Reading the Racecard

The racecard contains all the information you will need for a day at the races. It is a guide to all the races on the programme and contains information regarding the horses, owners, trainers and jockeys at the meeting. Racecards are on sale in the racecourse enclosures and can be purchased for around €3.

How do I read the race information?

Horse racing is full of statistics and information. This can appear overwhelming but it's what makes the sport so compelling for so many. Once the racegoer knows what to look for, the racecard gives you all the key information on the runners and riders as well as some quick and simple clues to help pick a winner. All the necessary information is on the race card, including the times of each race and the distance the races are run over.

It lists all the runners and riders and will also highlight the colours worn by the jockeys and their saddlecloth numbers. Each owner has their own colours registered with Horse Racing Ireland. When two or more jockeys are riding for the same owners, their caps will have different markings to allow for easy identification.  Some useful abbreviations relating to the sex of the horse that you will find on the race card are; C= Colt, H=Horse, G=Gelding, F= Filly and M= Mare.  

What is the form?

Form is simply a history of a horse's previous performances. A series of numbers and letters appears beside each horse's name depicting what position a horse has finished in its previous races. Useful abbreviations relating to the results of previous races are: D = disqualified, 0 = not in the first nine, R = refused, U = the rider was unseated, P = pulled up and F = Fell. 

Other information that appears alongside a horse's name includes the stalls allocation for that horse. For Flat races only, the stall position is drawn by random computer selection, carried out by Horse Racing Ireland one day before the race.

What does C&D mean?

As well as numbers showing the horses’ most recent finishing positions, look out for letters such and C and D next to its name. C means they have won previously at the course and D means they have previously won over the same distance.