Many of our readers want advice on how to pick winners in Australian horse racing. The racing in this part of the world is filled with many important stakes race events that feature very talented horses. This means that the Australian horse races can be very competitive. In this series of handicapping articles EZ Horse Betting is going to look at several factors that you should consider before betting at your favorite online racebook.
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Before you Bet Horse Racing in Australia
Before you decide to bet races held in Australia, the first thing that you should do is find an online racebook that offers bets on Australian race tracks. We recommend an online racebook such as Bovada. There you will find access to the betting menus of many Australian tracks. Bovada offers tote betting just like you would find at the live track, and there are perks for becoming an account holder.
You won’t need to travel to make your Australian horse bets. You can do it right from the comfort of your own home with a computer, phone, or tablet. You can also use Bitcoin to fund your wagering account, or you can deposit cash with a credit or debit card. Bovada also offers many promotions throughout the year, so you will probably be able to receive a bonus on your first deposit.
Remember, you can also access free race replays with an online racebook account, and you may be able to also get access to free past performances and Timeform Ratings.
Pedigree in Australian Horse Racing
Something you should know straight away is that thoroughbred horses in Australia are the same as thoroughbred horses in every other part of the world. The horses are all descended from one of three original stallions. They all have a universal birthdate of January 1. All of them are bred to carry impressive speed over vast differences. In that regard, the horses you bet in Australia are just like the ones you bet in America.
There are some critical differences, though. First of all, all races in Australia are held on the turf. Horses run exclusively on grass surfaces. In the United States it is far more common to see horses run on dirt tracks. The second difference is that some horse races in Australia can be very long. There are races that are contested at two miles! In America 1 ½ miles is generally the longest race that you will find, and that usually happens only on special occasions like the Belmont Stakes. It is far more common to find races that are a mile or less in distance.
So, what does this have to do with picking winning race horses in Australia? The nature of Australian racing is such that it places a much higher handicapping value on pedigree. The smart bettor can use pedigree to determine if a horse has the genetics to compete on grass surfaces at long distances. Granted, pedigree alone is not usually enough to pick a winner in a horse race. It should be used in conjunction with other handicapping factors such as speed, form, and pace.
When a handicapper looks at the pedigree of a race horse for handicapping purposes, he or she is looking to see if the sire and dam of the horse demonstrated turf and distance ability in their careers. The assumption is that this ability would be passed down to the offspring, making them more capable under certain conditions than other horses who show no evidence of success in the bloodline.
The popular American jockey Chris McCarron once said that pedigree analysis must be taken with a grain of salt. McCarron stated that his brother was very good at golf but that he himself was not. The jockey has a point. Just because the dam and sire of a race horse in Australia won races on the turf does not mean that the colt or filly will like it, but it does improve the chances.
The Dynamics of Australian Turf Races
Another factor that you should work to include in your handicapping is an understanding of the dynamics of turf racing. Just like in the US there is a method to turf racing that is somewhat different to racing on dirt. A much higher value can be assigned to the final quarter-mile times in a turf race.
It is common for bettors to focus on speed in horse races. This makes sense. All races are essentially about speed and who is the fastest. It would be more accurate to say that horse races involve what is known as tactical speed. It is a fact that the fastest horses does not always win in Australian horse racing or racing in any other part of the world.
In races on the turf tactical speed plays a huge role. In the early stages of a race the horses are trying to establish their position and settle into a reasonable pace. The goal is to conserve energy and make a strong run in the final quarter-mile. This type of strategy is employed so often in turf horse races that one can depend on it to play out.
What does this mean for the bettor of horse races in Australia? It means that the handicapper needs to pay special attention to horses that have shown an ability to run fast in the latter stages of a race. For this reason it is common to see horses that stalk the pace win races in Australia. Those horses who are forced to the front of the pack in the early stages often have difficulty carrying their speed over the long distance of a race.
When you are handicapping races in Australia you should always evaluate the running style of the horse you are considering as a bet. Try to look for horses that close well. An ideal selection is a horse that has shown enough early speed that it can settle into a position of third or fourth in the early stages. This type of runner will likely be able to conserve their resources for a run at the end of the race.
Learning to Pick Your Spots in Australian Racing
One of the first things that many bettors encounter when they begin making bets on Australian racing is the overwhelming number of betting opportunities. Australia runs more races on a daily basis than many racetracks run in an entire meet. With so many chances to bet, the newcomer can easily make too many racing wagers.
No one can sustain a profit at horse racing when they are betting every race on every card, every day. The wise handicapper knows that they must pick their spots in order to identify the best chances to win. They also have to do this in order to preserve their bankroll. Picking your spots in Australian horse racing is not difficult because there are so many races to choose from.
What you will typically find in horse racing from Australia is that the races are very competitive. There are not as many cheap claiming races as one will find in America. When races are competitive they can be harder to handicap. The upside is that the odds on horses in these races are generally higher than they are on cheap claiming horses.
The best advice is to create an account with an online racebook. When you do this you will have access to all of the major horse racing tracks Down Under. You can then use your past performances to identify races that look promising. Once you have found them, focus on betting those at the online racebook.
Become Friendly with Timeform Ratings
Another key to picking race winners in Australia is to become familiar with Timeform Ratings and how they are used. You should know that these ratings are comparable to the Beyer Speed Figures which are popular in America. The difference, however, is very important. Beyer Figures focus solely on speed. The Timeform Ratings use speed and other factors to give a more complete picture of a horse’s ability.
In both cases the ultimate goal is to quantify the ability of a horse in a single number. That makes it much easier for the handicapper to compare one horse against another. Of course, if it were really that easy everyone would be doing it. All types of figures call for interpretation on the part of the handicapper.
The best way to learn how to interpret the Timeform Ratings is to use them regularly. You will find it helpful to go back and watch replays that may shed some light on how a horse earned a specific figure. Over time you will begin to understand the logic of such figures and how they may be used to pick winners.
These few tips should get you off to a very good start at picking winners in Australia. When you are ready to give it a try, be sure to check out our recommended online racebooks. You can play the races from your computer, phone, or tablet right in your own home.
Related to Australian horse racing:
- 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