Don't get bamboozled on a day at the races - use our A-Z jargon buster to help you understand the lingo.
Presenting the letter P . . .
The speed at which a race is run. Up with the pace means close to the leaders, off the pace means some way behind.
A horse that is entered in a race with the intention that it will set the pace for another horse with the same trainer and/or owner.
Paddock: area of racecoursePICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Area of the racecourse incorporating the parade ring (where horses are paraded prior to the race) and winner's enclosure. Connections of the horses gather in the centre of the paddock before each race and jockeys are hoisted into the saddle ready to take the horses out onto the racecourse.
The fields on a stud farm where broodmares and their offspring are kept during the day. When a filly/mare has finished its racing career and is about to start life as a broodmare, it is said to be 'off to the paddocks'.
Before major races, the horses often line up in racecard order (that is, in numerical order starting with No. 1) and, with their jockeys on board, are led down the racecourse in front of the grandstands to allow racegoers to see them. At the end of the parade the horses are released to canter down to the start.
The tote system in operation in some countries, such as France and the United States.
Document identifying a horse by its colour, markings etc. A trainer is responsible for ensuring that each horse that goes to a race meeting is accompanied by its passport, so that its identity can be verified.
The part of a horse's leg between the fetlock and just above the hoof.
Multiple bet consisting of seven bets involving three selections in different events. A single on each selection, plus three doubles and one treble. One successful selection guarantees a return.
The grading system for the most important races, introduced on the Flat in 1971 and later for jumps racing. The top races on the Flat are Group 1, followed by Group 2 and Group 3 (the next highest category is Listed races, which, while not technically part of the Pattern, combine with Group races under the heading of black-type races). The jumps Pattern has a similar structure, except that the races are termed Grade 1/2/3, rather than Group 1/2/3.
Horses who have incurred a penalty as a result of previous successes.
Additional weight carried by a horse on account of previous wins. In a handicap, a penalty is added to a horse's original weight if it has won in between being entered for the race and running in it, as the handicapper has not had the opportunity to re-assess that horse's handicap rating. A penalty (commonly 6lb) is shown after the horse's name on Racing Post racecards - e.g. Horsename (ex6).
Instrument used by racecourse officials to measure the ground conditions, depending on how far the instrument penetrates into the ground. See also'GoingStick'.
Photo-finish: image (as above) used to determine race resultPICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
In a close race, where the placings cannot be determined easily, the result is determined by the judge by examination of a photograph taken by a camera on the finishing line.
A person who buys foals at public auction and then re-sells them as yearlings the following year, in the hope of making a profit.
A horse who does not win but finishes second or third (orfourth, depending on the type of race and number of runners).
Tote bet with similar rules to the Jackpot, but your selections, in the first six races at the specified meeting, have only to be placed.
Lightweight horseshoe used for racing, as opposed to the heavier iron work plate. Usually made of aluminium. When a horse has damaged or lost a horseshoe before a race, it is said to have 'spread a plate'.
Slang for £25.
Prevented from winning, or at least from obtaining a better placing, by the jockey.
A horse that drops out of a race and does not finish.
When a horse is unsettled during the early part of a race and uses too much energy, fighting the jockey by pulling against the bridle.
A person who gambles or lays a bet.
When a horse is ridden vigorously, but without full effort by the jockey.
Putting up overweight
Carrying more weight than that allocated by the handicapper.