Australian form guides are commonly found in lift-out form in the centre of most major newspapers in each capital city, although they vary in quality, with some having detailed form, while others have simply basic information.
Depending on what you want form wise, you can go with your main papers, such as the Melbourne Herald Sun, The Australian, The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Brisbane Courier Mail, or the West Australian newspaper, or you can go with a specialised form guide that will cost you a few dollars more.
We are lucky in this country to have a number of racing publications devoted specifically to the sport of kings and we have listed the better ones below.
If you are serious about your form study then you can't go past The Sportsman which is widely considered to be Australian's punting bible.
The Sportsman is Australia's most authoritative thoroughbred horse racing guide which is committed to providing comprehensive form analysis with the latest inside information. The Sportsman is a national publication produced twice weekly, with extra issues produced during all major carnivals. It is around the same size as the Melbourne Herald Sun.
Regular weekly Sportsman features include:
- Barrier trial results
- Exclusive camera charts for Sydney and Melbourne
- Five-state Stewards reports
- Sectional Time Charts for Sydney and Melbourne
- Five-state specials: the best bets from around Australia
- Trial and Trackwork reports
- Zipform ratings and latest trackwork times
The Sportsman currently retails for under $6.00 and is great value when you consider how much information they provide for form study. A must have if you are a serious punter. it is generally available in capital cities on Thursday afternoons for weekend racing, and on Friday mornings in outward regional areas.
The Winning Post
While not as comprehensive as the Sportsman, this weekly form guide which is around the same size as the Melbourne Herald Sun is a great form guide if you are after race fields from Friday to Monday in an easy to read liftout format.
Winning Post began initially in 1987 as a fundraiser for underprivileged children in Victoria and was recently acquired by TVN racing media. The tabloid is around 100 pages with full colour throughout and is produced as a series of liftouts. This allows punters the ability to select a particular formguide for a race meeting and use them as a four-page, eight-page or twelve-page liftout.
Winning Post divides neatly into three sections:
- A twelve-page editorial wraparound
- A form section covering all major racemeetings from Friday to Sunday
- Breeding Scene, a supplement of breeding, sales and racing news
- News/Views and the Winning Mart classifieds
Winning Post's form section has eight-12 page liftouts for the Melbourne and Sydney
Saturday meetings, then provides liftout form for Adelaide and Brisbane Saturday, every TAB meeting around Australia on Friday and the main Victorian and NSW meetings on Sunday.
Each state's edition also contains a formguide for either the Saturday Victorian provincial meeting, the Saturday NSW provincial meeting, the Saturday Gold Coast meeting, the Saturday Perth meeting or the Sunday Tasmanian meeting. Winning Post is the only national publication to provide comprehensive Friday racing coverage and the only one to cover the Saturday provincials in full.
In addition to liftout form, Winning Post provides fields for the Victorian Monday meeting and
main-race form for as many TAB meetings as they can fit in, as well as fields for the Victorian non-TABs.
Winning Post retails for under $5.00 and is available on Thursday afternoons in Melbourne, surrounding areas and major Victorian provincial towns, and first thing Friday morning throughout the rest of Australia.
This nifty little form guide has been around for as long as we can remember and over the years it has simply got better with age and is loaded with racing information for a publication so small in size.
The Best Bets is a pocket sized magazine that provides quality details for a horse's last 5 starts and specialised comments for Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide racing. It also has less detailed fields and form for regional racing on the weekend, plus other relevant info such as jockey and trainer's premierships.
We thoroughly reccommend Best Bets if you are after a form guide that is easy to use and has a bucket load of racing information for the reasonable price of $5.00. An added bonus is the small size of the magazine that allows you to easily keep your copy and file away for future use should you want to check back through the past races during form study.
Practial Punting Monthly is not exactly a form guide but as far as the average punter goes we encourage you to go and buy yourself a copy of this wonderful racing magazine. It comes out monthly and retails for just under $8.00 and month after month these guys provide quality articles on how to beat the bookmaker. Information such as money management, punting pitfalls, racing systems, how the professionals beat the bookies, and many more each month all dedicated to improving the punter.
Practical Punting Monthly not only shows the average punter how they might win at the races, they also show how not to lose your money so often by providing quality articles designed to reduce your bad betting habits.
A must read magazine if you want to learn more about punting on the horses from racing journalists who have your best interests at heart.
If you would like to know how to read and understand a typical form guide then please visit our Horse Racing Form Guide page where we explain all you need to know.
Please go to our Australian Track Ratings page if you are after info on how Australian race tracks are rated for the many weather conditions found in this country.
If you are unfamiliar with how to join an online bookmaker and place bets then check out our Betting Online page which explains it all for you.
if you are new to racing then our Racing Bet Types page will show you all the available betting types on offer from Australian bookmakers, while our Horse Racing Glossary page provides all of the most common terms for Australian horse racing.