The ‘Cheltenham Roar’ and other racing phrases and slang

The 'Cheltenham Roar' and other racing phrases and slang I swear the weeks and months fly by. It doesn’t seem five minutes since the 2019 Cheltenham Festival and now the 2000 Festival is almost upon us. The event is high on the list of those looking for betting opportunities, as it offers four whole days of top class racing, a total of 28 races in total to get your teeth into. The bookmakers all gear up for it too, with opportunities to take advantage of ante-post Cheltenham festival betting offers . It’s no wonder really when an estimated £35,000 a second is bet during the four day festival.

If those betting figures make your eyes spin, it’s a good time to remind you that there is a fever pitch atmosphere around Cheltenham both on and off course. With 60,000 attending the Cheltenham Festival each day and the majority of those having a wager, it’s no surprise that the figure bet is fairly mind boggling (£300 million+ in total). So take advantage of whatever bet bonuses and odds boosters you can get your hands on, and go for it! Be sure too, to listen out for the famous ‘Cheltenham Roar’ at the start of the first race. That’s the phrase used to describe the rapturous sound let out by the huge Cheltenham crowds. It’s funny how central phrases and slag are to the racing world. It certainly has a distinctive nomenclature.

Some other examples of betting slang, used to describe odds and sums of money, have their origins in Cockney rhyming slang. ‘Carpet’, meaning odds of 3/1, is a contraction of ‘Carpet Bag’, which is rhyming slang for ‘Drag’ or, in other words, a three-month prison sentence. Other well-known examples include ‘Lady’, short for ‘Lady Godiva’, meaning ‘fiver’, or £5 Sterling, ‘Cockle’, short for ‘Cock and Hen’, meaning ten, or £10 Sterling. Expressions such as ‘Pony’, meaning £25 Sterling, and ‘Monkey’, meaning £500 Sterling, are more obscure, but the most plausible explanation of their derivation is that, historically, the animals appeared on Indian rupee banknotes of the appropriate denominations.

The modern betting ring is a far cry from the days of yesteryear, when odds were written in chalk on blackboards, bets were entered, by hand, into ledgers and betting tickets were printed on brightly coloured cardboard. Modern technology has also rendered the traditional, white-gloved tic-tac man, employed to communicate odds changes to his bookmaker by using coded arm movements, all but obsolete. Albeit a shadow of its former self, the betting ring still exists, as does the betting slang that has been used by bookmakers and their floor men to bamboozle punters since time immemorial.

The ‘dark art’ of tic-tac may be largely a thing of the past, but the expressions used to describe gestures of the ‘secret’ sign language – and, hence, the odds those gestures represent – remain a cause of confusion. For example, ‘Wrist’, ‘Ear ‘Ole’ and ‘Top of the Head’ can be translated as odds of 5/4, 6/4 and 9/4, respectively, by those ‘in the know’. To add to their good-natured deceit, or subterfuge, bookmakers are also fond of ‘back slang’, such that the numbers ‘Four’, ‘Six’ and ‘Seven’ become ‘Rouf’, ‘Xis’ or ‘X’s’ and ‘Neves’, respectively. So, ‘X’s to Rouf’ is just another way of saying ‘Ear ‘Ole’, or 6/4. Similarly, ‘Ten’ becomes ‘Net’, so it naturally follows that 16/1 becomes ‘Net and X’s’ and 20/1 becomes ‘Double Net’.

Saratoga Racecourse

Saratoga Racecourse Located in Saratoga Springs, the Saratoga Racecourse goes way back to 1863, when the very first thoroughbred racetrack was opened. It was a meet that lasted four days and its success gave birth to the Travers Stakes the very next year. Apart from being regarded, arguably, as the third oldest horseracing track in the country, Saratoga Racecourse is widely known as the country’s oldest venue for any organized sports.

The course has three tracks. The dirt track is 1,811m long while the turf track runs for 1mile. The inner turf is 1,408m long. The Racecourse hosts Grade I, II and III races as well as ungraded and steeplechase races. Major stakes races held at the Saratoga Racecourse include the Travers Stakes, the Alabama Stakes, the Hopeful Stakes and the Whitney Handicap, which is a qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The racing season begins in July and runs until September. 

Only the best have the courage to compete at the historic grounds of the Saratoga Racecourse and this forms part of the story behind its nickname. The racecourse earned its name ?he Graveyard of Champions” when an unlikely horse defeated the then Triple Crown winner in 1930. This was again repeated in 2015 when the TC winner, American Pharaoh, lost at the Travers Stakes.

The racecourse has also featured in scenes in a number of movies including Saratoga, Ghost Story, Seabiscuit, Billy Bathgate, The Horse Whisperer and My Old Man. Authors like Ian Fleming, Stephen Dobyns and Edna Ferber have also etched the beauty of the
racecourse into their words.

Thinking of spending time at the Clubhouse this season? Point to note: stick to the proper dress code. Nothing short, whether it is tops or bottoms. Same applies to the Luxury Suites and the Box Seats. No jeans either at the Box Seats.

Meydan Racecourse

Meydan Racecourse Meydan Racecourse is a top-notch horse racing facility tied to the expansive Meydan Hotel. The racecourse in Dubai, UAE, was opened on 27 March 2010. It was opened to replace the Al Sheba course which stood on the same site. The sprawling complex includes a gallery, horseracing museum as well as the 5-star Meydan Hotel. The racetrack can hold a maximum capacity of over 60,000 spectators, placing it right up there with the best racing tracks in the world.

The racecourse cost a mind boggling $1.25 billion to construct and has a five-star hotel as well as the Maydan Marina, two racetracks as well as a Grandstand used for spectacular viewing during race meetings and entertaining guests all through the year.

The track has a 2,400m left-handed turf with a left-handed 8.75-furlong dirt. The track hosts race meetings that attract lots of fans from November to March. The most popular race is Dubai Cup Night, which is known to be the world’s richest race event- the prize money well over US$26.25 million. It also hosts other races such as the Dubai Carnival & Winter Challenge.

The awe-inspiring complex has a lot more to offer than horseracing and offers conference services and hospitality services when the racing calendar is yet to commence. The Meydan is one of the mega real estate projects known to be closely tied to Rashid Al Maktoum. The venue has hosted a lot of famous music artists such as Lady Gaga, Kylie Minogue, Elton John, Sia and Janet Jackson. The hotel section has established itself as one of the finest places to stay for holiday makers looking to have some fun in the sand. The Meydan as surpassed a lot of the top racecourses and is known across the world for its sheer size, taste and grandeur. It is a fine place to spend time in.