Having a chat with my granddaughter, Olivia, the other day when her phone bleeped. She had received a text message from one of her friends. I asked her who and what was so important to interrupt our conversation (phones are so ignorant they just bleep and people immediately answer them, in a normal conversation when a third person wants to interrupt they would say ‘Excuse me’).
Anyway back to our interruption ‘Liv’ (she hates it when I call her Liv) said: “oh just a friend telling me something, you probably not be able to read it, granddad.”
Why not? I asked.
Okay, she texted: “jk m8 cu l8r” then Olivia laughed. “See what I mean?”
I said, oh why, she said: “Just kidding mate, see you later.”
The look on her face was a picture.
''Didn’t expect you to be able to read it, granddad.''
I’ve been reading form results in the weekly returns since the 1980s
I then read a race return for her. The race and horses are not important. The two horses dead-heated in second place:
''dht (1) s.i.s: towards rr:rdn o’r 2f out:r.o.wl up inner fnf:jst hld (2) led:hng lft o’r 1f out: kpt on u.p fnl f : hdd and jnd for 2nd last strds.''
What’s it all mean granddad? It was my turn to laugh!
There has never been so much form available to us punters as today. The racing papers/websites are full of it, almost to the point of being too much.
Then there’s my favourite - video results. If you really want to find those winners you just have to put the time in.
One of my great interests are the 2yo races. I mentioned earlier I started reading the weekly returns, in 1986. I started logging all 2yo runners. I used the index card method and using a shoe box to hold the cards and index dividers.
At the end of the season, I had 3 shoe boxes full of returns with the form (as above) for each runner, listing: Horses Name, Trainer, Meeting (course), Date and of course the Form. I did this for two seasons, too time consuming, and then started listing the same on a spreadsheet but not the form. I just made a comment instead. It has changed over the years as I have been more selective in what I’m looking for to give me an edge. I still list all the 2yo’s winners and use the results in my spreadsheet to track Sires, Trainers and Jockeys (see examples).
I shall be writing more on my interpretation of form reading in the future and explaining in more detail. See the charts, below.