Know The Lingo

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.

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