Grand National Glossary


A bet involving several selections where the returns for each winning selection are staked on the next. All selections have to win for the bet to win.


The official home of the Grand National race event, Liverpool.  See Guides section for more information.

Also Ran

Term used to describe horses that were not placed in a race.

Ante Post

Betting days or even months in advance of an event.

Balloted Out

A horse declared for a race but not able to run as the maximum field size has been exceeded. Horses are balloted out at random unless the race is a handicap where the horses with the highest ratings take priority.


Term used when describing bookmakers' prices. e.g. '4-1 bar two' means that you can obtain at least 4-1 about any horse except for the first two in betting.

Best Odds Guaranteed (BOG)

If you place a bet on a horse in advance of the race, then that bookmaker will give you the better of the odds at the time when you placed the bet and the odds at the start of the race.


The British Horseracing Authority the governing and regulatory body for horseracing.

Bumper Race

See NHF, National Hunt Flat race.


The racecard i.e. A schedule of races to be run with race times, distances and runners taking part.


Short for steeplechase, typically means a jump race over fences that are a minimum of 4 ½ feet high.


Jacket ('silks') worn by jockey to identify a horse. A horse runs in its owner's colours which are registered with Weatherbys. The colours to be worn by each jockey are shown on racecards.


An un-castrated male horse less than 5 years of age. 


When the gap in the odds between the lowest and the best rated horses is reduced. This was done in 2001 for the Grand National when it was becoming apparent that the heavy weights allocated to the better rated horses was proving to be overly penal.


The mother of a horse.

Dead Weight

Weight carried on a horse's back when the jockey is lighter than the allotted weight the horse is due to carry in a race.

Decimal Odds

Used on the Tote and betting exchanges, instead of fractional odds. Decimal odds are expressed as a figure (in round or decimal terms) that represents the potential total winning return to the punter. So, 4 (or 4.0) in Tote or decimal odds is the same as


A horse confirmed to start in a race at the final declarations stage.


Consists of one bet involving two selections in different events. Both selections must be successful to get a return, with the winnings from the first selection going on to the second selection. The return is calculated by multiplying the odds on the two


A horse whose price is lengthening before the race ie it is viewed as being less likely to win as the race approaches.

Each Way

A bet where half the total stake is for the selection to win and half is for the selection to be placed (usually in the first three, but in big handicaps the places may extend to fourth or fifth).If the selection wins, the win portion is calculated in the

Enquiry / Stewards Enquiry

Review of the race to check into a possible infraction of the Rules made by the Stewards. If the enquiry could affect the result of the race, an announcement will be made on course.


Used to describe an un-castrated male horse.

Evens / Even Money

A price of 1-1. When your stake brings equal winnings e.g. £10 staked at evens wins £10 (total return £20).


Runners in the race form the field.


A female horse of less than 5 years of age.


A horse's race record. Denoted by figures (and letters) next to its name on a racecard i.e. 1=first, 2=second etc. The form figures are read backwards from right to left - ie a horse's latest run is denoted by the figure nearest to its name on the racecar

Fractional Odds

Odd displayed as fractions show how much you will win on a bet compared to how much you put on it. The first number in the fraction shows how much you will win if you place the amount shown in the second number. E.g. If you have odds of 2/1 and stake £1,


A distance of 220 yards. There are 8 furlongs in a mile.


A male horse that has been castrated.


The state of the ground at a racecourse is referred to in terms of going: Firm, Good to Firm, Good, Good to Soft, Soft or Heavy.

Group 1 (flat) / Grade 1 (jumps)

The highest category of race. The Classic Flat races in Britain, as well as other historic races such as the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, are Group 1. The major championship races over jumps, such as the Cheltenham Gold Cup, are Grade 1.


A British gold coin taken out of circulation in the 1800s which was worth 21 shillings (£1.05 in sterling). British bloodstock sales are still conducted in Guineas.


The unit of measurement of a horse. A hand is 4 inches.


A race where each horse is allotted a different weight to carry, according to the official handicap ratings determined by the BHA Handicappers. The theory is that all horses run on a fair and equal basis - the 'perfect' handicap being one where all the ru


A horse that veers to the left or the right is said to be hanging. This is usually caused by tiredness.


Independent Arbitration Betting Service. An arbitration service that deals with betting disputes between punters and bookmakers


To back a selection not to win.


A female horse aged 5 years or older.


This is a tipster's best bet of the day. The phrase is French in origin, from a card game called Napoleon, where the best hand you can have is called a Napoleon, shortened to a nap.

National Hunt

This refers to horse racing over jumps; they can be over hurdles, or steeplechases

National Hunt Flat (NHF) Race

This is a race run under national hunt rules, but without jumps. This may seem to contradict the definition of national hunt - the main idea is for jump horses to gain racing experience on flat conditions of before moving on to hurdles and then chases.


Is a tipsters "Next Best", a bet that is also of interest, but not as strongly tipped as their Nap.

No Runner No Bet (NRNB)

Non Runner No Bet means that if your selection does not run in the selected race on which you have placed your bet, your stake will be refunded. 


The odds represent the amount you will win for each unit you bet. The odds can be presented in two ways, either as a fraction (eg 20/1) or as a decimal (eg 21.0). For example calculations, see our Guide to Betting. But if tired from betting, you can try Gaming Club Casino, one of best and trusted casinos.

Out Of The Handicap

When a horse's rating means that its allocated weight is lower than the minimum for that race, it is said to be 'out of the handicap'. 

Palpable Error

This is an error made by bookmakers which is obviously a mistake. If a price is given as 10/1 but the correct price should be nearer 2/1 then even although you may have backed the selection at 10/1 and the bookmaker has taken your bet the bookmaker can cl


Extra weight carried by a horse is a race as penalty for a recent win.

Phil Smith

The head handicapper who sets the weights for the Grand National.

Point to Point (PTP)

Horse racing over fences for amateurs. It tend to be used to get younger horses ready for national hunt racing.


A grading of how good a horse is. It is measured in pounds and represents the weight that the horse should carry. For example if ..


A racehorse that has refused to jump a fence despite the jockey intending it to do so.


Racing Post Rating

Rule 4

Full name "Tattersalls Rule 4". One of the most commonly invoked betting rules, dealing with deductions from winning bets in the event of any withdrawn runner(s) from a race. The rule applies to winning bets struck at prices (e.g. morning prices) laid be


A horse who has been withdrawn from a race is said to be scratched.


The process by which the initial entries in the Grand National are gradually reduced from the full set of entries down to a maximum of 40.


See Colours


The simplest and most popular bet, normally a win bet on one horse in one race.


Father of a horse.

SP (Starting Price)

Often abbreviated to SP. The starting prices are the final odds prevailing at the time the race starts and are used to determine the payout to winning punters, unless a punter took a specified price at the time of placing the bet.


A male horse kept at stud for breeding purposes.


Horses who are best at longer distances, 1m6f on the flat or over 3 miles over jumps.


A race over fences. It is thought that its roots were in fox-hunting, where occasionally horsemen would race to landmarks such as church steeples, hence the name steeplechase.

Stewards Enquiry

A hearing held by the stewards into a race to determine whether the rules of racing have been broken.

Straight Forecast

A bet where the aim is to select both the winner and runner-up in a race in the correct order.

Tattersalls Rule 4

See Rule 4

Tongue Tie

Strip of material tied around a horse's tongue and lower jaw to keep it from swallowing its tongue, which can clog its air passage. A horse wearing a tongue tie is denoted on a racecard by a small t next to the horse's weight (t1 indicates that the horse

Tote (Betting)

Introduced in Britain in 1929 to offer pool betting on racecourses. All the stakes on a particular bet are pooled, before a deduction is made to cover the Tote's costs and contribution to racing. The remainder of the pool is divided by the number of winni

Tote (Company)

Government-owned pool betting company, established in 1929, principally offering tote odds but also fixed odds. Contributes a large sum to racing each year. Full name: the Horserace Totalisator Board.


A three-leg accumulator. All three selections must be successful to get a return; the winnings from the first selection automatically go on to the second and then on to the third.


Multiple bet consisting of four bets involving three selections in different events. The bet includes three doubles and one treble. A minimum of two selections must be successful to get a return.


Top Speed - rating

Turned Out

1) Racecourses often have a 'best turned out' award for the horse judged to have been best presented in the paddock. 2) A racehorse that is taking a break from racing/training and is out in the fields is said to have been 'turned out'.


What you should be looking for in every bet you make.


Multiple bet consisting of 11 bets (six doubles, four trebles and one four-fold) on four selections in different events. At least two selections must be successful to get a return.


A one year old horse. Foals become yearlings after 1st January regardless of what month they were born in.