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Form Study Help & Information

Studying horse racing form is a way of directly forming your own opinions about the competitors in a horse race based on their achievements to date. There are many ways of studying the form and giving yourself the best possible chance of picking out selections to make your enjoyment of horse racing profitable. I have several tools to assist you with your form research.

  1. Horse, jockey, trainer & stallion progeny form
  2. How to read horse racing form
  3. Saving and following horses/races
  4. Subsequent form of previous races
  5. Head to head & collateral form
  6. Head to head analysis help
  7. Collateral form tool help
  8. Hot/cold races feature
  9. Form follow
  10. Run query

Horse, jockey, trainer & stallion progeny form & profiles

The most basic way to obtain form is by searching and navigating to the appropriate record by using the search form or by clicking a record within a race card etc.

For more advanced research, members have access to Profilers, which are designed to effectively answer questions relating to your specific horse racing query when looking at a single horse, stallion, jockey or trainer. Relevant tests are run in several appropriate categories showing a breakdown of previous performance. You shall find yourself regularly using the Profilers as they are an invaluable way of staying one step ahead. With a quick glance you will at times be able to clearly identify strenghs and weaknesses.

I have designed the profilers dependent upon the category itself, for example the tests within the Horse Profiler differ from those within the Stallion Profiler. Each test will be clearly labelled and by reading the easy view tables you will be able to identify performance in each subcategory within its parent category. (Example showing Going record broken down by Good, Heavy etc etc).

On the Horse Profiler only (as the others can all have more than 1 run per day) if the Horse is down to run on the day, then its anticipated conditions that day will be highlighted in yellow (green if the horse is scheduled to run the following day), this is purely to assist you in identifying relevant tests.

How to read horse racing form

Knowing how to read the form is of course vital. Although initially perhaps perplexing, once developing a firm knowledge of how form is presented and understanding the various aspects displayed you will easily be able to proceed.

Each horse will have its own record of form with its most recent runs ordered appropriately and each piece of form relating to a particular run. The below table explains the different aspects of the form presented for each race and horse in todays racing. In certain other areas where space permits so, form shall be presented without abbreviations but the same logic applies.

The information in the Last Run (& 2nd-4th + Last Win Run) is always displayed in the same format and each of the details (separated by a space) are detailed in the example below. Note if in any of the boxes you see NO RUN, this means there is no applicable form to display.

79 DnRo Ire 8k MdnHdl
22f SFT F/20 66/1 10-6
Days Since Run -The first item is always a number (in the above example 79) and relates to the number of days since the horse had this run.
Track -The second item is a shortened display of the race track (in the above example DnRo meaning Down Royal) Go here for a full list of tracks.
Class of Race -Possible values are G1/G2/G3 (group or grade race), Lst (Listed Race), C1-C7 (UK race classes) or Ire (non major Irish race).
Prize Money -The amount in pounds sterling awarded to the winner, rounded to nearest thousand (in the example 8k means £8,000).
Race Type -The type of race. In the example its a Maiden Hurdle. Others include Handicap (Hcp), Claimer (Clm), Chs (Chase) & Nursery (Nsy)
Distance -The distance of the race in furlongs, in the example 22f means 22 furlongs. Distances conversion chart here.
Going -The official going conditions in the race (in the example SFT means soft). Full list of going conditions here.
Position/Runners -The finishing position of the horse and the number of runners who competed. (In the example, Fell of 20). View abbreviated places here
Odds -The official starting price of the horse in that run displayed as a fraction (In example 66/1). Horse racing odds conversion chart here.
Weight -The weight carried by the horse after all deductions (in the example 10-6 means 10 stone 6 pounds). Click here for weight conversion list.

The final column in the table is Career and this shows the record of the horse in all races in its career. These are displayed as Runs-Wins-Places, for example 4-1-2 signifies a horse has ran four times, won once and placed twice.

Notify Me function for horses & races

The My Horses/My Races features allow members to save horses and/or races via the Notify Me function to a personal database and receive notification through the site whenever they are due to run in the UK or Ireland.

There are quite a variety of reasons why you may decide to begin monitoring a particular horse or race. It could be you have watched and feel the horse is likely to improve or winners will come from the race, perhaps you have read positive comments attributed to the horses trainer or maybe its just simply because you like following the horse in all its races.

Saving Horses/Races and Limits

When you have successfully accessed the horse/race individual form record in the top right hand corner you will see a selection of options. One of these is 'Notify Me', which is the option to save and follow - you have the option to add a text comment, this can be particularly useful if you have several saved horses or races at a time. The number of horses/races you can save is defined by the type of account you have.

Managing My Horses/Races

Here you can view all the vital information on your collection of saved horses/races. Data includes.

  • Monitored Number Confirmation - The number of horses/races you are monitoring.
  • Horses Running Today - A list of all your horses/races and the races they are entered in today.
  • Horse/Race Name - Saved Number and confirmation of the saved criteria
  • Manage Option - A MANAGE button, which if clicked lets you amend the saved record.
  • Date Saved - The date you initially saved the record
  • Runs Since Date Saved
  • - Brief details of all runs after the date you saved.

Subsequent form of previous races

When looking at any completed race in horse form study, one key factor to consider is how the competitors have since performed. Obviously if a horse finished first in a race where the second, third and fourth all won their next race it may well be a further look - this is sometimes decribed as having 'franked the form'. Similarly if all horses have since ran and lost miserably it could be the form is not as valuable as perhaps it appears - you may often hear this in the context of a race not working out well.

As part of the horse racing software package there is a form follower tool and hot/cold races feature which can easily provide these answers immediately.

Head to head & collateral form

As it sounds head to head form is when two horses who are down to race against each other in todays race cards have also competed against each other in the past. The outcomes of these previous contests can provide clues as to how they may get on against each other today.

A further extension to head to head is when you introduce a third party into the equation. This is called collateral form and is when you use a third horse to compare two runners. A demonstration of this would be if horse1 and horse2 have never met but both have competed against horse3 who despite not being involved today does provide an indication of how horse1 and horse2 may fare against one another.

Basic logic and wishful thinking leads you to believe this form will be upheld however there are many considerations to bear in mind such as the race conditions, weight carried and general fitness.

At HorseRaceBase each race every day has an option to show all head to head form in a simple presentation detailed below. Additionally our facilities include a collateral form tool, where you can call any two horses of your choice and be presented with all collateral form as well as head to head. Again the help section for this tool is below

Head to head analysis help

Head To Head Analysis Display (horse by horse)

The horse by horse presentation shows the number of head to heads each horse in the race has had and how many of those occasions they were successful. It breaks this down into three sections. All time, over the last year and in the last 90 days. The simple Runs/Wins format clearly indicates this information. It is important to be aware if two horses drew (a dead heat) it counts as neither winning.

All head to heads

This display does exactly as it says on the tin! Listing all of the head to heads which are being used to form the data in the above table. The number of days since that race was run are shown to the left (this is a clickable link which will open up the race record, hover over to see the race name) and in the right hand column are the two horses who competed against each other. Sometimes a summary is enough but of course there are other factors to take into account such as the weights they carried on the day etc, clicking the race link is the best option whenever we want to analyse further.

Collateral form tool help

To learn what collateral form is see the above section. Designed to be as simple as possible to use despite the complexity of the query, the collateral form tool has three simple stages allowing you to query any two horses and be shown the head to head and collateral form relating to them.

Step 1 - Select method for choosing horses

Commonly, the two horses you wish to query will be facing each other in a race today, if so complete the first option by selecting the race from the dropdown and pressing Select. Alternatively you can simply enter the names of any two horses of your choice using option B and then press Proceed. This is straightforward but for example you could enter Denman as horse 1 and Kauto Star as horse 2 if you wished to compare the two great rivals.

Step 2 - Choose your horses

Selecting the horses you want to compare is the next stage, all horses matching the criteria you specified in step 1 are listed for your selection. To choose just click to the left hand side of each appropriate horse and then press Proceed. If you are having trouble identifying your horse its likely you have mis-spelled its name - you can restart the tool at any time by pressing the link on collateral form tool at the top.

Step 3 - Results of your query

The final stage - the form you are looking for. Confirmation will be shown of the two horses in the query and you will be displayed any head to head form (left hand panel) or collateral form (right hand panel). For each appropriate piece of form you will be shown the finishing place and weight carried for each horse in that form-line race each day. You can click the date of the race to open and view full details.

Hot/cold races feature

Video overview of Hot/Cold Races here. This is a tool I designed to assist you when searching for races producing good or bad form. Previously trying to identify the races going on to produce form was extremely time consuming but using Hot/Cold Races we can instantly check in mass and therefore recognise where winners and placed form is coming from or which races are working out extremely badly. This facility checks either the next or the next two subsequent runs of every horse in races matching your specifications. Beyond the second race, it is considered less and less relevant.

Operating Hot/Cold Races

When you access Hot/Cold Races, you will be presented with a settings form, which requires completion dependent on what you are looking for. Setting the form should be easy as long as you know what your after! Scroll through each of the options and use the dropdowns to indicate your preference. The first dropdown dictates if you are looking for hot or cold races. What you choose here will obviously affect the output - if you choose Hot then details will be ordered by most wins, most places, least runs. Choosing Cold would order by least wins, least places, most runs.

The Today dropdown is all important, it lets you filter so that only races which have a qualifying runner in the current day's races are included in the database search. Setting this to Yes will change the presentation layout and show the horse running today qualifying from the 'hot race' and where it finished in the race in relation to the number of runners.

The Next Run dropdown allows you to specify whether you wish to query only the next run of each horse or the next two.

The 'Min Place' dropdown can be used in conjunction with the Today?? option and will only be used in the event of 'Yes' being applied to the Today dropdown (as described above). 'Min Place' means you can state you are only looking for horses who finished a certain position or higher in the race.

The rest of the dropdowns are simple enough and allow you to categorise which type of 'hot/cold race' you are looking for.

Hot/Cold Races Display

If you set the Today?? dropdown as NO, you are looking through all races meeting your criteria and these may or may not have a qualifier today - in this case you will be presented with the actual race and some details pertaining to it (Date, Track, Race Name and the number of subsequent runs, wins and places from the race). If you set the Today?? dropdown as YES, your result will return only horses with a run today. Listed will be the race today, the horse, the race which has produced the hot/cold form and where the horse finished in that race. Also you will see the statistics in terms of subsequent runs, wins and places from the race.


Below are 3 typical examples of what you may be searching for and how to fill the dropdowns accordingly (in each example you need only change the dropdowns listed - everything else can be left as it is).

Look for 'Hottest' maidens on the All Weather in the last year - Set 'Race Date' - Within last 365 days, 'Race Category' - All Weather, 'Beg-Mdn-Nov-Nrs' - Maidens

Look for horses running today who finished in top 3 of a 'Cold' handicap, ran in last 60 days - Set 'Hot/Cold' - COLD, 'Today??' - YES, 'Min Place' - 3, 'Hcap/Non' - Handicaps

Look for the 'Hottest' NH Flat (bumper) races of the past 6 months - Set 'Race Date' - Within last 180 days, 'NH Race Types' - NH Flat


Some important things to remember. Firstly and most importantly, even if you find a hot or cold race with a horse running today, there are obviously no guarantees as to the future outcome - thats life unfortunately and nothing in this game is easy! Secondly, you may sometimes be discouraged to realise there are no particularly hot or cold races, again that is the nature of the sport - patience is a virtue! Finally, be very careful to look closely at a race and where the runner you are interested in finished as it may be the case you find a race thats produced 10 winners, but if your horse finished tailed off behind all of them, it would be foolish to consider him as a wise bet on this evidence alone.

Form Follow

The Form Follow facility allows you to view how the race has worked out.

  • Navigate to the race result you wish to check the form for. The easiest way to do so is via the Results section.
  • Click the 'Form Follow' button in the top right hand options box
  • A breakdown of each horse and details of its record in the next 365 days is shown. Additionally a summary of the quality of races for the combined runs of all horses is shown.
  • The breakdowns show the number of runs, wins and placings and how many points you would have gained/lost had you backed all runs. Profit/Loss is calculated by deducting 1 point for each losing run and adding on relevant points for each winning run.
  • At the bottom of the horse breakdown section, subtotals are shown for each of the columns
  • If you wish to change the number of days to follow the race, there is a dropdown within the Options box to do so

Run Query

You will find Run Query buttons in several places relating to individual horses, stallions, jockeys and trainers, pressing this button will transfer the record you are using into the System Builder and allow you to break it down by hundreds of horse racing tests or use any of the capabalities of the builder with this data already preset.

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