Glossary

Explanations for various words and acronyms used on this site.

Aptitude - career-best AR shown in distance groups: 800-1399m/1400-1600m/1601-1999m/2000-2399m/2400m up, representing sprinter/sprint-miler/miler/middle distance/stayer

AR - ability rating, a numerical expression of performance; calculated by Raceform, on a scale comparable to English ratings produced by Racing Post (RPR) and Timeform (TFR); AR is calculated post-race, based on elements like beaten lengths, weight carried, race distance, pace at which race is run, age of runners, etc.

Black Type - see Grade

F - see Pace

Ff - see Pace

FS - see Pace

Grade - designation of quality of a race, expressed as Gr1, Gr2, Gr3, or Listed (L); winners or placed horses in Graded races will have their names shown in bold type in sale catalogues, which is why Graded races are also referred to as Black Type races gs - see Pace

Length - measure of distance between horses at the finish, one length equivalent to about 2.4m, or in time about 0.02s; beaten lengths are normally shown with decimals (0.00 lengths)

lbh - the number of lengths behind the winner of a race (or ahead of 2nd horse if winner)

Listed - (L) - see Grade

MR - merit rating, a numerical expression of performance; calculated by official NHA handicappers; used to set weights in handicap races, with one MR point as equivalent to half a kilo weight carried; MR is published pre-race

NHA - National Horseracing Authority, the overall administrative body for racing and breeding in South Africa; formerly known as the Jockey Club (a name still in use in other places in the world)

ok - see Pace

Pace - speed at which a race is run; the most economical way to use energy is with an even pace throughout; any other way (a false pace - too fast, too slow) often prevents horses from showing their best; pace designations used by Raceform are ok (evenly run), gs (evenly run, but at a slower than optimum pace), FS (false, slow early, sprint home), Ff (false, too fast up-front), F (false, not run at even pace, or other inexplicable reason)

RR - race rating, a numerical expression of expected performance; calculated by Raceform, using AR of horses adjusted for race distance, weight and age; the AR used to calculate RR is the highest AR of runner’s last six performances; highest RR in a race suggest best chance (assuming runner can reproduce best AR used)

SI - sale index, the sale price divided by the average sale price of a horse of the same age and sex at the same sale, so SI 1.00 means the price is exactly average

SSI - standard starts index, the average earnings per run of a horse divided by the average earnings per run of all horses of the same age and sex, so SSI 1.00 means the horse is exactly average; in a race the highest SSI suggest horses have a good chance, while the combined SSI’s shown in the race-header will give an idea of the strength of the field

SW - stakes winner or stakes wins, where ‘stakes’ means a race which is Graded or Listed

SP - stakes placer or stakes placed runs, where ‘stakes’ means a race which is Graded or Listed

WFA - weight-for-age, the assumed progress an average horse makes as it strengthens with age; it is expressed as weight, and is related to race distance; WFA is used in races where horses of different ages compete