THE RACE CARD
If you are new to horse racing the race card is a very daunting piece of paper. It is full of numbers and abbreviations that just seem to be thrown onto the paper. You see people sipping cups of coffee in the caf scouring these numbers and symbols for hours. What do they mean and how can you make sense of them? Although a simple guide this article is designed to teach you what each part of the race card means and how to interpret this information.
The first piece of information we come across the date of the race, the race track (Beverley) and the time of the race (14:15). Next is the sponsor of the race (Racing UK) and the type of race. There are many types of races such as handicaps, claiming stakes, chases etc some of these are where the horse just runs with no jumps, others are where the horse has to jump fences and others are where the horse has to jump fences and water. All these factors come into play when selecting a horse. Then it is the prize fund for the race, the restrictions on the race, in this case the horse must be 3 years old only to be applicable to run in this race and the class of the race (class 5).
Below this is then the number of horses that will run in the race and the going. The going is merely the condition of the race track ranging from soft to good to firm or standard if it is an all weather track.
We then go onto the actual race card and the first number that we come across is the saddle number. In flat races there is also a number indicating the draw. This tells us where the horse is going to be lined up at the start of the race. In most situations gate 1 is on the inside so nearest the barrier and the largest gate number, in this case 9, is furthest away from the inside. The horse in the outside gate i.e. 9 is normally furthest away from the first turn so therefore has a longer distance to travel making it more difficult to get to the front of the race.
The colored tops indicate the colors that the jockey will be wearing during the race. These relate back to the stable in which the horse comes from.
We then have the form of the horse. Each of the numbers indicates what position the horse came in the previous races. If we take Coalite as an example we can see that in the last 6 races the horse has finished 053600. Where we can see a 0 this means that the horse finished 10th place or lower. If there is a more detailed breakdown of the previous races you may see an F, UR or PU. Basically these mean F = Fell, UR = unseated rider and PU = the horse was pulled up. Occasionally you will a – sign. This means that the horse has not run for a season in this country.
The next column shows the name of the horse, where the horse is from and the number of days since the horse last raced. After the number of days since the last race you may see a variety of letter such as C, D, CD & BF. These indicate if the horse has previously won at this course (C), previously won at this distance (D) or both CD which means a race the same as this one was one by this horse. If there is a BF next to the horses name this indicates that the horse was a beaten favorite in its last race.
The next 2 columns indicate the age of the horse and the weight carried (stones & pounds). The weights of each horse are different as they get imposed with different weights dependant upon their last races. The additional weight carried by the horses affects different races in different ways.
In the last two columns we have the trainer of the horse and the jockey that will be riding the horse in the race.
Already you have a lot of information and it can start to get confusing if you don’t know what it all means, can’t it? Well, read on
What To Look For
Choosing what is important in selecting a winner is open to opinion, but there are some basic rules you can follow.
Clearly, the horses with the better form have a greater chance of continuing that form in this race. It does not always happen this way as the going of the track and the weight of the horse may have been favorable in the previous races.
Horses which have not run for a long time clearly lack recent race experience, but you need to keep two things in mind. Firstly, the horse may have been running overseas (especially those marked with Ireland, France or some other country after their name) so although it shows the horse has not run for 120 days that is only in this country. Secondly, although the horse has not run recently, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been training hard in the stables. However, recent experience is always a good sign, especially if the horse did well in its last one or two outings. What you see on the form listing is the last 6 appearances for that horse.
In addition if the race is a Chase or National Hunt or any other race, then ideally you want to see some experience of that kind of race and not just a lot of NH flat races or All Weather Flat races (although, at the end of a day, a win is a win). This information can only be found by accessing the internet.
Finally, the course and distance guides tell you a lot about the horse and its chances of winning. Look for re-assurance that the horse has experience at this distance and course. It isn’t the be-all and end-all, but if a horse is already looking better than the others in the race and it is the only one with decent course and distance experience, it should make you feel a bit more comfortable.
This article was written by www.horseracingtoday.co.uk. We supply daily tips to people who are seeking to make consistent profits from horse racing betting. We GUARANTEE that our selections will produce at least ONE WINNER A DAY or offer the next period’s subscription FREE. Our services include win only, each-way/place, horse laying service and a unique service called Profit for the Day!. Please visit our site at www.horseracingtoday.co.uk
Author: David Pyatt
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