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Racing Explained

The racecard is the equivalent of a theatre programme; it is a guide to enjoying your day and contains all the information you need about the racecourse and races to be run that day. They can be purchased on the day for about £3.

How do I read the race information?


Horseracing is full of statistics and information. This can feel overwhelming but it’s what makes the sport so compelling for millions of people.


Once you know what to look for, the racecard can tell you all the key information on the runners and riders as well as some quick and simple clues to help you pick a winner.


Firstly, use the racecard to check the times of each race. This is where the list of the runners and riders will be shown. You will see the horses’ names, the coloured silks worn by the jockeys and saddlecloth numbers.


It’s also worth checking the horses’ ‘form’ or recent performance. This information appears in a series of numbers and some letters next to your horse’s name. A horse that hasn’t been performing well or is ‘out of form’ might not be your best choice.

Full details of how to read the racecard are shown at the front of the programme. You can also find a quick guide on this site.


What is the form?


The form is a snap-shot of a horse’s past performance. A series of numbers and letters, this information is shown next to the horse’s name and is a quick way to see what position a horse has finished in its previous races. A horse ‘out of form’ is one who isn’t currently performing to the best of its ability. If a horse doesn’t have any ‘form’, it’s likely that’s because the race is for younger horses or those with less racing experience.


What does C&D mean?


As well as numbers showing the horses’ most recent finishing positions, look out for letters such and C & D next to its name. C means they have won previously at the course and D means they have won over the same distance.


Other useful letters to look out for are BF, which means the horse was a beaten favourite.


Remember to look for the guide on how to read this information at the front of the racecard.





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