What does a jockey's weight in a race mean? For example, in the card one could see a jockey with the weight of 8-8, so what does this mean?
First of all that isn't the jockey's weight but the amound of weight that the horse has to carry for this race. If one thumbs through other races at the same meeting then one may see the jockey given different weight values.
These weights aren't actually attributed to the jockey but, as as mentioned, how much weight the horse has to carry. If the jockey weighs less than the 8-8 (eight stone and eight pounds that means) in the initial example then lead weights are added to the saddle to make the weight up. If the jockey weighs more then this is known as 'overweight' and is an extra handicap which is unintended.
Now, on the official race cards and in the newspapers one will see sometimes that the jockey may have an allowance because he's an apprentice. If this is the case then one has to manually subtract that many pounds from the weight to get the true picture. So, for example, if our horse has to carry 8-8 and is to carry a five pound claiming apprentice then the real weight carried will be 8-3.
Weight allowances aren't taken into account with the final published weight because it's possible that the claiming jockey will be replaced and in that case the full weight will be carried. If a horse is under a penalty because it won a race recently then the penalty is already included in the 8-8 because the horse is what has been penalised. This part can be a little confusing but in the cards one has to subtract any allowances to get the true weight that has to be carried.
I believe that if a jockey is replaced with another jockey and if the replacing jockey has an allowance then this isn't to be taken into consideration.
When one looks at the results, i.e. the race has already run, the authorities will know which jockey was on board and if the claiming jockey actually did ride then in this example of the 8-8 horse and the 5 pound claimer then the horse will be reported to have carried 8-3.
This is an odd little quirk which one needs to be aware of.