10 Amazing Facts About Australian Horse Racing

There is no more exciting place to watch thoroughbred horse racing than Australia. With beautiful racecourse and some of the world’s most talented horses and jockeys, you should be EZ Horse Betting Australian race tracks at your favorite online racebook. Here are 10 amazing facts about Australian horse racing that you might not know.

1 – Horses Race on Grass in Australia

In Australia all horse racing is conducted on grass surfaces. This environment means that some of the best turf runners that make their way to the US come from the land Down Under. It also means that the race tracks on the continent have a strong visual appeal.


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Grass racing can provide some challenging handicapping situations. This is because the dynamics of a race on the grass are much different than they are when horses race on a dirt surface. In a grass race the horses will conserve a lot of energy during the early stages of a race and prepare themselves to run hard on the end. This sets up a race when longshot winners are likely.

2 – Jump Races are Still Popular in Australia

The majority of races that are held in Australia are on what is called a flat. This is simply a standard turf course much like the ones that you would find in the United States. But there is another kind of race that is popular in Australia. Horses there still compete in jump events where they must navigate barriers over a long distance.

Jump racing can be entertaining to watch because so many things can happen during a race. A jockey can fall from the horse during a jump. Horses can also stumble over the obstacles. In some cases the horses even refuse to make the jump at all. In most cases any of these mishaps will disqualify the horse from the race.

3 – Phar Lap was Really from New Zealand

When people think of the legendary Phar Lap they automatically think of Australia because that is where Phar Lap had so much of his success. What many people don’t know is that Phar Lap was actually foaled in New Zealand. Those from New Zealand are quick to contest that Phar Lap is a unique Australian treasure.

Phar Lap won 37 races in his distinguished career, making the horse one of the biggest earners in Australia for many years. His mounted hide still hangs in the Melbourne Museum, and his heart resides in the National Museum of Australia.

4 – The Melbourne Cup is One of the World’s Richest Races

Australia has a reputation for offering some of the richest purses in all of horse racing. At the top of the list is the Melbourne Cup. This race has a purse of 4.8 million USD, making it on a par with popular US events like the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic. It is a race that captures the interest of the entire continent.

Many of Australia’s greatest race horses, including Phar Lap, have taken their stab at the Melbourne Cup. In recent years it has also begun to attract the interest of horses from other countries. It is a part of the Melbourne Racing Carnival which is held every November at Flemington racecourse in Melbourne.

5 – There are 479 Racecourses in Australia

Australia has one of the most thriving racing communities to be found in any location on earth. There are a total of 479 racecourses in Australia, far more than the number of tracks located in the United States. On any given day there are more than 80 races for individuals to choose from, and you can find all of them at your favorite online racebook.

Horse racing is an immensely popular spectator sport in Australia. It is rivaled only by rugby and Australian Rules Football. The number of people who attend races each year in Australia numbers in the millions.

6 – There are Over 22,000 Races a Year in Australia

More than 22,000 races are contested each year in Australia. With so many betting opportunities to choose from it is no wonder that many handicappers like to watch and wager on Australian racing at an online racebook.

In addition to the sheer volume of races that are made available to bettors, the majority of races are high level stakes events that are very competitive. This means that the payoffs on winning horses can be much higher than it is in the US. This also holds true for the exotics like trifectas and exactas.

7 – The Youngest Jockey to Win the Melbourne Cup was 11 Years Old

In America it is not uncommon to see jockeys compete at 16 or 17 years of age. In Australia this would be considered old by some standards! The youngest jockey to ever win the Melbourne Cup was Peter St. Albans. He scored a win in the race in 1876 at just 11 years old. St. Albans was called to duty when the regular rider of the horse could not make the required weight.

There was actually a restriction at the time which prohibited jockeys under the age of 13 from riding, but St. Albans. To avoid controversy, the racing officials decided to publish his age as 13. There is little doubt the victory would have been contested if bettors had known that the jockey was under age.

8 – Losing Horses (and people!) in Australia are Called Drongos

America has Zippy Chippy, the horse that lost 100 races. In Australia there was Drongo. The horse was never able to finish better than second in a race despite his impressive pedigree. He tried 37 times. In Drongo’s defense he competed in the toughest races at the toughest racecourses. His bad luck was so famous that it gave rise to a popular term in Australian culture.

A drongo in Australia is someone that is perpetually subject to bad luck. No matter how hard a drongo tries, he or she can never win. The term is also used on the racetrack to refer to handicappers that always lose, and it is bestowed upon horses that the public believes have no chance to win.

9 – Horse Racing in Australia Benefits the Economy

The horse racing industry in Australia is one of the biggest job providers on the continent. Hundreds of thousands of people work in the racing business. There are trainers, jockeys, grooms, stewards, and veterinarians. There are also shopkeepers who sell to the racing industry. Also numbered among the workers in the industry are those that make horseshoes and saddles.

If horse racing were to collapse in Australia a lot of people would be out of work. This is one of the reasons that Australia makes every effort to keep racing alive and well.

10 – Businesses Close During the Melbourne Cup

The Kentucky Derby may be America’s most popular horse race, but it doesn’t rival the popularity of the Melbourne Cup in Australia. When the race is held in November the businesses throughout the entire country close so that workers can enjoy the race. It has been called “The Race that Stops a Nation” and is considered a cultural event.

Have you enjoyed these facts about Australian horse racing? Create an account with one of our recommended online horse racing sites and you could be betting on Australian horses right from the comfort of your own home. See our Bovada racebook review, Twinspires review or even our Betamerica review. All great choice if you are in the US. 5Dimes review for folks anywhere!

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