Australian racing is a 24/7 business and for punters that requires gathering a lot of research, but picking Australian winners does not have to be a hard task. Read our About Australian Racing article if you are a newcomer to racing Down Under.
The key to success is knowing how to read Australian form, where to get the best value and which stats you should use when making your selection.
The only day of the year where there is not horse racing in Australia is on Christmas Day and with hundreds of tracks spread across six states in Australia, it pays to know where you are betting.
The following guide will help to read Australian race cards, tell punters where to get the best information and where to find the best value.
How to read Australian race cards
Reading an Australian race card is simpler than many punters would expect. Every race shown on bet365.com has a easy-to-use layout which includes race, horse and betting information.
All the details of the race are shown at the top of page and the field is listed under that. It might look like a lot of numbers, but we are here to tell you what they mean.
Firstly, in Australia the fields are ordered by the weight the horse will carry. Top weight in Australia is usually around the 60kg mark and these horses will be higher up the page. In many countries, horses are listed in different orders, but Australian racing will always be listed by weight.
Its barrier draw and form will be listed beside its name. Its most recent starts will appear from left to right and it pays to make note of this when placing a bet. Recent form is a key factor to picking Australian winners and if you are looking for an expanded edition of the form, simply click on “full form” where it will give a detailed analysis of each runner.
There are many different betting options in Australia, so you will likely see around four sets of odds for each runner. These will be for both the tote and fixed odds markets and it is important to select the right market when placing a bet.
Betting with fixed odds guarantees you getting the odds that appear on the page. This allows punters to be confident in knowing they have secured a set price and it is extremely popular with Australian racing. Late betting moves are common and they can drastically affect your odds.
Betting on the tote markets can work both ways. The odds will be directly influenced by how much money is invested on that runner, so it is the more risky option. The risk is that accumulator tote bets heavily affect the tote price and punters can lose out on value, so sticking with fixed odds is the way to go.
Where to get the best Australian racing information
myracing.com supplies daily Australian racing tips and weekly articles highlighting the major Australian races, but if you are after more betting information, there are some good sites which can assist in making your selection.
bet365.com is a leading bookmaker which specialises in Australian racing. It is the first bookmaker in the world to offer odds on Australian racing and it makes understanding the market much easier.
Getting the first look at the market allows punters to assess the field before the money influences the odds. Often punters will see a horse that is paying more than it should and getting in early is the key to locking in that value.
It also offers a descriptive betting guide for every Australian race which highlights every runner’s form and its chances of winning. Picking winners on Australian racing can be all about confidence and having extra information supplied by the bookmaker goes a long way.
Types of races to bet on in Australia
There are many different grades in which Australian horses can compete and deciphering what these grades mean can be tricky for new punters.
Throughout the week – primarily on Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays and Fridays – many of the races will be run in maiden grade. This is for horses that have failed to win a race or are having their debuts.
Having won a maiden, horses will often rise through the grades and these grades are shown in the race details at the top of the page.
For example: myracing.com Rating 74 Handicap (1600m)
The rating 74 handicap is for horses which carry a rating no higher than 74. Horses are given rating points after each performance, depending on the result, which determines which grade they can race in.
In Australian racing, once a horse gets to rating 90 grade, that usually enables them to run in the bigger races held on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Once a horse has hit the high grades, they will then race in listed and group races. Listed races carry plenty of importance in the breeding industry and the stake money on offer is always more than the lower graded races.
Group racing is split into three different grades. Group 1, 2 and 3 – with Group 1 being the best possible grade a horse can race in. There are 70 Group 1 races in Australia which cover the entire calendar year.
The big races attract punters from across the world as they prefer to bet on quality thoroughbreds.
We will be covering the major races throughout the year.
Key information for betting on Australian racing
Being able to read form is a good way to consistently pick winners on Australian racing. Some horses will have good form, but it might be in lower grades, so it does pay to click on the expanded form to see what grades the horse has been running in.
Punters often find great value in horses that are dropping back in grade because, even though the form line does not read well, it will find racing against easier opposition more to its liking.
You should also take note of the barrier draw and weight of the horse. A wide barrier can often trip up a runner in Australia as they race around corners, as opposed to in a straight line.
Finding runners at good weights will also help to pick winners. Backing a runner who is dropping in weight from its last run is a big positive and because the weights are so condensed in Australia, a kilogram or two can make all the difference.
Betting moves on Australian racing happen in almost every race. The key is to identify which runner is over the odds and will subsequently be well-backed as the market closes.
Getting an early price on the fixed odds market is a big positive and, given that our Australian tips are put on site hours before the race, our punters get the best chance to get in early.
Follow our expert Australian tips which are posted daily before 9pm.