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Horse racing can be complicated, but our horse racing guides will help you master the sport of kings. Covering all major areas including betting, racecards and the Tote, there's also a handy glossary at the bottom of the page.

A

Action

How a horse moves. Different actions suit different types of ground (e.g. firm or muddy).

B

Blinkers

Cup like pieces of equipment which force a horse to only look forwards. Denoted by a "b" on the racecard. See our full guide here.

C

Classics

There are five British Classics, all first run at least 200 years ago, and considered the most prestigious races on the Flat of the year.

D

Draw

In flat racing, the stall in which a horse starts the race. Picked randomly a "good" draw can provide an advantage at some courses.

E

Evens

Odds of 1/1, where a winning bet will return the bettors stake plus the same amount again as profit.

F

Filly

A female horse aged four or younger.

Form

How a horse has performed in previous races. Often displayed as the number of their finishing position (e.g. 1st = 1)

G

Going

The going describes the surface of the racecourse. See our full guide here.

H

Handicap

The horse's rating, as assigned by the sport's handicapping experts. Used to assign how much weight a horse carries in Handicap races. See our full guide to handicaps here.

J

Jockey

The person who rides the horse in the race.

L

Length

A unit of distance the same as the length of a horse, used to describe how far apart horses have finished in a race.

M

Maiden

A horse which has never won a horse race under Rules before.

Mare

A female horse aged five or older

N

NAP

A horse racing tipster's best bet of the day. See our NAP of the Day here.

Non Runner

A horse which had been expected to take part in a race but now won't be competing.

O

Odds On

Betting odds where the profit for a winner will be less than the original stake placed on (which the bettor also receives back)

P

Pedigree

A horse's lineage and ancestry. Being a direct relation to other quality racing horses is seen as a plus.

Photo Finish

When two horses finish close together, the judge will call a Photo Finish to inspect the official photograph of the finish and work out who has won.

Placed

When a horse finishes behind the winner in the official "places" - normally 2nd or 3rd, but see our full guide here.

R

Rule 4

When a horse in a race is a Non Runner, a Rule 4 deduction will be made to all other runners to compensate. See our full guide here.

S

Staying On

Describes a horse which is making up ground late in its races when other horses are often tiring.

T

Tongue Tie

A piece of equipment which ensures the horse's tongue doesn't obstruct the airway. Denoted by a "t" on the racecard. See our full guide here.

Trainer

The person in charge of looking after the horse - think football manager.

U

Unseated

When the jockey fails to stay in the saddle, but the horse doesn't fall. More common in jumps races than Flat races.

V

Visor

This equipment prevents a horse from looking backwards. Dennoted by a "v" on the racecard. See our full guide here.

W

Wind Op

Short of wind operation, a medical procedure which can help a horse breathe - and therefore perform - better.

Y

Yearling

A horse which is under the age of one - all ages for race horses are calculated with a birthday of 1st January.

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