ACCEPTOR: A horse that has its entry confirmed at the forfeit stage of a race's entry schedule and the owner pays a supplement.
AMATEUR: A non-professional jockey who does not accept a fee for riding and who can be identified on any racecard by their title: Mr, Mrs, Miss, Captain, etc. appearing before their name.
APPRENTICE: A young jockey contracted to a trainer while learning how to race ride. They are given a "weight allowance", which means the horses that they ride carry less weight to compensate for the fact that they are being ridden by an inexperienced jockey. This allowance reduces in direct relation to the number of winners they ride.
BACKWARD: A physically immature horse. All northern hemisphere-born thoroughbreds take 1st January as their birthday. A horse born in April will be backward compared to one born in early February.
BALLOT: If a race is oversubscribed with runners, a draw will take place at Weatherbys to reduce the field to the maximum allowed for safety reasons.
BAR: A betting term that denotes that all horses not already listed in the betting market for a race are at the bar price or longer odds.
BAY: A horse which has a brown body and black mane.
BLACK TYPE: Bold type in a horse's pedigree shows Group and Listed winners. If a horse has lots of black type it means it is from a family with good winning credentials in high class races.
BLINKERS: A type of hood that fits over a horse's head to prevent it from seeing sideways and help it concentrate its attention forwards during a race.
BLOWN UP: When a horse stars to drop out of contention during a race due to lack of fitness.
BOXED IN: To be trapped between, behind or inside other horses during a race.
BREEZE UP: Breezing is a gentle canter, the pace most exercise is done and from which the knowledgeable can judge a horse's action and athleticism. At the April Breeze-Up Sales, two-year-old horses in training breeze over three furlongs at the Rowley Mile and are then sold over the following days at Tattersalls' Sales Ring
BROKEN DOWN: When a horse sustains an injury - normally a tendon or soft tissue injury - requiring a long rest to recover.
CHESTNUT: A horse with a "ginger" body, mane and tail.
CLAIMER: An apprentice flat race jockey.
CLASSICS: There are five British Classics - The stanjames.com 1000 Guineas , The stanjames.com 2000 Guineas (run at Newmarket's Rowley Mile Course), The Derby, The Oaks and The St Leger
CLERK OF THE COURSE: The person responsible for the overall management of a racecourse during raceday.
COLOURS: A jockey's shirt or 'silks' which identifies the owner of the racehorse.
COLT: A young, ungelded (see gelding) male horse aged up to four years.
CONDITION: Refers to how well a horse looks and is judged on a combination of muscle tone, shine of coat and general demeanour. A horse said to be `carrying too much condition' is fat and one that is `poor' has no muscle.
CONDITIONS RACE: A race that is not a Group, Listed, Handicap or a Novice and is not restricted to Maidens; neither is it governed by Selling or Claiming provisions or restricted to Amateur or Apprentice Riders.
CONNECTIONS: Anyone connected with a horse: can be as distant as the spouse of a syndicate owner or as close as the horse's lad
CUT IN THE GROUND: A description of the ground condition, when there is 'give' in the surface. AKA 'soft going'.
DAM: A horse's mother.
DECLARATION: When the trainer declares the horse to run 48 hours before the race.
DISTANCE: The length of a race. Five furlongs is the shortest, four and half miles (The Grand National) the longest. Also refers to the margin by which a horse wins or is beaten. This can range from 'a short head' to 'a distance' which is more than 30 lengths.
DIVISION: Where there are too many entries for a race, it can sometimes be run as in two divisions.
DRAW: A Flat racing term denoting a horse's position in the starting stalls.
ENTIRE: A horse that has not been gelded (castrated).
FILLY: A female horse aged up to four years.
FOAL: A horse that has not reached its first birthday (all thoroughbreds take 1st January as their birthday)
FORM: Refers to a horse's race record. Denoted by figures next to its name on a racecard i.e. 1=1st, 2=2nd etc. 0=unplaced, P=pulled up, R=refused to race, F=fell, U=unseated rider, SU=slipped up, BF=beaten favourite.
FURLONG: The unit of distance in a UK horse race. One-eighth of a mile or 220 yards or 201 metres.
GELDING: A horse which has been castrated (gelded). The temperament of an entire (ungelded) horse is not usually suited for an extended racing career.
GET THE TRIP: Usually said of a horse that is expected to complete the race distance.
GOING: Refers to the state of the racing surface.
GROUP RACE: Also known as pattern races, these are the premier contests of Flat racing. Group races are composed of a series of tests for the leading horses of all ages and over different distances. Group One races are the Classics and other races of major international importance. Group Two races are also of international importance and Group Three races are mostly domestic races and are considered to be preparatory for the higher Groups. Pattern races are designed to ensure first class, competitive racing throughout the world.
HACKED UP: When a horse wins easily.
HANDICAP: A handicap race in which the weight each horse has to carry is individually allotted according to its past performance to make the chances of all horses in the race more equal.
HANG: When a horse does not run in a straight line it is said to be hanging to the left or right
JUVENILE: A two year old Flat horse.
LENGTH: One length of a horse is the distance from nose to tail used in race results to describe the winning distance.
LISTED RACES: Races for good horses just short of Group status.
MAIDEN: A horse of any age that has not yet won a race.
MARE: A female horse over five years old.
MILE: 8 furlongs (1.6km)
NOVICE: a term used to describe a two-year-old Flat race that is for horses that have not won more than 2 races.
NURSERY: A handicap race for two year old horses.
OBJECTION: A complaint by one jockey against another regarding a breach of rules during a race.
OFF THE PACE: When a horse isn't keeping up with the others horses in a race.
ON/OFF THE BRIDLE: A tired horse reduces his effort and is said to be `behind or off the bridle". A horse with `plenty of running' still has energy and is still in contact with the jockey via the bit and the reins and is said to be still `on the bridle'
ON THE NOD: When a race is so close that one horse is at the wrong point in his stride and loses the race `on the nod' as the winning horse is at the point in his stride where his head is forward.
OVER THE TOP: A horse past his peak for the season.
PACE: The speed at which a race is run. Up with the pace means close to the leaders, off the pace means some way behind.
PARADE RING: Where the horses are paraded before the race and where the jockeys mount for the race.
PASSPORT: Each horse at every race meeting has a passport that shows its background (breeding) and physical description.
PATTERN RACE: see Group Race.
PENALTY: Additional weight carried by a horse on account of previous wins. In a handicap, penalties are added to the allotted weight of a horse if it has won since the weights for the race were published.
PLACED: A horse placed first, second or third.
PULLING: A horse that is unsettled in the early part of a race and is using too much energy fighting the jockey by pulling against the bridle.
RACING PLATE: Lightweight horseshoes designed for racehorses.
RATING: When a horse wins a race or has raced three times, it is given a rating by the Official Handicapper. Everything relating to handicapping is done on a weight basis. The rating range is 0-140 where each point is equivalent to a 1lb. So a horse rated 131 is better than a horse rated 125. To dead heat, the better horse would in theory have to carry 6lbs more in a race.
SIRE: A horse's father.
SPRINT: Any race of 5 or 6 furlongs.
STAYERS: Horses with a lot of stamina who perform best over 2 miles on the flat.
SYNDICATE: A group of people who share the thrills and expense of owning a racehorse.
TATTS: The colloquial term for Tattersalls, the main auctioneers for racehorses in the UK based in the centre of Newmarket.
THOROUGHBRED: A horse whose parentage traces back to any of the three "founding sires", the Darley Arabian, Byerly Turk and Godolphin Arabian.
WEATHERBYS: Runs the register of racing: from owners colours to pedigrees to horse names. All race entries are also made through Weatherbys.
WEIGHED OUT / IN: Before each race a jockey has to sit on the scales for the Clerk of the Scales to ascertain that he is carrying the correct weight. This is called `Weighing out'. Following the race the checks are made again. This is `Weighing in'. Once the latter is completed you will hear the "weighed in" announcement over the public address system at the racecourse.
WEIGHT CLOTH: A cloth with pockets for lead weights placed under the saddle.
WEIGHTS: Lead strips placed in a weight cloth (as above) to bring the jockey up to the correct weight that the next horse that he is due to ride has been set to carry.
YEARLING: A horse that has passed its first birthday.