The Grand National is one of the biggest horse races in the world. But that doesn’t mean everybody who watches it is familiar with the racing jargon.
When the race is underway and the commentator is flying through the horse positions, it’s difficult to even fully understand what he/she is saying.
So if you’re not up on your racing shorthand, we’ve got a quick guide to what everything means.
Every year in the Grand National a large number of the runners will get pulled-up. This essentially means that the jockey has decided the horse can’t keep going and so he takes it out of the race.
It happens when the jockey believes that the horse is in distress, injured, or unable to continue racing safely.
It is a precautionary measure to ensure the welfare of the horse and the safety of both the horse and jockey.
“Pulled up” typically occurs when a horse exhibits signs of tiredness, lameness, injury, or any other condition that makes it unfit to continue competing in the race.
The jockey will pull back on the reins, slow the horse down, and guide it to a controlled stop away from the other horses and the racing action.
Once a horse is pulled up, it is examined by veterinarians and racecourse officials to assess its condition.
If the horse is found to be fit, it may be able to resume racing in the future, but it will not be allowed to continue in the current race.
The decision to pull up a horse is made in the best interest of the horse’s health and well-being, as well as the safety of all participants in the race.
What Does SP Mean?
SP is shorthand for ‘Starting Price‘. This is used in horse racing betting terminology and refers to the odds the horse goes off at.
So on the day of the Grand National a horse may have very long odds. Noble Yeats started the morning of the race in 2022 at 80/1.
Over the course of the day, as more and more people put bets on, the bookmaker readjusts the odds.
This is a complicated formula that balances the bookmaker’s books so that they never suffer too much of a loss, no matter which horse wins.
As more people backed Noble Yeats as a long odds outsider, the scales tipped and the bookmakers had to cut the odds. He eventually started the Grand National on odds of 50/1.
And that is why the ‘SP’ would have been 50/1, even though earlier in the day he was on odds of 80/1.
Some bookmakers offer promotions on the SP. Say you backed a horse at odds of 20/1. However, the bookmaker guarantees the SP.
By the time the race starts, your horse is at odds of 33/1 and wins. The bookmaker will pay you at those odds rather than the 20/1 when you placed the bet originally.
What Is A Nap?
We’ve all seen professional tipsters giving their ‘nap of the day’. But what does Nap mean?
A “nap” is a term used to refer to the selection that is considered the most confident or strongest tip of the day by a tipster or racing expert.
Naps are typically provided by racing pundits, tipsters, or experts who analyse various factors, such as a horse’s recent form, jockey’s performance, track conditions, and other relevant data, to make their selection.
They then designate one horse as their “nap” for a specific race or meeting, indicating their confidence in that particular horse’s chances of winning that day.
Keen bettors often pay special attention to naps when looking for betting tips because they are considered to be the tipster’s strongest recommendation.
However, it’s important to remember that even the most confident predictions in horse racing can be subject to uncertainty, and there are no guarantees in betting.
What does RPR Mean?
RPR means Racing Post Rating. Every racehorse in the UK and Ireland has an official rating (OR).
In the UK that rating is determined by the British Horse Racing Authority. The database is updated weekly and takes into account how well a horse has run.
At the time of writing this, the top five highest-rated chasers in the UK are
- Bravemansgame (172) from Paul Nicholls
- L’homme Presse (170) from Venetia Williams
- Ahoy Senor (169) from Lucinda Russell
- Jonbon (166) from Nicky Henderson
- Protektorat (166) from Dan Skelton
The highest rated basically means they are the best horses in training in the country.
The RPR differs because theirs is compiled by their private form handicapper and is adjusted for that day’s weights.
Especially in handicapped races, the RPR is based on a horse’s racing ability in relation to the weight carried.
They look at how horses have run against others previously. If one horse has outrun another and they are competing again on the same weight, their RPR will be higher than the OR.
And that’s why on a race card the two rating systems are sometimes different.
Hopefully, those explanations have helped you to understand racing terminology a little bit better.
And when you tune in to watch the 2024 Grand National, you will know precisely what the experts are talking about and when horses have been pulled up!
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