Accumulator - A bet that requires several different selections all to win, often to provide a large payout.
Arbitrage -A bet that locks in a guaranteed profit, whatever the outcome.
Banker - A bet that is considered to be a near certainty.
Bismarck - A horse that someone strongly thinks will be beaten (sunk).
Blinkers - A device fitted to a horse's head which restricts its field of vision in order to help its concentration.
Chasing - Betting on things you normally wouldn't in order to recover losses.
Clerk of the Course - The person responsible for the overall management of a racecourse during raceday
Draw - the number of starting stall a horse will begin a race from.
Drifter – a horse on which the odds have lengthened by the end of the day.
Going - The condition of the ground at a racecourse. The going ranges from heavy to firm.
Green (v) Running excitedly and uneconomically, associated with inexperience.
Handicap - A race where horses carry different weights based on their official rating or greyhounds get a head start based on their ability.
Hedging - Backing another outcome in an event you have already bet on to decrease the risk involved.
Jolly - Another name given to the 'favourite'.
Maiden - A horse that is yet to win a race.
Overweight - An eventuality where the jockey weighs more than the weight one of his rides is supposed to carry.
Steamer - An outcome that has been very well backed all day.
Tic-Tac - A type of sign language used on a racecourse by bookmakers as a means of communication.
Walkover - A race where there is only one runner left after a number of non runners.
Life’s an Accumulator
There’s no such thing as arbitrage
In life, said the tic-tac man.
You can start as a banker but hedge your bets
For you might be a bismarck yet.
If your sire and dam are thoroughbred
And the draw is good, you could be a jolly
But the going’s hard when you start as a maiden.
In a handicap if you're overweight
It’s no good greening when the going’s soft
Even if they say you’re a steamer.
There are no walkovers – we’re all drifters
So don’t go chasing, blinded by blinkers;
And the Clerk of the Course will weigh you in
With the rest of the field at the finish line.
© Janice Windle 2014
On Sunday last, I went to Keats House Library in Hampstead to see the Keats House Forum poets and their guest that afternoon, Indigo Williams. Indigo is a wonderful writer and performer and it was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. In the open mic I read a poem about life, in the language of a tic-tac man. As today is Grand National Day it seems a good time to post the poem and the video on here, though I wrote it a few days ago... I've provided a glossary of terms for non-tic-tac people...