How Do You Read Horse Racing Form? — A Simple Guide

How do you read horse racing form?

Learning how to read racing form stats is the first thing you need to do before betting on horses. We’ll explain everything in this simple guide.


Recent Results & Weight

How Do You Read Horse Racing Form? - A Simple Guide

Recent Results

Before you begin to select a horse you’ll want to know how it has performed recently. This is known as the “form”.

The recent form is represented as a sequence of numbers/letters, with the most recent race represented by the rightmost digit. Numeric values tell you where the horse placed. See the bottom left of the image (highlighted in red).

You’ll also need to know the following:

  • ‘0’ = means the hose finished outside the places (usually top three or four). 
  • ‘–’ separates this season from previous (and when there was a gap of two seasons or more)
  • ‘P’, ‘R’, ‘U’ and ‘F’ Pulled up, Refused to race, Unseated the rider or Fell.  

In this example, the horse Roman Times failed to place in its last race. We know this because the rightmost character in the sequence ‘815-70’ is ‘0’.


The weight tells us the weight of the load carried by the horse. It’s normally represented in stones and pounds next to the name of the Jockey. In this example it’s shortened to 9-7 — shown under the WGT (Weight) heading (marked in red). This means “9 stone 7 pounds”.

The weight carried by a horse is determined by the rules of the race. The allocated weight is made up of the Jockey’s weight along with his equipment and any weights placed in the saddle bag (depending on the event).

Official Ratings

You may have wondered what that number below the WGT means. This is the horse’s Official Rating (“OR”), assigned by the British Horseracing Authority. In the above example, the horse Roman Times has a rating of 55.

Official Ratings enable horses to run in a handicap races, but they’re only granted once it either:

  • Wins a race
  • Loses three times and finishes in the first six positions in at least one of these races .

If it does not satisfy either of these conditions, its not assigned an OR. It can continue racing until it does.


Course & Distance

How Do You Read Horse Racing Form? — A Simple Guide

Letters alongside horse names (highlighted in red) tell you about a horse’s record for the course and distance.

Here’s what the letters mean:

  • ‘C’ = won at this course previously
  • ‘D’ = won at this distance previously
  • ‘BF’beat the favourite last time out.

In the above example you can see that Tinsill is labelled ‘CD’, meaning it previously won at this course over the same distance.


Horse Racing FAQ

Where Can I Find Horse Racing Form Stats?

Take a look at our horse racing form recommendations in our post: How To Research Your Sports Bets.

Where Can I Find Horse Racing Tips?

Paid tipsters:

Free tipsters:
  • Twitter Tipsters. You could follow one or more of our favourite social media tipsters. Just be aware that there’s usually no solid proof of earnings; so treat their tips as a bit of fun!