Race Day

Race day

On the morning of the race, horses are transported from the stables to the racecourse in a horse box. Jockeys are weighed with their saddle and riding equipment prior to each race and this process is overseen by the stewards and clerk of the scales. The race conditions determine the weight that each horse must carry.

Before the start of the race the jockey puts on the racing silks and meets with the trainer and owner to receive riding instructions. After the paddock parade the horses and jockeys head to the starting stalls and the race begins!

Race distances vary between 5 furlongs (1,000 metres) and 2 miles, 4 furlongs (4,000 metres).

Racing on the flat revolves around the major classic races and black type races.

Glossary about race day

Horse Box

A truck with stalls to transport horses. Often called a 'horse float' in Australia.

Riding Equipment

Helmet, boots and back protector worn by a jockey in a race. Additionally a jockey will wear clothing called breeches and silks and may carry a whip.


Responsible for administering and upholding the rules of racing.

Clerk of Scales

Responsible for weighing jockeys, reporting program changes and supervising the jockey's room.

Race conditions

Every race has a set of conditions which the horse must fulfil in order to be eligible to enter. There are different types of races e.g. handicaps, maidens, conditions, Listed and Group races.


The jacket that a jockey wears during a race, it is often made of silk material. The silks belong to the owner of the horse.

Riding instructions

The Trainer gives riding instructions to the jockey on how the horse prefers to be ridden. Some horses like to lead, others prefer some cover and will often come with a late run.

Paddock parade

Horses are saddled, then paraded to the public and stewards prior to a race, this is where the jockey mounts the horse for the race.

Starting stalls

Also known as barriers. Horses and jockeys enter from the back of the stalls and jump from the front. The gates all open at the same time ensuring a fair start for all horses.


A unit of measurement used to measure the distance of a race. One furlong is 220 yards or 200 metres.

Classic races

The 'Classics' are five of the most important Group 1 (G1) horse races. They are the 1,000 Guineas (fillies only), 2,000 Guineas (colts and fillies), Derby (colts and fillies), Oaks (fillies only) and St Leger (colts and fillies)

Black Type races

Group races, also known as Pattern races or Graded races, are the highest level of races. They are classified in three types; Group 1, Group 2 and Group 3, with Group 1 being the highest class. The term 'Black Type' comes as such races are printed in bold type in sales catalogues and they are important in determining the stud value of the winning horse.