Jargon Buster

Abandoned

A race meeting which has been cancelled due to bad weather. All bets placed on abandoned races are fully refunded.

Accumulator Bet

A bet involving more than one horse/race. Each winning selection then goes on to the next horse (bet). All selections must be successful to win any money back.

Act (on the ground/on the track etc)

Describes a horse’s suitability for different conditions e.g. going, racecourses etc. If a horse ‘acts on soft ground’ it means that horse has shown previous ability to handle soft ground.

Age

All thoroughbreds have their birthdays on 1 January.

Allowance

Inexperienced riders (apprentices, conditionals and amateurs) are allowed a weight concession to compensate for their lack of experience against their colleagues. The ‘allowance’ is usually 3lb, 5lb or 7lb, with it decreasing as the young jockey rides more winners.

All-Weather (AWT)

An artificial racing surface. There are five all-weather racetracks in Britain (Chelmsford, Kempton, Lingfield, Southwell, Wolverhampton) and one in Ireland (Dundalk), and they stage race meetings throughout the summer and winter. There are three types of surface – Fibresand, Polytrack and Tapeta.

Also-ran

A horse that finishes ‘down the field’ in a race (i.e. out of the prizemoney).

Amateur

A non-professional jockey who does not receive a fee for riding in a race, denoted on the racecard by the prefix Mr, Mrs, Miss, Captain etc. Some races are restricted to amateurs-only.

Antepost

For many major races you can place your bet well in advance of the day. In the case of the Classics or big National Hunt races such as the Grand National this could be a year or more before the race takes place. The price of the horse you bet on is usually bigger than you would expect to see on the day as it reflects the fact the horse is not guaranteed to line up in the race. You can place an antepost bet until the final declaration stage of the race.

Apprentice

A trainee Flat jockey connected to the stable of a licensed trainer. Apprentices have a weight allowance when they ride in races against professional jockeys and can compete for the annual Apprentice title, given to the winner of the most races during the season.

At the post

When all the horses have arrived at the start before a race, they are said to be ‘at the post’.

Auction maiden

For two-year-olds sold at public auction as yearlings or two-year-olds, for a price not exceeding a specified figure.