How can Horse Racing Form be used to make better bets?

horse racing form

When placing a bet with your bookmaker on a horse race, you may see each horse’s form indicated. You can also see horse racing form in newspapers which carry race cards. What do the letters, numbers, and other characters mean?

They tell you how each horse has performed in their most recent races. This may help you decide how each horse will perform in the current race that you are thinking of betting on. The important thing to remember is that the rightmost entry is the most recent race, the 2nd entry from the right is the 2nd most recent race, etc.

A number from 1 to 9, means that the horse finished in that position (a limitation of the form guide, is that it does not tell you how many horses ran in that race). If the horse finished outside of the top 9, the number 0 is shown. If the horse did not finish the race, you will see the reason indicated by one of the following letters: B,F,P,R,S,U which respectively stand for Brought down, Fell, Pulled up, Refused, Slipped up, and Unseated rider. You might also see the following characters: is used to separate years, and / is used to separate racing seasons.

Here’s an example of horse racing form:

  • Horse A: 3F-1211
  • Horse B: 70-66U5

In this example, horse A won her most recent 2 races, finished 2nd in the race before that, and won the race before that. In her last race the previous year the horse fell, before which she had finished 3rd. Horse B, finished 5th in his most recent race. He unseated his rider the race before that. He finished 6th in both of the races before that. In his last race the previous year he failed to finish in the top 9, although he did finish 7th in his penultimate race of last year.