Horse Racing Glossary

All Weather

Flat racing that takes place on an artificial surface. It takes place all year round. At the time of writing there are 5 all-weather tracks in the UK (Chelmsford City, Kempton, Lingfield, Southwell &...

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Also ran

Horse not among winners (first or place) in a race.

Ante-post odds

Quotations offered in advance of the day of a particular race. Bets so placed are lost if your horse is a non-starter. Generally for larger races.

At the post

The point at which horses gather immediately before the start of a race.

Bar

A word used to describe a horse that has no specific odds attached. A term generally used in connection with bookmakers' prices. e.g. '6/1 bar two' means that you can obtain at least 6/1 (5.00) about...

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Bumper

Common description of a National Hunt Flat Race. The purpose of these races is to provide horses with experience of racing prior to entering races with hurdles or fences.

Colours

The racing silks as worn by jockeys in races. The colours (racing silks) are owned by the owner of the horse. These are usually displayed in most newspapers and race cards to distinguish one horse...

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Dead Heat

This is when two or more selections cannot be separated by the judge even after consulting the photo finish.

Draw

The starting positions allotted to horses contesting races on the flat (there is no draw for positions over jumps). The lowest numbers are on the left (as seen from behind the stalls).

Each way

One half of the bet is to win; the other is to be placed. If the horse wins the race the customer collects on both parts of the bet. If the horse places within the each way criteria (dependent on the...

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Early Price (EP)

Odds that individual bookmakers offer on races due to take place later in the same day. They are offered as a marketing incentive to enable customers to place bets with a bookmaker and providing them...

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Evens

Starting Price which describes odds of 1/1 (2.00).

Flat Racing

The Flat Season begins at the end of March and runs through to the end of September on turf. Races are run over a minimum distance of five furlongs up to a maximum of twenty two furlongs and take...

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Furlong

1/8th of a mile, 201 meters.

Going

The state of the ground on which racing will take place (Hard, Firm, Good, Soft, Heavy).

Going to Post

When horses are on the way to the start of a race. In terms of betting it is the first trigger word which customers know means they have only got a few minutes to put on their bets.

Handicaps

Races in which horses are allotted different weights with the object of nullifying any disparity in their ability.

Length

A unit of measurement for the length of a horse from nose to tail. A horses winning distance in horse racing is declared in lengths. The shortest winning distance is a nose, followed by a short head,...

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National Hunt

A category of racing that includes bumper races, hurdles and chases. It takes place all year round however the majority of races occur between November and March.

Non-Runner

Any horse due to run in a race but then doesn't take part. Customers always receive their money back on single bets on non-runners and for all other bets the horse is void from calculations.

Photo Finish

Used by the stewards to decipher the winner of a closely contested outcome. A photo of the finish is automatically taken in all races but would only be referred to when the outcome is too close to...

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Place/EW terms

The number of placings paid out when betting to each-way terms. These vary depending on the number of runners and whether it is a handicap or not.

Pulled (up)

Prevented from winning, or at least from obtaining a better placing, by the jockey.

Rule 4

If a horse is withdrawn and there is insufficient time to form a new market, the remaining horses in the race are subject to a deduction if they win or are placed. Click here for more info on Rule 4.

Silks

The colours worn by the jockey. These are chosen by the owners and in some cases can be very recognizable.

SP/Starting Price

The official starting price of a horse.

Stall

Box in which horses are placed prior to most flat races.

Starter's orders

Expression used as a betting trigger to announce that a race is just about to start and usually denotes (unless otherwise stated) that no more bets can be placed.

Steward's Enquiry

On any suspected infringements of the Rules of Racing the Stewards hold an investigation. These are carried out in a similar manner to objections.