Glossary of Terms Related to Horse Racing Betting 

This glossary defines terms used in horse racing and betting. 

  • Acca Insurance: A betting promotion that refunds a user's stake (either as cash or as a free bet) if only one selection in their accumulator bet fails to win, providing a safety net against narrowly missed accumulators.
  • Accumulator: A bet involving multiple selections. All selections must win for the bet to be successful.
  • Accumulator Bonus: A bonus offered by bookmakers that increases the potential payout on accumulator bets, typically based on the number of selections included in the bet.
  • Age Weight: The weight carried by a horse determined by its age.
  • All In: Betting that's finalized post declaration stage, and in the event of a horse's withdrawal, no money is returned.
  • All-Weather Racing: Racing on an artificial surface.
  • Allowance: Weight concession given to an apprentice or claiming jockey.
  • Also Ran: Horses that didn’t finish in the money.
  • Ante-post: Betting on an event well in advance of the day it's scheduled to take place.
  • Apprentice: A jockey in Flat racing who receives a weight allowance to offset their lack of experience.
  • Backward: A horse that is not fully matured.
  • Bad Each-Way: A race where the odds of the favourite are so short that it makes each-way betting unattractive.
  • Banker: A bet considered almost certain to win.
  • Bar: The odds of those runners in a race not quoted with a price during early betting shows. The bar price is the minimum odds for any of those selections not quoted.
  • Barren: A mare that can't conceive.
  • Best Odds Guaranteed: A betting promotion where if a punter takes a price on a horse (or greyhound) and the starting price ends up being bigger, the bookmaker will pay out at the larger odds, ensuring bettors receive the best value.
  • Betting Exchange: A betting exchange is a marketplace where individuals can buy and sell bets on the outcome of events, allowing for peer-to-peer wagering rather than betting against a bookmaker.
  • Betting Ring: The main area at a racecourse where bookmakers operate.
  • Betting Promotion: A special offer or incentive provided by bookmakers to encourage betting activity, often featuring enhanced odds or bonuses.
  • Blinkers: A type of horse equipment; a hood with eye shields to limit a horse's field of vision and help it concentrate.
  • Bloodstock: Refers to thoroughbred breeding (i.e., horses for racing).
  • Bookmaker App: A bookmaker app is a digital platform that allows users to place bets on various sporting and non-sporting events, typically operated by licensed betting companies.
  • Boxed Bet: Where all possible combinations are covered for multiple selections.
  • Boxed In: When a horse is trapped between other horses and can't find a clear path to run.
  • Break Maiden: When a horse or jockey wins for the first time.
  • Break: How a horse starts a race from the gate.
  • Broodmare: A female horse used for breeding.
  • Brought Down: When a horse falls due to another horse's interference.
  • Bumper: A National Hunt race where horses don't jump, mainly for novice horses to gain experience.
  • Burlington Bertie: Betting slang, referring to odds of 100-30.
  • Canadian/Super Yankee: A bet consisting of 26 bets on five selections in different events (10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 fourfolds, and 1 fivefold).
  • Cash Out: A feature that allows bettors to close a bet before the event has concluded, securing a portion of the potential winnings or minimizing potential losses based on the current odds.
  • Chase: Short for 'steeplechase'. A type of National Hunt racing over fences.
  • Chaser: A horse that races in steeplechase events.
  • Claiming Race: A race where each horse is entered with a price, and can be claimed or bought at that price.
  • Class: The grade of a race or horse.
  • Clerk of the Course: The official in charge of a racecourse.
  • Clocker: A person who times workouts and races.
  • Co-favourite: When two or more horses are favourites.
  • Colours Up: When a jockey wears the owner's silks.
  • Colours: The distinctive silk shirts worn by jockeys and representing the horse's owner.
  • Colt: A male horse under the age of 5.
  • Conditional Jockey: A jockey in National Hunt racing who receives a weight allowance to offset their lack of experience.
  • Connections: People associated with a horse, like its owner and trainer.
  • Course Specialist: A horse known to perform particularly well at one track.
  • Cover Bet: A bet which involves a multiple and singles, ensuring some return even if not all selections win.
  • Cover: When a stallion breeds with a mare.
  • Dam: A horse's mother.
  • Dead Heat: When two or more horses finish the race so closely that judges cannot determine the winner.
  • Declared: When a horse is confirmed to run in a race.
  • Distance Race: A race that's longer than usual or traditional distances.
  • Distance: The margin by which a horse has won or has been beaten.
  • Double Carpet: Betting slang for 33-1 odds.
  • Double: A bet consisting of two selections, both of which must win for the bet to be successful.
  • Doubled Carried: When a jockey has more than one ride in a race and can't make the weight for one, the weights may be combined (rare).
  • Draw: Refers to a horse's position in the starting stalls, numbered from the inside rail outwards.
  • Drift: When the odds of a horse increase because of lack of support.
  • Drifter: A horse whose odds are increasing due to lack of backing.
  • Dutching: Betting on more than one horse in a race to improve chances of winning.
  • Dwelt: When a horse is slow to leave the starting stalls.
  • Each-Way Double: Two separate bets of an each-way bet.
  • Each-Way: A bet placed on a horse to win and/or be placed. It's essentially two bets in one.
  • Enquiry: An official review of the race result.
  • Evens or Even Money: Betting odds where the potential profit is the same as the stake.
  • Exacta: A bet where the aim is to pick the first and second in a race in the exact order.
  • Faller: A horse that falls during a race.
  • False Favourite: A horse that's favoured to win, but many seasoned punters might believe it doesn't stand a chance.
  • Favourite: The horse with the shortest odds and deemed most likely to win by bookmakers.
  • Feint: A dummy move by a jockey.
  • Filly: A female horse under the age of 5.
  • Flag Start: A type of race start where the flag is raised to alert jockeys to begin.
  • Fold: Refers to the number of selections in an accumulator (e.g., Five-Fold would mean 5 selections).
  • Forecast Bet: A bet where you try to predict the first and second places in a race.
  • Forecast: A bet where the aim is to predict the first and second in a race in the correct order.
  • Free Bet: A complimentary wager given by a bookmaker, allowing a user to place a bet without risking their own money.
  • Full Cover Bet: A bet that includes all the multiple bet options for a given number of selections.
  • Furlong: A distance measurement equivalent to 1/8th of a mile.
  • Gelding: A male horse that has been castrated.
  • Girth: A band that keeps the saddle in place.
  • Going Report: A description of the racecourse condition.
  • Going Stick: A device measuring the firmness of the turf.
  • Going to Post: When horses are walking/running to the starting gate.
  • Going: The condition of the racing surface. Ranges from heavy to firm.
  • Goliath: A bet consisting of 247 bets on eight selections in different events.
  • Graded Race: High-quality races categorized by grades, with Grade 1 being the highest.
  • Green: Describes a horse that is inexperienced.
  • Group Races: The highest level of races, graded from Group 1 (the best) to Group 3.
  • Hand: A unit (4 inches) used to measure a horse's height at the shoulders.
  • Handicap Race: A race where horses are assigned different weights to carry, based on their ability.
  • Handicap: A race in which horses carry different weights, allocated by the handicapper.
  • Hanging: When a horse veers to one side during a race.
  • Heinz: A bet consisting of 57 bets on six selections in different events (15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 fourfolds, 6 fivefolds, and 1 sixfold).
  • Hood: A type of horse equipment, similar to blinkers but without the eye shields.
  • Horse Racing Betting App: A betting app that's great for betting on the horses.
  • Hunter Chase: A race for horses that have hunted during the current hunting season.
  • Hurdle: A type of National Hunt racing over smaller fences.
  • Imposed Weight: The weight a horse is required to carry in a race, including the jockey.
  • In Foal: A mare that's pregnant.
  • In Hand: If a horse is running easily and the jockey has not yet asked it for its full effort.
  • In Running Betting: Betting on a race while it's in progress.
  • Joint Favourite: When two or more horses have the shortest odds.
  • Jolly: The favourite in a race.
  • Juvenile: A horse that's either two or three years old, depending on the time of year and region.
  • Knocked In: When odds get shorter, e.g., from 4-1 to 3-1.
  • Knocked In: When odds get shorter.
  • Lameness: When a horse has difficulty walking or trotting due to pain.
  • Lay Bet: A bet where you back a horse not to win.
  • Laying a Bet: When someone acts as the bookmaker and offers odds on a particular outcome, essentially betting against that outcome.
  • Length: The measurement from a horse's nose to the start of its tail, used to describe distances between horses at the finish.
  • Listed Race: Just below group or graded races in quality.
  • Long Shot: A horse with high odds, perceived as unlikely to win.
  • Lucky 15: A bet involving four selections and 15 bets (4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles, and 1 fourfold).
  • Lucky 31: A bet involving five selections and 31 bets (5 singles, 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 fourfolds, and 1 fivefold).
  • Lucky 63: A bet involving six selections and 63 bets (6 singles, 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 fourfolds, 6 fivefolds, and 1 sixfold).
  • Maiden Race: A race for horses that haven't won a race.
  • Maiden: A horse that has never won a race.
  • Mare: A female horse aged 5 years and older.
  • Market Mover: A horse whose odds have shortened significantly.
  • Market: The betting odds and the activity of punters.
  • Match Bet: A bet between just two horses in a race.
  • Matched Deposit Bonus: A type of promotion where the bookmaker matches the amount a user deposits up to a specified limit, offering it as a bonus for betting.
  • Mile Rate: Time taken to run a mile.
  • Monkey: Betting slang for £500.
  • Nap: Tipster's top recommendation for a day.
  • National Hunt: Racing over fences and hurdles.
  • New Customer Offer: A special promotion or bonus specifically designed to attract new users to a betting platform or service.
  • No Deposit Bonus: A bonus provided to users without the need to deposit any funds, typically as an incentive to register or try out a betting platform.
  • Non-runner: A horse that was originally intended to race but for some reason did not.
  • Non-Trier: A horse that isn't run to its best ability.
  • Nose: The smallest winning margin in a race.
  • Noseband: Equipment worn around a horse's nose to keep its mouth closed.
  • Novice Chase/Hurdle: A race for horses that haven’t won a chase/hurdle before the current season.
  • Novice: A horse that has not won a race of a particular type before the start of the current season.
  • Nursery: A handicap for two-year-old horses.
  • Objection: A complaint by one jockey against another regarding a perceived infringement during a race.
  • Odds Against: Odds where potential profit is more than the stake.
  • Odds Compiler: Person setting the starting prices.
  • Odds on: Odds where the potential winnings are less than the stake. For example, 1/2 means you win half the amount of your stake.
  • Off the Bit/Pace: When a horse is struggling to keep up with the leaders.
  • Off the Bridle/Bit: When a horse is pushed by its jockey.
  • On the Bit: When a horse is running comfortably and within itself.
  • On the Bridle: When a horse is running comfortably.
  • On the Bridle/Bit: When a horse is running comfortably.
  • On the Nose: Betting on a horse to win only.
  • Outsider: A horse deemed to have little or no chance of winning.
  • Overbroke: When the book exceeds 100%, ensuring a profit for the bookmaker.
  • Overround: The built-in profit margin for a bookmaker.
  • Pace Horse or Pacemaker: A horse used to set the pace for another one in the field, often to benefit a stablemate.
  • Pace: The speed at which a race is run.
  • Paddock: The area where horses are paraded before a race.
  • Patent: A bet involving three selections and 7 bets (3 singles, 3 doubles, and 1 treble).
  • Pattern Race: High-quality group races.
  • Penalty: Extra weight added to a horse's handicap due to winning a race.
  • Photo Finish: A technology used to determine the winner when horses finish too close to call.
  • Pigskin: Slang for saddle.
  • Place: A term for a horse that finishes in the top positions.
  • Placed: When a horse finishes in the top three or four.
  • Placepot: A bet in which you attempt to select a placed horse in each of the six races at a specific racecourse on a particular day.
  • Plate: Shoes fitted to the horse's hooves.
  • Plater: A horse which runs primarily in selling races.
  • Point to Point: A form of steeplechase for amateur riders.
  • Pony: Betting slang for £25.
  • Pulled Up: When a horse is stopped and doesn't complete the race.
  • Pulling: When a horse is too eager and hard to control.
  • Punter: A person placing a bet.
  • Pushed Out: When a jockey encourages a horse without using the whip.
  • Quadpot: A bet where you try to pick a placed horse in 4 specific races.
  • Rail: The fence or barrier that outlines the racecourse.
  • Ran Out: When a horse veers off the official racing path.
  • Rated Race: A race where horses run based on their official ratings.
  • Rated Race: A race where horses run based on their ratings.
  • Rating: A measure of a horse's ability as determined by the official handicapper.
  • Ringer: A horse entered in a race under another horse's name or a horse that looks remarkably similar to another.
  • Rule 4: Deductions made from winning bets due to a horse being withdrawn from a race after your bet was placed.
  • Run-in: The final straight section of the race.
  • Running on Empty: A horse tiring and not running at its best.
  • Saddle Cloth: A cloth under the saddle displaying a horse's number.
  • Second Favourite: The horse with the second shortest odds in a race.
  • Selling Race: A race where the winner is subsequently sold by auction.
  • Settling: Finalizing the accounts between a bookmaker and a punter.
  • Shoeing: The metal shoes horses wear, which can sometimes affect performance.
  • Short Head: The smallest winning margin in a race.
  • Shorten: When the odds of a horse decrease due to a lot of betting support.
  • Show: A bet on a horse to finish in the top three.
  • Silks: The jacket and cap worn by jockeys, in the owner's colours.
  • Single: A bet on one selection to win.
  • Sire: A horse's father.
  • SP or Starting Price: The official odds of a horse when the race begins.
  • Spread a Plate: When a horse loses a shoe.
  • Stall Handler: A person responsible for loading the horses into the starting stalls.
  • Stallion: A male horse used for breeding.
  • Stalls: Mechanism used to start flat races, ensuring all horses start simultaneously.
  • Starting Price (SP): The odds of a horse at the time the race starts.
  • Stayer: A horse that specialises in racing over long distances.
  • Staying On: A horse that finishes strongly in a race.
  • Steeplechase: Racing over larger fences.
  • Steeplechasing: A type of National Hunt racing on a turf course that involves jumping fences and ditches.
  • Steward: Official overseeing the race.
  • Stewards' Enquiry: A review of the race to check for rule breaches.
  • Stud: Where stallions and mares are bred.
  • Taken Up: When a jockey has to pull a horse up sharply to avoid trouble.
  • Tattersalls: A main British bloodstock auctioneer, and often refers to the ring where horses are paraded before a race.
  • Thoroughbred: A breed of horse best known for its speed and agility.
  • Tic-Tac: The sign language used by bookmakers to communicate odds.
  • Tipster: A person who gives betting advice.
  • Tongue Strap: Equipment used to prevent a horse from getting its tongue over the bit.
  • Top Weight: The horse carrying the most weight in a handicap race.
  • Tote Returns: The money returned to winning punters from the betting pool.
  • Tote: The organisation responsible for pool betting on horse racing.
  • Trainer: Person responsible for preparing the horse for racing.
  • Travelled Well: A horse that's running comfortably during a race.
  • Treble: A single bet on three selections in different events. All three selections must win for the bet to be successful.
  • Tricast Bet: A bet predicting the first, second, and third places in a race.
  • Tricast: A bet where you aim to predict the first, second, and third in the correct order.
  • Trip: The distance of a race.
  • Trixie: A bet consisting of four bets on three selections in different events (3 doubles and 1 treble).
  • Under Order: When the race is about to start.
  • Under Orders: When horses are ready and waiting for the race to start.
  • Under Wraps: When a horse is held back by a jockey.
  • Underfoot Conditions: The state of the ground on which a race is run.
  • Underfoot: Refers to the condition of the ground on which a race will be run. Similar to "going."
  • Union Jack: A bet on 9 selections covering 8 trebles.
  • Value Bet: A bet where the odds are perceived as favourable compared to the chance of the outcome.
  • Veterinary List: Horses that have been declared unfit to race due to health concerns.
  • Void Bet: A bet that’s declared null and void due to various reasons. Stakes are usually returned.
  • Void Race: A race declared invalid for betting purposes.
  • W.O.: Walk Over.
  • Walk Over: When only one horse is entered in a race and it has to walk the course to claim the prize.
  • Walkover: A race with only one runner. The horse must cross the finish line to win but is the only contender.
  • Weighed In: The official confirmation that the race result is valid, following the jockeys weighing in after the race.
  • Weights Room: The room where jockeys weigh in before and after a race.
  • Weights: Dumbbells carried in the jockey's boots, saddle or hands to make up the required weight.
  • Went to Post: When a horse goes to the starting line for a race.
  • Whip: A tool used by the jockey to encourage the horse (its use is subject to strict rules).
  • Win Only: A bet where money is only won if the horse comes in first.
  • Win: A bet on a horse to finish first.
  • Wind Surgery: Surgery to improve a horse's respiratory function.
  • Winner's Enclosure: Where the winning horse and jockey go post-race.
  • Winning Distance: The length by which a horse wins the race.
  • Work Rider: A person who rides horses during training.
  • Yankee: A bet consisting of 11 bets on four selections in different events (6 doubles, 4 trebles, and 1 fourfold).
  • Yard: The stables and training facilities where a trainer keeps and trains their horses.
  • Yearling Sales: Auctions where young horses, typically one year old, are sold.
  • Yearling: A horse between one and two years old.
  • Yield: The return on a punter's bet.
  • Zetland: A type of bumper race for two-year-olds.
  • Zoo: Slang for high odds, e.g., 100-1.

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