Australian Racing Terms You Need To Know

When it comes to horse racing in Australia the terminology is a bit different. You will encounter certain words and phrases that aren’t really used in American horse racing. Knowing what these unique words and phrases are will benefit you in your Australian horse race betting.

Acceptor – This is a horse that has been confirmed as an entrant in a race by its owner or trainer.

Aged – When horses reach the age of seven years in Australia they are referred to as aged horses. It is not uncommon for horses in Australia to compete way beyond this age.

All Up – This is a specific type of horse racing wager that is carried over from one race to the next. It is similar to a parlay wager in the US.

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Asparagus – This is the name given to a bettor or punter who always has a tip on a horse. In the US these individuals are sometimes called a Hot Horse Harry.

Backed In – This is a horse on who the odds have suddenly shortened. If the horse was 4-1 a minute ago and is now even money, the horse is backed in. This means that a lot of money has been bet on the horse to win.

Backed Off the Map – This is similar to Backed In, but even worse. The odds on such a horse have been lowered to the point that it is no longer feasible to make a wager.

Bagman – The bagman is an individual on the track who is responsible for settling bets for a bookmaker. It is common in Australian racing for punters to bet with bookmakers on the track.

Bank Teller Job – This is a horse that is such a lock to win that a bank teller could steal money to make a bet and replace it before anyone knew it was gone.

Banker – This is a horse that is used as a key in an exotic wager like the exacta or trifecta. It is the horse which the bettor feels is a lock to win the event.

Barriers – This is the Australian version of a starting gate for horse racing. It is where the horses await the official beginning of the race.

Battler – A battler is any jockey, trainer, or bookie who solely earns their living from horse racing. These individuals are involved full-time in the sport.

Bet Until Your Nose Bleeds – This is the advice given to a bettor when a horse is considered unbeatable on the race track.

Better than Bank Interest – This is what a bettor will say when they are forced to bet a horse at very short odds.

Big Bickies – This is the name given to a large bankroll that has been set aside for betting on race horses. The wealthy gambler is said to have Big Bickies to wager with.

Big Note – When one exaggerates their horse racing prowess to impress others. A marginal handicapper might Big Note himself to get attention.

Big Red – The nickname given to the legendary Phar Lap. In the US the same nickname was given to Secretariat.

Binos – This is the name that is given to the binoculars that are often worn by handicappers at the races.

Birdcage – The area where horses are walked or paraded before a race. In the US this area is known as the paddock or saddling paddock.

Bite – In Australia to ask someone for a loan at the racetrack is to bite.

Blew Like a North Wind – This is the phrase used to describe the odds that have grown longer on a horse. For example, the horse began the betting at 2-1 but is now being offered at 6-1 on the tote board.

Bloused – A horse is said to have been bloused when it loses a photo finish at the wire.

Blown Out the Gate – A horse that has been blown out the gate is one that has seen a dramatic increase in its odds.

Boat Race – This is a race in which the entire field is made up of horses that have little talent with the exception of one real runner. Races like this can often be fixed on behalf of the legitimate horse.

Bring a Duffel Bag – This is the advice given to a bettor in Australia that hopes to make a lot of money at the race track. They believe that their bets will be so successful that a duffel bag will be required to carry home the money.



Calcutta – In Australia a Calcutta is a special sweepstakes that is held before a big racing event. The horses in the race are raffled off, or there could be an auction where the horses are purchased by the highest bidder.

Carry the Grandstand – When a horse is given the highest weight in a handicap event. This phrase is usually reserved for horses that are carrying far more weigh than their rivals in a race. Phar Lap is one example of a horse that was frequently required to carry the grandstand.

Chaff Burner – This is a term that is reserved for horses that have shown limited ability. It is applied in a derogatory sense by handicappers when the horse that they have chosen to bet on is unable to win.

Clerk of the Course – These are mounted riders who are tasked with observing the race in progress from the track. They also help to lead the winning horse back to the winner’s circle after the race is over. In the US these officials are called outriders.

Coat-tugger – In Australia the race track are home to shady individuals who prowl the racing paddocks to give out tips on horses. If someone bets on the tip that the coat-tugger has given, the tipster will demand a portion of the winnings. An enforcer might be enlisted to help when a bettor won’t pay off.

Could Not Lay it with a Trowel – In Australia most bets at the track are made with the assistance of bookmakers. These bookmakers are prone to use this phrase to describe a horse that is receiving no betting action with the bookies.

Cricket Score Odds – A horse that is offered up at odds greater than 100-1. These Australian race horses often have no chance whatsoever to win the race in question.

Cuts His Own Hair – This Australian racing term is given to handicappers that are very frugal. It usually means a person that will spend very little on betting.

Dead Cert – A dead cert is a horse that is considered a dead certainty to win. You will hear Australian bettors use this term to describe a horse when they believe it cannot be beaten.

Dead ‘Un – A dead ‘un is a horse that is being ridden in such a way that it is guaranteed to lose. The implication behind this term is that the race is fixed and the jockey is not making an effort to win the race.

Desperate – In Australia this term refers to a gambler that has lost all perspective and cannot control his or her desire to bet; a problem gambler. Those who are desperate rarely win in horse racing or in any other gambling endeavor.

Dip – This is the name given to pickpockets that often hang around race tracks in Australia. They are very sly and prey on unsuspecting bettors, especially those that have cashed big winning tickets.

Dogs are Barking It – When a tip on a horse has become public knowledge and the entire race track is now wagering on a certain animal. The dogs are barking it when the odds on a horse have been driven down by the tip.

Donkey-Licked – A horse that has been beaten soundly in a racing event. It is usually saved for beaten favorites that everyone thinks should have won the contest.

Double Carpet – Any horse that is assigned odds of 33-1 in a racing event.

Drongo – A perpetual loser. A drongo is either a person or a horse that is clumsy and prone to mishaps. The name comes from the Australian horse Drongo that could never finish better than second throughout his entire racing career.

Dutch Book – A method of betting multiple horses in one race so that a profit is always guaranteed no matter which horse wins the race.

Duffer in the Wet – The name given to Australian race horses that do not like to compete in the mud. These are horses that do not perform well on a wet track.

Each Way – The Each Way is the same wager as a Win-Place bet in the US. The bettor is able to cash their ticket on the Each way when the horse finishes first or second. If the horse finishes first, both bets are winners.

Emu – This is one of the most amusing terms in all of horse racing. It is a person at the Australian race track that moves about searching for discarded tickets that are winners. The name was given because the ticket hunter is said to look like an emu when it is feeding.

Facing the Breeze – This is when a horse gets stuck on the outside of horses during a race. The horse is unable to get by and cannot get to the inner rail to save ground.

Failed to Give a Yelp – A horse that was expected to perform very well in a race but failed to beat even one single horse in the event.

Foot on the Till – This is an Australian race horse that is primed and ready to win a race. They have been well-prepared by their trainer to give their best performance.

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