Jargon Buster

Fixed-odds betting

Staking a set amount to win a set amount by multiplying the stake by the odds. As opposed to spread betting, where the amount that can be won or lost on a single bet may vary.

Fixture

The race meeting

Flat racing

Racing without jumps. The centrepiece of the Flat racing season is the Turf season, which runs from late March to early November. Races are run over a minimum distance of 5f up to a maximum of 2m6f. However, the birth of All-Weather racing in 1989, has allowed Flat racing to continue year-round, and the official Flat racing season now runs for a calendar year to include those Flat races run on all-weather surfaces.

Foal

A horse from birth to January 1 of the following year (when it becomes a yearling).

Forecast

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

Form

A horse’s race record. Denoted by figures (and letters) next to its name on a racecard i.e. 1=first, 2=second etc. The form figures are read backwards from right to left – ie a horse’s latest run is denoted by the figure nearest to its name on the racecard.

Front-runner

A horse whose running style is to attempt to get on or near the lead at the start of the race and stay there as long as possible.

Furlong

220 yards (one eighth of a mile). The numbered posts on British racecourses count the furlongs back from the winning post.

Fancied

When a horse is expected to win or at least to be involved in the finish.

Favourite

The horse with the shortest odds in the race.

Field

The number of horses in a race or, in betting, all of the horses in a race except the favourite.

Filly

Female horse four-years-old or younger.

First string

Where a trainer and/or owner has more than one runner in a race, the horse considered to be the stable’s main fancy is referred to as the stable’s first string. Clues to which horse this is can be whether it carries the owner’s first colours, is ridden by the stable jockey and/or is shorter odds in the betting than a stablemate.