Don't get bamboozled on a day at the races - use our A-Z jargon buster to help you understand the lingo.
Presenting the letter W . . .
A race involving only one horse. The horse and jockey do not have to complete the race distance but must pass the winning post to be declared the winner.
A horse who, as a result of stress, sways its head from side to side.
The official declaration ratifying a race result. Announced on course after jockeys have weighed in (see below); bookmakers pay out winnings on this announcement.
Each jockey (wearing his racing kit and carrying his saddle) must sit on the weighing scales before and after the race, so that the clerkof the scales can check that the jockey is carrying the correct weight allotted to his horse. If a jockey is above the allotted weight before the race, his horse can still compete but must carry overweight. When the weights carried by the winner and placed horses have been verified after the race, there will be an announcement that they have ‘weighed in’. This confirms the race result (unless there is a stewards’ inquiry) and at this point bookmakers will pay out on successful bets.
A cloth with pockets for lead weights placed under the saddle.
Weight for age
A graduated scale that shows how horses of differing ages progress month by month during the racing season, the differences being expressed in terms of weight. This allows horses of differing ages to compete against each other on a fair basis, based on their age and maturity, in what are known as weight-for-age races.
Lead strips placed in a weight cloth. When these weights are added to the jockey’s weight and other tack, the total weight should equal the weight allotted to the jockey’s horse in a race.
When a horse is considered to be favoured by the weights in a race, it is said to be ‘well in’.
Term for a high weight carried in a handicap race.
A stressed horse who bites at anything within reach, whilst sucking in air.
Betting markets where no each-way betting is available.
With a run
A variant in ante-post betting. If there are major doubts about whether a certain horse will run in a race, bookmakers may opt to offer that horse ‘with a run’. If the horse does not run, stakes are returned on that horse and bookmakers will usually issue a list of revised prices. Bets on other runners stand at the prices quoted at the time the bets were struck.
A stable employee, not necessarily a licensed jockey, who rides horses in training on the gallops.
Wrong in the wind
THERE is no race, anywhere on earth, laden with as much history and prestige as the Epsom Derby. Conjured by 18th century aristocrats sitting over dinner it soon became the pre-eminent contest for three-year-olds and would go on to inspire hundreds of imitator races across the globe.
It remains a truly national sporting event. 125,000 descend on the Downs on the day of the race for a very British party. Double decker buses disgorge sun-seekers in everything from flip-flops to cocktail dresses, barbecues are sparked and laden with British bangers and bookies tout the favourite as a gambling frenzy erupts in the build-up to the race.