Racing Glossary & Guide
Let's face it there is so much jargon used in the racing world but you'll never go pale again after being told to back something until your nose bleeds because BETSTAR have put all these racing terms together in a guide to ensure you get the best bet all the time. You can also check out what all those abbreviations in the Racing Form Guide mean.
Abandoned: A race meeting which has been cancelled because a club did not receive sufficient nominations to be able to stage it, or because of inclement weather which made racing on the track unsafe. A race meeting may also be abandoned part way through because of inclement weather.
Acceptor: A horse confirmed by the owner or trainer to be a runner in a race.
Action: Gamble / Bet
A Fish (Fishalive): Rhyming slang for $5
Apprentice: Jockey Young rider, usually under 21 years of age who is still in training. Recent rule changes allow older riders just starting out to work their way through their "apprenticeship".
Apprentice allowance: Reduction in the weight to be carried by a horse, which is to be ridden by an apprentice jockey. Also called a "claim". It varies from 4 kg to 1.5 kg depending on the number of winners the apprentice has ridden. Recent rule changes have resulted in an increase in the maximum amount able to be claimed - from 3 kg to 4 kg.
Approximates: The TAB odds horses are showing before a race begins.
Asparagus: Name given to a punter who arrives on course with a stack of 'mail', hence: more tips than a tin of asparagus.
AJC: Australian Jockey Club, oversees Royal Randwick & Warwick Farm Racecourse.
AJC Australian Derby: Group 1 race for 3 year olds ran at Randwick Racecourse over 2400m.
All In: A betting proposition whereby no refunds are given for scratchings or withdrawals.
All Up: A bet were the stake and winnings of one bet are placed on another bet this can occur two or more times.
Also-Ran: All horses that do not finish in the money are called also-rans.
Ante Post: (European) see "futures"
Arbitrage: Where a variation in odds available allows a punter to back both sides and guarantee a win.
Aviary (bird): Slang for 'Good Thing'.
Australian Cup: Group 1 WFA race run over 200m at Flemington.
Back: To bet on a horse.
Backed In: A horse whose odds have shortened.
Backed off the map: A horse which has been heavily supported resulting in a substantial decrease in odds.
Backstretch: The backstretch is the straight area of the track between the turns.
Back up: To race a horse soon after its latest engagement. Also, punters who keep backing a particular horse are said to "back up."
Bad Beat: Tough betting loss.
Bandage: A horse that has bandages has cloth wound around the lower part of the legs.
Bankroll: Amount of money for gambling / betting.
Bet: Risk one's money against another's on the result of event.
Betting In the Run: To keep betting on an event after it has started, through to its completion or until the result becomes too obvious.
Betting Shop: An establishment that accepts wagers on the out come of horse racing, sporting events and just about anything.
Blue: Dispute over a wager.
Bagman: Bookmaker's employee responsible for settling bets on course.
Bank teller job: A horse considered such a near certainty that a bank teller could invest 'borrowed' bank funds and replace them without detection.
Banker: A key selection in an exotic bet which must win, or run a particular place to guarantee any return.
Barriers: Starting gates used to keep horses in line before the start of a race. Each horse has a barrier randomly allocated in the barrier draw for the race.
Battler: A trainer, jockey, or bookmaker who just manages to make a living from his full time involvement in horseracing.
Best Bet: The selection that racing journalists and tipsters nominate as their strongest selection of the day.
Bet back: Action taken by a bookmaker when he is heavily committed to a horse and spreads some of the risk by investing with other bookies or the totalisator.
Bet until your nose bleeds: Confident instructions to a commission agent or advice to a punter indicating that the horse is so certain to win that betting should only be halted in the unlikely event of a nose haemorrhage.
Better than bank interest: Justification by a punter for backing a horse that is very short odds on.
Betting exchange: Internet based organisations which broker bets between punters for a commission.
Big bickies: A large amount of money.
Big note: To skite or exaggerate a position or status to "big note" oneself.
Big Red: Nickname of the champion race horse Phar Lap.
Birdcage: Area where horses are paraded before entering the racetrack.
Bite: To ask someone for a loan.
Black type: Thoroughbred sales catalogues use boldface type to highlight horses that have won or placed in a stakes race.
Blanket Finish: When horses finish a race packed together, it's called a blanket finish.
Bleeder: A horse that bleeds from the lungs during a race. In Australia a first-time bleeder is banned from racing for three months. If it bleeds a second time the horse is banned for life.
Blew like a north wind: Said about a horse whose odds have lengthened dramatically during the course of betting.
Blinkers: A cup-shaped device used to limit a horse's vision during a race and improve concentration.
Bloused: To be caught on the line or defeated in a photo finish.
Blow: When the odds of a horse increase during betting.
Blown out the gate: Odds have extended dramatically due to lack of support.
Blue Diamond: Australia's premier Group 1 event for 2 year olds, ran at Caulfield Racecourse.
Board: Where betting odds, pools and other information is displayed.
Boat race: A race with a number of non-triers, which is said to be fixed for one horse to win.
Bolter: A horse at long odds.
Book: see "Betting Shop".
Bookie: Person who takes bets from clients.
Bookmaker: see "bookie"
Box: Betting term denoting an exotic combination bet whereby all possible numeric outcomes are covered.
Bowler: A friend or acquaintance or other contact who is used to place bets so that the bookmaker will not know the identity of the actual bettor. Many professional punters and persons occupying sensitive positions use this method ofwagering.
Box seat: A position in a race which is one horse off the fence and one horse behind the leaders.
Breakdown: When a horse suffers a potentially career-ending injury, usually to the leg: The horse suffered a breakdown. The horse broke down.
Bridle: A piece of equipment, usually made of leather or nylon, which fits on a horse's head and to which other equipment, such as a bit and the reins, are attached.
Brisbane Cup: Group 1 handicap race for 3 year olds and over ran over 2400m at Eagle Farm Racecourse.
Broodmare: A filly or mare that has been bred and is used to produce foals.
Buck: (Australian) $1
Burrum (Burrbeeet): Rhyming slang for 'sweet'.
Buying money: Term used by a punter when required to bet 'odds on'.
Cadger: Description given to a punter who continually asks for better prices / odds that are currently on offer.
Calcutta: Sweepstakes conducted prior to a big event with each horse being raffled and then auctioned to the highest bidder.
Call: A running commentary of the position of horses in a race at various points.
Carry the grandstand: Said of a horse allocated a big weight in a handicap race.
Cast: Broke, busted, out of money.
Cast a plate: Lose a horseshoe.
Cat: Slang for unreliable horse.
Caulfield: Home of the Caulfield Racing Carnival & Group 1 Caulfield Cup. AKA 'The Heath'
Caulfield Guineas: Group 1 Set weights race ran over 1600m for 3 year olds at Caulfield Racecourse.
Caulfield Thousand Guineas: Group 1 Set weights race ran over 1600m at Caulfield racecourse.
Caulfield Cup: Group 1 handicap race ran over 2400m for 3 year olds and over at Caulfield Racecourse.
Chaff burner: Derogatory term for a horse
Checked: Incident during a race when a horse is blocked, causing it to change stride, slow down or change direction.
Chipping Norton Stakes: Group 1 WFA race run over 1600m at Warwick Farm Racecourse in Sydney.
Clerk of the Course: Mounted racecourse officials who manage horses and jockeys on the race track, and lead the winner of a race back to the mounting yard.
Claim: Amount of weight deducted by an apprentice jockey according to the number of winners ridden in a period of time.
Closer: A closer is a horse that saves the best for last. Typically a closer will only win a race when the horses in front get into a fast pace race and run out of energy.
Coat-tugger: A racecourse conman who will tip a horse to a punter, and if the horse wins, is always present when the punter collects, to demand a portion of the winnings.
Colours: Racing silks - jacket and cap - worn by jockeys to indicate the owners of a horse.
Colt: A male thoroughbred under 4 years of age.
Coolmore Classic: Group 1 Set Weights race for 3 year old fillies and Mares. Ran over 1500m at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse.
Connections: The owners and trainer of a horse.
Cop a minty wrapper: To receive a very light "sling" or gratuity.
Correct Weight: Declaration of official finishing positions.
Could not lay it with a trowel: Said by bookmakers of a horse that has been completely neglected in the betting ring.
Cowboy: Jockey with little ability.
Cray: Slang for $20.
Cricket score odds: Very long odds, usually 100 to 1 or better.
Crucified: see Slaughtered.
Crusher: A bookmaker who takes top odds from his colleagues and then offers prices on the same horse or horses at reduced odds.
Cucumber: Rhyming slang for 'number'.
Cuts his own hair: An expression to indicate a person is very careful about investing any money.
Daily Double: Type or wager calling for the winner of two pre determined races.
Dam:The mother of a horse.
Daylight: Often called as second place getter in a race where the winner has won by a wide margin.
Dead cert: Dead certainty, a horse or team that is considered highly likely to win.
Dead 'un: A horse deliberately ridden to lose.
Deductions: The percentage reduction in odds, for win and place bets, when a horse is scratched from a race after betting on that race has commenced.
Derby: A stakes event for three year old colts and geldings. In Australia 3YO fillies are also permitted to start in an open derby.
Derby day: Day 1 of the VRC Spring Racing Carnival, ran at Flemington racecourse.
Dead Heat: Race in which two or more competitors finish exactly even.
Desperate: Compulsive gambler.
Diggers (diggers rest): Slang for people who pester you.
Dish lickers: A colloquial term for greyhound racing.
Disqualification: Change in order of finish by officials for infraction of the rules. (Often occurs after correct weight has been given)
Dividend: Winnings or odds described in $ terms.
Dogs are barking it: A big tip which has become common knowledge.
Doing plenty: Having a rough trot on the punt.
Doomben Cup: Group 1 WFA race for 3 years olds and over ran over 2020m at Doomben Racecourse.
Doomben 10,000: Group 1 WFA race, ran over 1350m at Doomben Racecourse.
Doncaster Handicap: Group 1 race held at Randwick Racecourse over 1600m.
Donkey licked: To be defeated convincingly.
Double: Betting on two propositions both must win to collect.
Drift: When the odds on a team, horse or competitor lengthen.
Drift in: A horse moving from a straight path towards the rail during a race.
Drongo: A horse or person who was disappointing, slow or clumsy.
Drum: Good information, a tip. Drum can also mean to be placed 2nd or 3rd in a race; to run "the drum."
Dutch book: To bet on a number of horses, at varying odds, such that whichever bet wins, a set profit is guaranteed.
Duffer in the wet: Does not run well on slow or heavy tracks.
Each Way: To bet an amount to finish first and an amount to finish a place. The amount of place positions and place odds are determined by the individual conditions of each event.
Earn: Practical hold percentage. Bookie's earn - percentage in the bookie's favor.
Eau de (Eau de Cologne): Rhyming slang for 'phone'.
Edge: An advantage.
Educated money: An amount invested on a horse from a stable or informed source.
Emergencies: Substitutes, or replacements, for horses which are scratched from a race.
Emu: A person who picks up discarded betting tickets on a racecourse, hoping that some will be of value. The person strikes a similar pose to Australia's largest native bird when feeding.
Entire: Any male horse with both testicles in the scrotum.
Epsom Handicap: Group 1 thoroughbred race ran over 1600m at Randwick Racecourse.
Equipment: Can be any of: bandages; bit; blinkers; bridle; halter; hood; nose band; reins; saddle cloth; saddle pad; shadow roll; stirrups; tongue tie.
Equal Favorites: Betting proposition where two or more competitors are equal odds and favorites.
Even Money: Odds of 1 to 1
Exacta: A wager in which first and second finishers must be selected in the exact order.
Exotics: Any bet other than a win or place e.g. Quinella, trifecta, quadrella, superfecta, treble, exacta.
Exposure: Amount of money a bookie or punter stand to lose on a bet.
Failed to give a yelp: Said of a horse that, although expected to go well, runs down the track.
False Favorite: Team, horse or competitor who is favorite despite popular opinion of being outclassed by others in the event.
Farrier: A person who tends to the feet of horses.
Favourite: The horse which is quoted at the shortest odds in a race.
Feature Double: A bet type offered on pre- post Group races, where you take 1 selection in one feature race and another selection in another feature race and you multiply their odds. Both selections must win for a return.
Field: The group of horses in a race.
Field bet: To incorporate all of the runners in a race in one combination of an exotic bet.
Figure: Amount of money owed by or to a bookie.
Filly: A female thoroughbred less than 4 years of age.
Firm: To shorten in the betting, generally because of the weight of money being invested.
Firm Track: This is a track condition used on Turf tracks. It is the equivalent to fast on a dirt track.
First Up: The first run of a horse in a new preparation.
Fixed Odds: Unchangeable odds at the time of wager.
Flip of the coin: The odds available are quoted at even money.
Fly Blown: Slang for 'No Money'.
Flying handicap: A sprint race generally of less than 1200 metres.
Fraction: A calculated form of betting with odds where the bettor obtains an advantage when betting to a specified amount usually in multiples of 1000.
Foot on the till: Expression indicating that a horse is ready to win.
Form: A horse's record of past performances.
Front-runner: A horse that performs best when allowed to run along at the head of the field.
Furlong: One eighth of a mile.
Futures: Odds posted on major Group races well in advance of the event. Bets placed on the outcome of an event in the future.
Futurity Stakes: Group 1 WFA thoroughbred race held at Caulfield Racecourse and the 1st leg of the Asian Mile Challenge series.
Gelding: A male horse that has been castrated.
George Main Stakes: Group 1 WFA race run over 1600m at Randwick Racecourse.
Get on: Have your bet accepted.
Get out stakes: The last event on any racing programme.
Getting set: Being accommodated for a wager.
Getting up without names: An indication that a number of long shots have won races, hence: "They're getting up without names today."
Girth: An elastic and leather band sometimes covered with sheepskin that passes under a horse's belly and is connected to both sides of the saddle.
Gizzard: Slang for $400 (guts of a monkey)
Going: The surface condition of the racecourse (fast, good, dead, slow, or heavy). A trial system introduced in NSW in 2005 rates tracks on a score of 10, from 1 [Fast] to 10 [Heavy]. Victoria introduced the system for a trial period on 1 December 2005.
Golden Slipper: Ran at Sydney Turf Club, is the worlds richest race for 2 year olds.
Good alley: A barrier draw considered to be ideal for a particular horse.
Good Thing: (Australian) A description of a sure winner
Good oil: Positive information about a horse's chances in a race.
Gorilla: A colloquial term for one thousand dollars.
Got the blows: Drifted in the betting.
Greet the judge: To win a race.
Gross Win: Win before expenses.
Group Race: High quality race categorized into Group 1, 2 and 3 and Listed races, in order of importance.
Grow another leg: Said of horses that handle wet tracks well.
Had something on the winner: Understatement of a punter who may have bankrupted a couple of bookies.
Half Face Value: "Half Face Value of Ticket" is paid in a betting proposition when no draw is quoted and two contestants dead heat for first, second or third. (i.e. 100 to win 200 face value of ticket is 300. half face value = 150)
Hand: Unit of measure (equals 4 inches) of a horse's height. Thoroughbreds typically range from 15 to 17 hands. The measurement is taken from the ground to the horse's withers - the point where the neck meets the back.
Hang: To veer away from a straight course during a race.
Hard earned: Money.
Head To Head: betting odds quoted for a two result betting proposition.
Headquarters: In Victoria, Flemington Racecourse is known as headquarters.
The Heath: The nickname for Caulfield Racecourse.
Hot Go: Heavy action on one horse or team.
Hold all tickets: Announcement by the Stewards that no bets can be settled until certain aspects of the race have been investigated.
Ickey Ockey: Slang for jockey.
In The Money: A horse that finishes first, second or third. Description of a winning bet or winning punter.
In the red: The price of a horse when it is odds on. The Bookmakers' boards display 'odds on' in red to distinguish from odds against.
Inquiry: Reviewing a race or sports event to check into possible rules infraction.
Jigger: An illegal battery powered device used by a jockey to stimulate a horse during a race or track work.
Joint Favorites: see "equal favorites"
Jumped out of the ground: Said of a horse which comes from nowhere at the end of the race.
Jumped out of trees: Said by bookmakers of a rush of punters to plunge on a horse.
Just about square: Punters expression for nearly broke.
King of Spain: Slang for 'Rain'.
Knock Taker / Knocky: Punter or bookie who does not pay.
Knuckled over: To stumble away from the starting stalls, usually caused by the track surface breaking away from under a horse's hooves, causing it to duck its head or nearly go to its knees.
Lacks ticker: Deficient in the heart department.
Late mail: Final thoughts and selections of tipsters allowing for things like scratchings, jockey changes and on course information.
Lay: When a bookmaker takes a risk and increases the odds of a particular horse to entice investors because the bookmaker truly believes that horse has no chance of winning the race.
Lay down misere: An absolute certainty.
Laying It On: Taking a bet at odds on / less than even money.
Layoff: Wager made by one bookie to another to balance his action.
Lay of the day: A fancied horse considered by a bookmaker to be the one about which he will take the biggest risk.
Length: A length is the length of a horse from nose to tail-about 9 feet.
Limit: Maximum bet accepted by the bookie before the price / odds will change. The amount of credit a punter / client is given by a bookie.
Locked In: Committed to a bet. Locked into a profit; can't lose a bet no matter what the result.
London to a brick on: Long odds-on.
Long shot: A team, horse or competitor that is unlikely to win according to the odds.
Lost a leg in the float: The horse has drifted alarmingly in the betting.
Maiden: A horse that has not won a race
Maiden Race: A maiden race is one in which the field is solely comprised of horses that have never won a race.
Mail: A selection of betting tips, opinions and information from a knowledgeable source.
Manikato Stakes: Group 1 WFA race run over 1200m at Moonee Valley Racecourse.
Mare: A female horse over 3 years old.
Market: The betting odds or line points spread.
Melbourne Racing Club: Oversees Caulfield and Sandown Racecourse.
Melbourne Cup: Race that stops a Nation, Group 1 feature race for 3 year olds and over, ran over 3200m at Flemington during the Spring Carnival. Richest two mile handicap in the world.
Mentor: The trainer of a horse.
Mile: 1 mile is equivalent to 1600m
Monkey: (Australian) $500
Moral: An absolute certainty.
Muck lather: Term for a horse sweating profusely, usually brought on by nervousness prior to a race.
Mudlark: A horse which goes well on a wet track Mush
Mug: Punter with little ability
Multi: A description of a bet were there are two or more different betting propositions that must win to collect, all winnings are carried over to the next event. Also can refer to a very wealthy person.
MVRC: Moonee Valley Racing Club, home of the richest WFA race in Australia, The Cox Plate.
Nags: Derogatory term for horse racing.
Nap Bet: Best bet of the day.
Near side: Left hand side of a horse. The side on which a horse is normally mounted.
Neglected: Attracting very little support in the betting.
Neutral Site: Two teams playing away from home.
Nose: The shortest winning margin in an Australian horse race, followed by a short half-head.
Nose band: A leather strap that goes over the bridge of a horse's nose to help secure the bridle.
Oaks: A stakes event for three-year-old fillies.
Oaks Day: Day 3 of the VRC Spring Racing Carnival, Crown Oaks is the Group 1 feature race
Odds Against: Odds greater than even money. A bet where your stake is less than the amount you expect to win.
Odds On: Odds of less than even money. A bet where you have to stake more than the amount you expect to profit by.
Oddsmaker: Same as a line maker. The person who establishes the original and subsequent betting lines and odds.
Off The Board: A game on which the bookmaker will not accept action, due to injuries, weather or an unusual amount of large bets.
Off side: The right hand side of a horse.
On course tote: The totalisator which is situated at the race course.
On the bit: When a horse is eager to run. One Goer / Oney - A insinuation that a winning horse, team or competitor had illegal help to win.
On The Nose: Betting to win only.
One large: A term used for one thousand dollars.
On the nod: A betting transaction between a punter and bookmaker without money changing hands. A credit bet.
Ordinary cattle: A derogatory term for a low class field of runners.
Orr Stakes: Group 1 WFA Thoroughbred race ran over 1400m at Caulfield Racecourse.
Outsider: The underdog in a betting proposition.
Outlay: The money an investor bets or wagers is called their outlay
Over the Line: Description of a sure bet.
Overs: Odds about a horse which are considered to be good value because they are longer than its estimated probability of winning.
Overlay: When a horse goes off at a higher price that it should, based on past performances, that horse is an overlay.
Overweight: Excess weight carried by a horse when the rider cannot make the allocated weight, including apprentice allowances.
Pacifiers: Mesh eye-covers used to calm horses down. They cannot be used in wet weather for safety reasons, as mud can stick to them.
Pari Mutuel: A form of wagering originated in 1865 by Frenchman Pierre Oller in which all money bet is divided up among those who have winning tickets (after taxes, takeout and other deductions are made.) This system was called "parier mutuel" meaning "betting among ourselves".
Past Performance: The past performance is a record of the races the horse has run in, how the horse ran and what happened in the race. It's the primary item used in horse racing handicapping.
Past The Post: A description of a sure winner.
Penetrometer: A device used for measuring the hardness or softness of the track by measuring the extent to which the device penetrates the ground. [See "Going".]
Persuader: Colloquial term for a jockey's whip.
Peter McKenna: Rhyming slang for $10
Photo: Short for photo finish, a result so close it is necessary to use the finish line camera to determine the order of finish.
Pick 'Em - Unable to separate.
Pigskin: Jockey's saddle.
Pig-root: Horse which bucks and tries to throw the rider.
Pilot the field: To lead the race.
Placed : Finish in the top three in a race.
Place Bet: Bet to finish first, second or third and in golf tournaments sometimes to finish fourth or fifth.
Player: Bettor, punter, gambler, competitor.
Plonk: A sizeable amount wagered on a horse. Not quite a plunge but a "decent plonk" nevertheless.
Plunge: In the bookmakers' ring, a massive and sudden support for a horse.
Pony: Slang for $25.
Post: Starting point in a race.
Preliminary: The walk, canter or gallop by a horse on the way to the starting stalls.
Pre Post: Odds
Press: To bet a larger amount that usual.
Price: The odds fixed
Prior convictions: A horse which has failed to perform to expectations on previous occasions
Pro': Short for professional.
Protest: An objection lounged against a competitor for infraction of the rules.
Pulled its head off: Said of a horse that would not settle, or over-raced.
Pulling: Over racing.
Punt: To wager on the outcome of a race.
Punter: Description given to bettors, gamblers and bookie's clients.
Purse: The purse is the total prize money distributed to owners.
Push: Tie, neither side wins and all money is returned to the punter except in the case of "half face value of ticket".
Put your house on: A good thing.
Queensland Oaks: Group 1 Set Weights race for fillies, ran over 2400m at Eagle Farm Racecourse.
Quinella: A wager where first and second must be selected in any order.
Quote: To be given the price on a betting proposition.
Racing plates: Aluminium horseshoes.
Rails: The fence on the inside of a race track. Also, the prime position in a bookmakers' ring. Hence "rails bookmaker."
Railway Stakes: Group 1 thoroughbred race under handicap conditions ran at Ascot Racecourse in Perth.
Randwick Guineas: Group 1 Set Weights race for 3 year olds run over 1600m at Randwick Racecourse.
Red-hots: The trots, or harness racing.
Result: In bookmaking a "result" is a financial outcome of any race. It may be a "good result" or a "bad result."
Ridden upside down: Not ridden in the usual manner. An example would be a normal front runner which is ridden back in the field.
Ring: An area on a racecourse where the bookmakers are positioned is always called a "ring", regardless of its shape.
Ring-in: A horse in a race who has been substituted illegally for the correct entrant. The most infamous case in recent years was the Fine Cotton ring-in.
Risky conveyance: A horse which has a record of not performing to expectations in previous races.
Robert Sangster Stakes: Group 1 Set weights race for fillies and mares aged 3 years old and upwards over 1200m and ran at Morphettville Racecourse.
Rosehill Guineas: Group 1 Set weights race for 3 years olds ran over 2000m at Rosehill Gardens at Rosehill Racecourse.
Roughie: A horse at long odds which is considered to have only a remote chance of winning a race.
Route: A route is typically described as a race of one mile or more. Many describe routes as races that have more than one turn.
Router: A router is a horse that runs distance races well.
Rotten Egg: (Australian) Punter who has a history of not paying his debts.
Rundown: Updates of all odds, lines, point spreads and scores.
Runner: One who places bets or gathers betting information for another.
Running Double: Type of wager to pick the winner of two consecutive races.
Saddlecloth: A cotton cloth which goes under the saddle to absorb sweat. It usually has the horse's TAB number and, sometimes in major races, its name.
SAJC: South Australian Jockey Club
Salute the judge: The horse wins the race.
Satchel swinger: A bookmaker.
Score: A big betting win.
Scratch: To start from zero or to be taken out of a race before it starts
Scratched: Withdrawn, cancel. A horse is scratched from a race / withdrawn
Scraping paint: Racing tight, or close, to the running rail.
Sectionals: Intermediate times recorded during a race.
Set the board: When a bookmaker completes the information shown on the betting board, by listing each runner in a race and their respective odds, he or she is said to have set the board
Settling: A meeting between bookmaker and punter at which money is exchanged in settlement for past credit betting. The majority of settling now takes place at the course prior to the race.
Set Weights: In Thoroughbred racing where all horses carry the same rate.
Shadow Roll: Usually a lambs wool roll half way up the horse's face to keep him from seeing his own shadow.
Sharp: see "wise guy".
Shillelagh: Colloquial term for a jockey's whip.
Shin Sore: Inflammation of the membrane of the cannon bone.
Short half-head: The second-smallest winning margin. In Australia a NOSE is the shortest margin a horse can win by.
Shorten: When the odds of a horse decrease, usually because a lot of money has been wagered on that horse.
Shout: To make a bet.
Shrapnel: The term used by a bookie's bagman for a heap of small coins.
Silks: see colours
Simulcast: To improve revenue, horse racing tracks permit the other locations to televise their races. Many tracks operate as simulcast locations on their off times.
Single: see "straight bet"
Sire: The father of a horse.
Skinner: A "result" for a bookmaker which entails very little, or no pay out whatsoever on a race.
Slaughtered: Said of a jockey who has ridden a horse so badly as to be the main cause of it losing a race.
Sling: A sum of money given as gratuity or bonus generally by an owner to a trainer, jockey or strapper.
Smart Money: Money that is bet by the more knowledgeable punters.
Smarty: Established and successful punter.
Smokey: A well supported horse with no apparent form to justify its price.
SP: An "off course" operator - a starting price bookmaker. The term SP is also used by racing officials to declare the official starting price of a horse.
Special: see Best bet.
Spell: The resting period for a horse between preparations or racing.
Spot: Slang for $100.
Sprout wings: To accelerate surprisingly in the straight to defeat a leader who looked certain to win.
Starting Price: The price / odds of a horse, team or competitor at the start of the event.
Stake: The sums of money deposited or guaranteed by the parties to a bet.
Stayer: A horse that specialises in longer distance races.
STC: Sydney Turf Club, oversees Canterbury & Rosehill Racecourse.
Stewards: Officials who run the race meeting and are responsible for enforcing the Australian Rules of racing.
Stick: Jockey's whip.
Stipes: Another term for the Stewards. (Or Stipendiary Stewards)
Stirrups: Metal "D" shaped rings into which a jockey places his/her feet. Also known as "irons".
Stone motherless: Expression used to indicate that a horse is running a clear last in a race, or is tailed off at the finish.
Stonebonker: A good thing in a race. A horse considered to be over the line.
Stradbroke Handicap: Group 1 race ran over 1400m at Eagle Farm, Brisbane.
Straight out: Betting to win only
Strapper: The person who attends to, grooms, and usually leads the horse around the mounting yard.
Stretch Call: This is the position of the race when one furlong remains.
Swie: Slang for $200.
Swimmer: Horse which performs very well on rain effected tracks.
Swooper: A horse which charges home at the end of a race.
Sydney Cup: Group 1 race ran over 3200m at Randwick Racecourse.
TAB: Totalisator Agency Board. The original State government body appointed to regulate off-course betting. Many of the State TABs have been privatised in recent years.
Take the Price: Taking the fixed odds on offer.
Taken to the cleaners: An expression used by both bookmakers and punters when they have suffered a huge loss.
Taking a set: When a bookmaker increases the odds of a favoured horse, which in their opinion can't win the race, in order to receive more bets.
Tan Boot: Slang for flick/ pass.
The Heath: The nickname for Caulfield Racecourse.
Tic Tac: The sign language that was used by bookmakers to relay odds to each other on course.
Tip: Knowledgeable advice as to the probable winner of an event.
Tomato (Tomato Sauce): Slang for Odds on Favourite.
Toss Up: see "pick em' "
Tote Odds: The dividend converted to odds returned by a pari mutuel betting system.
Ton: A term used for one hundred dollars.
Tongue tie: A strap or piece of stocking used to tie down a horse's tongue to prevent it getting over the bit, which affects a horse's breathing and the jockey’s control of the horse.
Toppy: The top weight or horse carrying the No. 1 saddlecloth.
Totalisator: An alternative form of betting to bookmakers or a betting exchange. All bets are placed into a pool, and dividends are paid by dividing the final pool by the amount invested on the winner, less a fixed percentage.
Town: To race in 'town' means to race on metropolitan tracks in a capital city, as distinct from all other tracks which are collectively called 'The Bush'.
Track condition: Used to describe the racing surface (Fast: Very firm surface, Good: Firm surface,Dead: Track with give in the ground, Slow: Rain affected, Heavy: Very rain affected). Travelling: A descriptive term to indicate current financial status. A bookmaker or punter might be "travelling well" or conversely "not travelling all that well at the moment."
Trifecta: Betting proposition in which first, second and third must be picked in correct order. This bet is often boxed.
TRNSW: Thoroughbred Racing NSW
Turf: A grass course.
Turn Over: Total amount of bets wagered with a bookie.
Turnbull Stakes: Group 1 Set weights race ran over 2000m at Flemington racecourse.
Unbackable: A horse which is quoted at such extremely short odds that investors decide it is too short to return a reasonable profit for the risk involved.
Under double wraps: An expression indicating that a horse won very easily without being fully extended.
Unders: Odds about a horse which are considered to be bad value because they are shorter than its estimated winning probability.
Undertaker: A bookmaker said to only be interested in laying "dead 'uns".
Underwood Stakes: Group 1 WFA race run over 1800m at Caulfield Racecourse.
Value: Getting the best odds on a betting proposition; the highest possible edge.
VATC: Victorian Amateur Turf Club, now known as Caulfield Racecourse.
Via the cape: The horse ran wide on the home turn and covered too much ground. The expression is probably an analogy of the ocean voyage from the UK to Australia via the Cape of Good Hope compared to the more direct route via the Suez Canal.
Victoria Derby: Group 1 race for 3 year olds over 2500m, marks the start of the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
VRC: Victoria Racing Club, oversees Flemington Racecourse & the home of the Melbourne Cup.
Wager: see "bet".
Warned off: A person warned-off a racecourse is not permitted to enter a racecourse or associate with licensed persons.
Weigh out: Before each race, a jockey, and his equipment are weighed to ensure that the horse carries its allotted weight.
Weight for Age: Better class of race in which the weight a horse carries is allocated on a set scale according to its age and sex. The Cox Plate, which is regarded as Australia's best race, is a weight-for-age event held by the Moonee Valley Racing Club in October each year.
Weight-for-age handicap: The system used to determine weights for the Melbourne Cup in which the weight of the jockey and riding gear is adjusted with ballast to a nominated figure. Older horses are given more weight than younger ones, and weightings are further adjusted according to the horse's previous results.
Welsher: Person who refuses to honour a bet.
Welter: A handicap race with a higher minimum weight.
Whip: Instrument or a stick, usually of leather, with which rider strikes horse to increase his speed.
Win: Bet to finish in first place.
Wind Burn: Slang for 'passing other horses quickly'.
Wire: The finish line.
Wouldn't back it with bad money: An indication that a punter has no confidence in a horses chances such that even if he had counterfeit money he would not back it.
Write your own ticket: An expression indicating that a horse is at very long odds, with very little chance of winning.