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Last Updated: Mar 01, 2016 10:03AM CET
The form is the horse’s race record, usually marked by figures and/or letters next or under the name on the repsective race card. The figures are read backwards from right to left as the horses latest run is denoted by the figure closest to the name on the race card. 

There are a lot of different racecard abbreviations. They all provide vital information for bettors to consider, when making wagers. Here is a list of abbreviations with explanations. 

First, let's take a look at references to the going. We use the term ‘going’ when talking about the conditions underfoot. Some horses prefer fast ground (hard surfaces), while others will be more competitive on softer turf.

  • gd - good going - perfect for racing
  • g/f - good to firm - slightly harder surface
  • fm - firm - hard racing ground
  • g/s - good to soft - slightly muddier
  • sft - soft going - very muddy surface
  • hvy - heavy going - extremely muddy surface
  • ap - all weather - polytrack - artificial surface
  • af - all weather - fibresand - another artificial surface

That covers all of the surface conditions. Now let's look at descriptions of what happened to horses in previous races. A single-digit number just shows the horses finishing position (1 being first place).

  • BD - Brought Down - Contact with another horse caused the fall.
  • DNF - Did Not Finish - unable to complete the race
  • F - Fell - horse falls when jumping
  • HR - Hit Rails - an accident with the safety railings
  • N/R - Non-runner - was withdrawn from the race
  • P or PU - Pulled Up - jockey stopped the horse during the race
  • R - Refused - horse stopped in front of a fence
  • RTR - Refused To Race - horse would not start the race
  • U or UR - Unseated Rider - parted company with rider, but did not fall
  • C - course winner - has won on this racecourse
  • D - distance winner - has won over a race of the same length
  • BF - beaten favourite - beaten when the starting price favourite

The following abbreviations pertain to the headgear worn by the horse. Notice that capital and lower case letters do not always mean the same thing. The introduction of new headgear can bring an instant change to how a horse will perform on the track. Don’t forget that, when running in a pack, racehorses are in a social situation with each other. Some kind find this intimidating, while others may act aggressively. This is why headgear may be used to limit the horse’s field of vision.

B = blinkers first time

b = blinkers, worn before

V = visor first time

v = visor, worn before

H = hood first time

h = hood, worn before

C = eye cover first time

c = eye cover, worn before

E = eye hood first time

e = eye hood, worn before

T = tongue strap first time

t = tongue strap, worn before

ex = penalty for recent win

oh = out of the handicap

All of these abbreviations may see quite daunting to learn, if you are new to racing. You will soon pick them all up and they will help you to understand what is happening in the race. This will enable you to make smarter betting decisions, so they are definitely worth learning.

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