|Headquarters||Halifax, West Yorkshire|
Timeform Publications is a publishing company in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England founded in 1948 to provide information to fans, bettors, and others involved in the horse racing industry. The company was purchased by the sports betting exchange Betfair in December 2006.
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.
According to the publishers, a Timeform rating 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".
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.
Timeform ratings for 3-year-olds and up are as follows:
- 140+ – An outstanding horse
- 130–135 – Above average Group 1 winner
- 125–129 – Average Group 1 winner
- 115–124 – Average Group 2 winner
- 110–115 – Average Group 3 winner
- 100–105 – Average listed race winner
Timeform states that 2-year-old averages are slightly lower.
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.
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.
Top-rated Thoroughbreds on flat courses
The figures below are official all-time Highweights for horses who raced in Australasia, 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.
|Sea The Stars||2006||140|
|Star of India||1953||138|
|Mark of Esteem||1993||137|
|Never Say Die||1951||137|
|El Condor Pasa||1995||136|
|El Gran Senor||1981||136|
|Cirrus des Aigles||2006||135|
|Never So Bold||1980||135|
Top-rated horses on chase courses
|Burrough Hill Lad||1976||184|
|See More Business||1990||182|
Top-rated Thoroughbreds on hurdle courses
|Comedy of Errors||1967||178|
|Sir Ken||1948||176 *|
* Timeform started compiling ratings for jumps racing in 1962; therefore Sir Ken's rating (among others outstanding Jump horses) was retrospectively assessed by Timeform when Cheltenham introduced its Hall of Fame in the 1990s.
- McGrath, J A (25 November 2006). "Betfair set to buy Timeform for £15m". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 5 April 2008.
- "Daily Racing Form PDF (login required)" (PDF). Drf.com. Retrieved 2012-08-20.
- Greg Wood at Ascot (19 June 2012). "Frankel hailed as greatest ever after Royal Ascot Queen Anne Stakes win | Sport". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-08-20.
- "Timeform's greatest racehorses". Timeform. 17 February 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2016.