Did you know that Australian horse racing is one of the most popular spectator sports in the land Down Under? Horse racing in Australia has a rich and colorful history that includes legendary horses like Phar Lap and impressive racing venues that are beautiful examples of architecture. EZ Horse Betting has put together a beginner’s guide to Australian horse racing so that you can start betting the races from one of the world’s most amazing continents.
Basic Information on Australian Horse Racing
There is no doubt that Aussies love to watch and bet on horse racing. More than $14 billion is wagered each year through bookmakers and an organization known as the Totalisator Agency Board. Just like in the UK, Australian racing fans can choose to make their bets with a bookie or they can opt for pool betting with the tote board. The pool betting is very similar to the type of betting that one would find in the United States.
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Only rugby and Australian rules football draw more spectators each year than professional thoroughbred horse racing. Almost two million people will visit one of Australia’s 360 race tracks in any given year. There are more race tracks in Australia than there are in any other single nation. The horses in Australia compete for the most money behind the US and Japan. Horse racing in Australia is a vast enterprise that employs thousands of people.
About 250,000 people make their living in the Australian horse racing industry. This would include trainers, jockeys, owners, grooms, producers of feed, veterinarians, and more. If something were to ever happen to racing, a lot of Aussies would be looking for work.
The Australian Racing Board is the governing body that oversees all racing operations in Australia. Each state in Australia also has its own body called the Principal Racing Authority. It is the job of each state’s organization to make sure that the rules of racing are followed from track to track.
The Important Races in Australia
The spring and summer months in Australia are when thoroughbred racing reaches a peak. There are over 300 racing clubs which conduct over 2,500 race meetings. During racing season you can find races to watch and bet on every day. Of all these races there are a few which stand out as the most important events. You could compare them in some way to the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup events in the US.
The Melbourne Cup is Australia’s most famous horse race and one of the richest horse races in the world. It is held each year on the first Tuesday in November at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. The event is so popular that workers are given a partial day off so that they can enjoy the event. For this reason, the Melbourne Cup has often been called “The Race that Stops a Nation.”
The Victoria Derby is also held at Flemington. This race for three-year-old horses features a prize of $2,000,000. It is held each year on the first day of the Melbourne Cup Racing Carnival and is contested at a distance of 2,500 meters. Other important races that are held in Australia throughout the year are the VRC Oaks, The Golden Slipper Stakes, Caulfield Cup, and W.S. Cox Plate.
Famous Australian Race Horses
The very first thoroughbred horses in Australia can be traced all the way to 1788. It is believed the first horse arrivals consisted of a stallion, a colt, three mares, and two fillies. These horses would become the progenitors of race horses bred on the Australian continent. Manto was the first thoroughbred mare to have her name recorded in the General Stud Book upon arrival in Australia when she was imported in 1825. The offspring of Manto are still producing race winners in Australia today.
Malua was foaled in 1879. He would become one of the most versatile Australian race horses of all time. Malua was able to win races on the flat track and at hurdle events. It is rare for a horse to become a standout in both areas.
Phar Lap and Tulloch were great champions in Australia even though they were bred in New Zealand. Tulloch became the first horse in Australia to win more than $1 million in purse earnings. Both of these horses have been immortalized in the Australian Racing Hall of Fame.
In recent days there have also been some amazing horses to come out of Australia. Perhaps the most famous of these is Black Caviar. The horse was assigned a Timeform Rating of 135 in 2011 and proclaimed to be the best thoroughbred horse in the world.
In Australia Races are on Grass
Those who visit an Australian race track or watch races from Australia at an online racebook for the first time will probably be surprised to find that all of the races are held on grass surfaces. Turf racing has long been the standard in Australia, and there are few dirt tracks to be found. This type of racing can make for some thrilling finishes.
Many people mistakenly believe that dirt is the natural habitat of a horse. This is incorrect. Grass is the natural habitat, so it makes a sort of sense for horses to compete on turf surfaces. The dynamics of a turf race are much different than that of a race on dirt. In races that are held on dirt horses tend to run fast early and slow late. On the grass it is exactly the opposite. The horses tend to run slow early and fast late. This sets up the grass races for horses that prefer to run at the end and make a dash for the wire. It can create some unexpected results with longshots winning racing events.
How to Bet Horse Racing in Australia
There are two ways that you can bet horse races in Australia. You can attend the races live and bet at the track, or you can bet at an online racebook like Bovada. Bovada has many Australian tracks to choose from in its betting menu.
If you choose to place a bet at the live track you will either place the bet with a bookie or you will place the bet with a teller. The bets placed with a teller are assigned at tote board odds, just like they are in the US. When you bet with a bookie you have the opportunity to negotiate for a better odds price. Bookies are competing with one another for business, so they may be willing to give you better odds than you would receive elsewhere.
If you decide to use an online racebook to bet Australian races then all you need to have is an online racebook account that has been properly funded with either cash or Bitcoin. You can then make all the bets from your home, and you can also access a live feed of the races in most situations. Just remember, if you are in the US you will be watching live racing from Australia at odd hours.
EZ Horse Betting is a fan of racing in Australia. We recommend that you sign up today for an online horse racing site and begin wagering on your favorite events. or check some of the common questions about racebooks.
- 10 Amazing Facts About Australian Horse Racing
- The Australian Racing Board
- Flemington Racecourse In Melbourne, Australia
- Doomben Racecourse, Brisbane
- Eagle Farm Racecourse, Brisbane
- The Melbourne Cup – Australias’s Biggest Horse Race
- The Cox Plate Australian Horse Race
- Timeform Ratings & Australian Horse Racing
- The Golden Slipper Stakes Australian Horse Race
- Phar Lap – The Sad End Of Australia’s Greatest Race Horse
- Top 10 Legendary Australian Race Horses
- The Australian Racing Hall Of Fame
- The Best Way To Bet Horse Races From Australia
- Australian Racing Terms You Need To Know
- 5 Reasons To Bet Australian Horse Racing
- Top 10 Jockeys In Australian Horse Racing
- Picking Horse Race Winners In Australia