Australian Horse Racing



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Race-Track Lingo
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Race Track Lingo

Racing people have their own colourful language or lingo. Here are a few examples;

Punters' Lingo  |  Bookies' Lingo

What the Bookies and Bag-Men Call Out

General Lingo  |   Describing Jockeys

Describing Race-Horses

Punters' Lingo

  • I'm doing plenty (I've got the arse out of my pants)

  • I had something on the winner (I think I've bankrupt three bookies)

  • I'm just about square (I'm nearly broke)

  • the horse I backed was dead and buried (I don't think the horse was allowed to run on its merits)

  • the jockey pulled the horse up (see above)

  • the horse must have lost a leg in the float on its way to the track (the horse has drifted alarmingly in the betting)

  • can you stand me a monkey? (can I have $500 with no intention of repayment?)

  • they went out with a lantern looking for the horse I backed (the horse was a bit slow)

  • I got overs (I procured very good odds)

  • I took unders (I procured very poor odds)

  • I backed it on the billy (I backed it on the tote - billy goat=tote)

  • it was a big shortener (its price decreased profoundly in the betting ring or on the tote)

  • it was a big drifter (its price increased profoundly in the betting ring or on the tote)

  • it's got the blows (see above)

  • it blew like a north wind (see above)

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Bookies' Lingo

  • I've laid this favourite (I have taken many bets on this favourite)

  • this horse is the lay of the day (I don't think this fancied horse can win and I'm gunna get me a piece of the action)

  • I'm potting this horse (see above)

  • you're all on (bookie allowing punters the odds he's just turned down)

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What the Bookies and Bag-Men Call Out

  • price on the board I lay

  • c'mon punters, give 'em a name

  • give 'em a name, board odds

  • here board odds, which one?

  • bet these

  • here any runner

  • here board odds we lay

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General Lingo

  • to bet on the blue (to bet on credit)

  • the dogs are barking it (everyone knows about a big tip)

  • it's a big street-corner tip (see above)

  • spot ($100)

  • monkey ($500)

  • gorilla ($1000)

  • one large ($1000)

  • in the red (odds on)

  • London to a brick on (long odds-on)

  • don't run upstairs and don't bet odds-on (the punter's commandments)

  • better than bank interest (justification for backing a horse that's odds on)

  • off the old (take this off what I owe you)

  • punting is a mug's game (punting is foolish)

  • off goes the head and on goes a pumpkin (what happens when a punter walks onto a race-track)

  • a stone bonker (the horse is sure to win)

  • it's a good thing (see above)

  • you can put your house on it (it's a good thing)

  • it's a bank teller job (it's a good thing)

  • put in, take out (it's a good thing)

  • tote for goats (if you bet on the machine you're a dill)

  • trick bets (exotic bet types, such as quinellas, trifectas, etc)

  • trisie (pronounced try-zee - trifecta)

  • the get out stakes (the last race on the program)

  • to salute the judge (the horse wins the race)

  • to make something favourite (to have a decent bet on a horse)

  • dish lickers/hollow logs (greyhounds)

  • the red-hots (the trots, or harness racing)

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Describing Jockeys

  • the jockey can't sit on (is not a very good rider)

  • the jockey went via the cape (raced out wide and covered too much ground)

  • the jockey hailed a cab (jumps jockey throwing his arm in the air in an attempt to regain his balance after his horse bungled an obstacle)

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Describing Race-Horses

  • the horse pulled its head off (it wouldn't settle, over-raced)

  • it's a mudlark (the horse goes well on a wet track)

  • it has webbed feet (see above)

  • the horse is a duffer in the wet (doesn't run well on wet tracks)

  • whatever it does today it will improve on (it's fat, but I won't say it can't win)

  • the horse is in a muck lather (it's sweating badly; probably very nervous. not usually a good sign)

  • the horse ran stone motherless last (it ran last)

  • the horse jumped out of the ground (it came from nowhere at the end of the race)

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