Jargon Buster


Type of auction, usually for two-year-olds, at which the horses for sale run for a short distance to allow prospective buyers to assess them.


The equipment on a horse’s head used to control it.

Bridle, won on the

Won easily, without being hard ridden or challenged by other horses.

Broke down

When a horse sustains an injury during a race.


Mare kept at stud for breeding, and not usually raced, although likely to have done so when younger.

Brought down

A horse that falls during a race when impeded by another horse.


A Flat race run under Jump Rules, used to educate young prospective jumps horses before they tackle hurdles or fences. Officially called National Hunt Flat Race.


Interference during a race where one horse collides with another. Often results in a Stewards’ Enquiry, particularly when interference takes place in the closing stages of the race

Burlington Bertie

The tic-tac bookmaking term for 100-30.


Betting term used to describe a favourite that bookmakers expect to lose and are therefore happy to lay.


Metal part of the bridle that sits in a horse’s mouth. The reins are then attached to the bit and used by the jockey to control the horse.

Black (horse colour)

The horse is a uniform black colour (except possible white markings on its head and lower legs).

Black type

Term used by the bloodstock industry to denote a horse that has won or been placed in a Pattern/Listed race. Horses ‘going for black type’ are attempting to win or be placed in a Pattern/Listed race to improve their breeding value.

Blanket Finish

When the horses finish so close to the winning line you could theoretically put a single blanket across them.The Judge usually calls a photo to decide the official placings.


A horse that tends to break blood vessels during a race.


Another name for blinkers.


A form of headgear worn by the horse, consisting of a hood with cups around the eyes. They are use to limit a horse’s vision and reduce distractions, with the aim of making it concentrate.A horse wearing blinkers is denoted on a racecard by a small b next to the horse’s weight (b1 indicates that the horse is wearing blinkers in a race for the first time).

Bloodstock sales

The sale of horses at auction.


A short workout, usually a day or two before a race, designed to clear the horse’s airways before the race.

Board prices

The generally available odds displayed on the boards of on-course bookmakers. It is from these that the starting price (SP) is derived. ‘Taking the board price’ means taking the last price shown against your selection at the time you strike the bet.


A record of the bets made on a particular race or other sporting event. A bookmaker ‘makes a book’ by determining the likelihood of each possible outcome in a race and presenting this in the form of odds or prices. The book is adjusted according to the amount of money and bets struck on each possible outcome.


A person/company licensed to accept bets. Also known as a bookie.


The tic-tac bookmaking term for 2-1.

Boxed in

A horse that cannot overtake another horse because it is blocked by other horses.


A horse that constantly walks around its stable and doesn’t settle.

Break (a horse) in

Teaching a young horse to accept riding equipment and carry a rider.


Restraining or easing off on a horse for a short distance to permit him to fill his lungs during the race.


Someone that breeds racehorses. They own the dam (mother) at time foal is born.


Galloping a horse at a moderate speed.

Backed / Backed-In

A ‘backed’ horse is one on which lots of bets have been placed. A horse which is backed-in means that bettors have outlaid a lot of money on that horse, with the result being a decrease in the odds offered

Backstretch / Back Straight

The straight length of the track on the far side of the course from the stands


A horse that is either too young or not fully fit.


The horse expected to win – usually a short priced favourite. The strongest selection in a multiple selection.


Term used when describing bookmakers’ prices. e.g. ‘4-1 bar two’ means that you can obtain at least 4-1 about any horse except for the first two in betting.


Horse colour – any brown horse with a black mane/tail and legs.

Betting market

A market is created, according to demand, by the prices offered for each runner by bookmakers.

Betting Ring

The main area at a racecourse where the bookmakers operate.