Racing Jargon

Do not be put off by the weird terms you may hear on the racetrack. Like any traveller in a strange country, the novice racegoer will soon pick up a smattering of the language, and then rapidly become fluent. The following might help those
racegoers keen to enhance their language skills.

ACCUMULATOR bet involving two or more selections in different races: winnings from one are placed on the next

ALLOWANCE is the weight concession the horse is given to compensate for its rider's inexperience

ALL WEATHER RACING flat racing which takes place on an artificial surface

AMATEUR (rider) on racecards, their names are prefixed by Mr, Mrs, Captain, etc., to indicate their amateur status

APPRENTICE young jockey tied by annually renewed contract to a licensed trainer while he or she is learning the business of race-riding

BACKWARD used of a horse which needs time to mature

CLAIMER of a race: a claiming race; of a jockey: an apprentice

COLT male, ungelded horse up to four years old

CONDITIONAL JOCKEY the jumping equivalent of an apprentice

COURSE SPECIALIST horse which tends to run well at a particular track

DAM mother of a horse

DISTANCE the length of a race: 5 furlongs is the minimum and the 4 1⁄2 miles of the Grand National the longest. Also, the margin by which a horse wins or is beaten by the horse in front: this ranges from a short head to 'by a distance' (more than 30 lengths); a 'length' is measured from the horse's nose to the start of its tail

DISTANCE an unmarked point 240 yards from the winning post (thus 'below the distance' means closer home than that point)

DRAW for flat racing only, describes a horse's position in the starting stalls, drawn randomly the day before

EVENS or EVEN MONEY when your stake exactly equals your winnings - thus £5 at evens wins a further £5

FILLY female horse up to four years old

FOAL horse of either sex from the time of its birth until 1 January the following year

FURLONG 220 yards (one eighth of a mile)

GELDING castrated horse

GOING the description of conditions underfoot on the racecourse. Official Jockey Club going reports progress as follows: Heavy - soft - good to soft - good - good to firm - firm - hard

GREEN (of a horse) inexperienced

HAND unit of four inches in which a horse's height is measured, at the shoulder

JOLLY betting parlance for the favourite in a race - the horse with the shortest odds

JUDGE official responsible for declaring the finishing order of a race and the distances between the runners

JUVENILE two-year-old horse

MAIDEN horse which has not won a race

MARE female horse five years and over

MONKEY betting parlance for £500

ODDS ON odds where the winnings are less than the stake (which is of course returned to you): thus a winning £2 bet at 2-1 on wins you £1

OFF THE BIT/OFF THE BRIDLE describes a horse being pushed along by his jockey, losing contact with the bit in his mouth

ON THE BIT/ON THE BRIDLE describes a horse going well within himself, still having a grip on the bit

OVER THE TOP where a horse is said to have gone if he has passed his peak for the season

PACE 'up with the pace' means close to the leaders; 'off the pace' means some way behind the leaders

PADDOCK area of the racecourse incorporating the pre-parade ring, parade ring and winner's enclosure

PATTERN the elite races, divided in Flat racing into Groups One, Two, Three and Listed, and in jumping into Grades One, Two and Three

PENALTY weight added to the allotted handicap weight of a horse which has won since the weights were originally published

PHOTO FINISH electronic photographic device which determines minimal distances in a close finish

PLATE shoe worn by horse for racing

PONY betting parlance for £25

RULE 4 betting rule covering deductions made from winning bets if a horse is withdrawn after the betting market has been formed but before the 'Under Starter's Orders' signal; the amount deducted depends on the price of the withdrawn horse

RUN FREE describes a horse going too fast, usually early in the race, to allow it to settle

SCOPE the potential for physical development in a horse

SIRE father of a horse

SPREAD A PLATE when a racing plate or horseshoe becomes detached from an animal's hoof, this sometimes causes a delay while the horse is re-shod

SPRINGER/STEAMER a horse which shortens dramatically in the betting

SP/STARTING PRICE the official price of a horse at which bets are settled in the betting shops

STEWARDS the panel of men and women - usually a total of four - who are responsible for seeing that the Rules of Racing are adhered to

STEWARDS' ENQUIRY enquiry by the stewards into the running of a race

TIC-TAC the bookmaker's method of relaying odds information on the racecourse, by means of hand signals

WEIGH IN/WEIGH OUT weighing of jockey before and after a race to ensure that the correct weight has been carried; the announcement 'weighed in' signals that the result is official, and all bets can be settled

YANKEE combination bet involving four selections in different races: six doubles, four trebles and one four-horse accumulator - eleven bets

YEARLING horse of either sex from 1 January to 31 December of the year following its birth.


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Upcoming Events

Thursday 3rd May = Racing UK Club Day

Thursday May 3rd, 2018
First Race: 14.10

  • Regular Raceday.
  • 7 races on the card. 
  • Gates open 12:00 noon.

Monday 21st May

Monday May 21st, 2018
First Race: 14.05

  • Regular Raceday.
  • 7 races on the card. 
  • Gates open 12:00 noon.

Monday 28th May (BH) = Zetland Gold Cup Sports Day

Monday May 28th, 2018
First Race: 12.45

  • Premier Raceday.
  • 7 races on the card. 
  • Gates open 11 am.

Redcar Racecourse : Zetland Gold Cup Winner 2008

The highlight of our Spring racing season, The Racing UK Zetland Gold Cup is one of the jewels in Redcar's crown.

On your marks! Get set! Go for our traditional family sports day with fun children's competitions.


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