IF YOU’VE EVER been to a race meeting, or even just watched one on TV, you’ll know there are certain things that everybody says — and let’s be honest, they make you sound vaguely educated about the whole thing.
Here are seven things you’re practically guaranteed to hear when Cheltenham rolls around each year:
1. “He hated the ground”
Translation: How would you feel if someone sent you out into a bog and asked you to run three miles? Some horses love ground so soft that it swallows you up; some love bone-dry ground that is essentially tarmac. If you want to back a winner, know what type of horse you’re dealing with.
2. “He was all hands and heels”
Translation: The horse was winning so easily the jockey didn’t even need to get the whip out. If you’ve had a bet on a horse, this nearly never happens.
3. ”He’s got a lot of horse between his legs”
Translation: Laced with delicious innuendo, this always a good one to use when describing a strong, powerful horse. Refer to it as “a machine” for bonus points.
4. “He got him on the nod”
Translation: When two horses are involved in a tight photo finish, one of them always gets the other “on the nod”. There’s no other way to win a close race.
5. “He was crying out for a longer trip”
Translation: Have you ever seen a horse cry? Have you ever seen anyone cry because they didn’t run for long enough? This one is used to describe the runners with bundles of stamina.
6. “He pushed the button on him”
Translation: First things first, there is no button on a horse — trust us, we’ve checked. But horse racing is all about tactics so jockeys need to pick the perfect moment to strike and then… yup, push the button.
7. “He’s off the bridle”
Translation: People LOVE saying this to sound smart. “The bridle” is the headpiece and reins that horses wear. If a horse is off the bridle, it means he’s being worked particularly hard; if a horse wins on the bridle, it was nice and easy.
(All pictures by INPHO & Press Association / PA Images)
Which other horse-racing cliches have we missed?