SCR Horse Racing

James Dooley avatar

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Some of the abbreviations and terminology in horse racing form can be confusing, but SCR in horse racing is actually quite straightforward.

So, what does SCR mean in relation to horse racing?

What does SCR mean in horse racing?

SCR in horse racing stands for scratched and means that a horse has been withdrawn from a race.

A scratched racehorse can happen for a variety of reasons with the most common being a change in ground conditions or an injury picked up.

If a horse has been ‘scratched’ from a race it means any stakes are refunded by bookmakers.

‘Scratch’ basically means to get rid of. And it means exactly the same in horse racing.

It’s common to see ‘SCR’ on your racecard when looking at horses to place bets on.

Why are horses scratched?

With horse racing, horses need to be signed up for races so far in advance that many horses are signed up before they are even born.

Also, beyond issues of admin, there is also an on-course evaluation of every horse by a specialist vet.

The on-course vet will thoroughly evaluate every horse and determine if a horse is or isn’t safe to race. If not, the horse will be scratched from the race.

This is usually due to fatigue from previous races, but can in fact be for any health reason.

If there is any reason why a horse may not feel safe to ride, or why a horse may not be able to finish a race, the jockey also has the authority to scratch the horse at any time before the race.

Scratched horses should not affect your stake. This is because all you need to know is that a horse is scratched before a race has started.

What are stewards scratch?

Steward scratching is a particular kind of scratching where a horse has been scratched from a race on some kind of administrative grounds.

This can often be due to the heavy amount of regulation and bureaucracy around major horse racing events.

External factors such as a horse’s weight majorly changing can also affect a horse’s qualification chances.

The stewards are usually the first in line in evaluating a horse’s ability to qualify, but there are many others who have the authority to scratch a horse for many reasons.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you get your money back if the horse is scratched?

If the horse you have made a bet on is scratched before race time, you will get your stake returned to you in full to see another race.

What happens if the horse you bet on is scratched?

In most situations, your bet will be refunded if a horse is scratched. This means that your original stake will be returned to you, but you will not receive any winnings.

Why do Stewards Scratch a Horse?

A horse may be scratched from a race by stewards if a Commission-licensed veterinarian has advised that a horse is not fit to race and cannot provide its best efforts to win the race – usually due to a physical disability such as fatigue from previous races.


If a horse has been scratched and is showing ‘SCR’ on your racecard, it will be for a very valid reason and your stake will be safe.

At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is the health and safety of the horses.

If there is even the smallest doubt that a horse is not fit to finish the race, then it will not be chanced.

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