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Australian Horse Racing Betting Glossary

Australian horse racing is a popular part time in this country especially during the major autumn and spring racing carnivals and you need to be aware of the most common racing terms that are used regularly in Australia. Horse racing Info has made it easy for you by providing a racing glossary below.

Horse Racing Glossary

Acceptor: A runner with a paid up acceptance fee by its connections to start in a race.
Approximates: The approximate tote odds on offer before the final pool is closed.
Back: To have a bet or wager on a horse.
Barrier: Starting gate stall a horse will start from in a race.
Barrier Draw: The race club ballot held to decide the barrier a horse will start from.
Blanket Finish: When many horses finish close to each other at the winning line.
Blinkers: A hood worn by a horse to restrict his peripheral vision on either side.
Bolter: A winning horse at very long odds.
Boxed (in): To be trapped between other horses.
Bookmaker (Bookie): A person registered and licensed to accept bets from the public.
Card: Racing fixture or meeting.
Checked: A horse who was momentarily impeded during running.
Colours: The jacket and cap worn by jockeys, also known as racing silks.
Colt: An ungelded (entire) male horse three-years-old or younger.
Correct Weight: Weighed in correct allocated weight before dividends are declared paid.
Dead Heat: A tie. Two or more horses finishing equal in a race.
Dead Track: Racing surface which is rain affected and not firm.
Deductions: When a horse is scratched from a race after betting on that race has already started, deductions are taken out of the win and place bets at a rate in proportion to the odds of the scratched horse.
Derby: A stakes race for three-year-olds.
Dividend: The amount paid by a Tote or bookmaker for a win or placed horse for every $1.00 invested.
Draw: A horse's starting position in the barrier starting stalls.
Drift (Ease):A horse's odds getting shorter, ie; 5/1 into 2/1.
Entire: An ungelded male horse.
Even Money Bet (or Evens): A 1:1 bet. A $100 bet wins $100.
False Favorite: A horse that is a race favorite despite its lack of credential to win the race.
Fast (track): Condition of a very dry track where fast times are recorded.
Favorite: The horse that is considered to have the best chance of winning the race.
Field: All the runners in a race.
Filly: Female horse three-years-old or younger.
First Up: The first run a horse has in a new racing campaign or preparation.
Flat race: Raced on flat track surface rather than over obstacles such as Hurdles.
Form: A statistical study of a horse's previous career race performance.
Front-runner: A horse with early gate speed who likes to lead in races.
Gate: Another term for barrier, or position a horse will start from.
Gelding: A male horse that has been castrated.
Going: The condition of the racing surface (fast, good, dead, slow or heavy).
Good (track): Condition of racing surface. A firm, dry surface.
Group Race: An elite group of WFA and Handicap races run each season.
Group 1: Highest class of stakes race in Australia, usually above $250,000 prize money.
Group 2: Second highest class of stakes race in Australia, above $125,000 prize money.
Group 3: Third highest class of race in Australia, above $75,000 prize money.
Hand: Four inches. A horse's height is measured in hands and inches from the top of the shoulder (withers) to the ground. Thoroughbreds typically range from 15 to 17 hands.
Handicap: A race for which the track handicapper assigns the weights to be carried. Each horse is allocated a different weight to carry, the theory being all horses then run on a fair and equal basis.
Handicapper: Club official who allocates the weights to be carried in handicap events.
Hand and Heels: The jockey urges a horse with hands and legs without using the whip.
Head: A winning (losing) margin between horses in photo finishes.
Heavy (track): Track conditions that are heavily rain affected.
Horse: A "Horse" is referred to an ungelded (entire) male four-years-old or older.
Impost: The allocated weight carried by a horse.
In The Money: Finishing in the placings, first, second or third.
Judge: The club official who declares the official placing's for each race.
Jumper: Steeplechase or hurdle horse.
Juvenile: Two-year-old horse.
Length: A measurement approximating the length of a horse (approx. 3 metres) used to denote margins between horses in a race.
Lengthen (Eased): A horse's odds getting longer, ie; 2/1 out to 5/1.
Listed Race: A stakes race just below a Group 3 race and above $50,000 in prize money.
Long Shot: A Horse that is not expected to win and starts at long odds.
Lug In (Out): Action of a tiring horse, bearing in or out, failing to keep a straight course.
Maiden: A horse that has not won a race.
Maiden Race: A race for horses who have not won a race.
Mare: Female horse four-years-old or older.
Market: A list of horses in a race and their respective odds or prices.
Middle Distance: A race from 1600 metres (1 mile) to 2000m (1-1/4 miles).
Morning Line: Approximate odds quoted before betting begins officially for the day.
Mudlark: A horse that races well on rain affected tracks especially in heavy conditions.
Mug Punter: A punter that regularly loses his money when betting.
Neck: Unit of measurement approximately the length of a horse's neck.
Nominations: The list of horses entered by owners and trainers for a race.
Nose: Smallest margin a horse can win by. Also called a “short half head”.
Oaks: A stakes event for three-year-old fillies, or females.
Odds: Prices offered by a bookmaker or totalisator.
Odds Against: Odds of even money or longer. Outlay $1 and profit $1 or more if win.
Odds-On: Odds shorter than even money. Outlay $1 and profit less than $1 if win.
On The Nose: Betting a horse to win only.
Outlay: The money a punter bets is called his or her outlay.
Out Of The Money: A horse that finishes worse than third and misses a place.
Outsider: A horse that is not expected to win.
Overlay: The odds on offer are better than form says they should be.
Pacifier: A hooded device with meshed goggles worn by the horses to protect their eyes.
Penalty: A weight added to the handicap weight of a horse.
Photo Finish: A close finish where a photo is used to determine the placegetters.
Place: Finish in the top three in a race or event in fields of eight or more horses. If there are only six or seven runners the horse must finish first or second to place.
Price: Odds on offer for horses in a race.
Protest: When a jockey, owner, trainer or steward alleges interference by one party against another during a race that may have affected the outcome of a race. If a protest is upheld by officials, the runner that caused the interference is placed directly after the horse interfered with. If a protest is dismissed by officials, the original result of the race stands.
Punt: Another term for a bet or wager on a horse.
Punter: Considered to be a Bettor or Investor.
Ratings: A numerical figure given to a horse to reflect their chance of winning a particular race after taking a number of form factors into account.
Restricted Races: Races which only certain horses are eligible.
Return: The dividend you receive on a particular bet.
Roughie: A horse which is considered to have a 'rough' chance of winning a race.
Scratched: A horse is said to be “scratched” when it was taken out of a race.
Shadow Roll (Nose Roll): Usually a lamb's wool roll half way up the horse's face to keep him from seeing his own shadow.
Shorten (Tighten): When the odds of a horse decrease, usually because a lot of money has been placed on that horse by punters.
Short Price: Low odds where a punter will get a small return for their initial outlay.
Sire: Father of a horse.
Slow (track): A racing strip that is wet on both the surface and base. Between good and heavy.
Spell: The resting period between preparations or racing. Usually three months.
Sprint: Short race, less than 1600 metres.
Stake: Betting amount placed on a horse
Stakes: prize money allotted for a horse race and paid to owners and connections.
Stakes-Placed: Finished second or third in a stakes race.
Stakes Horse: A horse who races predominantly in stakes races.
Stallion: A male horse used for breeding.
Starter: 1. Participating horse in a race. 2. The official responsible for starting a race.
Stayer: A horse that can race long distances.
Steeplechase: A race in which horses are required to jump over a series of obstacles.
Stewards: The group of people who control the day's racing under the rules of racing.
Stick: A jockey's whip.
Stipes: Another term for the Stewards. (Or Stipendiary Stewards)
Strapper: A horse's attendant who assists the trainer and helps care for the horse.
Stretch (home-Stretch): Final straight portion of the racetrack to the finish.
Stud: 1. Male horse used for breeding. 2. A breeding farm.
Sure Thing: A horse which a punter or tipster believes is unbeatable in a race.
TAB: Totalisator Agency Board. The body appointed to regulate off-course betting.
Thoroughbred: Thoroughbred is a breed of horses bred specifically for horse racing.
Tipster: A person who makes selections for a race on which horses they believe will win.
Top Weight: Horse allocated the most weight in a race - Has the number one saddlecloth.
Totalisator (Tote): The system of betting on races (an automated system that dispenses and records betting tickets, calculates and displays odds and payoffs and provides the mechanism for cashing winning tickets) in which the winning bettors share the total amount bet, minus a percentage for the operators of the system, taxes etc.
Track Condition: Condition of the racetrack surface. Fast; good; Dead; Slow; Heavy.
Track Record: Fastest time for a distance at a particular track.
Trail: A Trail or Sit is racing immediately behind another horse in a race to get cover.
Underlay: Odds offered for a horse is shorter than it deserves by its past performances.
Under Wraps: Horse under strong restraint in a race or workout.
Wager: Another term for a bet on a horse.
Walkover: A race in which only one horse competes.
Weigh In (Out): The certification, by the clerk of scales, of a jockey's weight before or after a race. A jockey weighs in fully dressed with all gears (saddles and lead bag) except for his/her helmet and whip.
Weight-For-Age: The purpose of weight-for-age is to allow horses of different age and sex to compete on equal terms. The weight a horse carried is allocated on a set scale according to its sex and age.

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