What the numbers and letters mean

Form is the record of a horse’s performance in previous races and is seen by many as a good way of predicting a horse’s future performance. Comparing horses’ form should enable you to pick the likely best performers in a race.

In the race card, it normally is arranged as a line of numbers denoting finishing position or abbreviations. Form runs from left to right, with the oldest races on the left and the most recent on the right.

  • The numbers 1-9 indicate the position the horse finished in the race
  • The number 0 indicates that the horse finished outside the first 9
  • The symbol – separates racing seasons. Numbers before the – are for last season
  • The symbol / indicates a longer gap, for example if the horse missed an entire racing season
  • P or PU indicates that the horse was pulled up by the jockey and did not complete the race

The following abbreviations normally apply to jump racing:

  • F indicates the horse fell
  • R indicates a horse refused
  • BD indicates the horse was brought down by another runner
  • U or UR indicates that the horse unseated its jockey

You may also see theses abbreviations:

  • C indicates a horse has won on that course before
  • D indicates a horse has won over that distance before
  • CD indicates a horse has won over course and distance
  • BF stands for beaten favourite and indicates a horse was favourite for a race, but did not win

Remember to also look at the BHA rating and Timeform’s view under each horse to see what the experts think of a horse’s chances.

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Picking a winner by eye

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What is a racecard?

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