French Racing Info Glossary

Abandonned
A race or a meeting which has been cancelled.
Age
All horses celebrate their birthday on Jan. 1. Horses can start running at 2 for flat and trotting races and 3 for jump
Amble
A gait where the horse moves along by using both legs on one side alternately with both on the other. Irregular gait in French trotting races.
AQPS or AQPSA
Terms that gathers any other breed that is different from thoroughbred: Anglo-arabian, French trotter, any crossed-breeding that arises from these breeds or the thoroughbred one.
Aubin
Irregular gait for a horse in trotting races that gallops wih the front legs and trots wih the back legs.
A.W
All-Weather.
Barrier
A starting device used to give the start of the race
Bay
A horse colour that varies from a yellow-tan to a bright auburn.
Bell
Signal sounded when the starter open the gates or, at some tracks, to mark the closed of betting.
Black
A horse colour which is black, including the muzzle, flanks, mane, tial and legs unless white markings are present.
Blinkers
A cup shaped device to limit a horse's vision to prevent him from objects or other horses on either side of it. Blinker cups come a variety of sizes and shapes to allow as little or as much vision the trainer feels is necessary.
Box
A wagering term denoting a combination bet whereby all possible numeric combinations are covered.
Breeder
Owner of the dam at time of foaling unless the dam was under a lease or foal-sharing arrangement at time of foaling.
Chestnut
A horse colour which may vary from a red-yellow to golden-yellow. The mane, tail and legs are usually variations of the coat color, except where white markings are present.
Claiming
Processed by which a licensed person lay purchase a horse entered in a designated race for a predetermined price. When a horse has been claimed, its new owner assumes title after the starting gate opens although the former owner is entitled to all purse money earned in that race.
Claiming box
Box in which claims are deposited before the race.
Claiming race
A race in which each horses entered is eligible to be purchased at a set price. Claims must be made before the races and only by licensed owners or their agents who have a horses registered to race at that meeting or who have received a claim certificate from the stewards.
Classic (distance)
A typical distance for a kind of race, e.g.: 2,400 m for a flat race and 2,700m for a trotting race.
Classic Tiercé
Pick the first three past the post in order. On Group or Listed races.
Colours
Jacket and cap worn by jockeys or drivers to designate the owner of the horse.
Colt
A male horse aged three or under.
Commingle
Combining mutuel pools from different countries or operators into one pool (the host).
Conditions
The requirements of a particular race. This may include age, sex, money or races won, weight carried, the distance of the race.
Coupled
When two or more horses declared runners in the same race are avowed as “couplé” for Pari Mutuel purposes, they are said to be “bracketed” or “coupled”. This happens when several horses declared runners in the same race belong to the same owner or trainer. If one of these horses is classified first, all “single win” bets placed on the other runners of the bracket having run in the race are awarded the same “win” dividend.
Dam
The female parent of the foal.
Damsire
The sire of a broodmare. Used in reference to the maternal grandsire of a foal.
Dark Bay or Brown
A horse colour that ranges from brown with areas of tan on the shoulders, head and flanks, to a dark XX with tan areas seen only in the flanks and/or muzzle. The mane, tail and lower portions of the legs are always black unless white markings are present.
Dead heat
Two or more horses finishing a race in a tie (ex-aequo). The judges cannot separate them even after the consultation of the photo finish.
Demoted (horse)
Lower in rank by the stewards in the case a horse has disturbed another competitor.
Derby
A race for the best 3 year-old runners of a country or region. This term is true only for gallop races. In trotting, the Criterium (ex: Criterium des 3 ans) is the race that gather the best trotters of a same generation.
Disqualified
When a horse is eliminated from the race. In Trotting a horse can be disqualified for irregular gait or if he disturbs a competitor. In Gallop, the horse is disqualified if he disturbs a competitor.
Distance Handicap
In trotting. A distance handicap is given to some horses at the start. This is generally based on the winnings of the horse.
Dividend
The amount paid out for a winning bet.
Dq
Abbreviation for disqualified.
Driver
The person that drives the horse in harness racing and is sitted on a sulky.
Engagement
Riding commitment.
Equidia
Horse racing channel in France.
Exacta
A wager in which the first two finishers in a race, in exact order of finish.
F
Stands for female horse.
Favourite
A horse who has the highest chances of winning in the race.
Fence
A type of obstacles in Steeplechase races.
Field
The number of horses in a race.
Filly
Female horse three-year old or younger.
Firm (track)
A condition of turf corresponding to a firm resilient surface
Flat race
A race contested on level ground.
Flexi
The punter pays for just a fraction of the cost of the bet. If he wins, he collects a corresponding fraction of the dividend. More information in the ""betting guide"" tab.
Fm
Firm.
Foal
A horse of either sex in its first year of life.
Forfeit
When a horse is withdrawn from the list of entries before the final declaration (due to injuries, illness or any other reason..).
Gait
The way of a horse runs. 3 gaits are authorised in France : walk, trotting and gallop. Other gaits exist worldwide: amble, pace…
Gait judge
Official in charge of the application of the rules regarding the gaits for trotting races. A gait judge can disqualify a horse for irregular gaits.
GdFm
Good to firm.
GdSft
Good to soft.
Gelding
A male horse of any age that has been neutered by having both testicles removed ( ""gelded"").
Good (track) or Gd
A dirt track that is almost fast or a turf course slightly softer than firm.
Group race
Established in 1971 by racing organizations in Britain, France, Germany and Italy to classify select stakes races. Collectively called ""pattern races"". Always denoted with numbers 1, 2 or 3. These determine the best international races. The Group 1 are the best one.
Handicap (race)
Race for which the track handicapper assigns the weights to be carried.
Handle
Amount of money wagered in the parimutuels on a race, a program, during a meeting or for a year.
Hard (track)
A condition of a turf course where there is no resiliency to the surface.
Head
A margin between horses. One horse leading another by the length of its head.
Heavy (track) or Hvy
Wettest possible condition of a turf course.
Inquiry
Reviewing the race to check into a possible infraction of the rules. Also, a sign flashed by officials on the tote board on such occasions. If lodged by a jockey or a driver, it is called an objection.
Jockey
The person who drives the horse in gallop or mounted trotting races.
Judge
The person who declares the official placing for a race.
Jumper
Steeplechase or hurdle horse.
K
Currently no terms with this letter.
Length
A measurement approximating the length of a horse , used to denote distance between horses in a race.
Listed race
A stakes race just below a group race or graded race in quality.
M
Stands for Male.
Maiden
A horse who has not won yet a race.
Mare
Female horse four-years-old or older.
Margins
The distances between horses at the finish. Various terms: Dead-heat (tie), nose, short head, head, short neck, neck, half-length (horse), length (1, 2, 3, etc..).
Meeting
A number of races on the same racecourse that occur the same day.
Muddy (track)
A condition of a racetrack which is wet but has no standing water.
Mutual pool
Short for " parimutuel pool". Sum of the wagers on a race or event , such as the Win pool, Place pool, Exacta pool, etc.
Neck
Unit of measurement. About the length of a horse's neck; a little less than a quarter of a length.
Non-Runner
The term ""non-runner"" means a horse that was an official runner in a race (he was listed as a starter in the official program) and withdraws within 48 hours.
Nose
Smallest advantage a horse can win by.
Odds (Live)
The live odds give an estimation of the chances of winning a horse, i.e an estimation of his winning Win payout. The more a horse is played, the lower will be the ratio. Example: A live odd at 4 means that if you place a Win bet, you will win 4 times your initial stake. Selecting a favourite helps to maximize their chances of winning but the potential of winning is low. However selecting an outsider mean more risks but more chance for high winnings.
Official
1) Notice displayed when a race result is confirmed, 2) Used to denote a racing official.
Origins
Pedigree of the horse. Bloodlines.
Outsider
A horse whose winning chances are low according to the tipsters or the live odds.
Overweight
Surplus weight carried by a horse when the rider cannot make the required weight.
Owner
A person that owns horses and has the license to make the horses run in races.
Paddock
Area where horses are saddled and paraded before being taken onto the track.
Parimutuel
A form of wagering originated in 1865 by Frenchman Pierre Oller in which all money bet is divided up among those who have winning tickets, after taxes, takeout and other deductions are made.Oller called his system "pari mutuel" meaning " mutual stake" or " betting among ourselves".
Part-wheel
Using a key horse or horses in different, but not all possible, exotic wagering combinations. See wheel.
Past performances
A horse's racing record, earnings, bloodlines and other data, presented in composite form.
Penetrometer
Instrument used to measure the going. Ten measurements are made at different points of the track and the average of these measurements provides a number between 5.5 and 1 which describes the condition of the track.
Photo finish
A result so close it is necessary to use the finish-line camera to determine the order of finish.
Place bet
Wager on a horse to finish first, second or third in race of 8 runners or more. Wager on a horse to finish firs or seconf in race with 7 runners or less.
PMU slide
Pari Mutual Urbain.
Post
1) Starting point for a race: Starting post, 2) An abbreviated version of post position.
Post position
Position of stall in starting gate from which a horse starts.
Post time
Designated time for a race to start.
Prize Money or Purse
The total amount of money dedicated to a race. This is financed by a takeout on stakes for the racing associations. The owners of the runner who have finished in the first positions will receive a percentage of the price money depending of their placing.
Quinella
Wager in which the first two finishers must be picked in either order. This is called "Couplé Gagnant" in France.
Quinté+
Pick the first 5 horses in order. 1 million € daily Jackpot minimum.
Race conditions
A horse needs to be compliant with a series of conditions in order to enter a race: age, sex, winnings… this regulates the weight carried by the horse( gallop) or the "distance handicap" (trotting). Some races are called "condition race" in comparison with the "handicap" race where the weight carried is determined by a handicapper and not by the total of the winnings.
Rail
The barrier on either side of the racing strip. - In flat races, the draw number gives the position of the horses in the starting stalls. For trotting races , the departure is given with an autostart. Horse no. 1 is the closest to the rail. "Right rail" means that horses turn to their right in the bends.
Saddle
Seat for the jockey on a horse.
Saddle cloth
A cotton cloth which goes under the saddle. It usually displays the horse's program number and sometimes, in major races, its name.
Scratch
To be taken out of race before it starts. Trainers usually scratch horses due to adverse track conditions or a horse's adverse health. A veterinarian can scratch a horse at any time.
Silks
Jacket and cap worn by jockeys or drivers to designate owner of the horse.
Sire
The male parent of a foal.
Soft (track) or Sft
Condition of a turf course with a large amount of moisture.
Starter
The person reponsible of the start of the race. He checks that all runners are present at the start. He is the one who validate the start.
Starting gate
Partitioned mechanical device having stalls in which the horses are confirmed until the starter releases the stalls confined front doors to begin the race.
Stayer
A gallop horse that runs well long distances ( 3,000 to 4,000m).
Steeple-chase
A race in which horses are required to jump over a series of obstacles on the course. Also known as a "chase".
Stewards
Officials of the racemeeting responsible for enforcing the rules of racing.
Stud-book
Registry and genealogical record maintained by the Jockey Club of the country in question.
Sulky
A cart with 2 wheels used for harness racing.
Tote board
The electronic totalizator display in the infield which reflects up-ot-the-minute odds. It may also show the amounts wagered in each mutuel pool as well as information such as jockey and equipment changes, etc.
Trifecta
A wager picking the first three finishers in exact order.
Trotting
One of the 3 disciplines available in France. The horses can attend to harness races: the driver is sitted on a sulky (light 2-wheeled cart ) drawn by the horse. There are also mounted races : jockeys run the horses. Trotting races are opened to horses aged between 3 and 10 years old.
Under starter’s orders or Under orders
Occurs when the race is off; an announcement that the horses are 'under starter's orders - they're off' is made as the horses leave the stalls: if a horse is withdrawn by the starter all bets are refunded.
VHvy
Very heavy.
VSft
Very soft.
Weight Cloth
In racing, weight is a major criteria. A jockey is weighted with the saddle, saddle pad, the strap. The whip, the towel and the helmet are not taken into account. The blinkers, flange, iron neither.
Wheel
Betting all possible combinations in an exotic wager using at least one horse as the key. See part wheel.
Winning post
The post marking the finishing line on a racecourse.
X
Currently no terms with this letter.
Yearling
A horse in its second calendar year of life, beginning Jan.1 of the year following its birth.
Yielding
Condition of a turf course with a great deal of moisture.
Z
Currently no terms with this letter.