Wednesday, December 12, 2018

A Guide To Reading Form

Reading Form

By The UK Horse Racing Tipster

You will usually see on sites like , the or even my own racecards a column next to each runner in the race with their recent form which could look like any of these:






Can you guess just from looking at those four which horse has the best and the worst form?

Well obviously the one with 111-11 is the best as the 1's denote that the horse came first in its last 5 races. A good horse indeed.

As for the worst well that depends on whether you feel finishing a race but near the back is better than being pulled up by the rider, falling at a fence, unseating the rider or refusing to run!

Obviously you would or should think twice about a horse with a lot of F (Fell) in their form, especially recent form. If they have fallen in their last race they may have a mental blockage about the next race, two F's FF in the form would be a horse to definitely swerve if betting. The same goes for U (Unseated Rider) or R (Refused to Run).

Reading form can be confusing for novices and if you are looking at a string of numbers, dashes and letters and wondering what they all mean then I have devised a little guide to help you figure it out.

Seasons and Years

A dash "-" between groups of letters and numbers denotes different years e.g 2011 and 2012.

A "/" separates seasons e.g flat and national hunt as some horses run in both.

The numbers denote the finishing position that the horse had in its last race. If it shows 1 then it won the race. However as you cannot tell between and 11 and two 1's then a form rating with two 1's means that horse didn't come 11th it won the last two races. The numbers will only go as high as 9 and if the horse finished outside the top 9 then a 0 will be shown instead.

Then there is the mixture of letters that you will see on some horses and you should be wary of horses with lots of these as they could be very problematic as you will see. Remember you are aiming for a nice Frankel like 111-111!

NR or N/R -  Non-runner:

This is usually when a horse suited to certain ground is pulled out at the last-minute due to changes in the weather. Some horses love fast hard surfaces whereas others love the mud. Boggy heavy ground will suit slower horses who can run for miles whereas sprinters on the flat will love fast, good to firm going. Some horses cannot run on both heavy and good going but they are a rarity, however if you find a horse that performs on any type of ground put it in your note-book!

F: The horse fell, usually jumping over an obstaacle on a steeplechase or hurdle course. Flat horses can also fall now and then but this isn't often and it's jumpers who will usually have a few F's dotted amongst their form rating. ( on a side note did you know that on Grand National Day you will be lucky to get half of the starting runners to finish the race! )

P or PU: Pulled Up by the jockey: usually due to the jockey feeling that the horse cannot continue the race for some reason, stamina, pain etc.  A famous recent case was that of Steeplechase Champion Sprinter Sacre who whilst racing on the 27th Dec 2013 at Kempton was pulled up when jockey Barry Geraghty felt that something just wasn't right with the 2/7 favourite. He was later found to have an irregular heart beat which could have caused major issues if the horse had carried on running.

BD: Brought Down. Usually by a horse falling in front of it and causing chaos with those behind it.

CO: Carried Out, when a horse is taken out of the running by another runner.

DNF: Did not finish the race. This could be for any reason but in many results pages they use it to show that the whole meeting or race was abandoned which isn't really in the spirit of the wording.

HR: Hit the Rails.  A horse could hit the rails and get injured or just blocked from making a run.

RO: Ran Out.  The horse has missed a jump or the jockey has taken the wrong turn.

R: Refused to jump or act on riders instructions causing the horse to be disqualified.

RTR: Refused to start the race. For races with stalls this might mean the horse refused to enter the stall, even with the help of a few pushing hands or without stalls it means they just refused to run when the rest of the runners left the start. A famous horse of our times is Mad Moose who seems to refuse to run more often than not. His current form is /R3042RR-6P

SU: Slipped Up, the horse has slipped up and unseated his rider.

U or UR: Unseated Rider, this usually happens after a jump even when the horse doesn't actually fall or where the horse has hit the side rope and forced the jockey off.

Some other interesting short hand that you may see when delving into the form guide a little deeper.

Some form sites will use a capital letter for first time use of head gear, whilst sites like will use a lowercase letter for the headgear and put a 1 next to it if it's their first time using it e.g v = wearing a visor, v1 = wearing a visor for the 1st time.

Here are some more.

B: blinkers being worn the 1st time.

b: blinkers that have been worn before.

V: visor being worn the 1st time.

v: visor that has been worn before.

H: hood being worn the 1st time.

h: hood that has been worn before.

C: eye cover being worn the 1st time.

c: eye cover that has been worn before.

E: eye hood being worn 1st time.

e: eye hood that has been worn before.

T: tongue strap being worn the 1st time.

t: tongue strap that has been worn before.

Also an important note - If you look on you will often see the letters C or D or combined as CD in the horses form as if you look below. The C means they have won on the course before and the D means they have won over that distance. CD obviously means they have won over Course AND Distance.

You can see from this snippet from SportingLife that the first horse has won over this distance 6f, the second horse has won over this course and distance (Chelmsford City & 6f), and the last has won over the distance.

Favourite Win Bias

Favourite Win Bias By Course and Race Type

By The UK Horse Racing Tipster
You can find an updated version of these stats from 2022 here: Course Favourite Win Strike Rates.
From my own large database of race history, it is clear that certain courses have a better favourite bias than others.
By that, I mean that a favourite runner has a higher probability of winning at certain courses than others.
Why this is can be down to many reasons however it is useful to know if you are trying to build your own systems or use my own, especially when picking favourites to LAY or BACK in the win markets on the betting exchanges.
The page is now broken down into National Hunt racing and Flat racing as they each have their own statistics.

National Hunt Courses / Racing

CourseWin %Country
Newton Abbot39.21%UK
Fontwell Park37.66%UK
Kempton Park37.21%UK
Stratford Upon Avon37.07%UK
Gowran Park37.05%IRE
Ffos Las36.79%UK
Market Rasen36.21%UK
Lingfield Park35.75%UK
Haydock Park32.23%UK
Sandown Park31.5%UK
Down Royal29.58%IRE
Catterick Bridge27.48%UK

Flat Courses / Racing

CourseWin %Country
Lingfield Park37.41%UK
Haydock Park36.32%UK
Down Royal35.77%IRE
Sandown Park35.16%UK
Kempton Park34.1%UK
Hamilton Park33.97%UK
Catterick Bridge32.33%UK
Ffos Las32.19%UK
Epsom Downs31.47%UK
Gowran Park27.45%IRE

From The Stables – Keeps on Winning

From The Stables - Keeps on Winning

From The Stables another racing site I am partner in which is why you get so good promo codes and cheap membership when you join this site and From The Stables at the same time.
Do you know From The Stables has been running over 57 years now and has made thousands of people tens of thousands of pounds.
I remember coming third in the first Chelenham tipster competition we held that year. I wasn't allowed any prize money as it was deemed dodgy due to me being a stake owner despite me not running it day to day.
However I did come 1st in the Aintree Festival compeition a few years later with the biggest score over a 3 day tipster competition by getting Many Clouds to win the Grand National!
From The Stables are positively flying along this month with their updated Facebook page with our NAPS and NBs they are heading for a 31st winning month from the last 32.
We don't just have 20 top National Hunt and Flat trainers who give their reviews on each runner that day but we provide a weekly blog from top jockey Noel Fehily and have a live feed from a ground each day from Ken Pitterson who blogs from the parade ring. We also have a chat room for you to discuss tips with other people and provide NAPS and Next Best bets each day.
Thanks for all the kind emails. We will keep trying to pick winners and keep each month very profitable!
Remember if you want to get multiple extra days of free trial then use my promocode UKHORSERACINGTIPSTER.

From The Stables

A LAY Staking Plan

Using the Diminishing Liability Lay Staking Plan

By The UK Horse Racing Tipster

As we know staking plans are important and when we are laying horses we don’t want to lose our whole bank in one day. Therefore a good plan is advisable – this is where the Diminishing Liability Lay Staking Plan comes in.

Lets say you are starting off with a bank of at least 200 points.

As Betfair’s minimum price for a bet is £2.00 this would mean £400 (£2.00 * 200 = £400) or if you were doing £10 a point it would be £10 * 200 = £2,000.

Lets stick with £10 a point as apart from the fact that you shouldn’t leave a LAY bet to take the SP in case it drifts to a huge price. If you put a LAY bet on the exchange which isn’t matched and then leave it to take the SP then Betfair won’t pay out on SP LAY bets that have a liability less than £10.

For lay bets under 4.00 – 3/1 you would risk a full point e.g £10.00.

Remember the reason the odds are so low is there is more chance of the horse winning (3/1 = 1 out of 3 races) but we are using the Brainiacs huge computer brain to work out advantageous angles where these odds are negated even futher such as jockeys who perform worse on certain tracks, over certain distances, ground not suiting the horse and so on.

So if the horse wins the race you lose 1 point or to calculate the liability you would multiply the stake by the price minus one e.g £10 * (4.00 - 1) = £30.00.

If the horse loses the race then you win your bet of £10.00.
However with the Diminishing Liability Lay Staking Plan the idea is that as the liability grows the amount of stake put on the horse shrinks so that when the big priced winner does come in you don't lose a fortune. From my own stats it seems that around 2 horses a day with a back price of 25/1 or more win a race in UK, Irish and French racing.
So if you are high rolling be warned!
One big winner you laid at a high price without the right staking plan could wipe the majority of your bank out.
The choice of the diminishing stake is yours but an example would be for 1 point = £10 a diminishing liability staking plan on the following priced horses would look like this.
PointsBet AmountOddsWinLose

As you can see the maximum liability is reached at £4 on a 20.00 - 19/1 bet with a liability of £72 before coming down again as the stakes drop to the minimum £2 bet.
Depending on your starting bank you may want to play around with the figures yourself to get a comfortable risk factor as there is nothing worse than worrying that you are going to lose too much.
If you have a starting bank of £400 then losing £70 in one day is a lot but a bank of £2,000 it isn't especially once you factor in all the winning bets you will get e.g if you laid all the horses in a single race under the odds of 20/1 or 10/1. Even if you lose on one horse winning the other losers might be enough to give you a profit.
Also remember that I would always suggest using a BOT of some kind if you cannot do it manually so that if you match a lay bet at any point you put on a winning bet a few ticks higher and leave it inplay.
This is so that even if your lay bet costs you £70 the win bet makes up for it e.g £10 at 16.00 (one point above the 15.00 that lost you £70) gives you £160 plus your £10 stake backEnough to pay the £70 and still be £90 in profit.
There are many staking plans out there and on my tip results page I am using a basic even £2 per bet (lay, win, place or accumulator) to work out the potential profit or loss.
I am also taking the final LAY SP that my own BOT records before the race and not trying to calculate the best possible price or the availability of trading etc.
Therefore when you see this sentence
"If you had placed a Betfair minimum bet of £2.00 on each bet on EVERY system (Lays, Place Doubles, Wins etc) then you would have lost -£32."
It is only accurate in the sense that:
a) it placed a £2 bet on every single runner whether you were following that system or not e.g a LAY bet when you are just doing PLACE DOUBLES.
b) it took the final LAY SP.
c) it didn't have an upper price limit e.g ignoring bets above 20/1 or 40/1 etc and if the horse was recorded at 150/1 and won the race then it would cause a massive loss when in reality you wouldn't be placing bets on horses with that price.
Therefore be selective in your systems and make sure you find a staking plan that doesn't run your bank out quickly like the diminishing lay staking plan.
I would recommend at least a starting bank of 200 points whether that equals £400 or £4,000, the worth of a point is up to you but be prepared for losing runs and when you make a profit ensure you keep a percentage of it and spend it otherwise there is no point in gambling for investment at all.

Managing Risk

Managing Risk – The key to a winning betting system

By The UK Horse Racing Tipster #

I constantly get asked for free racing tips.

“I’m going racing this weekend, I want 5 winners and nothing else”, is the usual attitude. No ifs or buts, just give me some winners, and preferably the whole card!

However if there was one tip I would always give someone going racing, it would be to use the bookmakers money to bet with not your own! 

If you are going betting for the day then I would sign up to online betting sites beforehand and place any bets before going to the track.


Well multiple reasons: The 3G / 4G phone signal is usually very poor at a racetrack due to all the people and bookies using it. Therefore if you don’t use an online bookies beforehand you won’t be able to at the course.

Instead you will spend your time queuing up in massive crowds to place bets and possibly collect a wad of fake twenties (depending on where you go!).

Instead of enjoying the racing and not having to worry about moving from your prime viewing spot you will be constantly hustled and bustled.

You won’t get any special offers at the track. Why they don’t do this I don’t know as the online bookies are murdering them.

Join multiple online betting sites and make use of their special offers for new members and leave.

Sites will also have special offers for big events like the Grand National or the Derby. Some sites pay out 6 or 7 places on the National whilst your local Bookmakers shop will only pay 4. Thereofe look around and make use of the best offers available. Always try to use their money to bet with not your own! 

You can spend your day enjoying your racing, knowing the bets have been placed before hand and probably at a better price than on course.

Write the tips down on a bit of paper and take them with you in-case you forget!

However betting online means you get free bets, refunds and best odds deals that on-course bookmakers just won’t offer you.

However this article isn’t about how you should bet when you go out it’s aimed at those of you who have either written your own betting BOT (using Betfair or BETDAQ’s API) or those of you who want to know how to make money from betting.

I spent 3 years writing my own AutoBOT and it works, however even with over 515 systems at this point in time, it is not the actual system’s that make the money but something else - risk management.

If you cannot manage your own money then your probably in trouble anyway. Yet I admit to the world, I am useless with budgeting, saving and not getting into debt. I’m a bloke for God’s sake, what do you expect me to do when I am down the pub and it’s a choice between being sensible, saving my money and having a quiet night in or having another five pints?

This is why I wrote my AutoBOT. I wanted a computer system with a bookies brain and some artificial intelligence to make the bets for me. This was so I only had to look at my phone now and then to see how much I was betting and get a nightly email that told me my profit/loss for the day.

I wanted to take my sticky, messy fingers out of all betting decisions and leave it up to my computer.

It knows the statistics of every course, the chances that a favourite will win at Ascot or York and the types of races, jockeys, trainers and horses that have a higher win % than the others. Which yards and trainers are in form and which jockeys and trainers are out of form.

It all matters but it’s all a lot of information that your brain may not be able to handle at once. So whilst I cannot divulge 3 years worth of programming skills in one little article I can give you some key tips. 

These are the key rules that have insured I have made money and keep making money. 

If you want to code these into your own API / Betting BOT then do so, if not you can still do it by hand. Good risk management is the key to keeping your money and paying the rent or risking it all on a buzz and possibly losing it because you got greedy.

Walk away when you are ahead and don't decide to have another bet just because you have money in your pocket. If you must bet again, take out your original stake AND some profit and ONLY bet with excess profit you have already made.

Never chase loses. If it's not your day and every bet seems to lose then stop and walk away. There is always another day to bet. Chasing bets just leads to losing more money so stop and hope that tomorrow will be a better day.

Plan for the whole day or even week if a festival is on. If you are doing accumulators don't just look at the days card for Cheltenham look at the whole week. You could place an accumulator on the first day and lose or you could pick a top horse or two from the best inform runners at a festival and make an accumulator that carries on over the week.

Why only go for WIN bets? Use the Betfair Exchange and use the PLACE markets to make money more safely. It may take a longer time but multi day place accumulators have led me to make a load of money and you can see examples of these on the UK HOT TIPS website.

If you want to go for a WIN accumulator then pick the best looking horse for the day and bet on it. Then take that money and place it on the next best looking horse the day after. If there isn't one that stands out leave it alone, there is no rule that says you must bet every day. Betting on the top looking runners day by day will lead to more money than just trying to form an accumulator for the day.

Take your profit out as soon as possible when doing multi day or same day accumulators. You don't have to use the betting slip to make an accumulator. Pick a horse and if it wins, take 80% of the winnings out for the next leg of the bet and keep 20% for yourself. This way the more legs that go on the more chance you will have reclaimed your initial stake and only risked the houses money. If you can remove your profit and carry on betting with winnings only then do so. This way you are not risking your own money but betting with the bookmakers cash only!

Good risk management covers all possible scenarios. It will help you during good AND bad times. Risk management is key when it comes to betting so get your head round it as it will save you more cash than you can possibly know!

By The UK Horse Racing Tipster

A Place Betting Betfair System

A Place Betting Betfair System

By The UK Horse Racing Tipster

This early evening I spent on Betfair and I thought I would try a new betting system out. Obviously this is only early days but I thought the results were quite good so I would share it with you.

The plan was to was to bet on every favourite either in the standard Place market or the extra place market on the Exchange.

Usually if there are 3 horses to place there will be a 4TBP (4 horses to be placed) market alongside it, and if there's a standard 4 to be placed then a 5TBP market. Sometimes you will find on big occasions like Royal Ascot, Cheltenham or the Grand National I have seen 10 to be placed markets!

Well with 40 runners in the Grand National it gives you a 1 in 4 chance of getting some money back, even if the odds are not that great.

I don't know if these statistics will surprise you or not but I will repeat them anyway. They come from my own huge database of racing results and prices from the Betfair Exchange.

Favourites win 33% of all races, odds on favourites 50% (roughly).

Taking an average over all UK/IRE courses which you can see here on my place favourite bias page, the chance of a favourite coming in the standard place spots ranges from 54.5% at Wolverhampton to 74.24% at Punchestown.

If you add an extra place spot to those stats I reckon the boundaries will jump another 15% to a range of 70% to 85%.

I will do some reporting when I can as this is all based off my own Betfair Exchange statistics and I am not going to pump n dump a phony system on people which is why I have put it in the free betting systems section of the site.

Tonight, the 10th of August 2016, the last favourite Mr Lando, to race in the 21:10 at Kempton Park came 3rd making it 14 favourites in a row to be placed in their races. This is of course using the prices on the exchange NOT the SP. There was one horse who had a better BSP than the SP favourite on the exchange so I counted him as he still won me money.

Now of course the odds are going to be much lower than the normal place market but when there were 5TBP markets you could get prices above evens e.g 2.18 which isn't that bad considering it's the horse with the best chance of winning the race and we regularly get win prices for horses like Minding to win at less than 1.20. So to get a favourite to just come in the top 5 horses at a price of 1.23 I think is good value for the risk you are taking.

Here are a few of the Betfair favourites and the markets and prices I won on tonight.

Cryptic - 2nd - 4 TBP @ 1.71
Hibiscus - 3rd - 3 TBP @ 1.23 (5 horse race)
Finelcity - 1st - 4 TBP @ 1.46
Cirin Toinne - 2nd - 4 TBP @ 2.18

Obviously I am going to look at the strike rate over a longer date range and filter it by going, course and the race type (Flat, AW, NH) to see what kind of risk/reward you would be taking putting much larger bets on. However getting 14 favourites in a row seems pretty good for making money and I want to know if tonight's results were out of the ordinary like Frankie Dettori's full card win at Ascot or a common occurrence. If so it could be quite a money spinner.

It's always good to have some solid systems in your armoury to keep your bank rising for that day when you decide to risk a few hundred quid on a Frankie Dettori runner and he chooses to go off as pacemaker with Ryan Moore on his shoulder just waiting to overtake him in the last 2 furlongs. Anyway enough about Goodwood!

Having a system in which you can be sure you will make a regular profit even if it's not a lot is always good to know, and when I add it to my tennis system and my football cashout system, which are all detailed in this category it could be a good way to boost profits.

Unfortunately I didn't even start betting until after 6pm and the first lot of favourites had won but I can tell you that from the bets I did place my betting bank rose by 22% from this system.

I am not going to tell you how much money I made or show you a fake photo-shopped Betfair balance sheet because I am not a conman trying to trick you into buying something off me.

I am just telling you that tonight by betting on the favourites in the place and extra place markets I increased my betting bank by 22%.

That could be tens, hundreds or thousands of pounds depending on your bank size.

Its obviously up to you if you want to try this system out for yourself and I've only done it for one night so far but I thought I would share it with you in case you want to investigate it yourself.

Good luck!

The UK Horse Racing Tipster

© 2016 The UK Horse Racing Tipster