Form

Horse Racing Form

Predicting winners of races is very much a hit and miss game even for the most successful punters. Selections are based on many aspects, which we at Horse Racing World  discuss here.

Racecards

The form of a race horse is a record of its recent performance in races. This can be used as a guide to help a punter find a winner of a race. The form for each horse in a race is printed in abbreviated form on race cards, online bookmakers' web sites, newspapers, and follows the same format each time, exactly as below

Race NumberFormHorse NameTrainerAgeWeightJockey
12/BF1RU4SparkleJ Smith910-12W Smith

Number

This is the number that will be worn by the horse in a race.

Form

This shows the finishing positions of the horse in its most recent races. These are given in order starting on the left with the least recent to the most recent on the right. Seasons are separated with / with any placings to the left of the / showing the positions in races last season and positions to the right of the / showing positions in races in the current season. Abbreviations used here can include U=Unseated Rider, P=Pulled Up, B=Brought Down, F=Fell, R=Refusal. The above example shows that last season the horse came 2nd in his last race of the season, then Brought Down, then Fell, then came first, Refused in his next race and Unseated rider before coming 4th last time out.

Horse

The name of the horse

Trainer

The name of the horse's trainer.

Age

The age of the horse

Wt

The weight that the horse will carry in the race in stones and pounds.

Jockey

The name of the horses jockey

Handicaps

About half of the races in Britain each year are handicaps. These are races where the Handicappers try to give each horse an equal chance of winning. We do this by giving the highest rated (or 'best') horse in the race the highest weight to carry; and reducing the weight carried by inferior horses.

For most owners, handicaps offer their best chance of winning a race. Without them, the top horses would almost always win and there would be no point in owning anything other than a top horse.

The BHA has a team of twelve Handicappers whose job is to study and interpret the form. They publish a list of ratings every week based on performances on the racecourse: the higher the rating, the better the horse. If your horse is rated 120 and mine is rated 110 then we believe that a difference of ten pounds in the weights that they carry would give each of them a fair chance

Stables

There is no doubt that during any given season, stables can come into form for a period of time. There are no rules that govern this, but some stables form can last for a sustained period and others less so. Punters should always check stable form before making any bet. Statistics of wins to rides from all of the stables are easy to find in the media such as the Racing Post, but this subject is always brought up on the TV racing channels.