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How to Read Racecards at Horse Races

I love horse racing and have been betting for years. Here's how to read a racecard for the beginner.

Racecards are used to convey information to prospective betters at horse races.

Racecards are used to convey information to prospective betters at horse races.

What Are racecards?

In horse racing, racecards are used to give information about the races and the particular horses running in them. They're often and traditionally shown in newspapers but are becoming more and more popular on the internet as betting websites display their own racecards.

What is actually shown on the racecards?

In regards to the races specifically, all racecards will feature:

  • Race name
  • Time of the race
  • Prize money for the winning horse
  • Distance of the course (in horse racing, distance is typically measured in furlongs and miles)
  • Going (the ground conditions)

In regards to the horses, racecards will feature:

  • Names of the horses competing
  • Saddle number of the horses
  • Forms of the horses (the positions the particular horse placed in previous races)
  • Trainer and jockey of the given horses

Below is an example of a basic racecard showing the horses, their trainers, and their jockeys.

An Example of a Basic Racecard

An Example of a Basic Racecard

The Racecard Explained

The form shows the placements the horses got in their previous races. Take the horse "Deerslayer," for example—six races ago, the horse made 8th place but placed 2nd in its last race.

There may also be a dash (-) or forward slash (/). The dash separates years and the slash separates seasons.

The number next to the horse's name is the number of days since the horse last raced. You may also see a "C", "D", "CD", "B" or "BF" next to the number.

  • C: This horse has won on this course before.
  • D: This horse has won over this distance before.
  • CD: This is a combination of the two above.
  • B: The horse is wearing blinkers (a piece of equipment worn by horses to prevent them from either seeing to the side, rear or both).
  • BF: This means this particular horse was the favourite choice for betters in its last race but was beaten by another horse.

Comments

Derby Deals from Jeffersonville, Indiana on October 02, 2012:

Love the hub. Information is key in all things and part of enjoying horse racing and betting on it is understanding what you are doing. :-)

Ladybird33 from Fabulous USA on August 21, 2011:

So unique and very interesting! I had no idea, thank you for sharing an educating us all!