Glossary of terms

Horses must be nominated for a race and then a horse whose connections have paid the fee for a race is considered an acceptor.

The Australian horse's birthday is on August 1st in the year which they were foaled. The Northern hemisphere birthday is on 1 January each year.

Junior jockey indentured to a trainer for a four year apprenticeship. An apprentice can claim a reduction of up to 4kgs in the weight carried by the horse. As the jockey wins more races the amount they can claim is reduced. Claim appears next to their name in the racing guides (e.g. a1.5kg)

Back Up
A horse who races for the second time within one week is backing up.

Bailed Up
The horse was racing inside runners and unable to get clear running.

The starting gates. Barriers are usually drawn randomly by computer but for some feature races such as the Melbourne Cup the connections are given the opportunity to choose or draw a hidden number to determine their barrier.

Used to describe a filly or mare that was bred and did not conceive during the last breeding season.

Barrier Blanket
Assists horses who resent being loaded in the barriers. The blanket is attached to the back of the barrier once the horse is loaded and remains behind when the horse jumps.

Bay A horse colour that varies from a yellow-tan to a bright auburn. The mane, tail and lower portion of the legs are always black, except where white markings are present.

Big Red
Nickname for a lot of Chestnut horses, including Australia's most famous racehorse from the 1930's, Phar Lap.

Part of the bridle, the metal bar that is placed over the horses tongue. When a horse gets its tongue over the bit (or 'Chokes Down'), the jockey has less control over the horse and the horse struggles to breath correctly.

Bid Spotter An individual standing facing the crowd in the sales ring to spot buyers signalling they would like to place a bid.

A horse colour which is black, including the muzzle, flanks, mane, tail and legs unless white markings are present.

Black Type
Boldface type, used in sales catalogues, to distinguish horses that have won or placed in a stakes race. A horse that has a lot of black type in its pedigree is one whose forebears were successful racehorses.

When a horse bleeds from the lungs after running. In Australia, a horse is banned from racing for 3 months after the first bleeding attack. If it happens again during a race the horse is banned from racing again in Australia for life. Australian racing is drug free, medication to prevent bleeding is prohibited.

Hood that fits over the horses bridle with cups placed around the horse's eyes to restrict vision of other horses to the side and rear. The application of blinkers for the first time is considered a significant gear change that can improve form dramatically. Blinkers can also be one eyed only.

Bloodstock Agent
A person who advises and/or represents a buyer or seller of thoroughbreds at a public auction or a private sale. A bloodstock agent usually works on commission, often five percent of the purchase price, and can also prepare a horse for sale.

The bloodlines of a horse refer to its pedigree - its sire, dam, grand sires/dams etc. The Australian Stud Book maintain the pedigree of thoroughbreds in Australia.

1) The group of mares being bred to a stallion in a given year. If a stallion attracts the maximum number of mares allowed by the farm manager, he has a full book. 2) A term used to describe a jockey's riding commitments with his agent: An agent handles a jockey's book.

Box Seat
During a race, when a horse is racing just behind the leaders and one horse out from the fence.

A horse is considered to have been bred in the state or country of its birth.

Breeder Owner of the dam at time of foaling unless the dam was under a lease or foal-sharing arrangement at the time of foaling.

Breeding Season Foals are generally born anytime from 1 August and mares come into season from 1 September. Therefore breeding season is generally September - December

A filly or mare that has been bred and is used to produce offspring.

Anti-inflammatory medication. All horse racing in Australia is drug free, so it must not be present in the horse on race day.

If the horse throws a shoe before the race, either on the course or in the barriers, it may be replaced by the farrier prior to the race. Can also mean the horse has layed down in the barriers. Also a phrase used when a horse lies down too close to the wall of their stable box. As the horse tries to stand back up it gets stuck close to the wall and needs assistance.

The directory produced by Inglis detailing all of the horses being offered for auction and their pedigrees. Generally available approximately 2 months prior to the sale date.

Caulfield Cup
Feature race of the Melbourne Racing Club. Run at Caulfield Racecourse in mid October, a 2400 metre race run under Handicap conditions. Considered an important lead up race to the Melbourne Cup, the Caulfield Cup is a prestigious Group One event.

Interference suffered by a horse during a race. If the interference is considered severe enough to have cost the horse an opportunity to win, the trainer and/or owner is entitled to lodge a protest against that runner if it finished ahead of them in the placings.

A horse colour which may vary from a red-yellow to golden-yellow. The mane, tail and legs are usually variations of coat colour, except where white markings are present.

When a horse partially swallows its tongue during a race, making it difficult to breathe. Often improved with the application of a 'Tongue-Tie'.

Reduction in the amount of weight carried by a horse being ridden by an apprentice jockey. If the race is non claiming (as in Group races), the apprentice cannot use their claim. As the apprentice rides more winners, their claim reduces. Top jockeys have no claim.

The grade of the race. A brief summary from lowest to highest: Maiden, Class 1 to Class 6, Mares, Open, Stakes, Handicap, Listed, Group 3, Group 2, Group 1.

Clerk of the Course
Official often dressed in hunting red, sometimes riding a grey horse. Duties include leading runners out to the start, assisting with difficult horses and capturing runaways. Melbourne's most popular clerk's horse was 1992 Melbourne Cup winner Subzero, who retired in June 2008 after 15 years service with Clerk Graham Salisbury.

Colours (of horses) Black, brown, chestnut and white horses are described according to the basic hair colour in their body coat. Bay and grey horses are described according to the patterns formed by two or more of these four basic hair colours in their coat.

Colours (silks)
Owners or trainers coloured jacket and cap worn by the jockey. When the horse's colours are unavailable for any reason, the jockey wears the club colours which in Melbourne are all white.

A male horse 3 years and under which has not been gelded.

The requirements of a particular race. This may include age, sex, money or races won, weight carried and the distance of the race.

The physical makeup of and bodily proportions of a horse how it is put together.

Connections A horse's owners and their representatives. Can also include anyone personally connected to the horse such as the jockey and training staff.

Correct Weight
Signaled by the Head Steward when the jockeys have weighed in correctly and no protests have been lodged. This is the all clear for bookies and tote to pay out on winning tickets.

Country of Birth
Horses born outside Australia must have a suffix after their name noting country of birth.

Cox Plate
In honour of Moonee Valley Racecourse's founder William Samuel Cox, the Committee established the Cox Plate, a weight for age race run over 2040 metres on turf. Today, it’s regarded as the best weight for age race in Australasia and one of the most exciting race days in the world.

Cross-over Noseband Gear that prevents a horse from opening its mouth during a race.

Dam The female parent of a foal.

Dam's sire (broodmare sire) The sire of a dam. Used in reference to the maternal grandsire of a foal.

Track rating which is just on the softer side of Good. In Melbourne when the weather is fine, the tracks are usually prepared to be Dead in the morning so they will be upgraded to Good at some point during the afternoon.

A stakes race for 3yo horses over the classic distance of 2400m (formerly a mile and half). Victoria Derby at Flemington is run over 2500m.

Two or more horses that cannot be separated in a photo finish when they cross the line. If the dead-heat is for first, there is only one remaining place dividend for third. If the dead-heat is for second, there is no third dividend.

A 'protest' lodged by the trainer/jockey/owner which has been declined by Stewards.

A horse that runs over a lot of ground or lacks a turn of foot can be referred to as dour.

Each way
A wager for both the win & place.

Additional nominated runners are accepted but will only gain a run if others in the field are scratched. Many Melbourne races are permitted Emergency runners, but there are no Emergencies allowed for the Melbourne Cup.

A male horse which has not been gelded.

Even Time
200m in 15 seconds during training workouts. Under race conditions the average time for 200m is 12 seconds.

A specialist in equine hoof care (a blacksmith).

The firmest track rating but rarely seen in recent years, mainly because a Fast track in Australia is like concrete and racing clubs are working hard to ensure the tracks always have a little bit of give to prevent injury to the horses.

The most popular horse in betting and therefore the one who starts at the shortest odds.

Feature Race
The highest rated race on the card, determined by the category of the race and the prize money.

A female horse 3 years and under.

Firmed or firmer
A horse is supported in betting and the odds have shortened.

First Up
Resuming from a Spell (a break of 90 days or more.) In the form guide, indicates how many times the horse has been placed when First Up.

The movements of the odds up or down in the betting ring. See "Top Fluc".

A horse, one year old or younger and still on its mother/dam. After the young horse has been weaned from its dam, it may be called a weanling.

Foaling down
To give birth.

A horse that is resuming from a brief rest from racing (more than 28 days but less than 90 days) has been 'freshened up'.

Front runner
A horse that prefers to lead the field during a race.

Full brother, Full sister
Horses that share the same sire and dam.

Furlong This is the traditional measure of one eigth of a mile, which is 220 yards, 660 feet or approximately 200m.


A gallop is a horse's action which allows them to travel fastest.

A male horse of any age which has been castrated.

Golden Slipper
One of the highlights of Australian autumn racing, the premier event of the Sydney Turf Club held at Rosehill Gardens. It is the world's richest race for two year old horses.

The ideal racing surface in Australia, not too firm or soft. When the weather is fine, most tracks are rated Good.

A horse that shows inexperience during the running of a race.

The grandfather of a horse; father ("sire") of the horse's dam or sire.

Greet the Judge
When a jockey returns to the mounting yard, they acknowledge the judge by touching their cap.

Group Race
The highest level of race in Australia. Group One (highest), Group Two and Group Three. All group races carry black type. 'Listed' Races also carry black type.

Half-brother, half-sister
Horses out of the same dam but by different sires. Horses with the same sire and different dams are not considered half-siblings in thoroughbred racing.

A horse's height is measured in hands and inches from the top of the shoulder (withers) to the ground, e.g., 15.2 hands is 15 hands, 2 inches. Thoroughbreds typically range from 15 to 17 hands.

Hands and heels A jockey is said to be riding 'hands and heels' when they urge the horse to run faster without using the whip. It is where they use their hands to push the horse and their heels into its side to encourage the horse.

A race where weights are assigned by the handicapper according to a horse's past performances in an effort to give every runner an equal winning chance. The Melbourne Cup is one of the most well known Handicap races in the world.

Hard (track)
A condition of a racecourse where the is no resiliency to the surface.

The horse holds its head to one side during a race, also known as 'Lugging’. Can be improved by the application of blinkers or a different bit.

How to bid
Registration of your details at the Sale Day Office where the buyer is given a 'Buyer Code'. When bidding on a horse (Lot) raise your hand and signal to the bid-spotter you would like to place a bid.

A margin between horses. One horse leading another by the length of its head

The slowest track rating in Australia. There are 3 levels of Heavy but once the rating is worse than Slow assume the conditions are very wet and muddy.

A jockey.

A horse bred by its owner and retained for breeding or racing purpose.

Term for an entire (not gelded) male horse 4 years and over.

In foal Pregnant mare.

William Inglis & Son Ltd is a family owned company that commenced operations in 1867. Today, Inglis stages a busy schedule of thoroughbred auctions during the year, covering all aspects of the breeding and racing industry.

Inquiry Reviewing of a race to check into a possible breaking of the rules.

Inglis has been arranging insurance cover and negotiating claim settlements, for all types of thoroughbreds since 1906.

A horse that competes over steeples or jumps.

Two-year-old horse.

Reference often 'missed the kick', refering to a horse who failed to jump out of the barriers with the rest of the field. Also, 'kicked clear' meaning the horse accelerated clear of the rest of the field.

A deviation from a normal manner of walking due to pain in a limb or its supporting structures.

A contract taken out by an owner who seeks to receive ownership rights, without taking on the full expense of ownership. A horse can be leased from an existing owner or the breeder, during which time the horse will run in the leesee's name. Leesee will be responsible for the associated costs including training fees etc and will receive prize money won by the horse.

Long Shot
A horse at long odds, unlikely to win.

Approximately the length of a horse from nose to tail, about 8 feet or 2.4m. Used to determine the distance between runners in a race. Winning margins can also be measured by a nose, short 1/2 head, 1/2 head, head, neck, long neck, 1/4 length, 1/2 length, 3/4 length, length.

Lugging Bit
For horses that hang out to one side (or 'lug') this bit is applied to make them more tractable.

A horse of any age or sex who is yet to win a race. Also a race restricted to horses who have not won a race.

A female horse 4 years and over.

Melbourne Cup
The pinnacle of racing in the southern hemisphere, and the highlight of the Spring Racing Carnival at Flemington Racecourse. Australia's richest handicap race offering six million dollars in prize money, run over 3200 metres on the first Tuesday in November.

A horse that is suited to run between 1400m - 1700m.

An absolute certainty. Usually used in context of "it was a moral, beaten".

Mounting Yard
The area near to the racecourse where the horses are paraded before a race and jockeys take their mounts.

A horse who is most comfortable on rain affected going.

Mug Punter
A person who is not very good at betting.

Left-hand side of the horse from which the jockey mounts and dismounts. The other side is the off-side.

Unit of measurement. About the length of a horse's neck; a little less than a quarter of a length.

Smallest advantage a horse can win by. Called a short head in Britain.

A sheepskin roll attached to the bridle on the horses nose to keep the head in line with the body and restrict the horse seeing shadows on the ground as some try and jump. Also known as Shadow-Roll.

The off side of the horse is the right hand side of the horse

Surplus weight carried by a horse when the rider cannot make the required weight.

Hood with gauze eye covers to restrict the vision of an excitable horse. Stewards often ask for these to be removed in rain affected conditions as they can be clogged by mud.

The family of a horse. 'Black Type Pedigree' refers to horses where their family members have won a Group or Listed races throughout their race career.

Additional weight that must be carried by the horse as a result of wins since the initial weights were allotted.

Reading taken from a special instrument designed to measure the softness of the track. Many readings are taken from all areas of the course, then an overall figure is determined to indicate the condition of the track.

A person who buys a racehorse with the specific intention of re-selling it at a profit.

A type of horse shoe worn generally in racing. They are very light, thin and made of aluminium rather than steel.

Pre-trainer When a horse has been spelled (90+ Days), the pre-trainer begins to get them fit prior to them returning to the trainers stable to prepare for races.

Preparation A preparation is the period between spells for a horse, essentially from the time it starts training for racing until after its last race before it has another rest or spell.

An objection lodged by the jockey, connections or the stewards regarding the outcome of a race. In Australia and New Zealand, the conditions of a protest are they must convince the Stewards they would have finished ahead of the horse who caused the interference. They are also permitted to protest if they finished or had the potential to finish in any stakes bearing position. E.g. stakes places are paid up to the tenth place-getter in the Melbourne Cup.

Purchase Docket Once a buyer has purchased a horse from the sale ring they are required to fill out a docket which has their buyer code, name and phone number confirming the purchcase. This is a legal document.

A process used to isolate foreign horses for a short period of time to ensure they are not carrying any diseases. May be at a racetrack, airport or specially designated facility. Horses must be cleared by a federal veterinarian before being released from quarantine.

Racing Plates
Another term which is used for the horses shoes.

Racing Season
In Australia, a racing season is a 12 month period extending over two calendar years from 1 August - 31 July. The season commences on the horse's birthday, this is the day when all racehorses add one year to their official age.

Reefing When a horse is purposely bobbing its head up and down while running making them unbalanced and dangerous for the rider who risks being hit in the head.

Registering To Bid
Providing your details to the Sales Day Office to ensure invoices are sent to the correct purchaser.

Restricted Listed Race
A race, such as the four major 2YO Inglis Races & 3YO Race, where there is a restriction on who is able to run in it. They still are considered black type, however only horses nominated to the Inglis Race Series are eligible to compete.

Ridden Cold
The horse was dropped back in the field and saved for one last run at the end of the race.

A horse at long odds with a small chance of winning.

A lightweight leather base which allows the jockey to sit atop the horse. If the jockey is underweight, there will be weights placed in the saddle.

Saddlecloth Number
The horse allocated the number '1' saddlecloth can be carrying the highest weight and/or has won the most amount of prize money or won in the highest class. It does not indicate which Barrier the horse will start from.

Sale Catalogue
Information on a horses pedigree, their Lot number, stallions with horses in the sale and stabling information where the horse can be inspected at the sale complex.

Sale Ring
Auditorium where horses are lead in a clockwise circle in front of buyers and sold. At the fall of the hammer the horse goes to the top bidder.

Teaching the horse skills such as starting gates and racing practices. It also refers to teaching a horse to jump over fences and hurdles. Sometimes used by trainers to 'sharpen' thoroughbreds and have them focus.

A horse that is withdrawn before a race starts. If the horse is scratched after 8am on a typical race day, it is regarded as a Late Scratching.

Second dam
Grandmother of a horse. Also known as a "granddam."

Second Up
Next run after a First Up run, following Spell of 90 days or more.

Sectionals are distances within a race usually each 200m over which the horses times are recorded (through microchip in the saddle cloth) to compare horses in different races. Known as sectional times.

Set Weights & penalties Set Weights and Penalties (SWP) is a race where the handicapper has no discretion as to what the weight is carried by each horse. Weights are predetermined by the age and sex of the horse.

The male parent.

A track rating between Dead and Heavy. Fast, Good, Dead, Slow and Heavy.

A horse who runs short distances (900m - 1400m).

After a period of racing, a horse will cease training and will be rested for a period (generally greater than 2 - 3months) at a country farm.

Stakes Race A race which holds black type status.

(Stipendary) Steward
Official appointed to oversee that all races are run in accordance with the rules of racing. Stewards have the power to suspend, fine and/or disqualify any licensed person for contravening the rules. The Head Steward or their Deputy is responsible for issuing the result of all protests and announcing Correct Weight.

A male horse used for breeding.

A horse that can race long distances (1800m+).

The Groom, a person employed by the trainer to attend to a horse. Duties may include feeding, grooming, riding at training and leading in the mounting yard.

Stud Book
Is the register and genetic record of the Australian breeding of throughbreds. Can be viewed at

Stud Farm
A farm where thoroughbreds reside. All have broodmares and some, not all, have a resident stallion.

The period of time a jockey is suspended from riding due to an infraction of the rules of racing.

A horse that likes to finish on from the tail of the field at the end of the race.

A syndicate in racing is a group of owners who pool their resources to purchase or lease a throughbred, rather than owning a horse one person outright.

A horse breed best known for its use in horse racing. Thoroughbreds are considered 'hot-blooded' horses, known for their agility, speed and spirit.

Similar to human hiccups, can occur when the horse is exhausted or dehydrated.

A device for restricting the horses tongue to prevent it moving over the bit or choking back on it.

Track Conditions
The rating given to a racetrack on race day. In Melbourne this can have a significant effect of the pattern of racing, se our Track Report for more information.

An unofficial race over a short distance which provides a horse experience of being in a racing situation and to provide the trainer an indication of how the horse is tracking relative to other horses.

Tried Horse A horse who has either competed in a trial or a race.

Unbroken Stock
Horses who have not been taught to be ridden.

Untried Horse
Not raced or tested for speed but has been broken in.

When the trainer/jockey/owner lodges a protest and the argument is accepted by Stewards.

Vet A veterinary physician, colloquially called a vet, shortened from veterinarian, is a professional who practices veterinary medicine by treating disease, disorder, and injury in non-human animals

Wasting A term jockey's use for losing weight quickly to ride their allocated weight.

A foal that has just been weaned, usually between the ages of 6 months and a year. Once it has turned a year old, the horse is referred to as a yearling.

Weight For Age
Usually Group races where the horses are allocated weight according to their age and sex, in an effort to make it possible for them to compete on equal terms.

The horse won easily without being fully extended.

Winkers Sheepskin which attaches to the cheek straps of the bridle to keep the horses attention forward. Offers more side vision than blinkers.

A horse is said to be in work when it is being exercised by galloping a pre-determined distance. It is also said to be in work when it is in full race training.

A young horse of either sex that is between one and two years old, the most common time to sell a young horse, before it commences racing as a 2 year old.

Inglis Sales Catalogues