To find winners you
need to study form To study form you need to have access
to a Form Book
Years ago, the legendary Phil Bull, the founder of
Timeform, once said that Its all in the form book, which
in those days was the printed version. Now it is an
electronic one and here, Racexpert online, excels. No
other Horse Racing Software gives so much form data at
the click of a button, giving instant access to every
aspect of form.
First, a look at the various screens and it cannot
be said too often - Read the Help files. They fully
explain in detail what each of the undernoted screens
1. The Racecard note that the column giving the last
four form figures is the only data in the program that
is not Code Specific.
2. The The Knowledge screen
3. The EP screen. These ratings are unique and
exclusive to Racexpert online and are considered to be
some of the best in the business of winner finding.
4. Best Screen
5. Quickform screen
6. Handicap Report screen
7. Master Formspeed screen another very important
screen where the excellent speed figures of the program
are presented in a novel manner
Form manifests in various ways Class, Speed (Best
and Current) Fitness etc. and can be measured in
different ways some cursory for those with little time
to spare and some more comprehensively for those with
more time to spare.
This Tutorial will concentrate on EP(Expectancy
Against Performance) and Speed Figures a very powerful
combination and Master Formspeed
EP a unique set of ratings without equal in any
other Horse Racing Program and totally exclusive to
MFS(Master Formspeed) contains the Formspeed
ratings, another very powerful set of figures reflecting
relative improvement Best and last 12 months.
There are many ways to use the data found in these
two screens but here are just two, which also brings
into play the Racecard screen for the quick and easy
method for those with little time to spare
The SF-EP method
1. All racing, all codes.
A selection is a horse that has the top (yellow) SF1
and SF2 figures on the Racecard providing it has the
highest EP rating (yellow) LTO1
Royal Ascot Thursday 21st June 2012 5.35pm
Fennell Bay Won 12-1
and for a more comprehensive method for those with
more time to spare. The aim here is to obtain four
ranked selections for those wishing to use
combination bets for Tote Exacta, Tricast or
Trifecta and Tote Swinger bets
The M3 method
All racing, all codes
1. Note the 3-6 horses(according to the number of
runners below) with the highest EP in either LTO1 or
LTO2. EP screen
2. Go then to the MFS screen and for the 3-6 top EP
horses from rule 1, add the Formspeed figure to the
Best 3 Speed figure for each horse and rank
Royal Ascot 5.35 pm Thursday 21st June 2012 - 18
runners so the top 6 EP LTO1 or LTO2
1. 158 Fennell Bay Won 12-1 EP was 92
2. 151 Handsome Man 14-1 2nd EP was 89
3. 149 Rougemont 25-1 3rd EP was 92
4. 140 Anomaly 8-1 4th EP was 91
5. 132 Pilgrims Nest u/p EP was 69
6. 131 Rocktherunway u/p EP was 90
The Tote Exacta paid £354.10 for the getting the
winner and second in correct order
The Tricast paid the staggering sum of £4,163.00 for
getting the winner, second and third in correct
This method got them both using only one bet for
up to 7 runners - the top 3
8 to 11 runners the top 4
12 to 15 runners the top 5
16+ runners the top 6
One final point in this Tutorial is to remember that
all data is code specific, except the last four form
figures on the Racecard (as mentioned above).
Code specific means like with like Flat(Turf) to
AW with AW form
Chase with Chase form
Hurdle with Hurdle form
The above methods are just two small suggestions of
ways to use some the Racexpert online data and these
should not be taken as an absolute cannot fail
systems. Many more extremely clever methods of using
RaceXpert Online sent in by your fellow members can
be found in the SYSTEMS area of this web site.
MOUNT wears the number 8 saddlecloth.
Drw OLIVERS MOUNT
is drawn to run from starting stall 10. Starting stalls are not
used for National Hunt (jumps) racing.
Form The horse's
last four race finishing positions.
Horse The horse's
BF If a horse was
a Beaten Favourite last time out it will be flagged in RED next to
the horses name along with the SP of that run.
G The horse's
DSR The number of
days since the horse last ran.
DNR The number of
days to the horse's next run ( where this information is
Hgr Which type of
headgear ( if any ) the horse is wearing in today's race.
Age The horses
All The amount in
pounds (Lbs) that the (not fully experienced) jockey can 'claim' -
i.e the amount of weight the horse has to carry is reduced by the
jockeys claim amount.
Trainer's name. Numbers in brackets are the number of entries in
this race ( where there is more than one ).
Wt The amount of
weight the horse is due to carry (less any jockey 'claim' - see
OR The horse's
Official Handicap Rating - the horse's ability rating as deemed by
the Jockey Club.
you can probably imagine trying to compile a single
figure that takes in every aspect of a particular
race under analysis is an extremely difficult thing to
achieve and many years of both study and computer analysis have
gone into our "one size fits all rating" that we call
RaceXpert (RX). There are quite literally hundreds of
pieces of information that could potentially be assessed
but after a good deal of time spent data modelling to
assess outcomes we have settled on four key areas that
have been shown to consistently be the most important, these are FITNESS,
FORM, SUITABILITY and ODDS. RX ratings which takes in
these ingredients ( plus some other further important
extras ) are compiled using a
scale up to 100 with that figure being the absolute
maximum that any horse can score.
Ng Our first
Neural Rating is compiled by feeding over 20 years worth of
complex horse racing data through a sophisticated Neural Net and
then applying the result to today's race details.
Nx Watch any
television program about horse racing or read the racing press and
you will see that experts often disagree on who will win a
particular race. With this in mind this second Neural Figure sees
the same 20 years of data fed through a different Neural Net and
then as before applied to today's race.
Please note that the highest rated
horses under Ng & Nx are colour-coded in Yellow, whilst the
second-highest rated horses are coloured-coded in Light Yellow.
SF2 The second
best Speed Figure a horse has obtained in the previous 12 months.
SF1 The best Speed
Figure a horse has obtained in the previous 12 months.
Please note that the highest rated
horses under Ng & Nx are colour-coded in Yellow, whilst the
second-highest rated horses are coloured-coded in Light Yellow.
The strike rate of the favourite in the equivalent type of race
over the last five years.
Last Years Winner
The Winner of this race last year ( where there was an equivalent
Summary Box Selections
This is a summary of all the Top Rated selections that are
highlighted by our main ratings in the SUMMARY BOX. In this list
it is then brought down to single selections to try and point to
the likely contenders in a given race. In the table above you can
see that three horse in particular are highlited more than once
and the number of times they are highlighted is shown next to
their name in brackets. No figure in brackets next to the name
means they have only been mentioned once.
In the example above you can see
FONTERUTOLI has Six Mentions  , OLIVERS MOUNT has Three
Mentions  and NUBAR BOY has Two Mentions  leading you to the
conclusion that in this case these three horses may be the likely
contenders in this race.
The final result sees NUBAR BOY
oblige at 10/1 with OLIVERS MOUNT coming 3rd at 9/4.
It may potentially pay dividends to
follow selections that are showing a figure in brackets of  or
above which during testing were winning at a range of prices and
showing a strike rate of around 50%.
During our many years of business
we have long been aware that not only do we have Professional
Members who use our ratings to build up an overall picture and for
full blown form study but we also have members who for one reason
or another do not use our long standing service to the fullest
extent possible. This can of course happen for a whole variety of
different reasons but both professional and amateur all have one
thing in common i.e. they need our information to be presented in
an easy to read format.
The Summary Box does exactly that and it is quickly clear
which horse or horses our Top Rated are telling you may
potentially be in with a chance in todays race.
example above we can very quickly see that MAGIC SKYLINE is
highlighted ( Top Rated ) no less than NINE TIMES.
Unsurprisingly MAGIC SKYLINE obliges at 15/8 winning by no less
than 14 Lengths !!
It may potentially pay dividends to
follow selections that are highlighted NINE TIMES or more and
there is no need for you to count this figure in the Summary Box
as you will also find the full list of Horses repeated and
summarised on the RACECARD in the Summary Box Selections.
During testing Summary Box selections highlighted  times or
more were winning at a range of prices and showing a strike rate
of around 50%.
RACECARD COLOUR HIGHLIGHTING
Below the racecards you will see
much more detailed Jockey and Trainer information in table form.
To help bring this information into an easy to read format our
racecards feature colour coding to show Hot Jockeys ( Pink ), Hot
Trainers ( Salmon ) and 10 Day Trainer Form ( Green on Racecard
Numbers ). To qualify as a HOT a Jockey or Trainer has to be in
Profit in the corresponding table.
TRENDS FOR COURSE DISTANCE GOING
Trends for the COURSE, DISTANCE,
GOING and CLASS of the race under anaysis all brought together and
then displayed in one easy to read table. You are able to see
instantly how each horse has run previously in each category
making this ideal for finding horses to WIN, PLACE or even LAY.
This single table alone is extremely powerful and it would take
you many hours of form study using traditional means to pull all
this data together for a single race, let alone for multiple races
at multiple meetings.
Taken from our massive database of
information all the races of the same number of runners and same
distances are analysed to find the draw trends for each individual
race. This then accurately shows us the exact strike rates from
each range of stall numbers.
LATEST SPEED FIGURES
Here we can see the Speed Figures
for each of the horses five previous runs displayed side by side
in chronological order. We can then also see the SF2 and SF1 Speed
Figures as displayed on our racecards. All this information
together allows you to very easily make comparisons on whether a
horse may potentially be improving or declining over time.
SF2 The second
best Speed Figure a horse has obtained in the previous 12 months.
SF1 The best Speed
Figure a horse has obtained in the previous 12 months.
LATEST FORM LINES
This table allows all aspects of a
horses form to be viewed in one very easy to read table. The form
is then also tied in with its Speed Figure, Official Rating and
our unique EP Ratings making finding those with a real chance in
any given race very easy indeed.
Horse The horses
racing name as displayed on the racecard.
Date The date of
the race under analysis.
racecourse where the race took place.
direction of this racecourse i.e. Left, Right or Figure
Type The type of
race i.e. whether it was Turf, All Weather or National Hunt
Going The official
going for the race.
distance of the race.
Class The Class of
Race Value The
Prize Money won by the race winner.
Weight The weight
the horse carried in the race.
Pos The finishing
position of horse in the race.
Runners The number
of runners in the race.
Btn The distance
beaten where the horse did not win.
SP The Starting
Price of the horse.
many horses in this particular race have Won their races
since the date of this race.
many horses in this particular race have been Placed in
their races since the date of this race.
many horses in this particular race have remained
unplaced in their races since the date of this race.
the race Winners time Faster or Slower than Standard
SF The RaceXpert
Speed Figure for this run.
OR The horses
Official Raing as awarded by the Official Handicapper.
EP The EP Rating
awarded by RaceXpert for this run.
Probably one of RaceXperts most
popular features ever this piece of super analysis leaves no stone
unturned when it comes to Winner Finding Pointers. The runners are
sorted by SF AVG4 (An average of the horses last four speed
figures) and here is an explanation of each piece of information
Horse - The Racing Name Of The
CLS ( Class ) up in class or down
in class, by how many classes or at the same level as todays race
DST ( Distance ) up in distance or
down in distance, by how many furlongs or at the same distance as
CLS - W Number of Wins in this
CLS - R Number of Runs in this
CLS - % Number of Wins in this
class expressed as a percentage
DST - W Number of Wins at this
DST - R Number of Runs at this
DST - % Number of Wins at this
distance expressed as a percentage
GNG - W Number of Wins on this
GNG - R Number of Runs on this
GNG - % Number of Wins on this
going expressed as a percentage
MTH - W Number of Wins this month
MTH - R Number of Runs this month
MTH - % Number of Wins this month
expressed as a percentage
SF Best - Highest Speed Figure
recorded in the last two years
SF RC - Second Highest Speed Figure
in the last 12 months
SF 1 LTO - Speed Figure Last Time
SF 2 LTO - Speed Figure Second Last
SF 3 LTO - Speed Figure Third Last
SF AVG 4 - An average of the horses
last four speed figures
Originally featured in the software
version of RaceXpert as a rating calculated on the horses last run
it was always the intention of the creator of Expectancy against
Performance ratings to have the horses last three runs available.
We have now done this and then taken these superb ratings a step
further by providing an Average of the last three EP ratings plus
a further column called AVG + which is then used to sort the
order. The actual EP calculation is derived from our own secret
formula, developed over a considerable amount of time, and it
takes into account many factors. Everything is then pulled
together, quantified, displayed and ranked.
EP 3 LTO - EP Figure Recorded 3
EP 2 LTO - EP Figure Recorded 2
EP 1 LTO - EP Figure Recorded 1
EP AVG 3 - An average of the last
three EP figures
Best of 3 - The highest EP
rating in the last three runs
EP AVG + - The highest EP rating of
the last three runs added to the average of the last three
On nearly every form study tool
there is you will find Jockey and Trainers stats displayed in
exactly the same way and indeed we also display them in this
traditional manner in our original Jockey and Trainer Form tables.
There is however a long standing issue with this as we will now
explain for you.
First of all let's take an imaginary
Jockey called “George Kingston” to use in our explanation.
In two weeks time “George Kingston” is likely to be crowned
champion Flat jockey of the year. Throughout the year he would
have won more races than any other jockey. But is it fair to say
“George Kingston” is the best jockey purely because of the number
of winners he has had?
Surely the number of winners he has
had is proportional to the number of races he has ridden in. The
more rides he has, the more likely he is to have more winners.
A far better method to determine who is the best is to look at
the strike rate.
Looking at the current strike rate table
reveals “George Kingston” is indeed the best jockey. He currently
tops the table based purely on strike rate with other Jockeys this
year close behind him.
But again, is it fair to determine
who is the best purely on strike rate? The best jockeys are most
likely to be riding the best horses. They will ride more
favourites whilst lesser known jockeys will be riding outsiders
with little chance of winning.
The best way to rank
jockeys is to determine which jockeys are producing more winners
than expected ( which we call EP FORM ).
If we divide the
number of actual winners a jockey has achieved by the number of
expected winners, we can produce an index which shows who really
is the better jockey.
The expected number of winners is
derived from the price of the horse. Evens shots win about 50% of
the time. So if a jockey rode ten evens shots, we would expect him
to win five races. If a jockey rode ten 9-1 shots, we would expect
him to win one race.
In our JOCKEY & TRAINER EP FORM
tables we have taken a time period of 5 years and looked at the
last 50 rides. We have done this for JOCKEYS, TRAINERS and JOCKEY
& TRAINER combinations for ALL CODE SPECIFIC rides. Code specific
means FLAT, NH or ALL WEATHER individually.
information you will see displayed in the first three EP FORM
tables features all of the past CODE SPECIFIC runs ( using the
filter above ) of participants taking part todays race.
the second three EP FORM tables you will then see the same
information but now only for the COURSE of todays race under
analysis i.e. you do not have to trawl through reams and
reams of stats to find the information applicable to just this
individual RACE and COURSE.
All of these six tables are
sorted by their EP VALUE, which means that Jockeys or Trainers
currently performing better than expected will be at the top of
the table and usually showing a positive value.
Trainers not currently performing as well are at the bottom of the
tables and will also ( although not always ) often be seen with
minus EP Values.
We have also carried out a PROFIT or LOSS
calculation in each case based on backing all the runners at SP (
Starting Price ).
Regardless of how they are analysed
Jockey and Trainer Stats can never be taken as an absolute measure
in complete isolation i.e. you need to also factor in the horse !!
But having said that you will still find those rated at the top of
these tables winning much more than those at the bottom, making
this extremely valuable information to both BACKERS and LAYERS
The BEST SPEED FIGURE as featured
in THE KNOWLEDGE table is the highest speed figure recorded by a
horse in the last two years. Although higher figures may have been
recorded over longer time spans we have found the last two years
to be the most relevant. It is not unusual to see these horses
suddenly go in at big prices and this unique table allows you to
analyse in great detail all aspects of class and official rating
at a single glance.
Horse - Horse Name
Date - Date Best Speed Figure
CLS - Class Of Race Best Figure
OR - OR Rating When Best Figure
OR Today - Today's Official Rating
SF Best - Best Speed Figure
OR +-= - Plus or Minus ( number )
OR Rating is from Best Figure Race To Today's Race
CLS +-= - Plus or Minus ( number )
of race Classes from Best Figure Race To Today's Race
Although you will find a huge
number of Winners will come from the Top Four Horses in this table
here you can see how QUICKFORM helps to point you in the direction
of other possibilities. Showing the highest Speed Figure at this
Course and with the most suitability GREEN BOXES, a particular
horse is being flagged up here as a potential race Winner. The
result is that on this occasion FOXY MUSIC wins at a very tasty
Horse - Horse Name
When the horse name is coloured green this directly references the
TEN DAY TRAINER FORM table further down which shows Trainers who
over the last ten days are currently in Profit when backing all
their runners at SP.
Jf Colouring in
this column references the TEN DAY JOCKEY FORM table further down
and shows Jockeys who over the last ten days are in Profit when
backing all their mounts at this course at SP.
Tf Colouring in
this column references the TEN DAY TRAINER FORM table further down
and shows Trainers who over the last ten days are in Profit when
backing all their runners at this course at SP.
Age The age of the
horse as displayed on the racecard.
The next six sections of QUICKFORM
reference the horses SUITABILITY for todays race conditions. You
will notice that each horse either has a Green Box or a Red Box
with two numbers in it. Green shows suitability and Red
unsuitability based on its past runs.
The two numbers in each box show
how many times the horse has achieved ( if in a Green Box ), or
failed to achieve ( if in a Red Box ) a WIN or PLACE in its last
24 months of code specific runs. So for example 2/8 in a Green Box
in the Co Win Column would be 2 Wins out of the last 8 code
specific runs at todays course, 0/8 in a Red Box in the Co Win
Column would mean that the horse has run 8 times but has never Won
at todays course.
Be aware that 24 months is the
maximum amount of time used to make these calculations as past
testing has shown this to be the optimum time span. You will also
note that some horses have run more often than others. For a more
detailed breakdown of the previous 24 months of code specific runs
please check the TREND TABLE further down.
Co Win The horse
has won ( or not ) at todays COURSE.
Co Pla The horse
has been placed ( or not ) at todays COURSE.
Di Win The horse
has won ( or not ) at todays race DISTANCE.
Co Win The horse
has been placed ( or not ) at todays DISTANCE.
Go Win The horse
has won ( or not ) on todays GOING.
Go Pla The horse
has been placed ( or not ) on todays GOING.
Trend This is the
placing of the horse in the TREND TABLE. In the TREND TABLE we
have taken into account information such as Course, Distance,
Going and Class and then used a unique proven formula to rate the
horses in order of their expected race trend. When this is tied
together with the SUITABILITY you have an extremely powerful
Best Speed Figure
These four columns show the BEST SPEED FIGURE that each horse has
achieved in a given set of race conditions.
Co The horses best
Speed Figure recorded at this COURSE.
Di The horses best
Speed Figure recorded at this DISTANCE.
Go The horses best
Speed Figure recorded on this GOING.
Cl The horses best
Speed Figure recorded in this CLASS of race.
Tot Rns - This
column shows the number of code specific runs this horse has run
in the last 24 months and has been used to calculate the Rate %
Rate % These two
columns show the horses trend for both Winning and / or Being
Placed based on all of its code specific runs for the last 24
months which is then expressed as a percentage. After extensive
testing we also decided to use the PLACE PERCENTAGE as the default
sorting for the whole of the QUICKFORM table and you will find an
amazing amount of winners and forecasts will come from the top few
Highest Class Win
This section of QUICKFORM provides you with a detailed breakdown
of a Horses Highest Class Win which then enables you to accurately
rate just how good a particular horse is.
Date The date of
this horses Highest Class Win
SpF The Speed
Figure this horse recorded when achieving its Highest Class Win
Cl The Class of
the Highest Class Win
Clv The difference
between the horses Highest Class Win and the Class of todays race
OR The horses
Official Rating ( OR ) when it recorded its Highest Class Win
ORv The difference
between the OR of the Highest Class Win and the OR in todays race
Pm AbRa It is
generally accepted that the amount of Win Prize Money a horse has
won is an accurate measure of a horses ability. Our Prize Money
ABILITY RATING takes into account a horses Win Prize Money for the
last two years i.e. a high figure means it has won a large amount
of Prize Money.
First column - The horse's name
Second column - Today's OR (
Official Rating )
Third column - The difference
between the last run OR and today's OR
Fourth column - The difference
between the OR of the horse's latest win and today's OR
Next follows up to a maximum of 8
handicap runs within the last two years, code specific with the
latest run is on the left. Each run shows the OR for the run and
the distance beaten.
Handicap Screen Colouring
GREEN - The horse ran in a higher
class than the class of today's race
ORANGE - The horse ran in the same
class as the class of todays race
RED - The horse ran in a lower
class than the class of today's race
YELLOW - The horse won that run
Note : In the case of
Irish Racing where Class Information is not genereally
available we make an approximation of the likely Race
Class before making any other Class based calculations.
There are a multitude of different
ways to use the Handicap Report. Below is an example which may
give you some thoughts on how to develop your own. During testing
on a completely random day it resulted in four selections giving
an 11-1 winner, 11-1 and 7-1 thirds and one unplaced. In the
example race above SAM NOMBULIST was the only qualifier on another
day and it duly obliged at a very nice 8-1 !!
Rules - 3yo+ Flat(Turf and All
1. Consider only runs that are
2. Starting with the latest run and
working across the screen - the first column of runs on the left
of the screen - stop at the first column that has either a "green
yellow win" or a green beaten by no more than 1 length run.
3. If only one that is the
selection. If more than one take the horse that has the best
difference between the OR for the run and today's OR.
Just to re-iterate again that the
method above is given PURELY AS AN EXAMPLE of how the information
provided in this report may potentially be utilised.
MASTER FORM SPEED
1. Racecard Number same as the
first column on the Racecard screen
2. Racing name of the horse
3. Age of the horse
4. Gender of the horse
5. Highest speed figure of the
horses last three runs
6. Faster than Class RaceXperts own
winning speed pars reflected in Faster than Class figures for each
class of race. A plus figure indicates a performance from one of
the horses last three runs that is faster than the speed par for
7. Formspeed A unique feature only
available in RaceXpert . The figures represent improvement or
decline in horses relevant to each other, and not in isolation.
These figures need to looked at in conjunction with a horses
highest winning class race.
8. Class Speed the highest speed in
the highest class where the horse won or was placed second or
9. Class of highest win the actual
class is shown
10. Well In The Well In at the
weights is a measure of how favourably or otherwise a horse is
being treated by the Official Handicappers. Again the formula used
to produce these figures is exclusive to RaceXpert A plus figure
indicates the horse is favourably treated at the weights and,
conversely, a minus figure means the horse is not well treated by
the Official Handicappers..
COMMON SENSE WARNING
There are many horse racing rating
services that will imply that blindly backing their particular top
rated horses will make you a profit. This simply is NOT TRUE and
we would NEVER advise anyone to blindly back top rated horses
regardless of the data supplier being used. Take your time and
carefully assess ALL of the information being supplied and then
make a sensible judgement call based on past experience, study of
the many excellent books on the topic of horse racing and the
knowledge that our ratings will help to point you in the right
If horses were machines, then
ratings alone could be accepted at near face value. But race
horses are not machines; they are animal athletes whose
performances in many instances are governed by stable intentions
as well as the physical condition of the horse. You will therefore
never be able to get it right every time. However what you will do
with the help of RaceXpert is build a picture of the race under
analysis and by putting the odds in your favour reap the potential
long term benefits.
With Speed Figure winners at 100/1
and 66/1 and members telling us of 2600/1 successful forecast we
know that our ratings are unquestionably the best in the market
place. This is also why we have been successfully providing
ratings since 2002. Members also occasionally let us know what
about RaceXpert based methods that are working well for them which
we then share with fellow RaceXpert Members
TYPES OF HORSE RACE
Most horse races run today can be
split into two basic categories: flat racing and jumps racing.
Turns and gradients are sometimes incorporated into flat racing
tracks, but there are no barriers or obstacles to be negotiated.
Following are the most common forms of flat and jumps races in the
United Kingdom and beyond.
Allowance Race – This is a non-claiming race intended
for younger horses not yet ready for stakes competition or horses
that are not for sale. Such races may be limited to non-winners or
limited to entries that have not yet won one, two, or three stakes
races. Weight allowances, such as three pounds, may be applied
based upon recent track records or age-sex differences.
All-Weather Races – This refers to flat races conducted on a
purpose-built artificial surface that can sustain racing under any
weather conditions. Although all-weather races can be run year
round, they are most often conducted in the winter. The best-known
all-weather racing in Britain is on the Polytrack surface at
Lingfield Park in Surrey.
Amateur Race – This is a
horse race that is open only to amateur jockeys. On the race card,
the amateur jockeys can easily be identified by the title Mr.,
Mrs. or Miss prefixed to their names.
– This category of flat horse races is restricted only to
apprentice jockeys (i.e., those in the first stage of becoming
professional riders). They may be allowed to claim weight
allowances depending on the rules of the specific race and their
individual racing experience. In jump-racing, the equivalent of an
apprentice is a “conditional” jockey.
– This type of race serves primarily as a means of buying and
selling horses. Trainers give their own horses a handicap to
reflect their perceived value. A after the race, all of the
runners are up for sale and can be bought (“claimed”). One
important claiming race provision is that the winner can be
claimed by its current owner. In the United States today, claiming
races make up about 70% of all races conducted.
Races – When referred to in Great Britain, the “Classics” are
a series of annual flat races for three-year-old Thoroughbreds.
They include the 1,000 Guineas Stakes, 2,000 Guineas Stakes, Epsom
Oaks, Epsom Derby and St. Leger Stakes. The 1,000 Guineas and the
Oaks are restricted to fillies, while the other three are open to
both fillies and colts. In the United States, the so-called
“Classics” comprise the Triple Crown races—Kentucky Derby, Belmont
Stakes and Preakness—as well as the Travers Stakes and Breeders’
Cup Classic, all run over distances of a mile and one-quarter or
Conditions Race – Sometimes referred to as
“Weight-for-Age Races,” conditions races require each entry to
carry a set weight, depending on such factors as age, sex and
racing history. Any race which is not classed as a handicap race
is, by default, a conditions race. One of the most famous of these
is the Epsom Derby.
Group Race – All around Europe,
this term is a reference to the classification status of a horse
race. Group 1 is premier class, which includes the Classics and
the highest level of competition. Group 2 races also have
international prestige, while Group 3 races are typically
contested by the best domestic entries. Collectively, all three
Group levels are sometimes referred to as “Graded Races” or
“Pattern Races.” Below these in status are the so-called “Listed
Handicap Race – For events in which horses
of different abilities are allowed to compete against one another,
the competition is made fairer and more entertaining by allocating
“handicaps” or specified weights to carry depending upon their
abilities. The handicaps are usually based upon a horse’s official
rating, as determined by past achievements. Horses with the
highest ratings receive the top weights allocated, while the
lower-ranked entries receive relatively lighter weights.
Harness Racing – Sometimes referred to as “trotting,” this
is a form of racing in which horses compete at a specific gait (a
trot or pace). Each horse typically pulls a two-wheeled, bodiless
cart called a “sulky,” upon which the jockey sits. In some parts
of Europe, trotting is conducted under saddle, such as trot monté
Left-Handed Race – This is a route race
in which the turns are taken anti-clockwise from the starting
Listed Race – Most common in Europe, this
refers to any stakes race just below Group races in quality.
Listed Stakes – Especially in the United States, this
refers to a sub-category of open stakes with a minimum purse value
of $50,000-added; it is typically judged important enough to be
“listed” on the pages of international sales catalogues.
Maiden Races – These special events, also known as
“maidens,” are restricted to horses that have never won a race.
They may include first-time starters, second-time starters and
“experienced maidens” that finished 2nd or 3rd last time out.
Maiden-Claiming Race – This is a race featuring maidens
that are entered for sale at the day’s claiming price. By their
nature, these races tend to draw the slowest, cheapest and least
reliable horses from each stable.
Middle Distance Races
– This category includes all types of flat races longer than seven
furlongs but less than 1¼ miles.
Nursery Race – This
is a type of handicap race open exclusively to two-year-old
Open Stakes – This is a stakes race in which
any horse may be entered upon fulfilling entry requirements, such
as submitting necessary nomination, entry and starting fees.
Pattern Race – A term commonly used throughout Europe,
this is a reference to horse races with Group status; see “Group
Qualifying Race – This refers to a race in
which a horse must place in order to gain an invitation to enter
another, more prestigious event. For example, the Group 2 Joel
Stakes in September serves as a qualifier for the Group 1 Queen
Elizabeth II Stakes on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot in
October. Informally, a qualifying race may also refer to an event
that serves as a stepping stone to improve a horse’s official
Restricted Claiming Race – This
category of claiming races is restricted to horses that have not
won two or three races in total or else no more than one race in
the current season. Other restrictions may also apply in order to
increase competition and the quality of the entries, as weaker
fields tend to run in claiming races.
– This is a stakes race that bars former winners of stakes races.
Right-Handed Race – This is a route race in which the
turns are taken clockwise from the starting position.
Route Race – This is a flat race that covers a distance of one
mile or more; with the exception of the “straight mile,” route
races feature one, two or more turns.
Sprint Race –
Also known as a “sprint,” this is a Thoroughbred flat race of less
than one mile in length, typically run on a straight course.
However, on longer tracks with chutes, such races may feature one
Stakes Race – This refers to races requiring
entrance fees, which are used to increase the size of the prize
pool. As a result, such races attract experienced or high-quality
horses and reward top finishers with significant prize money
Turf Race – This refers to a flat
race run on a grass surface. The British flat-racing season on
turf begins in early spring and runs throughout the summer and
autumn. Among the most famous courses for turf races are Ascot,
Newmarket and Epsom Downs.
Bumper Race – This refers to a special category of
National Hunt Races without barriers or obstacles. In effect, it
is a flat race open to young horses that are training to jump, in
order to give them more experience of racing competition.
So-called “bumpers” often feature amateur jockeys, too.
Hunter Chase – This form of steeplechase is open only to
horses that have been hunted regularly and are qualified to
compete in point-to-point races.
Hurdle – This type
of jumps race is restricted to horses aged three years and older
and it covers a distance of two to three miles and features
collapsible jumps at least 3½ feet high. Among the most noteworthy
Hurdle races in Great Britain are the Stan James Intermediate
Hurdle held at Newbury and the Cheltenham Festival’s Champion
National Hunt Race – This refers to any of a
series of annually scheduled jumps races, in which the horses must
jump over obstacles such as fences, ditches and pools of water.
The National Hunt jump-racing season takes place during winter and
spring, and nowadays it sometimes lasts longer.
Race – This is a designation commonly applied to National Hunt
jump-races in which only horses that have not won that particular
type of race prior to that season are allowed to compete. Novices
may also be defined in flat racing as those horses that have not
won more than two races.
Point-to-Point Race – This
is a type of steeplechase open only to amateur jockeys, with a
season running from January to June each year. Future jump-racing
stars can often be seen in such events.
– This type of jumps race covers a distance of between two and
four miles, and it is restricted to horses aged four years and
older. It features large jumps, at least 4½ feet high, which are
fixed in place so that they do not collapse. The most famous
Steeplechases in Great Britain are the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the
Grand National held annually at Aintree.
race meeting which has been cancelled due to bad weather. All bets
placed on abandoned races are fully refunded.
A bet involving more than one
horse/race. Each winning selection then goes on to the next horse
(bet). All selections must be successful to win any money back.
Act (on the ground/on the track etc)
Describes a horse's suitability for different conditions e.g.
going, racecourses etc. If a horse -acts on soft ground' it means
that horse has shown previous ability to handle soft ground.
All thoroughbreds have their birthdays
on 1 January.
riders (apprentices, conditionals and amateurs) are allowed a
weight concession to compensate for their lack of experience
against their colleagues. The -allowance- is usually 3lb, 5lb or
7lb, with it decreasing as the young jockey rides more winners.
An artificial racing
surface. There are four all-weather racetracks in Britain
(Kempton, Lingfield, Southwell, Wolverhampton) and one in Ireland
(Dundalk), and they stage race meetings throughout the summer and
winter. There are two types of surface - Fibresand and Polytrack.
A horse that finishes -down the
field- in a race (i.e. out of the prizemoney).
A non-professional jockey who does not receive
a fee for riding in a race, denoted on the racecard by the prefix
Mr, Mrs, Miss, Captain etc. Some races are restricted to
For many major
races you can place your bet well in advance of the day. In the
case of the Classics or big National Hunt races such as the Grand
National this could be a year or more before the race takes place.
The price of the horse you bet on is usually bigger than you would
expect to see on the day as it reflects the fact the horse is not
guaranteed to line up in the race. You can place an antepost bet
until the final declaration stage of the race.
A trainee Flat jockey connected to the
stable of a licensed trainer. Apprentices have a weight allowance
when they ride in races against professional jockeys and can
compete for the annual Apprentice title, given to the winner of
the most races during the season.
At the post
When all the horses have arrived at the start before a race, they
are said to be -at the post-.
For two-year-olds sold at public auction as yearlings or
two-year-olds, for a price not exceeding a specified figure.
Backed / Backed-In
A 'backed' horse is one
on which lots of bets have been placed. A horse which is backed-in
means that bettors have outlaid a lot of money on that horse, with
the result being a decrease in the odds offered
Backstretch / Back Straight
The straight length of the
track on the far side of the course from the stands
A horse that is either too young or
not fully fit.
expected to win - usually a short priced favourite. The strongest
selection in a multiple selection.
Term used when describing bookmakers' prices. e.g. '4-1 bar two'
means that you can obtain at least 4-1 about any horse except for
the first two in betting.
colour - any brown horse with a black mane/tail and legs.
A market is created, according
to demand, by the prices offered for each runner by bookmakers.
The main area at a
racecourse where the bookmakers operate.
Betting term used to describe a favourite that bookmakers expect
to lose and are therefore happy to lay.
Metal part of the bridle that sits in a horse-s mouth. The reins
are then attached to the bit and used by the jockey to control the
Black (horse colour)
is a uniform black colour (except possible white markings on its
head and lower legs).
used by the bloodstock industry to denote a horse that has won or
been placed in a Pattern/Listed race. Horses -going for black
type' are attempting to win or be placed in a Pattern/Listed race
to improve their breeding value.
When the horses finish so close to the winning line you could
theoretically put a single blanket across them.The Judge usually
calls a photo to decide the official placings.
A horse that tends to break blood vessels
during a race.
Another name for
A form of headgear
worn by the horse, consisting of a hood with cups around the eyes.
They are use to limit a horse-s vision and reduce distractions,
with the aim of making it concentrate.A horse wearing blinkers is
denoted on a racecard by a small b next to the horse-s weight (b1
indicates that the horse is wearing blinkers in a race for the
of horses at auction.
workout, usually a day or two before a race, designed to clear the
horse-s airways before the race.
The generally available odds displayed on the boards
of on-course bookmakers. It is from these that the starting price
(SP) is derived. 'Taking the board price' means taking the last
price shown against your selection at the time you strike the bet.
A record of the bets made on a
particular race or other sporting event. A bookmaker -makes a
book- by determining the likelihood of each possible outcome in a
race and presenting this in the form of odds or prices. The book
is adjusted according to the amount of money and bets struck on
each possible outcome.
person/company licensed to accept bets. Also known as a bookie.
The tic-tac bookmaking term for
A horse that cannot
overtake another horse because it is blocked by other horses.
A horse that constantly walks
around its stable and doesn-t settle.
Teaching a young horse to accept riding
equipment and carry a rider.
Restraining or easing off on a horse for a short distance to
permit him to fill his lungs during the race.
Someone that breeds racehorses. They own the
dam (mother) at time foal is born.
Galloping a horse at a moderate speed.
Type of auction, usually for two-year-olds, at which the horses
for sale run for a short distance to allow prospective buyers to
The equipment on a
horse-s head used to control it.
Bridle, won on the
Won easily, without being hard ridden or challenged by other
When a horse
sustains an injury during a race.
Mare kept at stud for breeding, and not usually raced, although
likely to have done so when younger.
A horse that falls during a race when impeded by another horse.
A Flat race run under Jump Rules,
used to educate young prospective jumps horses before they tackle
hurdles or fences. Officially called National Hunt Flat Race.
Interference during a race where
one horse collides with another. Often results in a Stewards-
Enquiry, particularly when interference takes place in the closing
stages of the race
The tic-tac bookmaking term for 100-30.
The tic-tac bookmaking term for 3-1. Double carpet is 33-1.
A horse that takes part in
horse's run during a race is momentarily blocked by another horse
sheepskin that are attached to the side of a horse's bridle. They
partially obscure a horse's rear vision, with the aim of getting
the horse to concentrate on racing. Horses wearing cheekpieces are
denoted on a racecard by a small p next to the horse's weight.
Horse colour varying from light,
washy yellow to dark liver orange, and in between are red, gold
and liver shades.
racecourse, usually at the top of the home straight, to allow
straight run from the start.
An apprentice Flat jockey.
Claiming race / Claimer
A race in which each horse's weight is determined by the price
placed on them by connections. The lower the claiming price, the
lower the weight. Horses can be -claimed' (bought) by other
owners/trainers for the specified price after the race.
Group of historic major races for
three-year-olds in the Flat season. In Britain the five Classics
are (in running order) the 2,000 Guineas, the 1,000 Guineas, the
Oaks, the Derby and the St Leger - most European countries have
their own versions of these Classics. A Classic contender is a
horse being aimed at one of these races or is regarded as having
the potential to compete at that level.
Racecourse official responsible for the
overall racecourse management, including the preparation of the
Clerk of the Scales
Racecourse official whose chief duty is to weigh the riders before
and after a race to ensure proper weight is carried.
The tic-tac bookmaking term for 10-1.
A horse that shares its
position at the head of the betting market with at least two other
Jacket ('silks') worn
by jockey to identify a horse. A horse runs in its owner-s colours
which are registered with Weatherbys. The colours to be worn by
each jockey are shown on racecards.
Ungelded (entire) male horse below five years of age.
Combination bet (accumulator)
A bet involving
more than one horse with the winnings from each selection going on
to the next horse. All selections must be successful to get a
return. Combination bets must be placed with the same bookmaker.
A Jump jockey,
under 26, who receives a weight allowance for inexperience until
he has ridden a certain number of winners. A conditional jockey is
licensed to a specific trainer. Some races are restricted to
race in which horses are allotted extra weight according to
factors including sex, age, whether they are a previous winner
etc. This is a better-class race for horses just below Group or
build and general physical structure; the way he is put together.
People associated with a
horse, such as the owner and trainer.
A horse that is proven at a track in
jockey keeps a horse behind other runners to prevent it running
too freely in the early stages of a race.
The mating of horses.
Cut in the ground
A description of the ground condition where the racing surface has
been softened by rain.
The sire of
a broodmare; in human terms, the maternal grandfather of a horse.
A horse regarded as having
potential but whose full capabilities have not been revealed. A
trainer will plan a horse-s campaign carefully so that it does not
carry too much weight in a major handicap. Punters often perceive
these types of horses as a -dark horse-.
A tie between two or more horses for first place, or for one of
the other finishing positions. In the event of a dead-heat for
first place, when a winning bet has been made, half the stake is
applied to the selection at full odds and the other half is lost.
If more than two horses dead-heat, the stake is proportioned
Used on the
Tote and betting exchanges, instead of fractional odds. Decimal
odds are expressed as a figure (in round or decimal terms) that
represents the potential total winning return to the punter. So, 4
(or 4.0) in Tote or decimal odds is the same as the conventional
3-1, as it represents a potential total winning return of £4 to a
confirmed to start in a race at the final declarations stage.
When a horse is scratched from
a race after the betting market has already opened, deductions are
taken out of the win and place bets at a rate in proportion to the
odds of the scratched horse.
When a horse is demoted in the finishing order due to an
infringement of the Rules following a Stewards- Enquiry.
The margin by which a horse has won
or has been beaten (e.g. a horse might have a winning distance of
three lengths) OR in Jump racing, if a horse is beaten/wins by a
long way (more than 30 lengths) it is said to have been beaten/won
by a distance.
The amount that
a winning or placed horse returns for every £1 bet.
Consists of one bet involving two
selections in different events. Both selections must be successful
to get a return, with the winnings from the first selection going
on to the second selection. The return is calculated by
multiplying the odds on the two selections: e.g. a £10 double on a
2-1 winner and a 7-1 winner pays £240 (£10 on a 2-1 winner = £30,
then that £30 on a 7-1 winner = £240).
The tic-tac bookmaking term for 33-1.
A horse-s starting position in the stalls
allotted in races on the Flat. Stall numbers are drawn at random
by Weatherbys (except in a handful of top races that allow each
horse's connections, having been randomly selected, to choose the
stall number for their horse). A horse with a seemingly
advantageous draw is said to be "well drawn". Stalls are used for
Flat racing only.
A horse whose
odds get bigger just before the race due to a lack of support in
the market. Often referred to as being "on the drift".
Drop in class/trip
A horse racing in a lower
class of race than he has recently run in/running over a shorter
A bet where the
aim is to select both the winner and runner-up in a race in either
Dwell/dwelt (at the start)
A bet where
half the total stake is for the selection to win and half is for
the selection to be placed (usually in the first three, but in big
handicaps the places may extend to fourth or fifth).If the
selection wins, the win portion is calculated in the normal way,
while the place portion of the bet is settled at a fraction of the
win odds. This fraction, and the number of places allowed by the
bookmaker, depends on the type of race and the number of runners
in the race. If the selection is placed but fails to win, the win
portion of the stake is lost but, again, the place portion of the
bet is settled at a fraction of the win odds.
Enquiry - Stewards- Enquiry
Review of the race to
check into a possible infraction of the Rules made by the
Stewards. If the enquiry could affect the result of the race, an
announcement will be made on course.
An ungelded horse.
price of 1-1. When your stake brings equal winnings e.g. £10
staked at evens wins £10 (total return £20).
Exacta / Straight forecast
A bet picking the first and
second in a race in the exact order of finish.
When a horse is expected to win or at least to
be involved in the finish.
The horse with the shortest odds in the race.
The number of horses in a race or, in betting, all of the horses
in a race except the favourite.
Female horse four-years-old or younger.
Where a trainer and/or owner has more than one
runner in a race, the horse considered to be the stable's main
fancy is referred to as the stable's first string. Clues to which
horse this is can be whether it carries the owner's first colours,
is ridden by the stable jockey and/or is shorter odds in the
betting than a stablemate.
Staking a set amount to win a set amount by multiplying the stake
by the odds. As opposed to spread betting, where the amount that
can be won or lost on a single bet may vary.
The race meeting
Racing without jumps. The centrepiece of the Flat racing season is
the Turf season, which runs from late March to early November.
Races are run over a minimum distance of 5f up to a maximum of
2m6f. However, the birth of All-Weather racing in 1989, has
allowed Flat racing to continue year-round, and the official Flat
racing season now runs for a calendar year to include those Flat
races run on all-weather surfaces.
A horse from birth to January 1 of the following year (when it
becomes a yearling).
where the aim is to select both the winner and runner-up in a
race. A straight forecast is the winner and runner-up in the
correct order. A dual forecast is the winner and runner-up in
A horse's race
record. Denoted by figures (and letters) next to its name on a
racecard i.e. 1=first, 2=second etc. The form figures are read
backwards from right to left - ie a horse's latest run is denoted
by the figure nearest to its name on the racecard.
A horse whose running style is to attempt
to get on or near the lead at the start of the race and stay there
as long as possible.
(one eighth of a mile). The numbered posts on British racecourses
count the furlongs back from the winning post.
Top gait for a horse - the speed they race at.
Training ground where horses
are exercised. The major training centres in Britain are Newmarket
and Malton (mostly Flat), and Lambourn (mostly Jump) with the
Curragh in Ireland. Many trainers have private gallops of their
The national centre for
information, advice and practical help with regard to the social
impact of gambling .
section of the starting stalls, which open at the start of a Flat
race to release the horses. Used as another term for starting
A male horse that has
been castrated. Most male horses that compete over jumps have been
gelded, and a Flat horse may be gelded. Geldings are not allowed
to run in some of the top Flat races, such as the Derby, that are
important for identifying potential breeding talent.
General Stud Book
Register of all thoroughbred
horses, maintained by Weatherbys.
Get the trip
To stay the distance.
The condition of the racing surface. Ranges from heavy to firm.
When horses are on their
way to the start.
Go through the card
To have the winner of every race at a race meeting, either as a
trainer, jockey, tipster or punter.
Used to describe an immature or inexperienced horse.
Group 1 (Flat) / Grade 1 (jumps)
category of race. The Classic Flat races in Britain, as well as
other historic races such as the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, are
Group 1. The major championship races over jumps, such as the
Cheltenham Gold Cup, are Grade 1.
Group / Graded
These races form the upper tier of the racing
structure, with Group/Grade 1 the most important, followed by
Group/Grade 2 and Group/Grade 3. Group races are run on the Flat;
Graded races are run over jumps (the most important Flat races in
the United Statesare also Graded).
A guinea was one pound and one shilling
(£1.05 in decimal currency) and, traditionally, the prices of
horses sold at publicauction were given in guineas. Some sales
companies still use guineas, though most have changed to pounds.
Shorthand for the 1,000
Guineasand/or 2,000 Guineas. A -Guineashorse' is one that is
considered capable of running in one of these Classic races.
Describes a horse winning
horses have the same mother (dam), they are half-brothers/sisters.
Horses are not referred to as half-brothers/sisters when they
share only the same father (sire).
A race where each horse is allotted a different weight to carry,
according to the official handicap ratings determined by the BHA
Handicappers. The theory is that all horses run on a fair and
equal basis - the -perfect' handicap being one where all the
runners finish in a dead-heat.
Handicap mark /
Each horse, once it has run a few times
(usually three), is allocated an official handicap rating by the
BHA, which is used to determine its weight if it runs in a
handicap. If a horse does well, its handicap rating will go up; if
it performs poorly, its rating will go down.
Official responsible for allocating a
handicap rating to each horse that has qualified for one, and for
allotting the weights to be carried by each horse in a handicap.
Employed by the British Horseracing Authority.
Used to describe a horse whose jockey is
expending full effort on the horse, and using his whip.
Newmarket, traditionally seen as
the home of Flat racing, is often called Headquarters.
The length of straight track,
from the final bend to the finish line.
A horse that races over hurdles, which are lighter and lower than
The smaller obstacles
on a jumps course. Horses usually have a season or two over
hurdles before progressing to fences, though some continue to
specialise in hurdling and never run over fences, while some
horses go straight over fences without trying hurdles first.
Independent Arbitration Betting
Service. An arbitration service that deals with betting disputes
between punters and bookmakers.
Refers to events that take place during the course of a race.
Betting on the outcome
of a race during the race itself, rather than beforehand. This
type of betting is particularly popular on the betting exchanges,
though it is also offered by many bookmakers. In-running odds can
change rapidly as the race unfolds.
The Jackpot is a tote bet that requires the selection
of the winners of the first six races at a selected meeting. The
minimum bet is 50p
to refer to when one jockey is replaced by another on a horse he
usually rides or for which he has already been booked to ride in a
horses have the shortest odds in the betting, they are described
as joint-favourites; if three or more horses have the shortest
odds, they are co-favourites.
Racecourse official responsible for declaring the finishing order
of a race and the distances between the runners.
A two-year-old horse. Every horse officially
turns two on January 1, at the start of the second full calendar
year following its birth e.g. a horse born in 2010 will turn two
on January 1, 2012.
The youngest category of hurdler - juvenile hurdlers are those
that turn four years of age (on January 1) during the season in
which they start hurdling.
a bet on: a bookmaker's offer quoting the price at which he wishes
to trade. 'I'll lay 6-4 this favourite.' Betting on a horse to
An alternative term for a
bookmaker, someone who lays or accepts a bet.
Racecourse where horses run
A unit of
measurement for the distances between each horse at the finish of
a race; the measurement of a horse from head to tail.
When all horses are carrying the
same weight. Major championship races, such as the Derby on the
Flat or the Cheltenham Gold Cup over jumps, are run at level
weights. There are still some allowances for age and sex (e.g.
mares receive a 5lb allowance from male horses in the Cheltenham
A class of race
just below a Group or Graded quality.
A surcharge collected from bookmakers, based on their turnover or
gross profits, which goes towards prize-money, improvements to
racecourses, and other areas such as scientific research. The body
responsible for this is the Levy Board.
A horse with high odds (an outsider).
A horse that has yet to win a race; maiden races are restricted to
such horses, though sometimes the conditions of the race allow
previous winners (e.g. maidens at closing, i.e. those that have
not won a race up to the time the entries close), in which case
penalties are allotted for later wins.
For maidens aged three or above that have run
at least four times and have a maximum rating of 70.
Female horse aged five years old or
is created, according to demand, by the prices offered for each
runner by bookmakers.
Median auction maiden
A race for two-year-olds by stallions that had one or more
yearling sold in the previous year with a median price not
exceeding a specified figure.
On the Flat, races beyond a mile and up to 1m6f are the middle
distances. A middle-distance horse is one that runs mainly over
such distances or is regarded as being suitable for those
race distance: five furlongs on the Flat, two miles over jumps.
Horse names have to be registered
with Weatherbys, racing's administrative body, and are subject to
approval. Names cannot be longer than 18 characters (including
spaces) and must not be the same, in spelling or pronunciation, as
a name already registered. In addition, there is a list of
-protected' horse names that cannot be used - these include past
winners of big races such as the Grand National and the Classics
on the Flat.
The best bet of the
day from a particular tipster.
Racing over fences and hurdles; officially referred to as Jump
Unit of measurement in a
race finish about the length of a horse's neck.
A horse that was originally meant to run
but for some reason has been withdrawn from the race.
Smallest official distance a horse can
A horse that is
prevented by the jockey from running to its full ability.
Non-trying is a serious offence prohibited by the rules of racing,
and jockeys (as well as the horse and owner) can be banned from
racing if they are found guilty, while the horse's trainer risks a
fine and/or a ban.
A horse in
the early stages of its career after it has won its first race.
A race for novices sold at
public auction as yearlings or two-year-olds for a price not
exceeding a specified figure.
A Flat race for two-year-olds or three-year-olds that have not won
more than twice.
A handicap on
the Flat for two-year-old horses.
A complaint by one jockey against another regarding the running of
The chance offered for a
selection to win. Also known as price.
Betting odds where the potential winnings are higher than the
stake. The numerator is larger than the denominator (e.g. 2-1).
Betting odds where the stake is
higher than the potential winnings if the bet is successful. The
denominator is larger than the numerator (e.g. 1-2)
Off the bridle
Describes a horse being pushed
along and losing contact with the bit in its mouth.
Off the pace
When a horse is some distance
behind the front-runners in a race.
Describes a horse that is unable to raise its pace in the closing
stages of a race.
On the bridle
Describes a horse running comfortably, still having a bite on the
bit. A horse that wins -on the bridle' is regarded as having won
On the nose (to bet)
with a ditch on the approach side to the fence.
of the handicap
When handicap races are framed, there
is a maximum and minimum weight that horses can carry. When a
horse's rating means that its allocated weight is lower than the
minimum for that race, it is said to be -out of the handicap'.
e.g. in a Flat handicap where a horse set to carry the minimum
weight of 7st 7lb is rated 65, a horse rated 62 would be allocated
7st 4lb in the long handicap but would have to carry the minimum
7st 7lb in the race - this horse would be described as being -3lb
out of the handicap' (ie it would be carrying 3lb more than its
-true' handicap weight).
Out Of The Money
A horse that finishes outside of the place money.
Long-priced horse in the betting,
regarded as unlikely to win.
Horses entered for a race must be -declared to run' and this
usually happens the day before a race - horses left in a race at
this stage are known as -overnight declarations' and they comprise
the final field for each race which appears on the day of the race
in newspapers and in racecards. At this stage a trainer must also
-declare' the jockey who will ride the horse and any equipment
(e.g. blinkers) the horse will carry - this information also
appears on racecards in newspapers and at the racecourse.
In theory, a betting book can be
fairly weighted between bookmaker and punter. However, to ensure a
profit margin, a bookmaker will alter the odds in their favour.
Overround is a means of expressing to what extent the odds are in
favour of the bookmaker. An evenly weighted book is expressed as
100%, and the more the odds move in the bookmaker's favour the
more that figure rises. Thus a book that is weighted 20% in favour
of a bookmaker is expressed as 120% overround.
When a horse is considered to be past its peak
due to too much racing/training and needs a rest.
When a horse carries more than its
allocated weight, due to the jockey being unable to make that
weight. e.g. if a horse is allocated 9st in the handicap but
carries 9st 2lb, the jockey is said to have -put up 2lb
overweight'. This is usually a disadvantage, though sometimes the
trainer of a horse may decide to accept overweight in order to
have one of the best jockeys on board his horse.
A horse that is entered in a race with the
intention that it will set the pace for another horse with the
Area of the
racecourse incorporating the parade ring (where horses are paraded
prior to the race) and winner's enclosure. Connections of the
horses gather in the centre of the paddock before each race and
jockeys mount before taking the horses out onto the racecourse.
Before major races, the horses
often line up in racecard order (numerical order) and led in front
of the grandstands to allow racegoers to see them. At the end of
the parade the horses are released to canter down to the start.
Multiple bet consisting of seven
bets involving three selections in different events. A single on
each selection, plus three doubles and one treble. One successful
selection guarantees a return.
The grading system for the most important races, introduced on the
Flat in 1971 and later for jumps racing. The top races on the Flat
are Group 1, followed by Group 2 and Group 3 (the next highest
category is Listed, which, while not technically part of the
Pattern, combine with Group races under the heading of black-type
races). The jumps Pattern has a similar structure, except that the
races are termed Grade 1/2/3, rather than Group 1/2/3.
Horses that have incurred a
weight penalty as a result of previous successes.
Additional weight carried by a horse on
account of previous wins. In a handicap, a penalty is added to a
horse's original weight if it has won in between being entered for
the race and running in it, as the handicapper has not had the
opportunity to re-assess that horse's handicap rating. A penalty
(commonly 6lb) is shown after the horse's name on Racing Post
racecards - e.g. Horsename (ex6).
In a close race, where the placings cannot be determined easily,
the result is determined by the judge by examination of a
photograph taken by a camera on the finishing line.
Similar rules to the Jackpot, but
your selections have only to be placed.
A horse that drops out of a race and does not finish.
When a horse is unsettled during the
early part of a race and uses too much energy, fighting the jockey
by pulling against the bridle.
person who gambles or lays a bet.
When a horse is ridden vigorously, but without full effort by the
The hind parts of a
horse, specifically between flank and tail.
Programme for the day's racing, showing the
times, runners and riders for each race.
White plastic rails are used to mark out
the track on a racecourse. The stands rails are those nearest the
grandstand and the far rails are those on the opposite side of the
track from the grandstand. A horse referred to as being -on the
rails' or -against the rails' is running close to the rails, which
often helps a horse to keep a straight line in a race finish. A
horse that has -grabbed the rail' is one whose rider has
manoeuvred to a position close to the rail.
This refers to the fence separating the
Members area on a racecourse from the Tattersalls area. Bookmakers
are not allowed in the Members area, but some bookmakers are
allowed to set up their pitches on the Tattersalls side of the
rails, allowing them to accept bets. Rails bookmakers are the top
end of the racecourse betting market, usually dealing with credit
A measure of the
ability of a horse on a scale starting at zero and going into
three figures. Flat Jump racing use different scales; the
highest-rated Flat horse is usually in the 130s and the top-rated
jumper in the 180s.
amount received for a winning bet (winnings plus stake) OR the
result/final odds for a race e.g. the winner was returned at 4-1.
horses run clockwise.
Tattersalls Rule 4 (c): One of the most commonly invoked betting
rules, dealing with deductions from winning bets in the event of
any withdrawn runner(s) from a race. The rule applies to winning
bets struck at prices (e.g. morning prices) laid before a
withdrawal (other than ante-post bets, which are unaffected by
Rule 4 (c)) and to starting-price bets where, after a late
withdrawal, there is insufficient time to re-form the market. The
rate of deductions is in proportion to the odds of the
non-runner(s) at the time of the withdrawal.
Training a horse for jumping.
The stable's second choice from
two or more runners in a race.
Low-class race in which the winner
is offered at auction afterwards; other horses in the race may be
claimed for a fixed sum. If the winning stable buys back its own
horse it is said to be 'bought in'. The racecourse receives a
percentage of the selling price of each horse.
A horse that is entered in a selling
plate because it is not expected to win in any higher grade, or
because it can do well against moderate opposition, which may
result in a betting coup.
Bookmaker's reduction of the odds on a particular horse.
Low odds, meaning a punter will
get little return for their initial outlay.
A racecourse enclosure, usually the one with the lowest admission
The simplest and most
popular bet, normally a win bet on one horse in one race.
Father of a horse.
Condition of a turf course where rain has left
the ground -soft- (official going description).
Short for starting price.
Spread a plate
When a horse damages or loses a horseshoe before a race, it is
said to have -spread a plate'. The horse has to be re-shod by a
farrier, often delaying the start of the race.
A horse whose price shortens dramatically.
A horse that specialises in
running over the shortest distances (five and six furlongs) on the
Flat races run over
a distance of five or six furlongs.
Male breeding horse.
Member of a team employed to load horses into the stalls for Flat
races and to move the stalls to the correct position for the start
of each race.
official responsible for starting a horse race.
Often abbreviated to SP. The starting
prices are the final odds prevailing at the time the race starts
and are used to determine the payout to winning punters, unless a
punter took a specified price at the time of placing the bet.
A horse that specialises in racing
over long distances (two miles and above) on the Flat.
A horse that races over three
miles or more over fences.
When a horse is finishing strongly in a race, possibly a sign of
good stamina reserves.
Flat races run over a distance of two miles or more.
A race over fences, open
ditches and water jumps, run over distances from two miles up to
four and a half miles.
the officials in overall charge of a race meeting, including
disciplinary procedures. The stewards can hold inquiries into
possible infringements of the rules of racing, or hear objections
to the race result from beaten jockeys. Usually there are three
stewards at each race meeting, assisted by a stipendiary steward.
The stewards are appointed by the racecourse, subject to approval
by the BHA, and are often prominent local figures (much like
hearing held by the stewards into a race to determine whether the
rules of racing have been broken.
On a racecourse, where stewards hold inquiries. A race is said to
have been -decided in thestewards' room' if the placings are
altered by the stewards due to a transgression of the rules of
A jockey's whip
Also known as a Stipe.
Unlike raceday stewards, Stipes are professionals employed by the
BHA and one is sent to each meeting to assist the stewards and
advise on the rules of racing. The raceday stewards, not the
Stipe, are responsible for decision-making, but the Stipe's
knowledge is often invaluable e.g. in setting an appropriate level
of punishment if a jockey or trainer is found guilty of an
infringement of the rules of racing.
A bet where the aim is to select both the
winner and runner-up in a race in the correct order.
All the horses in a particular training
A farm where horses are
mated. Usually home to one or more stallions.
Major races such as the Derby,
which have an early initial entry date and several forfeit stages,
often allow additional entries to be made in the week leading up
to the race, subject to a substantial fee. A horse entered at this
stage is known as a supplementary entry and the fee payable is
known as the supplementary entry fee. Supplementary entries mean
that a major race can have the best possible field, as a horse may
not be deemed worthy of a Derby entry as a yearling (possibly on
account of its pedigree or because the owner is not among the
echelon of the super-rich) but then shows unexpected ability once
its racing career has started.
A horse that is regarded as having little chance of losing.
Tattersalls (racecourse enclosure)
enclosure next in status to Members. Those choosing this enclosure
have access to the main betting area and the paddock.
A breed of horse used for racing
The sign language used by
bookmakers to communicate changes in betting odds on the
racecourse. Tic-tacs wear white gloves and signal the odds using
their hands and arms.
of material tied around a horse's tongue and lower jaw to keep it
from swallowing its tongue, which can clog its air passage. A
horse wearing a tongue tie is denoted on a racecard by a small t
next to the horse's weight (t1 indicates that the horse is wearing
a tongue tie in a race for the first time).
Government-owned pool betting company,
established in 1929, principally offering tote odds but also fixed
odds. Contributes a large sum to racing each year. Full name: the
Horserace Totalisator Board.
Introduced in Britain in 1929 to offer pool betting on
racecourses. All the stakes on a particular bet are pooled, before
a deduction is made to cover the Tote's costs and contribution to
racing. The remainder of the pool is divided by the number of
winning units to give a dividend that is declared inclusive of a
£1 stake. Odds fluctuate according to the pattern of betting and
betting ceases when the race starts.
The person responsible for looking after a horse and preparing it
to race. A trainer must hold a license or permit to be entitled to
A three-leg accumulator.
All three selections must be successful to get a return; the
winnings from the first selection automatically go on to the
second and then on to the third.
Another term for the distance of a race. When a horse has the
stamina for a certain distance, it is said to -stay/get the trip'
In Britain, for colts the
Triple Crown comprises the 2,000 Guineas, the Derbya nd the St
Leger; for fillies, the 1,000 Guineas, the Oaks and the St Leger.
Winning all three races is a rare feat, last achieved by a colt
(Nijinsky) in 1970 and by a filly (Oh So Sharp) in 1985. The
American Triple Crown comprises the Kentucky Derby, Preakness
Stakes and Belmont Stakes.
Multiple bet consisting of four bets involving three selections in
different events. The bet includes three doubles and one treble. A
minimum of two selections must be successful to get a return.
1) Racecourses often have a
-best turned out' award for the horse judged to have been best
presented in the paddock. 2) A racehorse that is taking a break
from racing/training and is out in the fields is said to have been
Turn of foot
ability to accelerate in the closing stages of a race. A horse
with a -good turn of foot' has good finishing speed.
Every horse officially turns two
on January 1, at the start of the second full calendar year
following its birth e.g. a horse born in 2008 will turn two on
Two-year-old horses are also known as
juveniles, and this is the first age at which horses are allowed
to compete on the Flat (the youngest racing age over jumps is
three years old).
Under starters orders/under
The moment a race is about to begin. Once the
horses are in the stalls for a Flat race, or have lined up at the
start for a jumps race, they are said to be -under starter-s
orders- as the jockeys are waiting for the starter-s signal to
begin the race.
A person employed to
prepare a jockey-s equipment in the weighing room.
Similar to blinkers, but with a slit in
each eye cup to allow some lateral vision. A horse wearing a visor
is denoted on a racecard by a small v next to the horse-s weight
(v1 indicates that the horse is wearing a visor in a race for the
A race involving
only one horse. The horse and its jockey must past the winning
post to be declared the winner.
The official declaration ratifying a race result.
Each jockey (wearing his racing kit
and carrying his saddle) must stand on official weighing scales
before and after the race, so that the Clerk of the Scales can
check that the jockey is carrying the correct weight allotted to
his horse. If a jockey is above the allotted weight before the
race, his horse can still compete but must carry overweight. When
the weights carried by the winner and placed horses have been
verified after the race, there will be an announcement that they
have -weighed in-. This confirms the race result and at this point
bookmakers will pay out on successful bets.
A cloth with pockets for lead weights placed
under the saddle to ensure that a horse carries its allotted
Weight for age
scale that shows how horses of differing ages progress month by
month during the racing season, the differences being expressed in
terms of weight. This allows horses of differing ages to compete
against each other on a fair basis, based on their age and
maturity, in what are known as weight-for-age races.
Lead placed in a weight cloth. When
these weights are added to the jockey-s weight and other
equipment, the total weight should equal the weight allotted to
the jockey-s horse in a race.
When a horse is considered to be favoured by the weights in a
race, it is said to be -well in-.
A single bet on a horse to finish first. Win only markets signify
that no each-way betting is available.
Or stick. Used by jockey as an aid to encourage or steer and
balance the horse.
employee, not necessarily a licensed jockey, who rides horses in
training on the gallops.
Multiple bet consisting of 11 bets (six doubles, four trebles and
one four-fold) on four selections in different events. At least
two selections must be successful to get a return.
A trainer-s premises from where racehorses are
A foal from January
1 to December 31 of the year following its birth.
Irish term to describe racecourse going that