Last updated

Type Subsidiary
IndustrySports data and content provider
Headquarters Halifax, West Yorkshire
Owner Flutter Entertainment
Website Timeform

Timeform is a sports data and content provider located in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England. Founded in 1948, it provides systematic information on form to punters and others involved in the horse racing industry. The company was purchased by the sports betting exchange Betfair in December 2006. Since 2 February 2016, it has been owned by Flutter Entertainment.



Portway Press Ltd was formed in 1948 by Phil Bull, who wanted to establish a mathematical link to a horse's performance, based on the time the horse recorded. At a time when such data was virtually unheard of, Bull started publishing a racing annual, which evolved into the "Racehorses Of.." series. The company was purchased for a reputed £15 million by the sports betting exchange Betfair in December 2006. [1]

Data system

According to Timeform, one of its ratings represents "the merit of the horse expressed in pounds and is arrived at by careful examination of its running against other horses using a scale of weight for distance beaten which ranges from around 3 lb a length at five furlongs and 2 lb a length at a mile and a quarter to 1 lb a length at two miles". [2]

Timeform ratings for three-year-olds and up on the Flat: [3]

Timeform states that the very poorest horses may be rated as low as 30, with the very best horses rated 130 and above. [5] Two-year-old ratings are slightly lower than those for older horses. It also notes that only a very select number of horses have achieved a rating of 175 and above for hurdling (16) or 182 and above for chasing (20). [6]

The Beyer Speed Figure used in the United States is similar to a Timeform rating. The popular rule of thumb for comparing these two numbers is to add 12–14 points to the Beyer score to estimate the Timeform number.[ citation needed ]

Flat vs hurdle vs steeplechase

Timeform maintains different scales for horses racing on the flat, over hurdles and over fences. The scores cannot be compared for the obvious differences between the race types. For instance, Arkle at 212, Flyingbolt at 210, Sprinter Sacre at 192 are then followed by Mill House and Kauto Star, both at 191, are the highest rated steeplechasers. The highest rated horses over hurdles are Night Nurse at 182, Istabraq and Monksfield, both at 180, and Persian War at 179. The table below lists scores for flat horses only starting with the highest, rated at 147 which is the British horse Frankel. [7]


Annually in March, the company puts out its book Racehorses of ...., which currently contains more than 1,200 pages and provides information and ratings on the top flat horses in Australasia, Dubai, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, North America and Scandinavia. Also, annually in October the company publishes Chasers and Hurdlers, a thorough review of every horse that ran under National Hunt rules in Britain, as well as the best National Hunt horses to have run in Ireland and France.

Timeform publishes a number of other books. Its Horses to Follow: Flat Season is composed of short essays on fifty horses deemed worthy of following in the upcoming year's classics. The horses are selected by Timeform's own team of experts along with five leading broadcasters. The book also provides a guide to the most significant two-year-old performances from the previous year.

Timeform also compiles a system based on speed and class which appears in the Daily Racing Form for all horse racing events run in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and the United Arab Emirates.

Top-rated Thoroughbreds on flat courses

The figures below are the official all-time highest rankings for horses who raced in Australia, Dubai, Europe, Hong Kong, Japan and Scandinavia, as supplied by Neil O'Connor of Timeform. Until very recently (approximately 2000), horses who raced exclusively in America were never given Timeform ratings, so they can not be compared directly to their European counterparts.

Frankel 2008147
Sea Bird 1962145
Brigadier Gerard 1968144
Tudor Minstrel 1944144
Flightline 2018143
Abernant 1946142
Ribot 1952142
Windy City 1949142
Mill Reef 1968141
Dancing Brave 1983140
Dubai Millennium 1996140
Harbinger 2006140
Sea The Stars 2006140
Shergar 1978140
Vaguely Noble 1965140
Arrogate 2013139
Generous 1988139
Pappa Fourway 1952139
Reference Point 1984139
Alleged 1974138
Alycidon 1945138
American Pharoah 2012138
California Chrome 2011138
Celtic Swing 1992138
Cigar 1990138
Daylami 1994138
Exbury 1959138
Nijinsky 1967138
Star of India1953138
Tulloch 1954138
Apalachee 1971137
Baaeed 2018137
Dayjur 1987137
Easy Goer 1986137
Ghostzapper 2000137
Grundy 1972137
Kingston Town 1976137
Mark of Esteem 1993137
Molvedo 1958137
Montjeu 1996137
Moorestyle 1977137
Never Say Die 1951137
Peintre Celebre 1994137
Pinza 1950137
Princely Gift 1951137
Ragusa 1960137
Reliance 1962137
Rheingold 1969137
Right Boy 1954137
Sunday Silence 1986137
Troy 1976137
Zilzal 1986137
Alcide 1955136
Allez France 1970136
Ballymoss 1954136
Battaash 2014136
Bering 1983136
Black Caviar 2006136
Black Tarquin 1945136
Bustino 1971136
Cracksman 2014136
Crepello 1954136
El Condor Pasa 1995136
El Gran Senor 1981136
Floribunda 1958136
Gentlemen 1992136
Habibti 1980136
Hafiz 1952136
Hawk Wing 1999136
Helissio 1993136
Herbager 1956136
Manikato 1975136
My Babu 1945136
Northjet 1977136
Old Vic 1986136
Relko 1960136
Sakhee 1997136
Slip Anchor 1982136
Suave Dancer 1988136
Tantieme 1947136
Texana 1957136
Thatch 1970136
Warning 1985136
All Along 1979135
Arazi 1989135
Arbar 1944135
Arctic Prince 1948135
Chanteur 1942135
Charlottesville 1957135
Cirrus des Aigles 2006135
Coronation 1946135
Dahlia 1970135
Intikhab 1994135
Known Fact 1977135
Kris 1976135
Lady Aurelia 2014135 [8]
La Tendresse 1959135
Le Moss 1975135
Match II 1958135
Nashwan 1986135
Never So Bold 1980135
Pebbles 1981135
Petingo 1965135
Petoski 1982135
Right Royal 1958135
Royal Anthem 1995135
Sagace 1980135
Sassafras 1967135
Shadeed 1982135
Shahrastani 1983135
Shareef Dancer 1980135
Sicambre 1948135
Sir Ivor 1965135
Souverain 1943135
St Jovite 1989135
Supreme Court 1948135
Teenoso 1980135
Tenerani 1944135
The Bug 1943135
The Minstrel 1974135
Trempolino 1984135
Youth 1973135

Top-rated horses on chase courses

The figures below are official all-time high weights for horses racing under National Hunt rules on chase courses. [9]

Arkle 1957212
Flyingbolt 1959210
Sprinter Sacre 2006192p
Kauto Star 2000191
Mill House 1957191
Desert Orchid 1979187
Dunkirk 1957186
Burrough Hill Lad 1976184
Long Run 2005184
Moscow Flyer 1994184
Don Cossack 2007183
Master Oats 1986183
Azertyuiop 1997182
Best Mate 1995182
Captain Christy 1967182
Carvill's Hill 1982182
Douvan 2010182
Kicking King 1998182
See More Business 1990182
Well Chief 1999182

Top-rated Thoroughbreds on hurdle courses

The figures below are all-time ratings accorded by Timeform for race horses that competed under National Hunt rules on hurdle courses. [10]

Night Nurse 1971182
Istabraq 1992180
Monksfield 1972180
Persian War 1963179
Comedy of Errors 1967178
Le Sauvignon 1994178
Constitution Hill 2017177p
Lanzarote 1968177
Limestone Lad 1992177
Birds Nest 1970176
Bula 1965176
Faugheen 2008176
Golden Cygnet 1972176
Baracouda 1995175
Gaye Brief 1977175
Salmon Spray 1958175
Sea Pigeon 1970175

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dancing Brave</span> American-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse (1983–1999)

Dancing Brave was an American-bred, British-trained thoroughbred racehorse. In a racing career which lasted from the autumn of 1985 until October 1986, he ran ten times and won eight races. Dancing Brave was the outstanding European racehorse of 1986, when he won the 2000 Guineas, the Eclipse Stakes, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. His only defeats came in the Derby and the Breeders' Cup Turf. A successful sire of winners in Europe, he was later exported to Japan, where he died on 2 August 1999.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sea Bird</span> French-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Sea-Bird (1962–1973) was a French Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career which lasted from 1964 until October 1965, he ran eight times and won seven races. Sea-Bird is most famous for his victories in two of Europe's most prestigious races, the Derby and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. His Timeform rating of 145 remains the second highest flat figure behind Frankel's rating of 147 awarded by that publication.

Sea Pigeon (1970–2000) was an American-bred, British-trained racehorse who excelled in both National Hunt and flat racing. In a racing career which lasted from 1972 until 1981 he competed in eighty-five races, and won thirty-seven times. He was best known for his performances in hurdle races when he won the Champion Hurdle on two occasions. He was also one of the best flat stayers of his era winning major handicap races under weights of up to 140 pounds. As a gelding, he was ineligible to compete in the most prestigious flat staying races, such as the Ascot Gold Cup. On his retirement he was described as Britain's "best known horse after Arkle and Red Rum.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kauto Star</span> French-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Kauto Star was a French-bred National Hunt champion racehorse trained by Paul Nicholls in Somerset and owned by Clive Smith. He was known for his versatility and longevity, being the only horse ever to be top rated over 2 miles, 2.5 miles and 3 miles in the same season. He is also the first horse ever to win a grade 1 race in 6 consecutive seasons - he then added 2 more the following season to make it 7. His Racing Post rating of 192 is the highest ever awarded to a National Hunt horse. He won the Cheltenham Gold Cup twice, in 2007 and 2009, becoming the first horse to regain the cup, beating Denman by thirteen lengths in 2009, after losing it in 2008 by seven lengths behind Denman. He tried for three more years to win the race again, but the best placing he could achieve was in 2011, coming third behind Long Run. He also won the King George VI Chase a record five times. He was one of the most successful steeplechasers of modern era finishing his racing career with a National Hunt record of £3,775,883 in earnings, which consisted of £2,375,883 in race prize money, £1,000,000 bonus for the completion of the 2006/2007 Stayers Chase Triple Crown and also a £400,000 reward for heading the BHA Table of Merit in the same 2006/2007 season.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Henbit (horse)</span> American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Henbit was an American-bred and British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse, best known for winning the Derby in 1980. After winning one minor race as a two-year-old, he showed improved form in 1980 to win the Classic Trial Stakes and the Chester Vase. He won the Derby in a fast time but sustained a leg injury in the race which ruled him out for the rest of the year. He failed when returning as a four-year-old and was retired to stud, where he had limited success as a sire of winners.

Sagaro (1971–1986) was an Irish-bred, French-trained thoroughbred racehorse. He is regarded as one of the best stayers ever in Europe on the Flat.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Frankel (horse)</span> British Thoroughbred racehorse

Frankel is a retired champion British Thoroughbred racehorse and current sire. He was unbeaten in his fourteen-race career and was the highest-rated racehorse in the world from May 2011. In 2010 he defeated a field including subsequent Group 1 winners Nathaniel and Colour Vision on his debut before winning the Royal Lodge Stakes by ten lengths and the Dewhurst Stakes in which he defeated the Middle Park Stakes winner Dream Ahead. As a three-year-old, he won the Classic 2000 Guineas by six lengths, the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, defeated the outstanding older miler Canford Cliffs in the much-anticipated Sussex Stakes at Goodwood and won the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot. Frankel extended his unbeaten record in 2012 by winning the Lockinge Stakes, the Queen Anne Stakes and then the Sussex Stakes for a second time. In August he was moved up to a mile and a quarter for the first time and won the International Stakes at York. In October he won the Champion Stakes at Ascot, again over a mile and a quarter, following which his retirement from racing was announced.

Phil Bull, born West Yorkshire, England, was a professional gambler, racehorse owner and publisher, who founded the Timeform private handicapping system for British horseracing. Since 1948, Timeform have produced performance ratings for every racehorse in Great Britain and, increasingly, internationally. Timeform ratings have become adopted as the British horseracing industry's unofficial, but authoritative, measure of racehorse performance. It was said of Bull in 1976 that "there is no more familiar figure on English racecourses than the stocky, bearded one of Mr Phil Bull". Many racing aphorisms can be attributed to Bull, such as "at the racecourse, keep your eyes open and your ears closed".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Black Caviar</span> Australian-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

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Aurelius was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and sire best known for winning the classic St Leger Stakes in 1961 and for becoming one of the few classic winners to compete in steeplechases. As a two-year-old he finished fourth in his only appearance but was one of the best colts in Britain in the following year, winning the Craven Stakes and the King Edward VII Stakes before taking the St Leger. He was even better in 1962 when he won the Hardwicke Stakes and was narrowly beaten in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. He was retired to stud but had serious fertility problems and later returned to the racecourse where he had a reasonably successful career in National Hunt racing.

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Relkino was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He was the highest-priced European yearling of his generation and won four of his sixteen races between July 1975 and October 1977. After winning one race as a two-year-old in 1975 he showed improved form in the early part of the following year, winning the 2000 Guineas Trial Stakes and finishing second to Empery in The Derby. The rest of his three-year-old career was disappointing but he reached his peak in 1977, winning the Lockinge Stakes over a mile and then recording an upset victory in the Benson and Hedges Gold Cup. After his retirement from racing, he had some success as a breeding stallion.

Altior is an Irish-bred British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse who competes in National Hunt races. After winning one of his three National Hunt Flat races he was unbeaten in five hurdle races including the Sharp Novices' Hurdle and Supreme Novices' Hurdle. In the 2016/2017 National Hunt season he won six consecutive steeplechases including the Henry VIII Novices' Chase, Wayward Lad Novices' Chase, Game Spirit Chase, Arkle Challenge Trophy and the Celebration Chase.


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