What's What Of Horseracing

An Explanation of Horseracing Terminology

Types of horse races

Group: Group 1, 2 and 3. The top class of race. The Derby and the Arc are Group One races for example

Listed: Just below group class.

Rated Stakes: Valuable handicaps with a 10 to 14lb weight range.

Conditions Stakes: Races for horses just below top class.

Classified Stakes: Races with a max rating for horses that have run at least 3 times, or run twice and won at least once.

Handicap: Races where the weight a horse has to carry is determined by the official handicapper. The better the horse, the higher its handicap rating. Horse can only run in races where the max rating is higher or equal to its rating.

Nursery: Handicap for 2yo horses only.

Maiden Handicap: For 3yo+ maidens with a max rating of 70 that have run at least 4 times.

Maiden: For horses that have never won.

Rated Maiden: Maiden races with a max rating for horses that have run at least 3 times.

Novice: For 2yos and 3yos that have not won more than twice; a horse that has won already in its career usually has to carry extra weight (a penalty) according to the race conditions.

Auction Maiden: For 2yos originally sold by auction at specified sales.

Median Auction Maiden: For 2yos by stallions that established a median price for their yearlings at specified sales.

Selling: For low class horses. The winners are offered for auction. Any other runner can be claimed too.

Claiming: Each horse is allocated a weight according to the claiming price determined by the connections. The lower the weight, the lower the claiming price. Any horse can be claimed after the race.

Apprentice: Races for apprentice jockeys only.

Amateur: Amateurs jockeys only.

Lady: Female amateurs and female apprentices.

Gentlemen: Male amateurs only.

Punting Phraseology, Parlance and Piffle 

Below is a guide produced from drunken hazy memory of terms used for betting odds and slang terms for money. Some may be missing for which I apologise and some terms will vary from region to region.

General Horseracing Terms

Banker: Well fancied horse

Jolly: Favourite in the betting for the race

Kite: A cheque

Knock: To not pay up when owing

Rag: Unfancied horse

Tic-tac: Traditional method of signs used by bookies to communicate the odds of certain horses

Betting Odds:

Levels You Devils: Evens

Tips: 11-10

Sais A Wang - 6-5

Wrist: 5-4

Up the Arm: 11-8

Ear’ole: 6-4

Shoulder: 7-4

Double Tops: 15-8

Bottle: 2-1

Top of the Head: 9-4

Face: 5-2

Elef a Vier: 11-4

Carpet: 3-1

Burlington Bertie: 100-30

Rouf: 4-1

On the Soulders: 9-2

Hand: 5-1

Exes: 6-1

Neves: 7-1

T-H: 8-1

Enin: 9-1

Net: 10-1

Elef: 11-1

Net and Bice: 12/1

Net and Rouf: 14/1

Net and Ex:16/1

Double Net: 20-1

Pony: 25-1

Double Carpet: 33-1

Century - 100-1 

Money Slang:

Bees and Honey: Money

Shrapnel: Loose change

Folding: Paper money

Bob: Shilling (five new pence)

Guinea: £1.05 (twenty-one shillings)

Nicker or Quid: £1

Jacks, Lady Godiva or Ching: £5

Cock & Hen or Mother Hen: £10

Score: £20

Pony: £25

Bullseye or Nifty: £50

Century, Long’un or Ton: £100

Bottle: £200

Carpet: £300

Rouf: £400

Monkey: £500

Grand or Bag of Sand: £1000