circle (indicating relaxed jockey position).

2.         Short stride (blue). The horse is deemed to be approaching on a short stride which means the horse is taking off a little early. This increases the risk of a mistake or fall. In this case the best option is to try to get your mount to ‘lengthen’ and take off later. You do this by pushing the mouse upwards in the jockey mode control circle (as quickly as possible) so the jockey will begin pushing the horse on the approach to the fence. Choosing to take a pull when your horse is on a short stride is a bad thing as it may make your horse take off even further from the fence increasing the chance of a mistake or fall.

3.         Long stride (red). The horse is deemed to be approaching the obstacle on a long stride which means the horse may be taking off later that you would wish (too close to the obstacle). In this event the best course of action is to shorten the horses stride by pulling on the reins (move the mouse down in the jockey mode controller circle). In this case doing nothing is risky

as is pushing the horse into the fence.

Safer jumping

There may be a occasion when you are happy to give away a little ground in exchange for a safe jump by steadying your horse into a fence. For example at the end of a long race when your horse is tiring or if you have a clear lead. As long as your horse is not on a short stride you can ‘take a pull’ on the approach by moving the mouse towards the bottom of the jockey mode controller circle. Your horse may end up jumping slowly but it will decrease the chance of a mishap.

4.2.3.   Skip Race

Skip the race. The result will appear in a small window on the next race menu or can be viewed by clicking the FORMBOOK icon.

In Punter-Match mode this button may be replaced by the NEXT PLAYER button that ends the current players turn.

4.2.4.   Skip Day

Skip the rest of the days racing.

In Punter-Match mode this button may be replaced by the NEXT PLAYER button that ends the current players turn.

5. Other screens

5.1. The Auction

An Auction takes place at the end of every raceday unless there are no horses for sale. Note that if the player chooses to Skip the whole day (from the Trainer/Home menu only) the player will not have access to the Auction.

Today’s Lots

To the top-right of the screen is a list of horses for sale. Each horse is auctioned individually in turn. Before starting the Auction it makes sense to study the horses form and data. To do this move the mouse cursor over a horses name (without clicking). After a brief moment the horses details will appear including the ‘Form Summary’ table that includes all the horses for (up to eight years!). You can view a textual description of the horses run by simply moving the mouse (without clicking) over the desired ‘race description’ field in this table. Click on the horses name to view the selected horses data screen.

Breeding indicator

For unraced horses there is a breeding indicator that provides the player with some indication of the horses Potential, likely preferred distance and going. This indicator is displayed on the HORSE DATA screen (for unraced horses only) and also towards the centre of the screen once the auction starts.

Bidding

Click the BEGIN button to start bidding on the next lot.

Note that during an auction the player may click the SKIP LOT button to jump to the next lot or the QUIT AUCTION button to quit the entire auction.

The AUCTION IN PROGRESS window contains details of the:

Lot number

Current Bid

Auction Status

The Last/current bidder

The current owner

There are three buttons available to place a bid (in increments) for the current horse:

+£100

+£1000

+£10 000

Keep an eye on the LAST BIDDER field in case another Trainer outbids you. The auction ends after a short period of bidding inactivity.

5.2       Horse Data Screen

This screen displays the following details and stats for the selected horse and is a key screen that you will frequently visit during the game:

Trainers data

Details only available to the horse’s current trainer that provides information on the horse fitness and general wellbeing. These parameters are displayed as graphic ‘bars’, the higher the red bar the better! This panel is displayed in the top-left of the screen.

FITTNESS      The horse’s current fitness level.

SPEED            The horses basic speed. A higher speed means the horse is likely to be suited by sprint distances.

STAM             The horses STAMINA levels. A higher Stamina rating means the horse may prefer Staying trips.

ACCEL           Acceleration. The rate a horse can accelerate can be vital, especially in slow run races.

COND             Condition. In this game Condition refers to how ‘fresh’ and ‘willing’ the horse is. As time goes by with more race the horse may need a break.

Head Lad feedback

Pay attention to your head lad! The head lad feedback is displayed in a long rectangle just above the ‘Form summary’ table.

General horse data

General horse data is displayed in the horse data panel to the right of the horses stats bar chart panel.

The horses age, sex, handicap rating, career record etc.

A ‘LINEAGE’ button will be visible if the horse is player-bred. Click this button to view the horses lineage.

The ‘E’XPORT button opens up the horse export screen.

Note: If the horse is unraced a breeding indicator text description will appear in PURPLE text in this window.

Race and Rating progression chart

This chart appears (only after your horses has raced) right below the horse data panel.

This chart plots rises and falls in your horses handicap rating (up to eight years).  The chart provides a great was of viewing your horses career wins/runs at a glance and will also help reveal if your horse tends to peak at certain times of the year.

Continued…

Race History (form summary)

The bottom window lists every race the horse has taken part in along with the race type, the horse handicap rating at the time of the race and it’s finishing position.

Using the FILTERS (directly above this window) the player can view the horses level of form and progression over specific distances, race types or finishing position.

You can view the horses textual decription of it’s race by simply moving (not clicking) the mouse over the yellow race decription field.

Clicking on any of these races will display the full FORMCARD for the race enabling even more in-depth form analysis. While browsing the resulting formcards the filters are retained. For example, you may wish to browse all you horses winning form cards.

Horses declarations

This table is at the top-right of the screen under the heading ‘Future race declared for this horse’.

If the horse is currently entered for any forthcoming race the race description will appear in the Declarations window. This is the small window at the top-right of the screen. Click on a race description to view the current field and weights for this race. As usual, clicking on the yellow highlights in this box will reveal further data.

Career feature race win summary

Horses, jockeys and trainers all have a career feature race win summary table on their respective data screen. This table details all of their feature race wins and (unlike some other data) this data never expires. For feature races that occurred within the last 50 years you can view the full form card by clicking on the race description.

Horse Options

This is the small panel to the bottom-right of the screen

Pacifiers

Some horses may benefit from blinkers or visor for example. Check the required box and your horse will be raced in the selected pacifier. You may also Geld your male horses. This procedure can only be done once and cannot be undone so don’t geld a horse you may wish to breed from in the future!

Retirement options

You can retire your horse to your breeding barn by checking the ‘Retire to stud’ check box. The horse will be retired at the end of the current day (you must have purchased breeding facilities via the finance menu!).

To retire your horse from the game check the ‘Retire from game’ check box. The selected horse will be retired at the end of the current season and will leave the game. Any money from the retirement will be automatically credited to the players balance.

5.2.1. Exporting Horses

You may export an owned horse at any time. The horse is exported along with it’s current state of fitness/condition etc. Horses may not be re-imported into a game but they may used later in ‘constructed’ races (including possible online competitions). See section 6.

An exported horse is saved along with your chosen tactics so be sure to set them before clicking the EXPORT button. For example. You may wish to email you horse file (the resulting files are very small) to a league master for who would then import you horse along with other users horses and race them. He would then make available the replay file so all competing trainers could watch the race. If you have not set jockey tactics then the jockey (allocated at race time) will choose for you.

Exported horse files are stored in the .\EXPORTS\HORSES folder. All horse files have the .HRS extension and are names using the trainers (players) name followed by an underscore and then the horses name. For example: ‘dave_mark of zorro.hrs’ is a valid horse file name. These files can be copied or emailed as you wish.

5.2.2.   Horse Lineage

Player bred horse will have a ‘Lineage’ screen available for viewing (via the horses data screen ‘Lineage’ button). Clicking on this button will reveal the horses ancestors (up to three generations). Even if these ancestors have long since left the game or are deceased you will still have access to their records (if the horse has left the game however this data will be provided in a cut-down form). For feature wins that are less than 50 years old the player can view the full form card by clicking on the race description within the table.

Click on the ancestors button (a small question mark next to it’s name) to reveal the ancestors basic data panel and a summary of the ancestors feature race wins.

For ancestors that are current (still in the game) the player can then access their full details via the ancestors HORSE DATA screen by clicking on the HORSE DATA button.

5.3.      Trainer Data Screen

This screen displays the following details and stats for the selected Trainer:

General Data

The data panel is at the top-left of the screen.

Includes the Trainers Name, Stable, Stable details, Staff and Record etc.

Horses in training

The main window (center of screen) displays all the Trainers horses along with some data and the horses NEXT declared race. Click on the race description for the full race field to be displayed in the third window (Top-Right). Again, click on the horses name to view the horses data screen.

Career feature race win summary

Horses, jockeys and trainers all have a career feature race win summary table on their respective data screen. This table details all of their feature race wins and (unlike some other data) this data never expires. If you play the game for 100 years this data will remain complete. You may click on the race to reveal the full formcard.

5.4.      Jockey Data Screen

This screen displays the following details and stats for the selected Jockey:

General Data

The data panel is at the top-left of the screen.

Includes the Jockeys Name, current Weight, retainer etc.

Today’s Rides

The main window along the bottom displays and rides the jockey is booked for, for the CURRENT DAY. Click on the horses name for the Horse Data screen or the Race Description to display the current declarations for this race. Note that the selected jockey is highlighted in pink on the current declarations window. Again, click on any field in this window if desired.

Career feature race win summary

Horses, jockeys and trainers all have a career feature race win summary table on their respective data screen. This table details all of their feature race wins and (unlike some other data) this data never expires. If you play the game for 100 years this data will remain complete. You may click on the race to reveal the full formcard.

6. The Race Construction Kit

The construction kit can be used for a number of purposes.

1.     To ‘trial’ horses that you may have exported from different games against each other.

2.     To take part in any online leagues that may be in progress.

3.     To view past game races that you may have exported to disk.

Online leagues

At any time there may be on online league for owners of Starters orders 4 in progress. Visit StartersOrders.com for details on how to find and join these leagues. Online leagues work in the following way.

1.               You export your best horses from your game to disk via the horse DATA SCREEN in the game (note that you should always export your horses when they are in form and their fitness and condition are at maximum).

2.               You email your horse files to the ‘league moderator’ who will be responsible for creating race schedules and creating the actual race replay files which you will later download.

3.               After the league moderator has run the races he will make REPLAY files available for players to download. You download these replay files and view them (including raeccard, race replay and formcards) on your PC.

Please note that league moderators will have access to software that enables them to create replay files for you to view that will also include all of the horses past performance form cards, and lineage details and the replay.

Note: Player owned horses can be exported from the main game at any point from the HORSE DATA screen (see section 5.2.).  Exported horses are stored in the folder: ‘.\EXPORTS\HORSES\*.HRS’ and must exist in this folder in order to be imported into a constructed race.

6.1. Constructing a ‘trial’ race

To construct a race using previously exported horses follow these steps:

1.     Make sure all the required horse files exist in the ‘.\EXPORTS\HORSES’ folder.

2.     Click the RACE CONSTRUCTION KIT button from the main menu.

3.     Click  the CREATE A RACE button.

4.     The top box contains general race setting such as going and distance. To begin with these will be set to default vales. It’s a good idea to set these before moving on to importing horses. Note that if the PRIZE MONEY is left blank it will be set to a random ‘low’ amount (between around £ 1500 – £ 6000).

5.     Next you need to choose the runners for the race. All horses in the ‘.\EXPORTS\HORSES’ appear in the box to the right of the screen along with the horses name, the players (trainers name), the horses age/sex and horses handicap rating (at the time of exporting).

6.     To enter an individual horse click on it’s name (highlighted in yellow). If the horse is eligible to enter the race it will be moved into the race FIELD window to the left of the screen.

7.     To select ALL eligible horses from the list for the race click the SELECT ALL ELGIBLE RUNNERS button. To clear ALL the selected runners click on the small ‘C’ button below the race FIELD box.

8.     When the race field has been constructed satisfactorily then it’s time to run the race. Click the VIEW RACE button.

9.     When the race is over the formcard will be displayed. On exiting this screen the user will be returned to the main menu.

6.2. Viewing a ‘league’ or exported replay race

Click on the VIEW A RACE button from the construction kit menu.

Note: If you are emailing or transferring league race files you will have to manually copy the file into the correct folder. There is a DEMO league race installed with the game for demonstration purposes only.

To view a previously exported replay make sure the SAVED GAME REPLAYS box is checked.

To view a league race replay make sure you have placed the replay file(s) in the ‘.\exports\leagueraces\’ folder (in the folder you installed Starters orders 4). Next make sure the LEAGUE RACES box is checked.

Select a race to view by clicking on it’s title in the STORED RACE FILES table.

The selected races race card will now be displayed in the SELECTED RACE FIELD. The race card is a similar format to race cards within the game. League races can include past performances for the runners. If so you will be able to click on the FORM field to reveal the selected horses form cards. League races may also include the horses Lineage (if the horse was player bred) – if the horse has a small red ‘L’ icon preceding it’s name you may click this to reveal the horses lineage details.

Note: league races may have trainer comments attached. A small white ‘N’ icon next to the race file name in the STORED RACE FILES table indicates there are trainer comments for this race. To view these comments you simply move the mouse over the trainers name (yellow to indicate notes/comments attached) in the SELECTED RACE FIELD table and the comments will appear.

Click the VIEW RACE button to watch the race or to just view the form card click the VIEW FORMCARD button.

6.3. Viewing Horse files

By selecting the HORSE FILES button from the RACE CONSTRUCTION menu you can access a screen that displays details of exported horse files.

Note that exported horses must be in the ‘.\EXPORTS\HORSES’ folder.

The box along the left hand side of the screen lists all the different trainer names that are associated with the horse files found. You can select the *LIST ALL* item to view all horse files or click on an individual trainer name to list only horses associated with this trainer.

The main horse window lists the horses and some of their performance record details and parameters. You can sort this table by clicking on the headers.

A small red ‘L’ icon preceding the horses name indicates that the horse is a PLAYER BRED horse as opposed to a game horse and you can view the lineage details by clicking the icon.

You may want to adjust the horses handicap rating. Click the yellow rating (RTG) column for the selected horse and enter the new rating (from 30-120). Entering 0 will reset the horse to a maiden and clear it’s performance record (note that this will not affect the horse of the same name that may exist in an actual game!).

7.      APPENDIX

7.1.      Race Categories and entry fees

Selling races (entry fee: £20)

Generally attract lower quality horses. Horses carry level weights. The winner is auctioned at the end of the day.

Claiming races (entry fee: £20)

Claiming races offer the trainer an opportunity to handicap his own horse and therefore gain a possible advantage. Claiming winners are auctioned at the end of the day.

Maiden races (entry fee: £50)

Open to horses that have never won a race.

Handicap races (entry fee: £50 – £225 (showcase races))

Open to horses who’s rating falls within the specified range. A 0-90 race is open to horses rated between 0 and 90. Each horse carries an amount of weight directly related to it’s handicap rating. Note that there is a weight range limit. If the limit is exceeded (between the highest and lowest rated horses in the race) the lower rated horses may have to carry more weight than they are officially allocated.

HANDICAP SIMULATION NOTE: When a new game starts, NO horses in the game have ever run a race whatever their age. Autoraces can build up form, but in order to simulate the fact that older horses would have raced at some point these horses start the game with a estimated handicap rating (In the UK a horse runs three times before the handicapper allocates a rating). The exception to this is 2yold horses, which are presumed to be unraced and therefore do not begin the game with a handicap rating. An unraced horse receives a handicap rating after it’s first run. Until a horse has a handicap rating it will not be eligible to run in Handicap races.

Listed Races (entry fee: 200)

Higher quality fields. Level weights with no age/sex allowance. There are weight penalties depending on the horses past performance in Group races:

Group 1 won/placed: +14lb

Group 2 won/placed: +10lb

Group 3 won/placed: +6lb

Continued…

Group races (entry fee: £400 – £750)

High prize money. Horses may be subjected to penalties depending on their group record:

Group 1 race

No Penalties

Group 2 race

G1 winner: +10 lb

G1 placed: +4 lb

Group 3 race

G1 winner: +12 lb

G1 placed: +6 lb

G2 winner: +8 lb

G2 placed: +4 lb

7.2 Sex/Age allowances

Horses running in non handicap races (excluding claiming races) will be subject to age/sex penalties. These penalties are as follows.

Age: In a race containing both 3yo and older horses the older horses will carry a 6lb penalty.

Sex: In a race containing both male and female horses male horses will carry a 3lb penalty.

7.3.      Bet Types

WIN

The selected horse must finish first and winnings are STAKE x ODDS.

EACH WAY

An each way bet is two separate bets. £10 e/w means that the bet costs 2 x £10 = £20. The first part of the bet is the win part. If the horse wins, the odds are calculated as a WIN bet (odds * stake). The second part of the bet is the

PLACE part which only pays if the horse is placed. The place terms depend on the race type and field size:

Less than 5 runners

No Places

5 to 7 runners

1/4 odds, 1,2

8 to 12 runners

1/5 odds, 1,2,3

Non-Handicap races

8 to 15 runners

1/4 odds, 1,2,3

16 or more runners

1/4 odds, 1,2,3

Handicap race

13 to 15 runners

1/4 odds, 1,2,3

16 or more runners

1/4 odds, 1,2,3,4

STRAIGHT FORECAST (or SF) – This bet requires that the first two finishers of a race are predicted in the CORRECT order. This bet is not allowed on fields of less than 5 horses.

REVERSE FORECAST (or RF) – This bet requires that the first two finishers are predicted in EITHER order. The cost of this bet is always STAKE x 2.

WIN ACCUMULATOR – A win accumulator requires that ALL of your selections win. The returns from the first winner are automatically placed onto the second runner and so on.

PLACE ACCUMULATOR – The place accumulator requires that all your selections are placed (the number of places varies from 2 to 4 depending on the number of runners and the race type).

7.4.      Tactics/Tips

  • Quickly find your horses optimum distance and going conditions

Once the trainer has identified these key preferences he will find the process of campaign planning much more straightforward. The horses preferred going is indicated through the training process on the horses Data Screen. Unfortunately the player must experiment to some degree, especially when attempting to identify the horses preferred distance. Does your horse always fail to ’get home’ over a trip? Then it’s probably too far. Does your horse always get outpaced over a trip? Even when the jockey is ordered to race prominently? Then the trip is probably too short. Also bare in mind the specific race conditions. Running you horse over a trip in excess of the horses preferred distance could pay off in a small field where the pace is expected to be slow, where the horses superior speed at the end of the race wins the day.

  • Find your horses ‘level’

Few horses have the potential to be world beaters. Estimate your horses potential and then ‘target’ a suitable race. Make sure the horse is fit and is running over its optimum distance/going conditions.

  • Play to form ‘patterns’

Attempting to keep a horse at its maximum fitness for the entire season is unlikely to work. Horses need periods of rest. And realistically, from a handicapping point of view they need periods performing below their potential! Every horse has different resistance to racing. Some appear to thrive on racing while others become jaded more quickly. Also some horses may appear to thrive at different stages throughout the year for no particular reason! As the game progresses, the astute trainer will begin to understand each of his horses and know when, and under what conditions, the horse will hit peak form.

  • Look for value when betting

An odds on favourite may be more likely to win than a 66/1 shot but are the odds really a true reflection of the horses chances? Keep an eye out for horses that appear to have been running over unsuitable conditions. There recent poor form may result in a falsely inflated price when returning to a race under more suitable conditions.

Continued…

  • Make use of the form book!

The formbook is a goldmine of information and will reward the player who studies it with winners.

  • Make frequent Notes

Use the ‘notes’ system that allows comments to be stored on any horse in the game (not just player owned horses). See section 4.1.4.

7.5       Horse temperament/disposition and paddock indicator

All horse have a temperament/disposition text indicator (available only to the horse owner on the HORSE DATA SCREEN). For example a horse may be labelled as ‘laid back’ or ‘excitable’. The horses temperament affects the horses mental state on the day of racing. A horse that is exhibiting unusual behaviour may be disadvantaged in a race.

On the day of racing the horses current mental state is indicated on the RACECARD screen by a small rectangular icon displayed before the horses name. No icon indicates the horse appears normal. Blue indicates the horse appears relaxed, pink indicates the horse appears on edge, red indicates the horse appears to be very excited or ‘boiled over’. This icon should be considered in the context on the horses temperament/disposition and past form as some horses are prone to get over exited and the horses unusual state may not unduly affect the horses form.

Bookmakers will take note of the horses state in the paddock and are likely to adjust the horses odds accordingly.

The player may hire a specialist (via the FINANCE menu) that accompanies the players horses to the start and will significantly reduce the chances of the horse boiling over and may therefore improve the horses finishing position.

7.6. Changing Trainer and Jockey names and portraits

Note: This process involves some file editing and may not be suitable for novices!

Names

You may edit the two text files in the ‘.\DATA\EDITED NAMES\’ folder in order to change the Trainer and Jockey names used in the game. Use a text editor such as WORDPAD or NOTEPAD. Be sure NOT to add any extra items or remove items. To change names simply replace a name by deleting and typing a new one. Do not enter names of more than 30 characters. Do not remove or change any of the nationality markers. Nationality markers appear as: ‘NAT:???’ where ??? represents the specific country. Do not add a jockey to one nationality group and remove one another form elsewhere.

If care isn’t taken with editing these files the game may crash. If after editing jockey or trainer names and on starting the game the application crashes then DELETE both the jockey.txt and the trainer.txt files. Restart a game and the files will be regenerated in this folder and you can start again. NEVER delete/edit/move any data files outside of this folder.

Note that the jockeys riding weight is stored BELOW each jockey in stones and lbs.

If you change jockey or trainer names they will not appear in games already started, only in new games started after the changes have been made.

Jockey and Trainer portraits

Jockey portraits are stored in the ‘.\gfx\portraits\jockeys’ folder. There are 20 portrait bitmaps in here (they are repeated) but if you wish you can replace these and add up to 145. The number of the portrait should correspond to the jockeys in the ‘.\data\edited names\jockeys.txt’ file. These bitmap must be 80×100 pixels.

The same applies to the trainer portraits. There are 140 game trainers with 141 upwards being player portraits.

7.7 Links / Online help

The main Starters Orders website is at: http://www.startersorders.com

There is an online FAQ at: http://www.startersorders.com/gamefaq.htm

There are a number of Forums available at http://www.startersorders.com/forum.htm

Manual by Mark Loveday 2010

www.StartersOrders.com

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