Introduction to racing terms
At best horse racing terms can be quite confusing but in some cases they mean absolutely nothing to the casual observer.
Hopefully this page will go some way to explaining what some of the racing terms mean and therefore spectators to enjoy our sport as much as posisble.
The Clerk of the Course is responsible for the general maintenance and upkeep of a racecourse, including the condition of the racetrack itself.
It is one responsibility of the Clerk of the Course to provide updates on the condition of the ground in the run-up to an event.
A race division may take place if the number of horses declared for a race exceeds the safety number for that race type and course.
The two (or more) divisions race as if they are different races and meeting organisers will try to provide prizes and mementoes for each.
Betting each way is type of bet which means that you win if a horse finish in the places as well as winning first.
The bet is divide into two, with one stake placed on the horse winning and the other stake placed on the horse being placed. An each way bet therefore costs double what a bet to win would cost.
If your horse is placed then you usually get a fraction of the odds for a win. For example if the horse was 6/1 to win and finished third you would typically get 1/3 of the odds or 2/1, giving you twice your bet back, plus the stake itself.
A horse's form is its record of racing or results.
"Good" is one of a number of phrases used to describe how hard or soft the ground is at a course.
Good ground has some give to it and horses hooves will leave an imprint in the ground as they run over it but it is not tiring to run on and races will tend to be quicker than on "good to soft" or "soft" ground.
Courses will try to avoid producing ground which is "firm" because it is not ideal for horses to run on harder ground, so watering would normally take place to produce "good" ground.
A race in which the different horses carry different amounts of weight according to their ability.
If the handicapper gets it right the all the horses should finish
The Point-To-Point Authority is the National body responsible for point-to-point racing in the United Kingdom.
There is more information on the PPA here.
A race held at a point-to-point meeting which is run on the flat and not over jumps. They are typically shorter than point-to-point steeple chases.
A point-to-point flat race is equivalent to a "bumper" race under professional rules but are not described as such to clearly make the difference between an amateur and professional situation.
All riders must have an RQC for the current year before they can ride in Point-to-Points.
The RQC is proof that riders are qualified to ride in Point-to-Points.
The PPA holds an insurance policy that provides liability insurance for jockeys whilst participating in Point to Points and completing their Rider Assessment. A separate Personal Accident insurance policy is also in force for jockeys from weigh out to weigh in. Further details can be obtained by calling our insurance brokers Howden Insurance Brokers on 020 7133 1387.
Each course and race type has a safety number which dictates how many horses may compete in a race before it becomes unsafe.
Maidens and Novice Rider races tend to have smaller safety numbers than other races.
If the number of horses declared for a race exceeds the safety number then a Race Division (or "split") may take place.
A Stewards Enquiry is held if the Stewards officiating at a point-to-point or professional race meeting are not happy with the conduct of a horse and jockey in a race.
Typically they will call the relevant jockey or jockeys in to the Steward's Room and ask them for their account of what happened in the race before deciding if any rules were broken.
Sometimes a warning is all that is required but in more serious cases the result of a race may be changed and a fine may be handed out.
Under rules refers to professional racing as opposed to point-to-point racing which is amateur.
When a horse comes to point-to-point racing having previously been "under rules" it generally means that their professional career has ended and they are now going to race on amateur courses.
Horse cannot race under rules and in point-to-points at the same time.
A walkover is awarded if only one horses is declared for a race.
The sole competitor does not need to complete the race for safety reasons, but must make their way onto the course and cross the finish line.
Heard a term you would like us to add to the list? Please feel free to comment below and we will add it to the list!