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How to Read a Horse Racing Form

Horse racing is second to only football in terms of popularity in the UK. The races are exciting to watch, but what keeps so many people interested in the sport is the betting done at the tracks. This sport has been popular in the UK for decades now, and it is not about to decline.

Research is very important when betting, and this is why successful bettors often study horse racing forms before placing their bets. If you are new to this form of betting, or you just can’t understand the forms, you should read through this article. Our guide is what you need to learn all you need to know about horse racing forms.

Horse racing form reading

Horse Racing Form Explained

A horse racing form is a comprehensive report of a horse’s performance in previous races. It gives the details of the important statistics that punters and analysts are always looking for. These stats are very important for punters making a decision on which horse to place a bet on at the tracks. They can identify top-performing horses or even runners that are likely to lose in a racing event.

Years ago, horse racing forms were only available in books and printed publications, but now punters can access them online. They are still printed in newspapers and racing publications, but it’s just so much easier to read all you need from online websites.

When you open a horse racing form for the first time, you are definitely going to be confused. All you see are numbers and abbreviations. As you keep reading, you will understand what those mean and how to make sense of the information on a form.

horse racing form

How to Read Horse Racing Form

Horse Racing forms are written in abbreviated jargon so they can carry lots of information about the runners and numerous events. For experienced punters, reading a form is no stress at all, but for a newbie, it would appear to be a challenge at first glance. These are the important details to know about when learning how to read a horse racing form.

The numbers on the form are between 0 and 9. They represent the position the horse ended the race with. If the number is 0, then the horse finished outside of the top nine positions in the race. They are also to be read from left to right. So races on the left occurred before the next race on the right. The symbols “-” and “/” are used to separate racing seasons or a gap in the horse’s racing history.

Numbers are not the only symbols used in a horse racing form. Letters and letter combinations mean different things in a runner’s history.

Some more specific terms you might see on a form are “O,” “HR,” “D,” and “C.”:

All these symbols are placed beside each other as they occur on the form. Know that each symbol stands for the result of a racing event. The order to follow it is from left to right. The final figure on the right is the result of the last event the runner ran. Forms also carry the name of the horse, the jockey, and some might use abbreviations to represent the horse’s colour and details. 

What Does UR Mean in Horse Racing?

UR on a horse racing form means the horse unseated its rider. In horse racing, when a jockey falls off their runner, it is described as being unseated. Punters can use this key to make decisions on choosing which horse to bet on based on both the horse and the jockey’s history. 

BF Horse Racing

Detailed racing forms can have specific descriptions of a horse’s history in relation to a specific race. This is where “BF” is used. If you see “BF” on a horse form beside a race, it means for that race, that horse was the betting favourite. 

Some similar abbreviations for information like this are “C”, “D”, and “CD”. C means that the horse has won on that course before. “D” means the horse has won on that distance before, and “CD” means it has won on both the course and the distance in the past.

Horse Form Guide

Reading a Horse Racing Form guide before placing bets is a smarter way to bet on the tracks. Horse racing betting apps usually have horse racing guides attached to guide bettors in making decisions. They can also be found in various horse racing publications and newspapers.

We have gone over race event results, but this is just one of the details available in a guide. The race results are usually the most important to punters, but if you are looking for more, detailed form guides always give more. Here is some information you can find in a horse racing form guide.

If you are able to take in all this information and compare them adequately before you place your bet, you are giving yourself a better chance of winning. In addition to using form guides, newbie bettors could also read the opinions of expert analysts and punters on upcoming events. Research is very important in making smart racing bets, and horse racing forms are one source that smart punters don’t miss.


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