Jargon Buster

Lay

To take a bet on: a bookmaker’s offer quoting the price at which he wishes to trade. ‘I’ll lay 6-4 this favourite.’ Betting on a horse to lose

Layer

An alternative term for a bookmaker, someone who lays or accepts a bet.

Left-handed track

Racecourse where horses run anti-clockwise.

Length

A unit of measurement for the distances between each horse at the finish of a race; the measurement of a horse from head to tail.

Level weights

When all horses are carrying the same weight. Major championship races, such as the Derby on the Flat or the Cheltenham Gold Cup over jumps, are run at level weights. There are still some allowances for age and sex (e.g. mares receive a 5lb allowance from male horses in the Cheltenham Gold Cup).

Listed Race

A class of race just below a Group or Graded quality.

Levy

A surcharge collected from bookmakers, based on their turnover or gross profits, which goes towards prize-money, improvements to racecourses, and other areas such as scientific research. The body responsible for this is the Levy Board.

Longshot

A horse with high odds (an outsider).