The horse is ridden—the jockey rides—
The backers back—the owners own.
But … there are lots of things besides,
And I should leave this play alone.

Notes on the text

I should leave this play alone Kipling had experienced horce-racing in India, but was certainly not a betting man. He wrote a tragic story in 1887 called “The Broken Link Handicap” (collected in Plain Tales from the Hills) about sharp practice at the race-track.