Horse racing in Australia never stops and it can be hard to know which races punters should be targetting, but we’re here to tell you. To make the most money out of Australian racing it pays to know which tracks are worthy of your attention. There are plenty of bush racing tracks in Australia which often result in big form reversals, but that’s not good for punters seeking consistency.
The tracks listed in our top Australian racetracks article highlight the surfaces which provide even racing and they also host the best races. The big races such as the Melbourne Cup and the Caulfield Cup are fun to bet on, but bookmakers make a killing off the long staying races which attract the casual bettors. We like to focus on the races where quality thoroughbreds are in action, which should give punters more confidence in correctly predicting the result.
Finding the best value on Australian horse racing
We personally like smaller fields where one runner has been well-favoured in the market. We target these races each week, typically on a Wednesday or Saturday, and finding the right value is one of the biggest factors. Some critics say it’s easy to back a favourite, and it is, but if every favourite won we’d all be millionaires. The key to finding the right favourite in the right race.
Before looking at the market, punters should have a rough idea of what their target horse should be paying. For example – we would frame a market where we think our top pick should be paying 1/1, but the bookmakers are offering 12/5. That’s good value in our opinion because we’re getting a better price than we thought we would get. The problem is that punters get stuck on backing one runner regardless of the price. Despite thinking a horse will win the race, punters shouldn’t take whatever odds are available. Sometimes it’s best to lay off and follow the form out of the race.
We often find these races at the Sydney metropolitan meetings on Wednesday and Saturday. In the 2yo and 3yo races there is typically a short-priced favourite in the market which attracts the punters attention. It will likely be the favourite due to its trial form or a general hype around the horse. Should we be backing these runners? Of course – there will always be horses winning at odds-on prices each and every day, but don’t take a price you’re not wanting. It also pays to keep an eye on the betting movements of these runners. Australian racing is synonymous with a late betting plunge and your 1/1 favourite can quickly turn into a 4/1 unfavoured runner. When this happens, you can all but throw away your ticket.
Where are the best races to bet on?
It pays to stick with the metropolitan venues in both Melbourne and Sydney. The best horses are running there and it always pays to follow good form. Backing horses who don’t have a good winning strike rate is a good way to lose money, and the best meetings bring out the best horses.
We avoid betting on Australian staying races because they’re often wide-open betting fields and the horses aren’t overly impressive. However, the market on Australian staying racing has changed dramatically over the last few years. The European imported runners are cleaning up in Australia and we suggest following any former European runner, regardless of the form it showed overseas. We often tip these European raiders, such as Big Duke and Plein Ciel, and they have proven to be a very successful investment.
Betting on the provincial and country tracks
There is great racing action during the week in Australia and the best horses to follow come out of the big stables, but you shouldn’t be confined to just betting at the big tracks, as there are plenty of good quality country tracks used each week. Punters love betting at the likes of Sandown, Pakenham and Canterbury as the form holds up nicely. Horses that have been backed in the lead-up often keep their form in tact at these tracks and it’s not too hard for punters to make good money betting throughout the week.
For races such as the Melbourne Cup, more thought is often put into making a selection. This requires reading form guides and knowing which races are labelled as good lead-up races. Sorting through a field of 24 runners sounds daunting, but it’s easy to eliminate half the field based on form alone. The 2016 Melbourne Cup is a good example of punters getting a good price for a runner which had been working well in the lead-up. It’s good to know which horses are being set for the bigger races, so look at the form to see which horses will peak on race day.
Our Australian Horse Racing Tips go live before 9.30pm every evening.