Jargon Buster

Disqualification

When a horse is demoted in the finishing order due to an infringement of the Rules following a Stewards’ Enquiry.

Distance

The margin by which a horse has won or has been beaten (e.g. a horse might have a winning distance of three lengths) OR in Jump racing, if a horse is beaten/wins by a long way (more than 30 lengths) it is said to have been beaten/won by a distance.

Dividend

The amount that a winning or placed horse returns for every £1 bet.

Double

Consists of one bet involving two selections in different events. Both selections must be successful to get a return, with the winnings from the first selection going on to the second selection. The return is calculated by multiplying the odds on the two selections: e.g. a £10 double on a 2-1 winner and a 7-1 winner pays £240 (£10 on a 2-1 winner = £30, then that £30 on a 7-1 winner = £240).

Double carpet

The tic-tac bookmaking term for 33-1.

Draw

A horse’s starting position in the stalls allotted in races on the Flat. Stall numbers are drawn at random by Weatherbys (except in a handful of top races that allow each horse’s connections, having been randomly selected, to choose the stall number for their horse). A horse with a seemingly advantageous draw is said to be “well drawn”. Stalls are used for Flat racing only.

Drifter

A horse whose odds get bigger just before the race due to a lack of support in the market. Often referred to as being “on the drift”.

Drop in class/trip

A horse racing in a lower class of race than he has recently run in/running over a shorter distance.

Dual forecast

A bet where the aim is to select both the winner and runner-up in a race in either order.

Dwell/dwelt (at the start)

To start slowly.

Dam

A horse’s mother.

Damsire (broodmare)

The sire of a broodmare; in human terms, the maternal grandfather of a horse.

Dark horse

A horse regarded as having potential but whose full capabilities have not been revealed. A trainer will plan a horse’s campaign carefully so that it does not carry too much weight in a major handicap. Punters often perceive these types of horses as a ‘dark horse’.

Dead-heat

A tie between two or more horses for first place, or for one of the other finishing positions. In the event of a dead-heat for first place, when a winning bet has been made, half the stake is applied to the selection at full odds and the other half is lost. If more than two horses dead-heat, the stake is proportioned accordingly.

Decimal odds

Used on the Tote and betting exchanges, instead of fractional odds. Decimal odds are expressed as a figure (in round or decimal terms) that represents the potential total winning return to the punter. So, 4 (or 4.0) in Tote or decimal odds is the same as the conventional 3-1, as it represents a potential total winning return of £4 to a £1 stake.

Declared (runner)

A horse confirmed to start in a race at the final declarations stage.

Deductions

When a horse is scratched from a race after the betting market has already opened, deductions are taken out of the win and place bets at a rate in proportion to the odds of the scratched horse.