How to read a racebook

If you’re having no luck picking winners with your favourite jockey colours or by the prettiest horses, the racebook should be your next port of call.


The racebook lists all races happening across the country (and sometimes internationally) on a raceday. The top of each page will tell you what racecourse the race is being run at and races are listed in the book in order of timing.


Our resident tipsters offer up their favourite choices for each race at the top of the page and this is always a good place to start if you can’t decipher anything else.

Next up, look for the numbers in bold font at the bottom left below each horse’s details. By reading them right to left, you will be able to tell how the horse has placed in its last five races:


  • A 0 means the horse was placed further back than 9th

  • An X means the horse hasn’t raced for a period of at least three months

  • An F means the horse fell in that race

  • A 1 means the horse won!


Then, read the expert comments below each horse’s details, they’ll offer some insight into the horse’s recent form. 


Where the horse is drawn for the race start will also help its chances. Look for the number to the right of the horse’s name in brackets, this is the horse’s barrier/starting gate position, with number 1 being the spot closest to the inside rail. Lower numbers tend to be favoured more as the horse technically has less distance to run.


You might want to try picking your horse based on the jockey. Where do you find who that is? On the right-hand side of each horse’s form is the name of who will be riding it. If all else fails, stick with your favourite jockey colours or the prettiest horse and hope lady luck is on your side.


Racebooks can be purchased  from the Raceday Office (Ground Floor, Ascot Stand) however, with the exception of general admission and Ascot Stand tickets, are included in all other ticketing options.


© 2020 Ellerslie

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