What, exactly, is Timeform?

What, exactly, is Timeform?  Timeform, the company, is nowadays a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) Group which is, in turn, part of Flutter Entertainment plc. Based in Halifax, West Yorkshire, Timeform was founded as a publishing company by the late Phil Bull – once billed ‘racing’s most celebrated and successful punter’ – in 1948. Until December, 2020, when it closed the remaining elements of its mail order service, Timeform publications included the ‘Racehorses’ and ‘Chasers & Hurdlers’ annuals and the weekly ‘Black Book’. However, in recent years, Timeform has focussed on its digital customer base, so much so that those celebrated publications are now a thing of the past.

Part of Timeform, right from the start, was an innovative technique for analysing form by awarding performance figures, which translate into Timeform ratings, by means of which the calibre of one racehorse can easily be compared with another. Indeed, the company has evolved over the years to become an acclaimed provider of data, form and ratings to a broad range of customers, including print, broadcasting and Internet media. Printed Timeform race cards are no longer available to the racing public by mail order, but can be downloaded, in Portable Document Format (PDF), from the Timeform website or, under normal circumstances, purchased on the racecourse at major meetings.