Jargon Buster


Jacket (‘silks’) worn by jockey to identify a horse. A horse runs in its owner’s colours which are registered with Weatherbys. The colours to be worn by each jockey are shown on racecards.


Ungelded (entire) male horse below five years of age.

Combination bet (accumulator)

A bet involving more than one horse with the winnings from each selection going on to the next horse. All selections must be successful to get a return. Combination bets must be placed with the same bookmaker.

Conditional jockey

A Jump jockey, under 26, who receives a weight allowance for inexperience until he has ridden a certain number of winners. A conditional jockey is licensed to a specific trainer. Some races are restricted to conditionals-only.

Conditions race

A race in which horses are allotted extra weight according to factors including sex, age, whether they are a previous winner etc. This is a better-class race for horses just below Group or Listed level.


A horse’s build and general physical structure; the way he is put together.


People associated with a horse, such as the owner and trainer.

Course specialist

A horse that is proven at a track in previous races.

Covered up

When a jockey keeps a horse behind other runners to prevent it running too freely in the early stages of a race.


The mating of horses.

Cut in the ground

A description of the ground condition where the racing surface has been softened by rain.


The tic-tac bookmaking term for 10-1.


A horse that shares its position at the head of the betting market with at least two other horses.


The tic-tac bookmaking term for 3-1. Double carpet is 33-1.


A horse that takes part in steeplechase races.


When a horse’s run during a race is momentarily blocked by another horse or horses.


Strips of sheepskin that are attached to the side of a horse’s bridle. They partially obscure a horse’s rear vision, with the aim of getting the horse to concentrate on racing. Horses wearing cheekpieces are denoted on a racecard by a small p next to the horse’s weight.


Horse colour varying from light, washy yellow to dark liver orange, and in between are red, gold and liver shades.


Extension of racecourse, usually at the top of the home straight, to allow straight run from the start.

Claimer (jockey)

An apprentice Flat jockey.

Claiming race / Claimer

A race in which each horse’s weight is determined by the price placed on them by connections. The lower the claiming price, the lower the weight. Horses can be ‘claimed’ (bought) by other owners/trainers for the specified price after the race.


Group of historic major races for three-year-olds in the Flat season. In Britain the five Classics are (in running order) the 2,000 Guineas, the 1,000 Guineas, the Oaks, the Derby and the St Leger – most European countries have their own versions of these Classics. A Classic contender is a horse being aimed at one of these races or is regarded as having the potential to compete at that level.

Clerk of the Course

Racecourse official responsible for the overall racecourse management, including the preparation of the racing surface.

Clerk of the Scales

Racecourse official whose chief duty is to weigh the riders before and after a race to ensure proper weight is carried.