What do letters mean in form figures?

What do letters mean in form figures? On a racecard, the form figures or, in other words, the string of numbers and letters to the left of each horse’s name, provide a ‘snapshot’ of its performance in recent races. Read from left to right, or least to most recent, the numbers 0-9 denote the horse’s finishing positions, if any, with ‘0’ representing a finishing position of tenth or higher.

Of course, not all horses finish all the races in which they participate, so form figures may contain letters, which, for the most part, indicate why a horse failed to finish. Alphabetically, ‘B’ stands for ‘Brought down’, ‘C’ stands for ‘Carried out’, meaning that the horse strayed from the designated course, or missed an obstacle, as the result of being hampered by a rival, and ‘F’ stands for ‘Fell’. ‘L’ stands for ‘Left at start’, meaning that the horse came under starter’s orders, but took no part, while ‘O’ stands for ‘ran Out’. The remaining letters, ‘P’ for ‘Pulled up’, ‘R’ for ‘Refused’, ‘S’ for ‘Slipped up’ and ‘U’ for ‘Unseated rider’, require no further explanation.

Two other letters, with a slightly different connotation, which may appear in form figures are ‘D’ and ‘V’; ‘D’ stands for ‘Disqualified’, while ‘V’ stands for ‘Void’, which indicates that, for whatever reason, the result of the race was stricken from the record.

What Are Horse Racing Silks?

What Are Horse Racing Silks? They help identify each horse in a race, the owner choosing their design such as shapes and colours. This consists of a top and cap. The cap may be a different colour and design from the top.

If an owner has more than one horse in a race they are often identified by a different colours cap such as white, red or blue.

The practice of using racing silks originated in England.

Horse racing silks are not a new idea and date back to the 12th century. However, many historians assign them around the date of 1515 when Henry VIII was king. In the 17th – 18th century is was more customary for jockeys to wear colourful silks.

You can design your own unique racing silks via a number of companies (such as Gibson Saddlers) however the guidelines for these are outlined by the British Racing Authority. This detail a set of 18 colours to choose from with a variety of shapes and designs. They can be made of crepe satin or pure silk.

Racing silks may be registered annually, or every 5, 10 or 20 years.

Some of the most famous horse racing silks have been sold.

It is reputed that the royal blue silks of Godolphin were originally in the ownership of Alan Bailey. Simon Crisford, now a horse trainer but originally racing manager for Godolphin, was said to have contacted Bailey to buy the silks for £500. However, following negotiations between the two Sheikh Mohammed wrote a cheque for £26,000. A lot of money in the 1980s, now seemingly a giveaway in these modern times.

What would your racing silks look like?


Do All Racehorses Wear Shoes?

Do All Racehorses Wear Shoes? The simple answer is no. However, you will find that most racehorses wear shoes to protect their hooves, especially to prevent the hoof wall from cracking or splitting. You may find that some horses are not fitted with shoes because they have problems with their hooves.

Horse racing shoes are generally made of aluminium – strong and light weight. In recent years, carbon shoes have become more popular as they almost half the weight of aluminium (65g per shoe). There is scientific evidence that carbon shoes are better for horses.

Many non-racing horses wear steel shoes, while some traditional draft horses have naturally strong hooves and do not need shoes.

Racehorses need their hooves trimmed or shod every couple of months by a farrier. Trimming and balancing can cost from £25 – £35 and shoeing £50 – £85.

You may have seen horses spread a plate or lose a shoe when racing. This is usually because they step on it with another hoof. This is more likely to happen in softer conditions because they are less coordinated. It is unlikely a horse will lose a shoe just by the muddy conditions.

Horse shoes are considered lucky.

Some considered the traditional blacksmith working with fire and steel as having special powers. While the eighth century Chaldeans, the cradle of civilisation, thought its crescent shape represented moon goddesses protecting against the curse of the evil eye. An upside down horseshoe is a common sight for those who are superstitious.

What is a Stakes Race?

What is a Stakes Race? Historically, the term ‘stakes race’ was used to describe a horse race in which the participants competed for prize money contributed, wholly or in part, by their owners. The official titles of the five British Classics – that is, the 1,000 Guineas, 2,000 Guineas, Derby, Oaks and St. Leger – all contain the word ‘stakes’, which provides a clue to the history of the term.

Nowadays, owners contribute to prize money through entry fees so, strictly speaking, every horse race could be described as a stakes race. However, ‘stakes race’ is commonly used, specifically, to describe a race for which eligibility is determined by official handicap ratings, as assigned by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), but weight carried is not.

For example, to be eligible to run in the highest level stakes races on the Flat, known as Group One races, horses aged three years and upwards must have achieved a minimum rating of 80. Nevertheless, Group One races are run off level weights, with allowances for age and gender; the same principle applies to Group Two, Group Three and Listed races. The BHA also employs an umbrella term, ‘conditions stakes race’ to describe any lower-level Flat race that is not a handicap, maiden, selling or claiming race.

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