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13 most popular types of horse races you can find with online as well as land bookies

Endurance races

Types of Horse Races in Australia

There are various types of horse races available with online bookies as well as at land horse race tracks.  In Australia all horses can race in a grade that matches their abilities. Most of the racing is done on a flat surface which is predominantly grass, or turf as it is most widely known. Also have a limited jumps season throughout the year in different states and they are quite popular, especially the Warrnambool May Carnival in Victoria.

Each sports betting site like Ladbrokes offers various types of horse races for Victoria Derby, Golden Slipper, Metro Jockey Premierships, The Everest, Caulfield Cup  or the popular Melbourne Cup. As there so many horse racing events so are the different types of horse racing. Some races put an emphasis on speed, while others track endurance or specific skills. There are also horse races that feature specific types of horses or grade horses competing as said above at a certain level. It’s important to know which is which before you ever place money on a wager, as some types of horse racing are far more worth your time than others.

Australian racing caters for all types of thoroughbred racing with Maiden races for the non-winners and Group one racing for the elite. In between there are various race classes for horses to go through their grades and reach their highest potential. Female gallopers have Fillies & Mares only races, while there are aged races for two, three, and four years and upward horses, and events with Special or Restricted conditions. Races typically range from 800m to 3200m for flat racing, and anything up to 5000+ for Hurdles and Steeplechase races.

Here find the thirteen most popular types of horse races that you can find with online as well as land bookies

1. Flat Racing

Flat Races- Horse racing Australia

The most popular type of horse racing by far is flat racing. These types of races typically deal with Thoroughbred horses, and are run on a flat, leveled surface. Different countries offer flat racing and are popularly found to bet at sportsbetting online bookies where any race that is run on a flat surface without hurdles or other obstacles for the horses typically qualifies as a flat race.

Flat races tend to be run between 1-3 miles, depending on the event, and can be a test of the horse’s speed, stamina, or both. Turf is the leading running surface for horses across the world, but many races are still held on dirt tracks as well, especially in the United States.

In Great Britain and Europe, flat racing is often broken down into two classifications:

  • Conditions Racing
  • Handicap Racing

Conditions and Handicap races both refer to distinct handicaps set for horses ahead of a given event. Conditions races are decided based on various elements, whether it be the horses’ age, sex, or another distinction.

Horses seen to have an initial advantage carry extra weight to give the rest of the field a handicap, which effectively balances things out and gives bettors more of a leveled playing field.

2. Thoroughbred Races

Types of horse races- Thoroughbred

Thoroughbred horse racing is a worldwide sport and industry involving the racing of Thoroughbred horses and is arguably the most popular form of horse racing. Races are run in two types of distances: sprints and routes. A sprint is anything one mile or less and a route is anything over a mile in length. The Australian Jockey Club is still responsible for maintaining the Thoroughbred breed registry in the country today.

3. Quarter horse races

Types of horse races- Quarter horse race

The Quarter Horse received its name due to the length of the race. The races were indeed “a quarter” of a mile, or 400 meters. The breed of horse was developed so they could get off to a quick start, and win the race. These horse racing events can be exciting due to the speed and talent involved, but they don’t last very long. Quarter horse racing isn’t as popular as some other events, but bettors can still keep tabs on speed events. Click here to know the rules of Quarter horse races in Australia.

4. Hurdle Race

Types of horse races-Hurdle horse race

A hurdle race is an event where horses are required to jump over a series of hurdles which are maximum 1 metre high and no more than 150 metres from the starting line. A hurdle event is run over a distance of no less than 2800m with a minimum weight of 62kgs for premier hurdle events and 63kgs for non premier, while the minimum top weight is 68kgs. Jumps season in Australia generally runs from March to August and predominantly in Victoria and South Australia. Jump races can be a bit more difficult to bet on, as bettors need to consider a lot of different variables, with horse’s hurdling ability and jockey control being arguably the most important.

5. Steeple Chase

Types of horse races- Steeple chase

A steeplechase event is a race where horses are required to jump over a series of obstacles called fences which are no more than 1.15 meters in height. A steeplechase is run over a distance of no less than 3200m with a minimum weight of 62kgs for premier hurdle events and 63kgs for non premier, while the minimum top weight is 68kgs. The horses have to leap over numerous obstacles, which can include fences, water, and open ditches.

6. Maiden Races

Maiden races

A Maiden Race is one restricted to horses which at the time of starting have never won on the flat a race at a registered meeting or any advertised race in any country. The same applies to maidens for hurdles and steeplechase races.

7. Class Races

Class Races- Australia horse racing betting

On the provincial circuit in Australia there are six types of class races, and they range from Class 1 to Class 6. A Class 1 race is restricted to horses that have not won more than one race and the same goes for each of the other classes through to Class 6 which are restricted to horses that have not won more than six races. If a horse has won 5 races then it is only eligible for for a Class 5 or Class 6, and if a horse has won 3 races then it can only race in a Class 3 or higher. Maidens who have yet to win a race are eligible for any class race.

8. Endurance Racing

Endurance races

The third main type of horse racing is endurance racing, which challenges horses over longer tracks, or at least for longer periods of time. Unlike many of the popular flat and jump racing events, endurance racing tests endurance and longevity on a track. Speed isn’t as big of a factor here for bettors, as the main focus is on horses that have the ability to produce consistently and not fade over larger courses.

This isn’t a hugely-popular horse racing style, just because it can take far longer and isn’t necessarily ideal for horses and jockeys. The longest endurance race going on currently is the Mongol Derby, which stretches for a ridiculous 1,000 kilometers. All breeds are welcome for these types of races, but Arabian horses tend to be popular, due to their elite stamina and endurance.

9. Harness Racing

Types of horse races- Harness racing

There are also races where the horse is responsible for more than just its own weight and a jockey. In harness racing, horses pull a sulky, and race a specific trot or pace. The goal is for the horses to trot or pace at the predetermined speed, without breaking stride. Horses are penalized for galloping by being forced to slow down behind the competition. Easily the top harness race in Australia are Barastoc Grand Circuit Series, the Australasian Pacers Grand Circuit, the Victoria Cup, the Miracle Mile and the Inter Dominion Pacing Championship.. Horses are entered into this prestigious event based on lifetime earnings, and compete for a prize upwards of over one million dollars.

10. Allowance Racing

Allowance racing Australia

There are also horse races where horses are run for profit, but at the same time are showcased for sale. These are not popular races due to a serious lack of reliability, as well as the obvious goal of horses being purchased. Of course, these two racing types are quite different. Allowance races offer a much bigger purse than claiming races, and the horses aren’t actually for sale. These races aren’t graded and really aren’t that important in the grand scheme of things, but there is still a good amount of money involved, and the horses involved can prove themselves for bigger events in the future.

11. Claiming Races

Types of horse races- Claiming Races

Claiming races are the races where horses compete to win, but owners are also gauging their value. Much like maiden races, this is a low level of horse racing, and not an ideal horse racing betting atmosphere. Ahead of claiming races, people can put in claims to bid and purchase a horse. Should that horse finish in the money, the previous owner gets the purse, while the new owner would then get the horse.

12. Stakes Racing

Stakes horse race

Once a horse has really proven itself, they can start racing in stakes events. These are the highest level of horse races, and tend to feature huge cash prizes. Some of the best owners, trainers, jockeys, and horse racing talent are in these races, and this is the first big stepping stone to some of the biggest horse racing events. Any horse that ends up running in the biggest events usually has to work its way up the ladder, which has the average horse competing in at least a handful of stakes races. These races tend to be of the flat racing variety (and are typically well-known events on the circuit. There are low level stakes races and there are higher level events that horses can use to push them into big events like the Kentucky Derby or Melbourne cup.

13. Graded Stakes Racing

Graded Stakes horse race

In this type of horse racing the race is assigned a grade (I, II, or III) that helps detail which horses are the most competitive, as well as the quality of the field. These graded stakes can serve as measuring sticks for owners, trainers, jockeys, and the horses, while the horse racing community can gauge just how good a horse is based on how they compete and finish.

Grades stakes events can feature different lengths and tracks and can serve as huge stepping stones toward bigger events. These races also tend to showcase large purses, and on their own can register as big wins or placements for horses who take first, second, or third.

For the most part, when betting on big horse racing events in Australia, bettors will be dealing with flat racing, Thoroughbreds, and various levels of stakes racing. These are the races that are highly popular, get the most national attention, and also garner the most information to accurately bet on. All other events are much more specific to their style, country, or sect, and require studious research and betting insight.

There are several regulatory bodies for horse racing in Australia. Ultimate responsibility sits with the Australian Racing Board (ARB) which, among other things, enforces the nation’s rules of racing. The Australian Stud Book and the Registrar of Racehorses, although independent, report to the ARB.

Another important organization is the Australian Pattern Racing Committee, which is responsible for grading races. There are also the Principle Racing Authorities and these manage the sport at a state level. Each state also has a Principal Club, and some of them have other official clubs as well, which organize the races taking place in their region.

How to place bet on Horse racing?

Betting is an important part of horse racing in Australia, and a significant reason for its popularity. There are several ways that you can place wagers in the country, both on and off the courses.

On course you will find licensed bookmakers offering fixed odds betting and Totalisator Agency Boards (TABs) offering parimutuel betting. TABs can also be found off course in many different locations, even including pubs and bars. There are a number of mobile betting services that can be used to place wagers too. Also the most popular way to bet is at online bookies. Betting online is easy, fast and convenient and there are many sports betting sites that accept wagers on horse racing. These offer a few advantages to traditional forms of betting but it’s important to use one that is reputable and trustworthy and do not forget to grab bonus offers that such sites provide.

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