A Few Terms And Definitions To Start Familiarising With Horse Racing

There are truly many different terms to know when it comes to British horse racing and it would certainly take a lot of time and effort to learn them all at once. So here are just a few of the most common jargon terms to start familiarising with the horse racing world.

Dark Horse

This term refers to a race horse that is unfamiliar to the audience. The audience knows little to nothing about its racing capability, and hence if it eventually were to prove to be very good, it would come as a major surprise to the audience.

All Out

To be going all out means to be trying one's very best, pushing oneself to the limit. Referring to a horse in that way means that the horse is trying its utmost to win the race.

Front Runner

This term is very self-spoken, it refers to the horse that is the winning candidate of a race, the horse who is running at the front.

Home Stretch

When they say that a horse is in the Home Stretch it means that the horse is close to winning and does not have too far to go to reach his accomplishment.


Blinkers refer to an apparatus that is placed on the horses face, limiting its vision so as it does not become distracted by anything that would ordinarily be seen through the peripheral vision.


The term bookie is a shortened version of bookmaker, which is the company or organization where one goes to place bets.


This refers to a young female horse, that is three years old or less.


Furlong is the term for a measurement of distance used in horse racing. It is the equivalent to about 200 meters. Therefore 4 furlong = about 800 meters.


A jockey, also referred to as a hoop, is the person who rides on the back of the horse as he races.

Near side

This refers to the left side of the horse in question.

Off side

This refers to the right side of the horse in question.


When a person betting says it was a siege, he is saying that the event came out with terrible results for him and his bets.


Stakes races are races where horse owners must pay a stake, or entry fee, which usually goes into building the prize money for the top finishers.

Read more about the betting language of the horse racing tracks here.