If you’re someone new to horse racing, it’s highly likely that you’ll hear terms or phrases used by those experienced in the scene and not quite understand them. But it’s not going to take you long to get up to speed, as many of them are straightforward, as you will find out below.

Made All

One of the most interesting terms you may hear where horse racing is concerned is “made all”, and this is when a horse takes the lead in the race from the beginning and stays there to the end, crossing the line first as the winner. Punters often back these types of horses when reviewing the horse racing betting markets for any of the daily race meetings held around the world.

Staying On or Stayer

In contrast to made all, the concept of staying on is when a horse finishes a race strongly. They’re often held back and then released to make a strong finish, staying on to win or place. Stayer refers to horses of this type who can get into a good position and hold onto it.

On The Flat

There are multiple types of horse racing, especially in the UK, and one type is flat racing, where it’s a race to the finish with no hurdles or jumps. So, if a horse is racing on the flat, it will be racing across flat terrain.

National Hunt

National Hunt is another type of racing prevalent in the UK. In effect, National Hunt is jump racing, arguably the most popular form of racing in the United Kingdom. Horses will navigate multiple jumps as they race towards the finish line.


Handicaps are present in horse racing, and it’s where a horse is forced to carry extra weight when running to create more of a level playing field. When handicapping, experts will take into account things such as a horse’s age, form, weight and ability.

Boxed In

Back to what is happening during a race, and if you’re a punter who has backed a horse and hears it’s been blocked in, it’s never good news. Boxed in means the horse is blocked in and unable to manoeuvre to get a clear run.

Photo Finish

Again, it’s not ideal as a punter to hear people suggest a result has gone to a photo finish. Ultimately it means that two horses have crossed the line at what appears to be the same time, so more studying is required to determine the winner.

Steward’s Enquiry

If a race result comes in, but then it’s subject to a steward’s enquiry, it means that there may have been some form of an issue during the race which needs investigating before the result can be officially confirmed. It can often relate to how a jockey has ridden a horse.

Grade 1

There are multiple grades of horse races, but if a contest is declared a grade 1, it means that it’s the highest level possible, with the highest quality of horses competing. Illustrious races are all grade 1 races, such as the Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival.