Horse racing in New Zealand generates an estimated $1.6 billion per annum and the industry employs over 18,000 people. While spending time at top-class race tracks like Riccarton Park, a few strategies could help to make the enjoyable sport a bit more profitable as well.
Racing forms are available guides. Knowing which horses are consistently in the top 3 is a good indicator of who is most likely to win the race, bearing in mind that each race and track is different. The race form provides information on the horse’s rank in their past few races. Taking a closer look at the horse’s breeding and history could help with picking out a favorite. The two most famous racing horses in New Zealand’s history undoubtedly had to be Phar Lap and Gloaming. Phar Lap’s strength and size impressed onlookers and won a host of Australia’s Group 1 races, while Gloaming still holds the Australian record over four furlongs – 45 seconds.
The three basic bets (Win, Show and Place) are the easiest for beginners to start with. Place bets are great for times when you think a particular horse has a good chance of winning. However, enthusiasts who want to spice up their options can opt for an Exotic Bet. These bets are wagered on a single race and consist of 5 categories. The Exacta Bet requires one to correctly wager on the winner and runner up, while Quinella relies on predicting the top two finishers. Predicting the first 3 horses in the correct order is known as a Trifecta bet.
Shopping the odds offers an opportunity for extra winnings to line your pocket. Prior to making a bet, research 3 or 5 reputable sites in addition to the bookmaker, and you should notice a pattern of sites who offer the best odds. Most sportsbook sites will offer welcome gifts or bonuses for first time users. Some sites will reload bonuses for subsequent bets or other special offers. These special offerings and bonuses offer a way to recoup some losses.
Betting on every single race is not advised, instead, select a few different races. The Auckland Cup is an open race covering a distance of 3200m and holds different characteristics to the Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes, a shorter race, in which the competing horses need to comply with a certain weight in accordance to the Weight for Age Scale. The Weight for Age Scale is a definition of the conditions for the race. In essence each horse will carry a set weight depending on the animal’s age, sex, the race distance and the month the racing season. Colts typically carry more weight than mares to compensate for the difference in strength between the sexes when competing in mixed races. Adding a few different bets to different tracks over time should see your odds of winning increase without breaking the bank.
The amount of money you are willing to risk should be considered as your bankroll. Putting it in a different account or using it as cash will increase the likelihood that you won’t spend more than your bankroll. Decide ahead of time how much you are willing to spend on each bet. Deciding on a limit will help prevent one from getting caught up on the moment and placing bets based on emotion.
Horse racing has enjoyed a long and established tradition in New Zealand who birthed legends like Seabiscuit and more recently, Black Caviar. This mare ran and won all 25 of her races, including 15 Group 1 titles. Horse racing is firmly embedded in New Zealand culture, with a long, established line of famous horses, the industry will entertain for years to come still.
Suggested reading: What is Horse Racing Handicapping?