May 18, 2024


Obey Your Travel

Horse Racing Form Guides Tools of the Trade

Using form guides to back winners at the horse races.

It is important to use a form guide and to do your homework when backing race horses. Using the information available in the daily newspapers is all fine but information on each horse’s recent race record is not available and lack of knowledge can cost you plenty at the races. One good example of this is at the 2019 Royal Ascot meeting when the going was soft on all five days of the meeting. I had sorted some likely candidates out but once I became aware of the fact that they had never won in soft going previously, I decided not to back them which saved me some money as they did not live up to their formline.

Class is also an important factor which does not show up in your daily newspaper. It is all very well backing a horse with an impressive form line but what was the class of those races? There can be a huge difference between a listed race and a group 1 race as far as ability goes. A 3rd or 4th place in a group 1 race can be a more reliable form guide than a win against lower rated opponents.It is the same with a horse competing in cheap races out in the country. Often such horses will get a rude awakening when lining up against city competition for the first time.

If you are not sure about the class then simply check the stake money of the last race and then compare it with today’s race. If the horse is racing for a higher stake today then it is more than likely racing against an easier class.

Other information such as course and distance statistics are handy although the daily newspapers indicate whether a horse has won on the course and distance. However in the stats of the form guides such as the Racing Post paper in the UK or the Best Bets in New Zealand you will quickly find information as to how many times the horse has started on the course. Often you will find one that has had just one start on the course for one win.

Then there is weight; it is important to know if a horse is carrying more or less weight than at its last run; in fact, a horse being ridden by a claiming apprentice can have an edge over one who is carrying its carded weight.