Understanding Australian Horse Racing (Part 1/3)

January 13th, 2015

Australian horse racing terminology

This is the first of a three part series on Australian horse racing. Today I will list terms you will hear at an Australian track that you wouldn't hear for the most part at an American track.

RELATED: Read part 2 in this series.

A horse confirmed by the owner or trainer to be a runner in a race.
A horse seven years old or older.
All Up:
A type of bet where the winnings of one race is carried over to the next race and so forth.
Apprentice allowance:
Reduction in the weight to be carried by a horse which is to be ridden by an apprentice jockey. Also called a "claim". It varies from 4 kg to 1.5 kg depending on the number of winners the apprentice has ridden. Recent rule changes have resulted in an increase in the maximum amount able to be claimed—from 3 kg to 4 kg.
The T.A.B prices horses are showing before a race begins.
Name given to a punter {someone that bets on horses} who arrives on course with a stack of papers,hence: more tips than a can of asparagus
To bet on a horse.
Backed In:
A horse whose odds have shortened.
Backed off the map:
A horse which has been heavily supported resulting in a substantial decrease in odds.
Back up:
To race a horse soon after its latest engagement. Also, bettors who keep backing a particular horse are said to "back up."
Bank teller job:
A horse considered such a near certainty that a bank teller could invest 'borrowed' bank funds and replace them without detection.
A key selection in an exotic bet which must win, or run a particular place to guarantee any return.
Starting gate.
A trainer or jockey who just manages to make a living from his full-time involvement in horse racing.
under this system it's the weight a horse carries at its next start is determined immediately after its previous race, according to the merit of that run. Each Benchmark point equals half a pound or kilogram.
Best Bet:
The selection that racing journalists and tipsters nominate as their strongest selection of the day.
Bet back:
Action taken by a bookmaker when he is heavily-committed to a horse and spreads some of the risk by investing with other bookies.
Bet until your nose bleeds:
Confident instructions to a bettor indicating that the horse is so certain to win that betting should only be halted in the unlikely event of a nose hemorrhage.
Big bickies:
A large amount of money.
Big Red:
Nickname of the champion race horse Phar Lap.
Binos (pronounced "by-nose"):
Area where horses are paraded before entering the racetrack.
A horse that bleeds from the lungs during or after a race or workout. In Australia a first-time bleeder is banned from racing for three months. If it bleeds a second time the horse is banned for life.
Blew like a north wind:
Said about a horse whose odds have lengthened dramatically during the course of betting.
To be caught on the line or defeated in a photo finish.
When the odds of a horse increase during betting.
Blown out the gate:
Odds have extended dramatically due to lack of support.
Boat race:
A race with a number of non-triers which is said to be fixed for one horse to win.
A horse at long odds.
Box seat:
A position in a race which is one horse off the fence and one horse behind the leaders.
Buying money:
Term used by a bettor when required to bet ‘odds on’.
Sweepstakes conducted prior to a big event with each horse being raffled and then auctioned to the highest bidder.
Carry the grandstand:
Said of a horse allocated a big weight in a handicap race.
A horse situated on its side or back, and wedged in the starting stalls, such that it cannot get up.
Cast a plate:
Lost a racing plate.
Chaff burner:
Derogatory term for a horse.
Clerk of the course:
Mounted racecourse officials who manage horses and jockeys on the race track, and lead the winner of a race back to the mounting yard.
Correct weight:
After a race the weight carried by at least the jockeys that placed is checked, and ‘correct weight’ is the signal by the stewards that bets can be paid.
Could not lay it with a trowel:
Said of a horse that has been completely neglected in the betting ring.
Cricket score odds:
Very long odds, usually 100 to 1 or better.
Cuts his own hair:
An expression to indicate a person is very careful about investing any money.