Spring Carnival Racing is a marvellous affair with fashion and fun but for those not involved in the world of racing, placing a winning bet can be a challenge. Arm yourself with our races cheat sheet and you’ll be betting like a race track pro in no time!
Types of wagers
There are two types of wagers to pick from when you make a bet: straight and exotic. Most people stick to straight wagers which are simple and cost effective; to make a bet, pick a horse to come in first, second or third. Exotic wagers are harder to win and require more skill in picking horses but the pay offs are higher.
For straight bets you have four options:
- Win horse finishes first
- Place horse finishes first or second
- Show horse finishes in top three
- Across the board wager horse finishes first, second or third
Types of races
There are several main types of races:
- Maiden races are for horses that have yet to win a race
- Claiming races where the horses are available for purchase
- Allowance races are races with specific conditions such as the weight a horse can carry
- Stakes which is the premier race for the best horses
- Oaks races for 3 year old fillies only
- Derby races which are restricted to 3 year old horses
How to place your bet
Once you have made your betting decisions it is time to go to the ticket window and place it. You’ll need to relay the following info to the teller:
- Name of the racetrack
- Number of race
- The amount you’re betting
- Type of bet
- Which horse or horses you’re betting on by the number
Once you’re done be sure to put your ticket in a safe place so you can come back and collect your earnings with it if you win.
Aside from your fabulous outfit, there are some additional items you may want to take with you at the races:
- Binoculars will help you see your favourites across the finish line
- Race track program or race card where you can find information about the horses, jockeys and trainers
- Daily Racing Form (DRF) contains information about the past performances of horses and other tips
How to pick the winning horse
If you’re not an expert you can still increase your odds of winning with the following tips:
- Get as much information as you can from the race day program and listen out for tips from the experts
- Consider what class they are racing in and if it is higher than the class they usually race
- Surface of the race track
- Past performance of the horse, jockey and trainer
- Observe the horse prior to the race. Like people horses may be jittery or moody and not as prepared to race compared to a calm and focused horse.
A day at the races is always a dramatic and entertaining experience. Win or lose, you’re still able to have a great time soaking up the spring weather and enjoying the atmosphere that is the Spring Carnival.