Horse racing is big business in Australia and punters absolutely love having a flutter on the four-legged thoroughbreds.
The best thing about horse racing is it never stops. Punters can bet on racing every day of the year, with only Christmas Day barred from racing in Australia, but somewhere, in a different time zone, you can probably still bet on the horses online.
The Melbourne Spring carnival is the big attraction every October/November and is where the big bettors come to play, but with Sydney’s Autumn carnival ‘The Championships’ it’s now a jam-packed year filled with great Group 1 racing action.
Serious punters like to bet on sports with many variables, like Baseball, and with so many different aspects figuring into a horse race, it’s a punters dream.
Many of the most popular online betting sites in Australia are devoted to horse racing, and wagering on these events is really thrilling. It’s also very affordable, which makes it great for beginners. As you punt more and more you will get to know what to look for and how to bet, but we have also put a basic guideline together for you here.
One of the most exciting aspects of Australian horse racing betting is how many different wager possibilities there are. These allow novices to explore simple bets and experienced punter to create more complex ones.
When you are getting started, Win and Place bets are straight wagers where you choose a winner or second or third place. Several wagers are based on these, so refining your abilities to choose is highly recommended. Look out for horse racing tips that will allow you to make astute guesses as to where competing horses will come.
As your punting skills grow, you are sure to want to explore exotic bets such as exactas, trifectas, first four, quadrellas and quinellas. You may also feel ready to maximise your winnings by placing multi bets that run across several different races. There are also some unique horse racing bets that are offered from time to time, to keep things exciting for the most seasoned of players.
Top Horse Racing Betting Sites
Sportsbet excels amongst the horse racing betting sites market in many ways. They are among the leaders in getting the markets out to the public. Saturday feature racing markets are typically released as early as Wednesday, giving punters plenty of time to get the best value possible.
If you like a bet on international horse racing, especially in the United Kingdom, then you can’t go past WilliamHill as they have the inside knowledge of everything international. They release their Royal Ascot markets very early so punters get every chance to place their bets.
Sportsbet.com.au is a trusted brand in the horse racing industry and with an easy-to-use website interface, CrownBet is a must-try for all horse racing bettors.
The best thing about CrownBet, in our experience, is they aren’t afraid to accept a big bet and they generally offer more than competitive odds, especially for the favoured runners. If you look across all Australian bookmakers, CrownBet will provide a good and fair price.
Australian Horse Racing Bookmakers
Types of online horse racing bets
It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced punter or a novice, betting on horse racing is simple and there are numerous ways of making it fun and profitable.
The standard bet types are as easy as clicking on your runner and adding it to the online bet slip; these include win, place, quinella and trifecta.
To place a win bet with an online bookmaker all you need to do is sign up, log in, select which runner you think will win the race and click on it.
This will add that runner to your bet slip which will commonly be either on the right hand side of the page, or the top. Punters then add the amount they want to bet and click confirm – your bet is good to go.
If you want a place bet, that option will be on the right side of the win bet column. Place bet odds are smaller compared to win bets because of the increased likelihood of a place bet cashing.
For quinella and trifecta bets, punters must select more than one runner which can be difficult if you’re not used to the online format.
For quinella bets, click on ‘Quinella’ under the exotic tab. Select all runners in a boxed (runners can finish in any order) quinella and enter the amount you wish to pay.
Trifecta betting is when you need to select the first three runners home. Exotics – Trifecta – select runners and if you want more than three runners, click the % bet option and enter the amount you wish to pay.
Punters can also bet from race to race on such options as doubles, trebles and quaddies. In order to win from a double, you must select the winners of two consecutive races, three for trebles and four for a quaddie.
The quaddie is an extremely popular betting option in Australia, due to the massive potential payouts – especially on Victorian racing.
Most Saturday’s the quaddie pool will be in excess of $200,000 and during the Melbourne Spring carnival, the quaddie pool will reach into the millions. What does this mean for you? It doesn’t matter how big the pool is, you can win it all providing your selections win and no-one else has selected it.
Terminating quaddies are the best as they must go, so you could have a small percentage bet, but if you’re the only live ticket at the end of the day, you win the entire pool.
Exotic horse racing betting options
There are plenty of exotic betting options available to bettors, in particular betting on jockeys and trainers’ premierships.
Betting into premiership markets is a good way to make your money go the distance. The horse racing season starts on August 1, so you know you’re getting your value when betting on this option. An example of a premiership market looks as follows.
NSW Jockeys’ Premiership market:
These betting options are popular throughout the racing season, but especially nearing the end of the season when the premiership is on the line.
The bookmakers are always quick to frame a ‘specials’ market when needed. In the past they have given punters the chance to bet on the sale price of a Black Caviar foal, how many wins an international jockey will win in the Melbourne Spring carnival, and any other option that appeals to the masses.
To find these exotic betting markets, most bookmakers will label them under ‘specials’ in the horse racing section. Head there to find the latest in horse racing exotics.
Futures and fixed odds betting
The most common question asked by punters is to differentiate futures and fixed odds.
Futures betting is where punters can bet on a race months in advance. The odds will be increased, but if your horse doesn’t make the final field, you lose your money.
There are no refunds in futures betting, which makes it tough, but if you think your runner has a good shot at making the field, then you will be getting much better odds in the futures market.
Fixed odds betting is where the final field has been confirmed and so has your price. If your selected runner is paying $8 on the fixed odds market, that is the price you will receive, regardless if that price increases or decreases on the tote.
The best thing about fixed odds betting is if your horse is scratched, you will get your money back. Deductions apply when scratchings occur.*
The most common futures market is for the Melbourne Cup. With so many local and overseas horses nominated, if punters can find a horse slipping under the radar, the payouts can be huge.
Whilst the futures market doesn’t attract the big punters in most cases, there is nothing wrong with throwing down a cool $5 bet on a horse paying $1000 and getting involved.
Biggest races to bet on
The Melbourne Cup is the biggest race in Australasia, not for the quality of the horse, but the prize money and stigma surrounding the “race that stops the nation.”
Run over 3200 metres, the Melbourne Cup takes place on the first Tuesday in November and it generates the biggest betting pools of any day in Australia. The pools reach well over $1 million which means horses that would typically pay $4 will most likely drift out to $6.
The Melbourne Spring carnival as a whole has very big fields, which gives every type of horse racing punter a good chance to make a profit.
During the carnival, the Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup are also run. The Cox Plate is the best weight-for-age race in the world and it is held every October at Moonee Valley in Melbourne.
Along with the Caulfield Cup, the Cox Plate is a key lead-up race to the Melbourne Cup and most bookmakers offer exotic markets where punters can pick one horse to complete the double or the rare treble.
Another major carnival is “The Championships” at Royal Randwick. The two-week carnival features a plethora of Group 1s held over two consecutive Saturday’s in April and features one of the biggest races in the world.
The Group 1 Doncaster Handicap is considered as one of the toughest mile (1600 metres) races in the world and attracts a truly international field. Punters can bet on The Championships futures market at all of our bookmakers.
You will struggle to find a Saturday in Australia that doesn’t feature a serious horse race. The season starts in August and the months of September through to November are all about the lead in to the Melbourne Spring carnival.
It’s not all about the staying horses, however, as the sprinters get their chance to show their best throughout the carnivals all year round. The likes of Black Caviar and Lankan Rupee have graced the tracks in recent times and every year there are new ‘boom’ horses that take Australia by storm.
Horse racing guides
Horse Racing Online Betting
Once you know what horse bets you want to place, you need to decide what horse to back. Often punters have an instinctual feeling about this, which should not be ignored. However, there is also a lot of other information that can help you make canny decisions.
Firstly, you should always find out as much as possible about the horses that are racing. The win/loss percentages, whether it is on a winning or losing streak, the horse owner and trainer and lots of other information is available and should be taken into account.
Next, you need to find out who will be riding any horse you are interested. In a race, the jockey and the horse are a team, and the way they work together can make all the difference on the track. A winning stead with the wrong jockey is often an unwise bet because the rider has such a big influence on the horse.
Australian Horse Racing Betting Sites
You should also consider the track being run. Sometimes certain horses perform better on different tracks, or have better showings in different conditions. All of these factors should be considered together when you make your wagering choices.
After you have determined which horse you think will win the race, you need to have a look at the odds. For example, if you place a bet on a long shot where it seems more likely that a horse will not win its race, it could return much more than a sure thing because the odds of it placing anywhere are less. Depending on the situation specifics, it is sometime savvy to take a long shot on the chance of a huge win.
As you consider your horse racing bets, you should use all the information on statistics, specific situations and odds that you have at your disposal, and should decide which bet you think will be most profitable based on your knowledge of them. As a sophisticated and thinking punter, this will be a large part of the joy of Australian horse racing betting.
Helpful Hints for Horse Racing Betting
When you are horse racing betting, you are looking at trying to get yourself into the best position in order to win. These facts and statistics about horse bets will help you do that!
The top ten riders viewable in the jockey standings go on to win around 90% of the races during the meet. Do yourself a favour at horse betting sites, and check these out before you place your wager.
Favourite horses win around 33% of the time, albeit at lower payoffs, so be sure and check the horse betting sites you are using for information on these while you are at it.
Reading Horse Racing Odds
At the majority of Australia’s horse betting sites, the odds will be displayed in what is known as a decimal format. This means that the number you see is expressed as how much money you will have in your pocket should you win your bet, including the amount you spent on your original wager. For instance, should you bet AU$1 at 3.00 odds, winning will mean AU$3 in your pocket. It is your original dollar along with the AU$2 you have won.
There are other formats used at horse racing betting sites as well, but most will allow you to choose decimal odds should you want them, or any other of the main methods you may prefer. An unusual practice that should be explained when it comes to horse racing betting, however, is the method used to display payouts in the USA. The method is similar to decimal odds, but always assumes a $2 bet.
After a race has ended, you may see that the winning horse has paid out $6. This figure is based on a $2 bet, which would be the same as 3.00 if it were written in the decimal odds format.
Have fun with horse racing betting at the best bookmakers in Australia today!