Cheltenham Festival 2017
  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4

How to Read Horse Racing Form

This section is not for the experience racegoer. One of the problems is that when selecting a horse to put your money on it is important to understand the code of the way newspapers and race cards show how a horse has performed in its recent races known as The Horses form.

The form of a horse is not the only thing that has to be taken account of but in the main it is what assists the bookmakers form their prices for each race. If this is something that will not interest you other methods that novice race goers use are;

The Latest 2014 Grand National Odds

  • The name of the horse
  • The jockey's colours
  • The jockey
  • How the horse looks (one of the best ways)

But if you would like to get a more enlightened perspective of a horse's chance here's a very simple overview to get you started on reading the Cheltenham form.

411-21-9 Best Mate Mrs Henrietta Knight 12-0 J Culloty

The example set out above shows the recent form of three time Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Best Mate as it appears on race cards or in the newspapers.

So reading from left to right;

The first three numbers 411 show where Best Mate finished in his races last year. This will tell you that he finished first in its last two races and fourth the time before that.

Next you will see -21, this indicates how Best Mate has finished in its two runs so far this year. Interpreting this information you can see that Best Mate needs its first run to get fit and does very well after that.

Next -9 This simply shows the Number that Best Mate will carry in the race. This will appear on the saddle and will be visible all the time.

Next Best Mate, simply the name of the horse.

Next Mrs Henrietta Knight, this is the trainer of the horse.

Next 12-0, this is the weight that Best mate will have to carry the race. You should look at your selections weight against that of the competition as this will tell you if your selection has to carry more weight, equal or less weight. Quite simply the more weight your horse has to carry can in one sense suggest he is the best horse but on the other hand it will make it more difficult for this horse to win.

Finally Jim Culloty, this is the jockey for this horse in the race.

There is much more information that could help you but if you are a beginner taking this information will hopefully make you selection process a little easier and help you back a winner or two.

The Example we've shown is only an example and does not reflect the real form of the horse.

Stable Chat with Neil Mulholland
Neil Mulholland

Read the thoughts and views from Neil Mulholland on a weekly basis this season.

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Cheltenham Festival Odds

We now have the latest bookmakers betting odds for the main Cheltenham Festival Races.

These odds are updated regularily to ensure that you in touch with all the market moves in the build up to the festival.

Cheltenham Festival - Betting Tips

Tom LeeFollowing on from last year, we are delighted to announce that we are featuring horse racing tips from Channel Four Racing presenter, Tom Lee.

Tom appears on Channel 4's Morning Line & covers live Racing in the afternoon as well fronting RTE's Racing coverage in Ireland, his Cheltenham Festival Tips and previews of each day's Racing will be available during the Festival and supported with opinions and views from our Racing writers.

View Tom's Tips

Cheltenham Festival Racing

The four days of the Cheltenham Festival play host to a number of exceptional races: