What’s Going On? A Guide to Trackside Lingo

trackside lingo

Not everyone who goes to the Melbourne Cup is a racing expert. In fact, some of us won’t even notice the horses all day! However, you can keep up with what’s going on around the racing field with some handy trackside lingo explained here.

Impress your friends with some of these nifty words! What’s more, your new found understanding might help you place that winning bet.

Some useful trackside vocabulary

BACKED OFF THE MAP

This indicates that there is a big race happening. It means that there are big prizes on offer. You want to hear this after you’ve placed your bet. You are likely to get a good return if your horse is backed off the map.

BOX SEATED/TAKING A SIT OR SMOKING THE PIPE

Believe it or not, this means that the horse jumped well out of the barrier. This is a good thing to be said about your horse.

CORRECT WEIGHT

This has nothing to do with how many kilos the horse is. Actually, it’s a good sign that the jockey is wearing the correct weight set with their handicap. Winners get their bets paid up when this is announced.

DEAD

Don’t panic, no horses have died! It actually refers to a favourited runner.

GET OUT STAKES

This is the last race on the card and the last roll of the dice, essentially. This is when you ask the question: how much can I chance in a last-ditch effort to win a few dollars. It’s not a good position to be in!

HANDY

This doesn’t mean a horse is handy with tools or anything. It actually refers to where the horse is position during the race, and if they are on or off the pace.

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