Horse Racing Terminology
Horse Racing Terminology
Ed Hawkins (Sports Journalist) gives expert video advice on: What is a handicap race?; What is 'the going'?; What does 'good to firm' mean? and more...
What is a handicap race?
In horse racing, the terminology a "handicap race" is where you've got horses of differing ability running in the same race, and they're given certain weight levels to make it a more even contest. Good horses carry more weight, bad horses carry less. If a handicapper is doing his job, they should all finish in a line, but this rarely happens.
What is 'reading the form'?
In horse racing, the terminology 'Reading the form' is all about knowing the form, including where the horses have finished and on what ground, with what weights and with what jockey on board. It's absolutely crucial when you're having a bet to study and read the form correctly.
What is 'the going'?
The going is the condition of the ground, which the horses are racing on. The going depends entirely on the recent weather.
What does 'good to firm' mean?
"Good to firm" ground is the kind of ground that most horses enjoy. Good to firm ground is normally prevalent when there hasn't been too much severe weather.
What does 'Bar' mean?
In horse racing, the terminology ‘Bar' is a betting term you'll often see in bookmaker lists. When the horses are given their odds at the end you'll see something like 33 to 1 bar. This ‘bar' means there are other horses in the race, but they're 33 to 1 or better to win the horse race.
What is a Nap?
The phrase ‘A Nap' in horse racing terminology refers to a tipster's bet of the day. A tipster will give many selections on the horse race, but his nap is his standout bet and is the one you should really bet on.
What is a stake?
A stake is the amount of money you put on a horse. If you're having £5 on or you're having £10 on, you're having a £5 stake or a £10 stake.
What is the Starting Price?
The Starting Price terminology in horse racing is the price that bookmakers pay out on the winning horse or horses finishing in the first three.
What is The Tote?
“Tote” is short for the Horse Racing Totalisator Board - it's a bit of a mouthful. Punters bet with the Tote and all that money goes into a pool, and that pool of money is paid out to the winning punters. It's generally considered to be the fairest way of betting on horses. It's also the better value, because you get best odds and the profits go back into horse racing. People prefer to bet on the Tote, rather than lining the bookmakers' pockets.
What is 'booking on the rails'?
In horse racing terminology, ‘booking on the rails' is a line of bookmakers which separate the on-course bookmakers and the members' enclosure. Now, they're situated by the members' enclosure because often the members are the guys with the most money, and they're more likely to be able to accommodate big bets. This is why you'll see more household names of bookmakers positioned here at the horse races.
What is Ante Post Betting?
The horse racing term ‘ante post betting' is betting a long way before a horse race, sometimes a year, six months or three months. The important thing to remember is that you will be getting better odds on your horse, but, if your horse doesn't run, you lose your money.
What do 'Evens' or 'Even Money' refer to?
In horse racing terminology, Even Money means that if you put £10 on you get £10 back.
What are silks?
The terminology ‘silks' in horse racing are the colors which the jockeys of the horses wear on their shirts and on their hats during horse races.