Horse Racing Glossary

  • Accumulator – An accumulator bet encompasses a number of selections, all of which must win for the bet to be successful.
  • Ante Post – Bets made on future events, possibly even before all details of the event are known (e.g. list of runners declaring for a horse race). If your selection is withdrawn or not entered, bets are lost.
  • Back – To bet on a specific horse is to back it. A heavily backed horse is one with many bets laid on it.
  • Banker – These are horse racing bets where the bettor believes their selection is certain to win.
  • Bar – When the horse racing betting market opens before a race, only some of the runners in the race will have odds against, whereas the odds for the rest are said to be “bar” – implying that they are at least as long as the last quoted odds or greater.
  • Bet – The amount of money laid, or bet, on a horse.
  • Book – The range of betting markets we offer for a horse race.
  • Book closed – The race is most likely under way and, therefore, no more bets can be placed.
  • Bookmaker/Bookie – The person/establishment who takes punters’ horse race bets and pays out winnings.
  • Canadian – Multiple bet consisting of 26 bets (10 doubles, 10 trebles, five 4-folds and a 5-fold) with 5 selections in different events (also known as “Super Yankee”).
  • Colours – The racing silks of the horse owners, as worn by the jockeys
  • Combination Forecasts (CFC) – Punters may bet on three or more horses in a race, of which any two must finish 1st and 2nd in any order to gain any returns. Selecting four horses effectively means placing 4×3 = 12 separate bets (or “lines”) for a return if any two of the four selections finish first and second.
  • Combination Tricasts (CTC) – Similar principle to CFC but selections are made for first second and third in a race in any order. For five selections, the punter pays 5x4x3=60 times the stake, meaning a $2 combination tricast would cost $120 and would win 2x the odds.
  • Come in – Winning horse racing bets are said to have ‘come in.’
  • Computer Straight Forecast (CSF) – The odds for a forecast bet. The product of each selection’s win odds are multiplied together automatically
  • Course Specialist – A horse who tends to run well at a particular track
  • Dead heat – When two horses finish a race exactly equal.
  • Double – A two-bet accumulator: Predicting the winners of two races, of which both must win to gain any returns.
  • Drift – The price is said to ‘drift’ if the odds get longer (from 3-1 to 4-1).
  • EW or E/W – Each way
  • Each Way – In horse racing bets, betting each way means staking the same amount of money on the selection to win, at the stated odds, and on the selection placing 1st, 2nd or 3rd. A ‘$1 each way’ bet would cost $2. The odds obtained for the place bet are usually a fraction of the win bet odds and depend on the number of competing horses. If the horse wins, both the win odds on the win bet and the place odds on the first place are returned. If the horse finishes second, punters get only the return on the place part of the bet. Therefore a $10 each way bet on a horse at 10-1 would return 10×10 = 100 + the stake of 10 = 110 on the win bet, and 10/5=2-1 on the place, the latter being $30 (i.e. the winnings of 2×10 plus the stake of 10).
  • Evens – The fractional odd 1/1. A bet of $10 at evens would win $10, and your returns would be $20 (including return of initial stake)
  • Favourite – The horse deemed to be the most likely to win and therefore the horse with the shortest odds.
  • Fixed-odds betting – Odds are quoted at the time of placing the bet making clear from the outset the amount which can be won or lost. Fixed odds may be quoted as SP (starting price) which may be higher or lower than the odds offered at the time of placing the bet.
  • Forecast – Betting on the correct order of first and second horses in a race. A reverse forecast means that you are specifying the first two horses to finish, regardless of the order in which they place.
  • Fold – A three fold accumulator means that you have a bet with three selections, all of which must come in for a return on the bet. The same principle applies to other numbers.
  • Form – Form refers to the performances of a horse in its recent races, and in most cases form guides are available for reference.

            0 – Did Not Place
            1 – First Place
            2 – Second Place
            3 – Third Place
            U – Unseated Rider
            P – Rider Pulled Up

The most recent race result is furthest left, so in the following example 011123-UP means the horse had been unplaced, first, first, first, second, third, unseated rider and pulled up in its most recent runs. Runs in the last season are after the dash.

  • Going – The condition of the ground (track). Hard, soft, wet, for example.
  • Going In – When horses are put into the stalls.
  • Going to Post – When horses are on the way to the start of a race.
  • Goliath – Multiple bet consisting of 247 bets (28 doubles, 56 trebles, seventy 4-folds, fifty-six 5-folds, twenty-eight x 6-folds, eight 7-folds and an 8-fold) involving 8 selections in different events.
  • Handicap– Where horses have different weights added to their saddles by professional handicappers in order to level up the chance of each horse winning and produce a more even race.
  • In The Money – The horses in a race which finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd (and sometimes 4th), or the horses on which money will be paid out to punters, depending on the place terms.
  • Jockey – The rider of the horse.
  • Market – The betting available on any event taken as a whole.
  • Multiple – See Accumulator.
  • Nap – The selection nominated by Racing Correspondents and Tipsters as their major selection of the day or meeting.
  • Not Under Orders – On the ‘Off’ of a race the flag is raised, and any runner withdrawn before the signal is deemed not to have come ‘Under Starter’s Orders.’
  • Off the Bridle – When the horse is urged on by its jockey.
  • On the nose – A win bet.
  • Outsider – A horse deemed unlikely to win a particular race.
  • Overlay – A horse with high odds in comparison with its good chances of winning.
  • Paddock – The part of the race course incorporating the pre-parade ring (where horses are paraded before the race) and winner’s enclosure.
  • Place – In horse racing, it is possible to bet on a win or a place. In large fields, the place may be 2nd, 3rd or 4th, in smaller fields, 2nd or 3rd. Odds are naturally shorter for a place bet than a win bet.
  • Punt – To bet or a bet (“I had a punt on the 2:15 at Aintree”). A punter is the person placing the bet.
  • Return – The money paid to out for a winning selection: Stake plus winnings.
  • Reversed Forecast – Betting on the first and second horses in a race, irrespective of the order in which they finish. Punters pay twice the stake, because it is two bets, meaning a $5 reverse forecast costs $10. In effect, you are betting on horse ‘X’ winning and horse ‘Y’ coming second, and the reverse of that bet as well. Winnings will be the combined odds of the wining horses.
  • Selection – The horse backed.
  • Single – A bet on the exact score of two teams playing a series of games, given that every win awards the winning team with 1 point.
  • Starting Price (SP) – The price of a horse at the start of the race, when the book closes.
  • Stake – The amount of money bet.
  • Stalls – Stalls are the row of compartments designed to help give all the runners in a flat race an even start.
  • Through The Card (TTC) – When a jockey, a particular number, a punter, the favourites, or a racing tipster etc, has been successful at every event at a particular meeting, they are described as having gone ‘through the card’.
  • Tic-Tac – The sign language used by UK bookmakers to communicate with each other at track-side.
  • Tote – All the money bet on the Tote for an event is split between all the punters who backed the winner (form of pool based betting system with a jackpot incentive).
  • Treble – An accumulator bet in which you make three selections, and all must come in for the bet to be successful – e.g. three winners in three races.
  • Tricast – Selecting which horse will finish first, second and third in an event and in which order. All three must come in for a return.
  • Trip – The distance of the race.
  • Trixie – Trixies consist of 4 bets involving 3 selections in different events. The bet includes 3 doubles and 1 treble. A minimum of 2 of your selections must be successful to gain any returns.
  • Walk-Over – Walk-overs occur when only one participant runs in the race. In order to collect the prize money the participant must go through the normal procedure. For bet-settling purposes, the winner of a walk-over is considered a non-runner.