Australian Horse Racing Betting Terms: Comprehensive Glossary

Australian Horse Racing

Glossary: Australian Horse Racing Lingo

Horse racing has been the sport of kings for centuries. Gambling enthusiasts have been placing bets on horses in Australia ever since the early years of settlement. Over the years, Australia has become one of the leading countries in this betting activity.

Nowadays, aside from the tradition that is carefully cherished in Australia, there is online horse racing betting as well. Since the market has been constantly expanding, we have assembled a glossary of common Australian terms used in this area.

Acceptor: An owner or trainer of a horse is required to pay a certain fee for their horse to be eligible to participate in a race. Such a horse is called an acceptor.

Added Weight: The weight that exceeds the required weight a horse should carry.

Age Of Horse: In Australia, every racehorse’s birthday is on August 1.

All In: A wager you place as soon as the betting commences. It offers fixed odds.

All Up: Placing a wager so that the eventual wins get transferred to the following races.

Apprentice Claim: Weight limit set for apprentice jockeys.

Apprentice Rider: A young jockey who has yet to acquire their senior license.

Backed Off The Map: A horse that has had numerous wagers placed on it.

Bagman: An associate of a bookmaker. Their responsibility is to negotiate bets at racecourses.

Bailed Up: A runner whose racing space is blocked by their opponents.

Bandage: A band of cloth wrapped around the lower part of a horse’s leg. Its purpose is to provide support and protect the horse against injuries during the race.

Barriers: The stalls where racehorses are kept prior to the beginning of the race. Once the race commences, they are released from the stalls by removing the barriers.

Barrier Blanket: Assists horses that resist being kept in the stalls.

Birdcage: A part of the racecourse where racehorses are paraded prior to the beginning of a race. 

Bleeder: A horse bleeding from the lungs in the process of racing or afterward.

Blinkers: Pieces of equipment placed on horses’ heads to limit their peripheral vision.

Blows: When bookmakers enhance the odds of betting on a horse that is not favoured prior to the beginning of the race.

Bolted: A horse that has won a race at big odds, although it was not expected to, has bolted in.

Bookmaker: A person who manages betting.

Box/Boxed: More than one horse finishing a race in any order in a multiple betting system such as Trifecta, Quinella, or Exacta.

Box Trifecta: If a punter bets on three horses to finish a race in the first three placings, regardless of the order, they place a box trifecta bet.

Broken Down: A horse that has sustained an injury.

Checked: A horse that loses momentum due to some kind of interference.

Class: The standard or grade of a certain race.

Coat-Tugger: A person tipping a punter only to demand a percentage of their winnings afterward.

Colt: A male horse of up to three years of age that has not been castrated.

Connections: An owner or trainer of a horse as well as everyone else connected to him in any way.

Correct Weight: Required weight a jockey whose horse has won must confirm at the end of a race. Winnings can be delivered only after this procedure.

Daily Double: Selecting winners of two races at once instead of doing so for each one of them individually.

Dam: Female parent of a young horse.

Dead Heat: More than one horse finishing a race at the exact same time.

Dead Track: A racing surface that lacks resilience.

Derby: A stakes race limited only to horses of three years of age.

Distanced: A horse that finishes a race at a great distance behind the winning runner.

Dividend: An amount of money delivered for winning or placed runners.

Dwelt: A horse that hesitates at the beginning of a race and lags behind the others.

Each Way: Wager an equal amount of money on a particular horse for a win and for a place.

Each Way Odds: The odds for the previously described bet are 4:1. The punter gets their money back if the horse finishes second or third on the condition that at least eight horses participate in the race.

Eased: A horse restrained for the purpose of finding a better position.

Eligible: A horse that meets all the requirements and is, therefore, qualified to participate in a race.

Emergency: Additionally nominated racehorses are only eligible to participate in a race on the condition that another horse is unable to participate.

Exacta: Betting on the exact order in which two horses will finish a race.

Exotics: A multiple betting system such as Trifecta, Quinella, Exacta, First Four & Quaddie.

Extended: A runner that runs at top speed.

False Favourite: A horse you do not consider qualified for the title.

Farrier: A specialist in equine hoof care.

Fast: Firm track conditions.

Favourite: The favourite out of all the nominated horses in a race.

Feature Race: The race of the highest level on the card.

Field: The group of horses participating in a race.

Filly: A female horse of up to three years of age.

First Four: Selecting four horses that will come in first, second, third, and fourth, and selecting the exact order in which they will finish a race.

First Up: A runner participating in the first race after a two-month break.

Flat Race: A race deprived of any obstacles.

Flexi-Betting: Wagering a smaller amount of money than the full dollar value of a wager and collecting a reduced percentage of a payout.

Fluctuation: The modifications made to the odds of a certain runner.

Front Runner: A horse known to be in the lead of the field.

Furlong: Approximately 200 meters.

Gallop: A fast race. 

Gelding: A male horse that has been castrated.

Good Track: The ideal conditions of a racing surface.

Grew Another Leg: Commonly said about a horse that experiences a sudden improvement in the process of a race. 

Group Races: The most outstanding horse races in Australia, managed by the Australian Racing Board.

Handicap Race: Balancing the field by assigning certain weight to each horse based on their previous performances.

Horse Racing

Hands & Heels: A particular style of riding which requires a jockey to only use their hands and heels instead of a whip.

Head: The border between runners.

Heavy Track: A race track affected by rain.

Hoop: Synonym for a jockey.

Hurdle Race: A race involving obstacles that need to be overcome by horses.

Impost: Weight carried by a horse during a race.

In Foal: A pregnant female horse.

In the Money: A horse winning a certain amount of prize money upon finishing a race.

In the Red: An expression used to describe odds shorter than even money.

Knocked Up: A runner that is visibly tired and thus slowing down near the end of a race.

Knuckled: A horse that almost fell to its knees.

Lame: Pain in a horse’s limbs that cause it to underperform during a race.

Late Mail: Final tipping taking place just before the beginning of a race. Those tips take into consideration factors such as jockeys, track conditions, and so on.

Late Scratching: A horse that gets withdrawn from a race after 8 p.m. on the day of the race.

Lay: Offering better odds for betting on a certain horse. Bookmakers propose such odds when they do not think that a particular horse can win.

Length: The length of a horse. It is measured from its nose to its tail.

Long Shot: A horse that seems like it does not stand a chance against other ones.

Maiden: A runner that has never won a single race.

Maiden Race: A race in which participants are exclusively maidens.

Mare: A female horse of at least four years of age.

Middle Distance: A race of approximately 1,600 meters.

Monkey: A casino chip worth $500.

Moral: Confidence in winning a race.

Mounting Yard: The area of a course where racehorses are paraded before jockeys mount them.

Mudlark: A horse that gives outstanding performance on wet tracks.

Mug Punter: A person whose betting/punting skills are bad.

Near side: A horse’s left side.

Neck: The border between two horses. The distance is equal to a horse’s neck.

Nose: The smallest possible space between two horses.

Odds-Against: Longer possible payouts than even money.

Odds On: Odds shorter than even money.

Off Side: A horse’s right side.

On the Nod: A person wagering on credit.

On the Nose: Favouring a horse for the win exclusively.

Pacifiers: Special covers used to limit a horse’s vision in order to calm it down. It is used on overly agitated runners.

Paddock: The area where runners are saddled prior to the beginning of a race. The clerk of a course leads them to the mounting yard once they are saddled.

Photo Finish: Utilizing the finish-line camera to determine the result of a race. Photo finish is necessary in cases in which two or more horses finish a race so close that the result cannot be determined with a naked eye.

Pig-Root: A horse becoming resistant and dislodging the jockey. 

Place: When at least two runners participate in a race, those who come out first, second, and third provide you with a dividend.

Plunge: A sudden pile of wagers on a particular horse.

Protest: When a jockey complains about the results of a race, claiming another horse has somehow interfered with theirs. When such a situation occurs, the results are re-evaluated. If the jockey in question is correct, the horse claimed to have interfered with theirs is placed behind theirs. If not, the initial result is announced as legitimate.

Pulled Up: A horse stopped or slowed down during a race.

Punter: A person making a wager.

Quadrella: Placing a wager that suggests betting on four previously nominated races. A punter has the option to select more than one horse for each race. However, the dividend is decreased in that case.

Quarantine: Isolation of foreign horses. This procedure has the purpose of ensuring that the horses do not carry any diseases.

Quinella: Wagering on two horses, regardless of the order in which they finish the race.

Rails: The prime area in the bookmaker’s ring. Placing large wagers occurs in this area.

Ridden Out: A runner that has been vigorously ridden without the use of a whip.

Ridden Upside Down: A horse ridden in a way other than the one that usually suits it.

Ring-In: A runner that has been illegally replaced with another acceptor.

Roughie: A runner that is not likely to win a race. Betting on a roughie implies worse odds.

Running Double: Selecting a winning runner in two successive races.

Saddle Cloth: A cloth placed under the saddle that displays the number of a horse that is wearing it.

Scratched: A runner that has been eliminated from a race for any of the various reasons, such as illness, a possibility for including a better runner, etc.

Second Up: A run following the first-up run, occurring at least 90 days after the first one.

Silks: A uniform worn by a jockey, consisting of a jacket and a cap in bright colours.

Sire: The male parent of a horse. 

Slow: A race track that has been affected by rain, although less severely affected than the heavy track.

SP Bookmaker: A non-licensed bookmaker.

Spell: A period of time in which a horse has not participated in any race.

Stallion: A male horse designated for breeding.

Stayer: A horse running long-distance races of at least 2,000 metres.

Stewards: Racing officials whose responsibility is to administer a race.

Straight Six: Wagering that suggests selecting winners of six successive races.

Strapper: A person whose job is to take care of a certain horse, whose trainer employed them for that purpose.

Stone Motherless: A runner that has been the last to finish a race.

Suspension: The time period in which a jockey or a trainer cannot participate in races due to the previous violation of the rules.

Swooper: A runner that usually races in the back of the field and then takes over near the end of the race.

Top Fluc: A type of wager that offers the best odds in on-course wagering. This bet has to be made not less than half an hour prior to the beginning of a race.

Track Conditions: A certain rating given to the surface of the track. Track conditions highly influence the race, which is why this is an important segment of the entire process prior to the race itself.

Treble: A wager on three successive, previously nominated races.

Trifecta: Placing a wager on three horses in a race, regardless of the order in which they finish it.

Under Double Wraps: A horse that has won a race without making an excessive effort.

Unders: A horse that implies significantly short odds not in accordance with the chances it has of winning.

Untried: A runner that has not raced at all or at a particular distance.

Wager: A bet.

Warned Off: A person that has been forbidden from being involved with any licensed persons in horse racing or from accessing a racecourse.

Weight For Age: An established range of weights racehorses are allowed to carry.

Well-Held: Another expression for a runner that has won a race without making an excessive effort. 

Win: A horse you have wagered on is first to finish a race.

Winkers: A device that restrains a horse’s peripheral vision, similarly to the way blinkers do it but not to such an extent.

Write Your Own Ticket: Assigning any odds to a bet on a horse that is highly unlikely to win a race.

Yearling: A horse of about two years of age.

Closing Thoughts

As a horse racing aficionado residing outside of Australia, you are now richer for a wide range of terms related to this activity. The next time you go to Australia, you will be able to engage in this exciting activity Aussie-style.

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