Bookie – Slang for Bookmaker
Bookmaker – This is the person or company that takes your bet.
Colt – Male horse less than 4 years old.
Filly – Female horse less than 4 years old.
Foal – Male or female horse less than one year old.
Flat Race – No hurdles or fences, the course is set out over level ground.
Furlong – Unit of length used in the measurement of race courses. 1 Furlong = 220 yards or approximately 201m.
Handicapper – Person who calculates the appropriate handicap for a given horse or race
Handicapping – Process of equalising the ability of a group of horses in a given race so as to attempt to give the participating horses a more even chance of winning.
Hands – Horse height is measured in “hands”. One hand equates to 4 inches or 10.16cm.
Horse – Big animal, four legs, runs quite fast.
Gelding – Castrated male horse – any age.
The Great Stud Book – The definitive record of the thoroughbred bloodline
GSB – see The Great Stud Book
Jockey – Little guy (or gal) that does the steering, usually dressed in funky colours and can (hopefully) be found on top of the horse.
Jump Race – A race where the horses must clear a series of hurdles/fences that have been set out along the course.
Lengthening Odds – When the chances of winning are considered to be reduced. For example if the odds go from 10/1 to 50/1 the odds are considered to have “lengthened”.
Long Odds – A term referring to odds given on a horse that is not considered likely to win
Mare – Female horse more than 4 years old.
Punter – Slang used to refer to a person making a bet.
Shortening Odds – When the chances of winning are considered to be increased. For example if the odds go from 50/1 to 10/1 the odds are considered to have “shortened”.
Stake – Amount bet on a particular horse or race
Stallion – Male, non-castrated horse more than 4 years old.
Stud – Winning stallions will often be “put out to stud”, whiling away their retirement years impregnating new mares in the hopes of passing on some of those winning genes – nice work if you can get it.
Thoroughbred – Main breed of horses used for racing – see Thoroughbred section.
Turf Accountant – Alternative name for a Bookmaker.
Yearling – Male or Female horse between one and two years old.