Racing Terms

The following list of Racing Terms may help explain some of the things that you will hear on your visit to Roscommon Races.

APPRENTICE
Young professional flat jockeys who can claim a weight allowance of up to 10lbs, dependent on their age and how many winners they have ridden

BANKER
Racing slang word for a horse that is guaranteed to win. Anything can and frequently does happen in horse racing so there are no certainties.

BEST TURNED OUT
This is a prize given to the groom of the horse that is judged to look the best in the parade ring. Often a good pointer to a horse’s chance.

BIT
A two-piece device that fits into the horse’s mouth and is attached to the reins. It allows the jockey to control and steer the horse

BLINKERS
A piece of equipment that goes over the horse’s head to restrict its vision and help it concentrate in a race.

COLT
Male horse aged 4 years old or younger. Denoted as c in the racecard.

DISTANCE
It’s important that the horse has run well over a similar distance to what it’s running over on the day. Though some horses are quite adaptable beware of radical changes, up or down, from its previous run.

DRAW
Flat races are started from stalls and the ‘draw’ number designates which stall each horse starts from. As a rule of thumb it is usually advantageous to have a draw near to the rails. The draw is numbered from right to left in Ireland.

FILLY
Female horse aged 4 years old or younger. Denoted by f in the racecard.

MARE: Female horse aged 5 years+.

FURLONG
The traditional measurement for races. One furlong equals 1/8 of a mile, 220 yards or 200 metres.

FORM
A Horses recent results – It is usually best policy to bet on a horse that has good form figures: i.e. has finished in the first 4 in at least some of it’s
previous runs. The racecard will provide details of its last three races.

GOING
What the ground conditions are like on the course.
The descriptions are as follows: heavy, soft, yielding, good, good to firm and firm.
Some horses run equally well on any type of ground but many have a preference.

HANDICAP
A race in which the weights are calculated by an official assessor (called a handicapper). The better class horses carry the highest weights while the
lesser class horses carry lower weights. The idea is to give all horses an equal chance of winning.

LENGTH
The approximate length of a horse: about 8 feet. Winning margins are measured in lengths, ranging from 1/2 a length to a distance (more than 20
lengths). Smaller winning margins are a short-head, head or a neck.

ODDS ON
A bookmaker price. Eg. at “6 to 4 on” you have to stake 6 to win 4. This will appear as 4 /6 on bookmakers boards but is referred to as 6 to 4 on.

STARTING STALLS
These ensure that each horse gets a fair chance at the start even though some horses break more slowly out of them than others. Each stall is
numbered from right to left.

WEIGHT
The amount the horse has to carry in the race. Shown in stones and pounds (lbs) on the racecard. There are 14 pounds in a stone.

WINNER ALL RIGHT
An announcement that confirms the result is official. You can now collect your winnings!