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Horse Racing Terminology For Rookies



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Horse Racing Terminology For Rookies

Horse racing is a popular sport in many countries around the globe. And with the prestigious Cheltenham Festival on the horizon, its often a time when rookies get involved with the action. Of course, theres a bit of learning to do, especially where horse racing terminology is concerned, and it will go a long way to helping newbies get acclimatised.

Horse racing these days does involve a lot of terminologies and phrases, and general horse racing lingo, that can be difficult to understand at first, but it will prove useful, especially where online horse race betting is concerned because this is one of the primary places where horse racing jargon comes into play. So, if youre a rookie on the scene, here are some words and phrases to look out for.


Antepost When a punter places a bet on a horse race well in advance of it happening

At the post The horses are ready to begin the race when theyre at the post

Bridel (won on the) When a horse wins a race with ease

Bumper A race on the flat but with the rules of a jump race

Boxed in When a horse is boxed in during a race and cant overtake

Banker A horse expected to win in a big way

Connections People connected to a horse, such as the owner(s) and trainer

Drop in class or trip When a horse runs in a race of a lower class or across a shorter distance

Declared If a horse is declared, its running in the race

Each-way A type of bet where you are backing the horse to win and also to place

Enquiry Often known as a Stewards Enquiry, its where rules may have been broken during a race and need checking out officially

ForecastWhen a punter backs the horse to win and the horse to finish second in order

Favourite The horse with the shortest odds going into the race

Going The going refers to the running surfaces condition

Handicap Involves a horse being weighted due to recent form and results

Longshot A horse not expected to win, but theres an outside chance at big odds

Minimum trip The shortest distance in a race jumps or flat

Non-runner A horse due to run but is no longer running

Off the pace A horse struggling to keep pace with the runners in the race

Pulled up When a horse is pulled out of a race as the action unfolds

Stayer When a horse is specialised in running long-distance races

Staying on A horse finishing a race strongly at a good pace

Trip The distance of a race


Some of the terminologies may appear daunting at first, especially as its used so often in horse racing circles, but the above should go a long way in arming rookies with a bit of knowledge on what the most common words and phrases mean. Stick with the sport, and youll pick even more up as you go.


We hope you enjoyed the article ‘Horse Racing Terminology For Rookies.’ Will you be watching Cheltenham this year? Let us know!


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Jacob graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Reading. An avid footballer, he spent time under the FAW academy programme as well as Cardiff Corinthians. Later going on to play for his university and Wellington United whilst residing in New Zealand. He currently resides in Frome, Somerset. You can contact him at [email protected]


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