List of horse racing vernacular for punters

March 11, 2019 | By More

A punter experiences all the ups and downs, heartache and ecstasy, unparalleled thrills and life-sapping disappointment that life has to offer. Hence, punters have developed their own horse racing vernacular to describe the frustration and pain of risking and often losing their hard-earned.

The punters verse of lamentation and anguish has been developed over the years and passed on through the ages.

Unique lingo, slang words and off-beat phrases have become integral to our great sport. It has transcended into common language.

There is no better way of hiding disappointment than with a humorous quip.

Ancestry of horse racing vernacular

The sayings, colloquialisms and one-liners of horse racing vernacular strike a chord with every racegoer.

The stories survive because they are passed on through the generations. Every punter acquires this unique language from his parent, as they have learnt from their parents, and so on.

It’s a unique ancestry of language that can be traced like bloodlines from the origins of the thoroughbred.

Examples of horse racing vernacular

Many examples of horse racing vernacular originated from the beginnings of horse racing when punters bet on races won by royalty.

Others are more contemporary, heard on country tracks and metropolitan amphitheatres today.

The punter has developed his own language.

Our village horse racing forum members remember some of the best known racing and punting sayings.

Slang words and phrases used in betting

  • A short priced winner is better than a long priced loser
  • A 30/1 winner is better than a dozen short priced winners
  • Never touch a horse in tomato sauce
  • Odds on, look on
  • Never back odds on and never run up stairs 
  • Each-way odds the field
  • Never go to the well once too often
  • Always back the toppie in the 1st at Perth
  • The road of the punter is pitted with potholes
  • London to a brick on
  • Backed off the map
  • Weight will stop a train
  • Blown like a gale
  • Money won is twice as sweet as money earned
  • The last race……the Get Out Stakes

Lingo for luck in running

  • He has only one behind him, and that’s the clerk of the course
  • “Baring his molar’s to the breeze,” Jack Styring.
  • “Scraping the dulux”. A horse taking a tight run on the rails
  • “The favourite will have to sprout wings if he’s gonna win from there”, … Torture if you’re on him and listening on radio
  • A short half head’s as good as the length of the straight
  • Has a big enough lead to win a Melbourne Cup
  • Going faster than last week’s pay
  • Looms large
  • It looks to be cantering to me
  • Which way to the A.T.M
  • Put away the glasses
  • Shut the gate
  • Gone for all money
  • Done like a dinner
  • Stone motherless last
  • Under the persuader
  • Under double wraps
  • Gone for the Doctor
  • The gap is going faster than he is
  • He’s got a longer lead than my Electrolux
  • Ears pricked

Racing terminology in form reviews

  • Copped more checks than a bank teller
  • Covered more ground than Burke and Wills
  • Couldn’t run out of sight on a dark night
  • Pulled like a teenager
  • Knew that one would win
  • The ambulance beat it home
  • Had more starts than I’ve had hot dinners
  • Covered more ground than the early settlers
  • Flat as a tack
  • Won pulling up
  • They’ve had to go out with a lamp looking for it
  • They shouldn’t be allowed to race first up

Colloquial advice used in horse training and ownership

  • Keep yourself in the best company & your horse in the worst
  • If you take care of a good horse, he’ll take care of you
  • Never spell a mare whilst in form

Pain and anguish in racing parlance

  • The horse I bet on was so slow, the jockey kept a diary of the trip
  • I’m off the punt
  • Stupid animal
  • “The punters are going for the rosary beads” … when a favourite is going backwards
  • Oohh ____ no !!! Not another 2nd !!!
  • Slow as a wet week
  • Ran out of petrol
  • No use flogging a dead horse
  • Died in the arse
  • Needs more ground, like a 40-acre paddock out the back
  • “…f*ck the jockey, f*ck the trainer & f*ck this sh*t horse”… A bloke at the local Pub TAB just about every day

Add to the list of funny punting sayings

Hope you enjoyed reading through this list of horse racing vernacular. I’m sure every punter has identified with one or two over their time and even developed them into their own punting advice.

Keep this list handy for when you’re following our racing tips and best bets.

Respect our language and keep it going. Let me know if you have some more!

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Category: Punting Advice

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Mayor of Thoroughbred Village