So, you’ve decided to attend the races. That’s all fun and games, until the people around you start talking about… well, you have no idea what they’re talking about because you’re not familiar with any horse racing terms. Needless to say, that can destroy your mood for good. To enjoy yourself to the fullest, here’s the most important horse racing terms – your guide to the races.
Antepost – a bet usually made well ahead a race. It includes all possible runners.
Blinkers – a piece of headwear fitted to a horse’s head, designed to restrict its vision. They are used to help the horse concentrate on what’s in front of it.
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Broodmare – a female horse kept for reproduction purposes.
Bumper – a National Hunt race with no hurdles or fences on the track and that is run over flat ground.
Colt – an uncastrated male horse younger than four years old.
Dam – the mother of a horse
Each Way – a type of bet that guarantees a win if the horse wins or places in a race.
Favourite – a term that’s relatively easy to understand. The favourite is the horse considered most likely to win the race.
Furlong – an imperial unit of distance of distance equivalent to around 200 metres, meaning that there are eight furlongs in one mile. It is used to measure the distance of a racetrack.
Filly – a female horse younger than four years old.
Foal – a horse of any gender aged one or younger.
Gelding – a male horse that has been castrated.
Handicap – a type of race in which horses wear different weights depending on their handicap established by a handicapper.
Non Runner – a horse that is no longer racing despite originally being declared to race.
Non Runner No Bet – a type of bet that guarantees that you will be returned your stake if you bet on a horse that is then declared non runner.
Novice – a horse that hasn’t won a race at the start of the season in its particular field of racing.
Placed – one of the first three horses to finish a race. In betting, you can wager on a place horse, meaning you’re betting that it will win the second or third place.
Silks – the clothes a jockey is wearing. Silks are usually described by colour and are representative for each horse owner.
Sire – the father of a horse
Stallion – a male horse kept for reproduction purposes.
Starting Price – the odds of a horse when the race starts.
Unseated – the situation when a jockey falls from the horse without the horse itself falling.
Yearling – a horse in the second year of its life and currently too young to race.
Whilst these are not the only horse racing terms, they are some of the most commonly used, and a good start if you’re planning to learn as much as you can and become a racing pro.