One of the big issues around the language of horse racing is the amount of terms given to the actual horses. There are scores different terms you might hear at a racetrack or when watching a racing stream, such as juvenile, maiden, sire and yearling.
These terms are then found in the names of horse races, or heard when commentators discuss the latest tips and picks.
But what does all of this mean? Well, this latest Demystifying Racing guide from Paddy Power will take you through five core terms that are often used to describe horses, and why they are so common.
And you never know, knowing the difference between a filly and a mare might be what gives you the edge next time you’re horse racing betting!
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Some male horses let their temperament dominate races, which means that for all their talent and raw speed they never fulfil their potential. When temperament is an issue, owners can decide to castrate the horse in an effort to calm it down. A gelding is a male horse that has been castrated.
Successful geldings in history include American icon Kelso and two-time Champion Hurdle winner Hurricane Fly.
A colt it a male racehorse aged four years or younger that hasn’t been castrated. Colts that impress in their early career are swiftly considered contenders to win big races such as the Gold Cup or the Grand National in later life.
A filly is a female racehorse aged four yeas or younger. Some races are open to fillies only, such as the 1000 Guineas and the Kentucky Oaks. The Fillies’ Triple Crown consists of the 1000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks and St. Leger Stakes.
Conversely, a mare is a female racehorse aged over four years. The Cheltenham Mares’ Hurdle is a Grade 1 race that boasts a £90,000 prize pot. Quevega famously won the race for six straight years between 2009 and 2014.
Perhaps the most commonly known type of horse, a stallion is a male horse that is often used for breeding. Once male horses retire owners may decide to put them out to stud, where they cover retired mares on a regular basis in an effort to produce the next generation of champion thoroughbreds.
- What does it mean when a horse is On the Bridle?
- What is a Black type horse race?
- What are the different types of going in horse racing?
- What is a bumper horse race?
- What are blinkers and why do some horses wear them?
- What is an Allowance Race in horse racing?
- What is the difference between hurdles and fences in National Hunt racing?
- What is a halter and why do some horses wear them?
- What does it mean when a horse has spread a plate?
- What is the Rule 4 betting rule in horse racing?
- What is the difference between graded, handicap and selling horse races?
- What does a novice hurdle in horse racing mean?
- What is a listed horse race?
- What does a novice chase in horse racing mean?
- Why do race horses have different ratings and what do they mean?
- When does the National Hunt season start and when does it end?
- Why are there different grades of horse race?
- Why are there 3 different types of National Hunt race?
- Why are race horses given different weights and what does it mean?
- How many different classes of horse race are there?
- What is a claiming race and what do they mean?
- What is an optional claimer in horse racing?
- What is a shadow roll and why do some race horses wear them?
- Why do some races start from stalls and some not?
- What is the difference between Derby and Oaks races?
- What does it mean when a horse knuckles during a horse race?
- What is a stayer in horse racing?
- What is a yearling horse and when are they ready to race?
- What does it mean if a horse has won a point race?
- What does a maiden mean in horse racing?
- How are horses’ ages calculated and why is it not the same as humans?
- What advantages do apprentice jockeys get when riding against professionals?
- What is a conditional jockey?
- What does the term ‘connections’ mean in horse racing?
- Why do some horses wear cheekpieces?
- Who are the stewards in horse racing?
- What does ‘weighed in’ mean at the end of a horse race?
- What is a nursery race?
- Why are some National Hunt races run without fences?
- Why are some horses given a tongue tie during races?
- What does it mean when a horse is ‘pushed out’?
- How are horse racing ratings calculated?
- What does it mean when a horse has a ‘wind operation’?
- How high are the fences and hurdles in horse racing?
- What is an apprentice jockey?
- What is a Bull Ring in horse racing?
- What does the phrase ‘Look of Eagles’ mean in horse racing?
- Why do some horses wear a ‘weight cloth’ during races?
- What is the Triple Crown in horse racing?
- What is a Steeplechase race in horse racing?
- How high are the Cheltenham Festival fences and hurdles?
- Why is the Champion Chase named after the Queen Mother?
- Why does Cheltenham racecourse have an Old Course and a New Course? What’s the differences between the two?
- What is the Cheltenham roar? What difference does it make in races?
- Why are there no jumps in the Cheltenham Festival Champion Bumper?
- How many fans usually attend the Cheltenham Festival? How big is the capacity?
- What is a juvenile in horse racing?
- Grand National fence names and the stories behind every Aintree jump
- How high are Grand National fences at Aintree Racecourse?
- What are Grand National fences made of at Aintree Racecourse?
- Grand National fences: Order of jumps, total and which are taken twice
- Grand National weights: Why do horses carry different weights at Aintree?
- How many people usually attend the Grand National? What is Aintree’s capacity?
- What is the distance of the Grand National? How far do the horses run?
- How does a horse qualify for the Grand National?
- When did a horse last win the Grand National carrying top weight?
- Do Grand National reserve horses ever run in the race at Aintree?
- What is a sire and a dam? Why is breeding so important in horse racing?
- What does it mean when a horse goes to stud?
- What do horse racing commentators mean by sectional times?
- What is the Royal Procession at Royal Ascot? Which members of the Royal Family attend?
- How do they choose Epsom Derby stall numbers? Is there a draw bias?
- How long does it take horses to complete the Epsom Derby? How fast are the runners?
- How many racehorses does the Queen own?