Jargon Buster

Pacemaker

A horse that is entered in a race with the intention that it will set the pace for another horse with the same connections.

Paddock

Area of the racecourse incorporating the parade ring (where horses are paraded prior to the race) and winner’s enclosure. Connections of the horses gather in the centre of the paddock before each race and jockeys mount before taking the horses out onto the racecourse.

Parade

Before major races, the horses often line up in racecard order (numerical order) and led in front of the grandstands to allow racegoers to see them. At the end of the parade the horses are released to canter down to the start.

Patent

Multiple bet consisting of seven bets involving three selections in different events. A single on each selection, plus three doubles and one treble. One successful selection guarantees a return.

Pattern

The grading system for the most important races, introduced on the Flat in 1971 and later for jumps racing. The top races on the Flat are Group 1, followed by Group 2 and Group 3 (the next highest category is Listed, which, while not technically part of the Pattern, combine with Group races under the heading of black-type races). The jumps Pattern has a similar structure, except that the races are termed Grade 1/2/3, rather than Group 1/2/3.

Penalised horses

Horses that have incurred a weight penalty as a result of previous successes.

Penalty

Additional weight carried by a horse on account of previous wins. In a handicap, a penalty is added to a horse’s original weight if it has won in between being entered for the race and running in it, as the handicapper has not had the opportunity to re-assess that horse’s handicap rating. A penalty (commonly 6lb) is shown after the horse’s name on Racing Post racecards – e.g. Horsename (ex6).

Photo finish

In a close race, where the placings cannot be determined easily, the result is determined by the judge by examination of a photograph taken by a camera on the finishing line.

Placepot

Similar rules to the Jackpot, but your selections have only to be placed.

Pulled up

A horse that drops out of a race and does not finish.

Pulling

When a horse is unsettled during the early part of a race and uses too much energy, fighting the jockey by pulling against the bridle.

Punter

A person who gambles or lays a bet.

Pushed out

When a horse is ridden vigorously, but without full effort by the jockey.