15 Terms Everyone in the Horse Racing Industry Should Know

The horse racing industry is notorious for its wide array of unique terms and unusual phrases that often confuse those new to the sport. Here are 15 terms everyone in the industry should be aware of.

  1. Accumulator – This is a type of bet which refers to any number of selections in a single bet that is more than one selection. In order for the individual to collect, all of their selections must win. To place these bets and many more, use Timeform.
  2. Apprentice – This is a rider or jockey with only a few previous races or wins. As a result of being an apprentice, the jockey will gain a weight allowance which means they carry less weight in races compared to experienced jockeys, to help them earn experience and gain leverage against other jockeys.
  3. Bar – This term is used to describe a horse with no specific odds associated with them. It refers to all horses that haven’t been previously mentioned are at least as long as the last quoted odds.
  4. Course and Distance – This expression is often seen on race-cards and refers to horses which have previously won over the exact same course and distance as the upcoming fixture.
  5. Dead Heat – If two horses finish the race at exactly equal points, it’s a dead heat. However, this has become rarer as technology and digital photography has improved.
  6. Early Price – These are odds which individual bookmakers provide for races due to take place later that same day.
  7. Form – Form is the horse’s performance over a period of time and can be recent or span every race the horse has ever run. It’s used as a gauge of how high the chance of that selection is of winning and includes a number of different factors.
  8. Furlong – A furlong is a measure of distance in imperial units, measuring 201.17 metres.
  9. Going – This refers to the conditions of the grounds and in the UK, it refers to hard, firm, good, soft and heavy. However, combinations of these terms can be used.
  10. Handicap – Over 80% of all horse races are handicap races and this means that the horses are allocated different weights to provide a more equal chance of winning among the animals racing. So, the more experienced and best horses carry more weight to even things up among the horses that are less experienced. The most famous handicap race is the Grand National.
  11. Lay – Bookmakers lay a price on a horse to lose a certain amount of money to customers.
  12. Nap – This refers to a horse which has been selected as the best bet of the day.
  13. Trip – Refers to the distance of a race.
  14. Place – Place bets mean you’ll receive a fraction of the odds a horse has to win if it comes in first, second or third position, or sometimes fourth depending on the number of horses racing.
  15. Weighed In – This refers to the process of weighing jockeys and the weights carried following a race to make sure they return to the weighing room the same weight they went out with.



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