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 contain.

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 Racexpert online
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 accordingly.


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 order
This method got them both using only one bet for each

Field Size
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 Flat(Turf) form
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.




No. OLIVERS 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 racing name.

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 gender

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 available).

Hgr Which type of headgear ( if any ) the horse is wearing in today's race.

Age The horses age.

Jockey The Jockey's name.

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 The 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 above).

OR The horse's Official Handicap Rating - the horse's ability rating as deemed by the Jockey Club.

RX As 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.

Favourite Percentages 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 race ).

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 [6] , OLIVERS MOUNT has Three Mentions [3] and NUBAR BOY has Two Mentions [2] 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 [9] or above which during testing were winning at a range of prices and showing a strike rate of around 50%.


Summary Box


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.

In the 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 [9] times or more were winning at a range of prices and showing a strike rate of around 50%.



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 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.



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.




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.

Course The racecourse where the race took place.

Dir The direction of this racecourse i.e. Left, Right or Figure Of 8

Type The type of race i.e. whether it was Turf, All Weather or National Hunt Racing.

Going The official going for the race.

Distance The distance of the race.

Class The Class of the race.

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.

1st How many horses in this particular race have Won their races since the date of this race.

Pla How many horses in this particular race have been Placed in their races since the date of this race.

Unp How many horses in this particular race have remained unplaced in their races since the date of this race.

Std Is the race Winners time Faster or Slower than Standard Time.

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.

RaceXpert Knowledge


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 displayed.

Horse - The Racing Name Of The Horse

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 todays race

CLS - W Number of Wins in this class

CLS - R Number of Runs in this class

CLS - % Number of Wins in this class expressed as a percentage

DST - W Number of Wins at this distance

DST - R Number of Runs at this distance

DST - % Number of Wins at this distance expressed as a percentage

GNG - W Number of Wins on this going

GNG - R Number of Runs on this going

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 Out

SF 2 LTO - Speed Figure Second Last Time Out

SF 3 LTO - Speed Figure Third Last Time Out

SF AVG 4 - An average of the horses last four speed figures

RaceXpert EP Ratings


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 Runs Ago

EP 2 LTO - EP Figure Recorded 2 Runs Ago

EP 1 LTO - EP Figure Recorded 1 Runs Ago

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 ratings.


RaceXpert EP Ratings


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.

This 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.

In 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.

Jockeys or 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 alike.

RaceXpert Best


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 Achieved

CLS - Class Of Race Best Figure Achieved In

OR - OR Rating When Best Figure Achieved

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

RaceXpert Quickform


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 14/1.

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 crosscheck facility.

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 % columns.

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 horses !!

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.

RaceXpert Handicap


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 Weather) Handicaps

1. Consider only runs that are coloured green.

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.

RaceXpert 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 todays class.

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 third.

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..


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 direction.

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


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.

Flat Racing

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.

Apprentice Races – 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.

Claiming Race – 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.

Classic 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 longer.

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 Races.”

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 in France.

Left-Handed Race – This is a route race in which the turns are taken anti-clockwise from the starting position.

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 horses.

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 Race.”

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 handicap rating.

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.

Restricted Stake – 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 turn.

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 (i.e., “stakes”).

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.

Jump Racing

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 Hurdle.

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.

Novice 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.

Steeplechase – 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.


A race meeting which has been cancelled due to bad weather. All bets placed on abandoned races are fully refunded.

Accumulator Bet
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.

Inexperienced 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.

All-Weather (AWT)
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 amateurs-only.

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-.

Auction maiden
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.

The horse 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.

Horse colour - any brown horse with a black mane/tail and legs.

Betting market
A market is created, according to demand, by the prices offered for each runner by bookmakers.

Betting Ring
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 horse.

Black (horse colour)
The horse is a uniform black colour (except possible white markings on its head and lower legs).

Black type
Term 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.

Blanket Finish
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 blinkers.

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 first time).

Bloodstock sales
The sale of horses at auction.

A short workout, usually a day or two before a race, designed to clear the horse-s airways before the race.

Board prices
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.

A person/company licensed to accept bets. Also known as a bookie.

The tic-tac bookmaking term for 2-1.

Boxed in
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.

Break (a horse) in
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 assess them.

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 horses.

Broke down
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.

Brought down
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

Burlington Bertie
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 steeplechase races.

When a horse's run during a race is momentarily blocked by another horse or horses.

Strips of 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.

Extension of racecourse, usually at the top of the home straight, to allow straight run from the start.

Claimer (jockey)
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.

Clerk of the Course
Racecourse official responsible for the overall racecourse management, including the preparation of the racing surface.

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 horses.

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.

Conditional jockey
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 conditionals-only.

Conditions race
A 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 Listed level.

A horse's build and general physical structure; the way he is put together.

People associated with a horse, such as the owner and trainer.

Course specialist
A horse that is proven at a track in previous races.

Covered up
When a 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.

A horse's mother.

Damsire (broodmare)
The sire of a broodmare; in human terms, the maternal grandfather of a horse.

Dark 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 accordingly.

Decimal odds
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 £1 stake.

Declared (runner)
A horse 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).

Double carpet
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 distance.

Dual forecast
A bet where the aim is to select both the winner and runner-up in a race in either order.

Dwell/dwelt (at the start)
To start slowly.

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.

Entire horse
An ungelded horse.

Evens/Even money
A 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.

First string
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.

Fixed-odds betting
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

Flat racing
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).

A bet 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 either order.

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.

220 yards (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 own.

The national centre for information, advice and practical help with regard to the social impact of gambling .

The front section of the starting stalls, which open at the start of a Flat race to release the horses. Used as another term for starting stalls.

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.

Going down
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)
The highest 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 races
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).

Guineas (currency)
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.

Guineas (race)
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.

Hacked up
Describes a horse winning easily.

When two 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 / Rating
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.

Hard ridden
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.

Home straight
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 fences.

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.

In running
Refers to events that take place during the course of a race.

In-running betting
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

Jocked off
Term used 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 particular race.

If two 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.

Juvenile hurdler
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.

To take 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 lose

An alternative term for a bookmaker, someone who lays or accepts a bet.

Left-handed track
Racecourse where horses run anti-clockwise.

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.

Level weights
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 Gold Cup).

Listed Race
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.

Maiden handicap
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 above.

Market/betting market
A market 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.

Middle distances
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 distances.

Minimum trip
The shortest 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.

National Hunt
Racing over fences and hurdles; officially referred to as Jump racing.

Unit of measurement in a race finish about the length of a horse's neck.

Non Runner
A horse that was originally meant to run but for some reason has been withdrawn from the race.

Smallest official distance a horse can win by.

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.

Novice auction
A race for novices sold at public auction as yearlings or two-year-olds for a price not exceeding a specified figure.

Novice stakes
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 a race.

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 easily.

On the nose (to bet)
Placing a win bet

Open ditch
Steeplechase jump with a ditch on the approach side to the fence.

Out 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.

Overnight declarations
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.

Over the top
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 same connections.

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.

Penalised horses
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).

Photo finish
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.

Pulled up
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.

A person who gambles or lays a bet.

Pushed out
When a horse is ridden vigorously, but without full effort by the jockey.

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.

Rails (racecourse)
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.

Rails (betting)
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 customers.

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.

Total 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.

Right-handed track
Racecourse where horses run clockwise.

Rule 4
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.

Second string
The stable's second choice from two or more runners in a race.

Selling plate/selling 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.

Selling plater
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.

Shortening odds
Bookmaker's reduction of the odds on a particular horse.

Short Price
Low odds, meaning a punter will get little return for their initial outlay.

See 'Colours'.

Silver ring
A racecourse enclosure, usually the one with the lowest admission price.

The simplest and most popular bet, normally a win bet on one horse in one race.

Father of a horse.

Soft (going)
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.

Sprint races
Flat races run over a distance of five or six furlongs.

Male breeding horse.

Stalls handler
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.

Racecourse official responsible for starting a horse race.

Starting price
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.

Staying chaser
A horse that races over three miles or more over fences.

Staying on
When a horse is finishing strongly in a race, possibly a sign of good stamina reserves.

Staying races
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.

One of 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 magistrates).

Stewards' Enquiry
A hearing held by the stewards into a race to determine whether the rules of racing have been broken.

Stewards' room
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 racing.

A jockey's whip

Stipendiary Steward
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.

Straight forecast
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 stable.

A farm where horses are mated. Usually home to one or more stallions.

Supplementary entry
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.

Sure thing
A horse that is regarded as having little chance of losing.

Tattersalls (racecourse enclosure)
The 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.

Tongue tie
Strip 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).

Tote (company)
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.

Tote (betting)
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 train.

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'

Triple Crown
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.

Turned out
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 -turned out'.

Turn of foot
A horse's 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 January 1,2010.
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 orders
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.

Not expected to win.

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 first time).

A race involving only one horse. The horse and its jockey must past the winning post to be declared the winner.

Weighed in
The official declaration ratifying a race result.

Weighing in/out
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.

Weight cloth
A cloth with pockets for lead weights placed under the saddle to ensure that a horse carries its allotted weight.

Weight for age
A graduated 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.

Well in
When a horse is considered to be favoured by the weights in a race, it is said to be -well in-.

Win bet/only
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.

Work rider
A stable 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 trained.

A foal from January 1 to December 31 of the year following its birth.

Irish term to describe racecourse going that is soft.

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