under starters orders

under starter's orders

Literally, ready to begin a competition, especially a race, when signaled by the starter (the person who officially marks the beginning of the event). It wasn't until we were all under starter's orders that an official stopped the race due an accusation that one of the jockeys had tested positive for performance enhancing drugs.
See also: order
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

under ˌstarters ˈorders

(of a runner, rider, etc.) waiting for a signal to start the race
See also: order, starter
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
Bangor on Dee Racecourse will find itself covered in paint and bubbles when the runners at one of North Wales' most popular events comes under starters orders on Sunday, September 4.
HUNDREDS of runners are under starters orders after registration opened for the second Caerphilly 10k - scheduled to take place on June 22.
The 27-year-old, who was crowned this year's Dancing On Ice champion, will take part in Under Starters Orders for a second year.
PACK your picnic and get under starters orders for an odds-on family treat at the Birmingham Mail Family Race Day at Stratford Racecourse this Sunday.
THE 163rd Grand National meeting is under starters orders at Aintree with 150,000 punters expected to enjoy the festival.
North East horseracing fans are under starters orders for the biggest day in the sports regional calendar.
A marketing offensive to highlight a pounds 1 million redevelopment project is under starters orders at Warwick Racecourse.
FUND-RAISERS in Nuneaton are under starters orders.
All runners and riders will be under starters orders at 2pm on the day as organisers aim to raise pounds 8,000.
Scoots Girl withdrawn not under starters orders (vet) Newtown Shine withdrawn under starters orders (fell).
TONY McCOY, crowned champion jumps jockey for the sixth consecutive season on Saturday, has three aims for the new campaign which comes under starters orders at Plumpton this afternoon.
A BRAND new festival was under starters orders this week as promoters aim to replace the decommissioned Feile with a new music spectacular.
TODAY we are giving you the chance to snap up the last remaining tickets for Alder Hey's Under Starters Orders celebrity cookery and cocktail challenge.
Shoppers will be limited to a maximum five items after boss Sir Stuart Rose puts them under starters orders at 9am on November 13.
The women's eights come under starters orders at the Penarth Road Bridge at 2.15pm, followed by the men's race at 2.50pm.