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Last Updated: Friday, 2 May, 2003, 10:16 GMT 11:16 UK
A-Z of Flat racing
A Flat jockey aged between 16 and 24 who is retained by a particular stable while he or she learns the trade. An apprentice can claim weight allowance - 7lb until he or she has had 20 winners, 5lb up to 50 winners and 3lb up to 95 winners. (The equivalent rider in National Hunt is called a conditional jockey.)

Frankie Dettori is introduced to the crowd before the 2002 Melbourne Cup
Frankie Dettori is a household name outside of racing
Black type
In a sales catalogue, the form of any horse who has won a Group race or a Listed race is written in bold type - a horse's connections might aim to "get some black type", which would thus improve that horse's value at stud.

Male horse aged four or under.

A horse's mother.

One of the highlights of the Flat season, the Ebor, run at York in August, is a 1m 6f handicap that is one of the big betting races of the season. It was first run back in 1843.

Frankie factor
The popularity of the exuberant Italian jockey Frankie Dettori stretches beyond the confines of racing. When big races such as the Classics come around, many occasional gamblers will latch onto him, thus reducing the starting price.

Often used to described juvenile horses who are inexperienced in actual race-running.

The nickname for Newmarket, which is seen as racing's HQ. Racing there can be traced back to the 17th century and it is also where the Jockey Club was founded. As well as the racecourse, which hosts the first two Classics of the season, there are many stables, studs and racing's most famous sales house, Tattersalls.

Like many other areas of modern life, racing has been changed forever by the internet. One example is bookmaking - punters can now both back and lay horses over the web.

A two-year-old racehorse.

Flat racing boasts its fair share of titled folk. Sir Michael Stoute was knighted in 1998 while fellow trainer Sir Mark Prescott is a baronet who inherited his title. Legendary rider Sir Gordon Richards remains the only jockey from either code to have been knighted.

Sir Mark Prescott
Well bred: Sir Mark Prescott

Situated in Paris, Longchamp is France's most important racecourse and hosts most of the country's major Flat races, including the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and several of the French Classics.

Female horse aged five or over

The Flat season comes to an end in this month, which gives its name to the 1m 4f contest at Doncaster, the last big handicap of the season.

Sometimes a jockey is unable to slim down to the weight allocated to a particular horse. Any overweight must be declared.

Persian Punch
Arguably the most popular Flat horse currently in training, the 10-year-old battling front-runner has won 16 races, 10 of which have been at Group level.

Her Majesty is a big fan of Flat racing and a regular at major meetings, including, of course, Royal Ascot. She also owns horses and has enjoyed five Classic winners (just the Derby is missing from her set), the last of which came in 1977, the year of her Silver Jubilee.

The fee paid by an owner or trainer to secure priority on a jockey. A rider can have more than one retainer but there is always a pecking order in case of a clash.

Turf racing stalls
Stalls allow for an even break

Unlike National Hunt, all Flat races start from stalls. First used in Britain in 1965, they are designed to ensure that horses start together, especially vital in short sprints.

Triple Crown
Traditionally involves winning the 2,000 Guineas (1m), the Derby (1.5m) and the St Leger (1.75m) all in the same season. Only 15 colts have ever achieved it, the last of whom was Nijinsky, who won all three in 1970.

Flat racing is not always just that. Some courses are very flat while others have all sorts of taxing gradients - one of the prime examples is Epsom, home of the Derby.

Vincent O'Brien
Recently voted the sport's greatest figure, O'Brien's training career stretched from the early 1940s to the late 1970s and included phenomenal achievements in both Flat and National Hunt. O'Brien landed 16 Classics and trained Nijinsky, the last horse to win the Triple Crown.

Weighed in
All jockeys are weighed (with their saddles) before a race to ensure they are carrying the correct weight - this is known as "weighing out". After the race, jockeys who have ridden a horse that is placed must then "weigh in". They must not weigh in at more than a pound less than they weighed out.

Flat jockeys do not take as many falls as their jumping colleagues but the speed at which they travel mean it is still a dangerous game. Kieren Fallon nearly lost the use of his left arm after a pile-up at Royal Ascot while Pat Eddery and Willie Carson are other famous jockeys to have suffered serious injuries in years gone by.

Yavana's Pace
Won the Credit Suisse Private Banking Pokal in Germany in 2002 to become the oldest winner of a Group One race in Europe.

For those who follow the stars, the signs of some of the leading players are: Kieren Fallon (Pisces), Frankie Dettori (Sagittarius), Pat Eddery (Pisces), Aidan O'Brien (Libra).

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