You’ll soon be talking the talk with our handy guide to some of Australian racing’s key words and phrases:
Barriers: The gates from which the horses start the race. You’ll see them move into position before each race to the place on the track depending on the race’s length.
Birdcage: The most exclusive area of marquees at the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Group race: A high quality race categorised into Group 1, 2 and 3 and Listed races.
Black type: Group and Listed races – the biggest and best races in the country – are called black type races because they’re printed that way, in bold lettering; you’ll see them on thoroughbred horses’ pedigrees.
Mare: An adult female horse, over four years old.
Filly: A female horse less than four years of age.
Colt: An uncastrated male horse under four years of age.
Gelding: A male horse that has been castrated.
Dam: The mother of a horse.
Sire: The father of a horse.
Each way: To bet for a win and a place – you’ll get money back if your horse comes first, second or third.
Handicap: A class of race for which the official handicapper assigns the weight each horse has to carry, with the goal of creating a level playing field.
In the red: The price of a horse when it is odds on. The Bookmakers’ boards display ‘odds on’ in red to distinguish from odds against.
Nose: The shortest winning margin in an Australian horse race, followed by a short half-head.
Placed: Finished in the first three in a race.
Quinella: An exotic type bet which requires the selection of the first two placegetters regardless of order.
Trifecta: An exotic type of wager picking the first three finishers in exact sequence.
Hoop: Another name for a jockey.
Silks: The jackets and caps worn by jockeys to identify the horse and its owner.
Scratched: A runner that’s taken out of the race.