When asked what my favourite sport is, I never hesitate to say horse racing.
I’m a Panda so I can appreciate the great beasts that thoroughbred horses are and I’m constantly in awe of the awesome ability and incredible feats these animals display and achieve on the turf.
Horse racing truly is the ‘Sport of Kings’, with the best races from sprint showdowns to staying features able to bring the whole nation to a standstill.
You don’t, however, have to be a King to get in on the elite horse racing action both here in Australia and in the international arena.
Horse racing is more than just a sport.
It is a part of Australian culture and every punter knows just how important betting is in keeping this mighty spectacle alive and thriving.
Whether you are a dedicated horse racing enthusiast who never misses a race from the midweek and country meetings to the jewel of the Australian racing calendar, the spring’s Melbourne Cup Carnival, online is the place to get your bets down. The most popular races are the Melbourne Cup, Cox Plate, Caulfield Cup, Victoria Derby, Crown Oaks and Emirates Stakes.
Unlike some sporting events like the annual NRL and AFL premierships, top class horse racing occurs at metro and provincial tracks around Australia all year round.
Sydney and Melbourne are host to Summer, Autumn and Spring Carnivals while Brisbane is the place to watch for the premium winter racing action.
From the richest two-year-olds race in the world, the $3 million Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Sydney’s Rosehill Gardens Racecourse in April to the leading spring features including the top weight-for-age race the $3.5 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in October and of course the race of the year, the $6 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November, there is a race and a bet type to suit everyone!
Horse Racing Bet Types & Exotics
While the thrill of being trackside when a champion like Black Caviar storms down the straight to trounce their rivals, old Percy has found that when I can’t get down to the track I’m still able to have access to a first-class range of horse racing odds and betting options.
Below is a list of the most popular Horse Racing Bet Types available at the online bookmakers:
Win / Place
First 4 / Quartet
I often like to take simple Win wager on a race when I’ve studied the form and found a horse that is paying just a little more than the favourite looks the pick.
When there’s a double-figure roughie in the field that has run well in the lead-up to a big feature, but just doesn’t quite have the ability to beat the entire field, I will often put a Place or Each Way wager on for value and this has worked for old Percy plenty of times!
If a superstar like Black Caviar is in a race and is the deserved odds-on favourite, the best way to get value out of your horse race betting is to get in on the exciting exotic markets online like a Trifecta where you pick the horses that will run in the top three in the exact order.
Horse Racing Special Bets
As well as having a few Win bets on the major races each year and locking in a Trifecta or two, I always like to check out the Horse Racing Specials offered by the leading online bookmakers.
This is why I prefer to bet online as opposed to lining up for hours and missing half the action at an old land-based betting agency.
You won’t find Horse Racing Special Markets anywhere but online and this is often how I really enjoy a big winning wager!
Special bets on the horse racing include anything from the Winning Margin a horse will score victory by, unique Head-to-Head markets pairing two of the best horses off in a race to exclusive Special Field bets where the raging favourite is removed from betting.
I remember when Black Caviar scored her fifth straight Group 1 race in the TJ Smith Stakes in April of 2011.
There was no denying the ‘Black Flash’ would win, so instead of just backing her at her firm price – which I did as well just to say I’ve bet on the best – I also backed her to win by 2.5 – 4 lengths.
I was punching the air with my paws all the way and she eventually saluted by 3 lengths so I won twice!
Horse Racing Ante Post Betting
Thanks to online bookmakers, you never have to wait until race day to place your winning bets.
Bookies offer generous futures horse racing betting on all the major Group 1 races in Australia and many overseas features as well so you can back your early favourites at prices you will never find come jump time.
In the pre-field markets on the elite level horse races, I’ve been able to back eventual winners at enormous odds and clean up while those that wait until the final fields are announced have to settle for shorter prices.
There’s always a small element of risk in ante-post betting – but that’s half the fun!
Not only are you waiting to see if your runner wins, before that you have your fingers crossed they will make the field.
If you search around you can often find Racing Futures that offer refunds for horses that don’t run too, there’s just so many options when you bet online.
So get ready to back the next Phar Lap or Makybe Diva by visiting an online bookmaker today and discover just how much fun you can have jumping aboard the horse racing train!