Jargon Buster


Long-priced horse in the betting, regarded as unlikely to win.

Overnight declarations

Horses entered for a race must be ‘declared to run’ and this usually happens the day before a race – horses left in a race at this stage are known as ‘overnight declarations’ and they comprise the final field for each race which appears on the day of the race in newspapers and in racecards. At this stage a trainer must also ‘declare’ the jockey who will ride the horse and any equipment (e.g. blinkers) the horse will carry – this information also appears on racecards in newspapers and at the racecourse.


In theory, a betting book can be fairly weighted between bookmaker and punter. However, to ensure a profit margin, a bookmaker will alter the odds in their favour. Overround is a means of expressing to what extent the odds are in favour of the bookmaker. An evenly weighted book is expressed as 100%, and the more the odds move in the bookmaker’s favour the more that figure rises. Thus a book that is weighted 20% in favour of a bookmaker is expressed as 120% overround.

Over the top

When a horse is considered to be past its peak due to too much racing/training and needs a rest.


When a horse carries more than its allocated weight, due to the jockey being unable to make that weight. e.g. if a horse is allocated 9st in the handicap but carries 9st 2lb, the jockey is said to have ‘put up 2lb overweight’. This is usually a disadvantage, though sometimes the trainer of a horse may decide to accept overweight in order to have one of the best jockeys on board his horse.


A complaint by one jockey against another regarding the running of a race.


The chance offered for a selection to win. Also known as price.


Betting odds where the potential winnings are higher than the stake. The numerator is larger than the denominator (e.g. 2-1).


Betting odds where the stake is higher than the potential winnings if the bet is successful. The denominator is larger than the numerator (e.g. 1-2)

Off the bridle

Describes a horse being pushed along and losing contact with the bit in its mouth.

Off the pace

When a horse is some distance behind the front-runners in a race.


Describes a horse that is unable to raise its pace in the closing stages of a race.

On the bridle

Describes a horse running comfortably, still having a bite on the bit. A horse that wins ‘on the bridle’ is regarded as having won easily.

On the nose (to bet)

Placing a win bet

Open ditch

Steeplechase jump with a ditch on the approach side to the fence.

Out of the handicap

When handicap races are framed, there is a maximum and minimum weight that horses can carry. When a horse’s rating means that its allocated weight is lower than the minimum for that race, it is said to be ‘out of the handicap’. e.g. in a Flat handicap where a horse set to carry the minimum weight of 7st 7lb is rated 65, a horse rated 62 would be allocated 7st 4lb in the long handicap but would have to carry the minimum 7st 7lb in the race – this horse would be described as being ‘3lb out of the handicap’ (ie it would be carrying 3lb more than its ‘true’ handicap weight).

Out Of The Money

A horse that finishes outside of the place money.