How To Read Horse Racing Form

Reading the horse racing form is second nature for those who regularly attend the races. What about those who don’t know their PU from their F? How do you read the horse racing forms and how can you use it to help you make better bets? I will explain what each of these shorthand’s mean. You will understand it all the next time that you open the newspaper or go online.

Online Horse Racing Form

Below is an image of a normal race. It has a lot of information, as you can see. It is well-spaced so that it is easy to understand. From left to right, we can see the abbreviations for each column across the top. The Number of horses is indicated in the first section. Next, we have “Horse“, which is the name of the horse. This is followed by the current Age The horse. That is the next step. WGT This refers to the horse’s weight. Non-handicapped races like the Gold Cup will have all horses on the same weight. The weights of handicapped races will vary with the horse that is the most powerful and the largest. This is done to ensure that everyone has equal opportunities. Underneath WGTOR. This is the Official Rating. It is updated every week by the British Horseracing Authority. Ratings are based on the horse’s performance. Next are the columns for Jockey And Trainer This is to let you know who will be riding the horse, and who will train the horse. Finally, we are done. TS This stands for “Top Speed”, which is how fast a horse can run. RPR This is the Racing Post Rating. The RPR is different than the OR because it considers how well a horse will perform under the particular conditions of the race. It is calculated on the day of race and independently.

Reading the Columns

Let’s now look at the information within each column. You can usually sort the columns online by simply clicking on their headings. The numbering of horses in a race will range from 1 to the maximum number of participants. In a handicapped race such as the Grand National, the runner with number 1 is the highest-rated horse in the race. It will also be the one with the most weight. The horses will be numbered according to their rating and weight. They are then numbered in alphabetical order according to the horse’s name, if they are not handicapped. Form is below the number. This is shorthand for the place the horse finished in its last few races. It can be read from left to right.

A runner who has form reading: /5P9-5 means that it placed 5th in the most recent race. The means the end and the beginning of the current season. This horse placed 9th in the final race of last season. The horse that pulled up in the race before the ‘P’ means that he didn’t finish. He finished 5th before that. The form gives you an excellent indication of how a horse runs over a longer time period. The horse’s performance is better if the numbers are higher. This is the age of your horse. Horses of different ages may be suited to certain races, but this is dependent on the race. We have already gained weight, and the OR works in the same way. Higher Official Ratings mean a better horse. Once a horse has been ridden three times, an OR will be issued. The only thing you need to be aware of is the ‘allowance’. A ‘claim’ is a term that refers to a jockey who is either an amateur, conditional, or novice and learning the trade. They are allowed less weight on their horse. They may be entitled to different amounts depending upon their experience.


– 7lb until they’ve won 20 races

– 5lb until they have been victorious in 50 races

– 3lb until they’ve won 95 races.


– 7lb until they’ve won 20 races

– 5lb until they’ve won 40 races.

– 3lb until they’ve won 75 races

The Racing Post online cards usually show the TS of a horse. Ratings are calculated by comparing how long it took for a horse finish a race. The figure is then compared with the standard racing time for the course. It will be adjusted by factors like distance, going and weight carried.

Racing Form Abbreviations

There are many shorthand terms that can be used to describe the horse’s actual form.

Pulled-Up– P or U. This happens when a horse doesn’t finish a race but runs.

Refused to Race– R or RE. One horse fails to accept the start of the race after he gets to the starting line.

Autumn F. A horse falls at an obstacle while running in the race.

Brought Down– BD. This happens when a horse bumps into a fallen horse, and then is brought down at the fence.

These are the numbers If you see zero (zero), it means that the horse was placed 10th or worse. The single numbers indicate the exact place the horse finished.

Most forms and racecars will follow the above guidelines. There will be slight variations from some betting websites or bookmakers. You won’t notice any deviations so long as you follow this guide, you should be able read any horse racing form on any card.

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