You can't beat the spectacle and colour of a day at the races. As with any sport, the more you understand about what's going on, the more you will get out of your day. Read our Jargon Buster to learn how to bet and impress your friends and family with your betting knowledge.
Card – Short for racecard. This is your race programme with the runners and riders.
Colours (Silks) – The colours worn by the jockey in a race.
Handicap – A race in which weights are to be carried by each horse according to recent or past racing performance.
Form – A record of a racehorse’s previous performance.
Furlong – An eighth of a mile, 220 yards or 201 metres.
Going – A term used to describe the condition of the ground, ranging from hard through to heavy. These include: Hard, Firm, Good to Firm, Good, Good to Soft, Soft, Heavy.
Listed Race – A high class competitive race.
Maiden – A race for horses that have not yet won a race.
Non-runner – When a horse is no longer running in the race.
Stewards – Officials responsible for enforcing the British Horseracing Authority’s Orders & Rules of Racing.
Under Orders – When the racehorses are called into line before the start of a race. Once racehorses have come ‘under orders’ they are judged to have competed in the race and no bets will be refunded.
Weighing in & weighing out – Weighing of jockey before and after a race to ensure that the correct weight has been carried. At the end of the race when ‘weighed in’ has been announced this means the result is official and all bets can be paid out.
Weights – Fixed weights to be carried by horses in a race according to ability, age, distance, sex, and time of year. This weight includes the jockey and equipment, saddle and weight cloth.
Weight Cloth – Leather cloth with pockets that hold flat pieces of lead. They are removable and interchangeable. The weight cloth is carried under the jockey’s saddle and is to ensure that they ride at the correct weight in a race.
Putting on a bet at the races is all part of the experience and we challenge anyone to not scream with frustration or delight as their horse appraoches the winning line!
You can put as little as £2 on a horse and to help you choose a horse our raceday programme will give you tips for picking your fancy and details on how to read the form. However, you may have just as much luck picking a horse because you like it's name or the colour of the jockeys silks.
There are two ways to bet; either with the tote or with the 'bookies' who can be found in front of the viewing grandstands.