Centrebet Racing

How Does NZ Horse Racing Work?

How NZ horse racing works
How NZ horse racing works

In New Zealand, horse racing is a major sport. There are some 52 racetracks spread across the country, ranging from the world-class city tracks of Ellerslie (Auckland), Trentham (Wellington) and Riccarton (Christchurch) to the once-a-year venues that draw in dedicated locals as much for the social occasion as the racing. With more than 360 race meetings each year, there are few days without a New Zealand meeting, though the best racing is reserved for Saturdays and carnival times.

The sport is governed by New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing/ New Zealand is also renowned as horse heaven for breeding, and exports many thoroughbreds to neighbours Australia and the racing hubs of Hong Kong and Singapore and elsewhere.

In NZ one can place bets online at TAB or sports bookies as well as at physical betting stores and outlets.

New Zealand’s Premier racing is mostly conducted on Saturdays and is held at the following tracks: Ellerslie (Auckland), Trentham (Wellington), Riccarton (Christchurch), Hastings, Pukekohe, Palmerston North, Dunedin, New Plymouth, Matamata, Te Aroha, Rotorua, Ashburton and Tauranga. Though most of the Premier action is at the city tracks.

Popular New Zealand Horse Racing Carnivals

Popular New Zealand Horse Racing Carnival
Horse racing Carnivals

Following are the popular NZ horse racing carnivals:

1. Auckland Cup Carnival

The focus in New Zealand’s biggest city turns to the Ellerslie course in early March for two days of super racing action, highlight by the country’s richest group 1 race, the NZ Derby, on day one. Then on day two it’s the stayers’ turn in the time-honoured Auckland Cup. The week features plenty of fashion and entertainment. Best races: New Zealand Derby, Auckland Cup, New Zealand Stakes, Sistema Stakes.

2. Hawkes Bay Spring Carnival

Any excuse to visit this beautiful region should be used, and what better one than a racing extravaganza in September and early October, with the racing action at the Hastings course in Hawke’s Bay, on the east coast of the North Island. The region is famed for its wines and other superb produce, plus its great golf courses, so plenty to do between meetings. Best races: Mudgway Stakes (Challenge Stakes), Horlicks Plate, Spring Classic

3. Wellington Cup Carnival

A wonderful summer carnival was held over a couple of Saturday meetings in January at the Trentham track. As with most of the big NZ meetings, stayers are to the fore, for the testing 3200m cup, while the Telegraph is the country’s richest open sprint race. Best races: Levin Classic, Thorndon Mile, Telegraph Handicap, Wellington Cup.

4. New Zealand Cup Carnival

In mid to late November, the South Island takes centre stage for a magnificent week of racing, thoroughbred, standardbreds and greyhounds. At Riccarton racecourse in Christchurch, there are three premier meetings in the week, while the harness and greyhound action takes place at Addington Raceway. The highlights from a racing perspective are the NZ 2000 Guineas and NZ 1000 Guineas. The second Saturday is usually a sell-out as the stayers step out, on track in 3200m NZ Cup and off in the seemingly never-ending party the day brings. Best races: New Zealand 2000 Guineas, New Zealand 1000 Guineas, Coupland’s Bakeries Mile, New Zealand Cup.

Types of Races to Bet

Type of horse races
In NZ you can find Group races, Maiden races, Listed races, and Handicap races.

Actually, in NZ you can find flat and jumps racing. Flat racing is dominant and continues year-round, with race distances varying from sprints of 1000 metres (five furlongs) to middle distance to staying events up to 3200 metres (two miles). Group 1 races stand at the peak of racing in New Zealand, followed by group 2 and group 3 races and then listed races, which often feature promising horses trying to make the transition to group racing.

The standard racing at the level below these races generally consists of handicaps, where the NZTR handicapper attempts to give each horse an equal chance by adjusting their weights, and maidens, for horses yet to win a race.

In NZ you can find Group races, Maiden races, Listed races, and Handicap races.

The Group races are at the top tier of New Zealand horseracing. At the top, there are Group 1 horses, which are the championship level of horse racing. then, there is Group 2 for the horses that are below the championship level and there is Group 3 for horses that are underneath Group 2.

With listed races, there are horses that are not of the Groups standard. A Group horse that achieves poorly might drop down to a listed horse, and the races are used to identify the top performers suitable for a Group cataloging.

The Maiden horse races are horses that have not won a race. A racehorse may remain a maiden for its whole career and still be earning good prize cash for its owner.

A handicap race is when a horse carries a different amount of weight depending on their earlier performance.

Remember you need to be 18 and over years of age to place your bets in NZ

Click here to know the rules of betting in NZ

How to place bets in NZ horse racing?

You can place bets online or at a store in NZ

All bets placed are final, once you have confirmed your bet online, the bet is recorded in the computer and cannot be refunded or modified. To query a bet, you need to instantly call TAB Customer Services on 0800 102 106.

If your ticket is affected by a late scratching, including multi-leg bet types, you may get a refund or change your bet prior to the race or first leg starting. If you do not change your bet, or you placed your bet online, the TAB will substitute an alternative selection (the starting tote win favourite) for the scratched runner after the closing time for receipt of multi-leg bets (Double, Treble, Quaddie, Place6 and Pick6).

  • Fixed Odds bets cannot be changed or cancelled.
  • Live bets may not be changed or cancelled
  • No bets placed on live betting (in-play) options may be changed or cancelled in any instance.
  • Online and Touchtone bets may not be changed or cancelled
  • Online and Touchtone bets cannot be changed or cancelled in any instance and customers should be aware of the late scratching rules

At stores all Tote bets placed with cash can only be changed or cancelled within two minutes of being sold. This two-minute window allows you to check your ticket(s) and rectify any errors.

How to fill a bet slip online for NZ horse racing?

When you bet online at bookie or TAB after opening your account and verification you have to make a deposit.

Then go to bet slip.

By enabling the “confirm” bet option from the bet slip, will mean you have a one-step bet placing process rather than the standard two-step process.

If you wish to turn the bet confirmation step off simply click on ‘Settings’ located on the top of the bet slip. Move the toggle to the right to switch off ‘Confirm bets before placing’.

Move the toggle to the right to switch off ‘Confirm bets before placing’.

If a price change occurs between the time of your selection and bet placement, you can now choose between three default settings: Always Confirm, Accept Any, or Accept Higher. Click ‘Settings’ located on the top of the bet slip to change your default price change setting. 

Always Confirm: If the price changes while the bet is in the bet slip you will be prompted to accept the change before the bet can be placed.

Accept Any: If the price changes, while the bet is in the bet slip the bet, will be placed regardless of any price changes. 

Accept Higher: If the price of a selection in the bet slip decreases you will be prompted to accept the price decrease. However, if the price increases the bet will be placed straight away without the need to confirm the higher price. 

Minimum Bet Amount Per Individual Transaction 

  • Online (Racing) –  $1.00
  • Online (Sports) – .01c
  • Instore – $1.00    
  • Touchtone – $2.00
  • Also you can place your bet with TAB NZ Mobile App

What is Touchstone NZ?

On 1 June 2020, TAB Phonebet moved from a manned service to a fully automated service using TAB’s Touch stone capability. From this date, all of your telephone bets will be processed by the TAB Touch Tone automated service.

Functionality available with TAB Touch Tone includes placing Tote bets, checking race results, scratchings and your balance. 

There are a number of benefits for making the switch to TAB Touch stone:

  • You’ll likely find that TAB Touch Tone is a quicker way to access race information and get your bets on
  • It’s 24/7 – the TAB Touch Tone service is always open; you won’t have to call during opening hours
  • You can check up-to-date race results and scratchings without having enter your account number and PIN

If you have internet access you can use your Phonebet account for betting online at www.tab.co.nz, now might be the time to try betting on the highly popular TAB website. To use Touchstone service

Call 0800 10 20 33 from a landline, or 04 472 7888 from a mobile phone. Have your account number and PIN ready. 

First up is the Touchstone menu. This is an automated message that guides you through your choices. To get started using Touch Tone, call one of the numbers listed above and at the prompt enter your account number followed by the # key, then enter your four-digit PIN followed by the # key.

The voice prompt will give your account balance then play the main menu options.

You can also choose to press 9# to go directly to the scratchings and results menu without entering your account details.

The Touch Tone menu offers the following top-level options once you’ve entered your account number and PIN.

Press # for the next race to go, or 1 for any other race

Press 9 for Scratchings and Results

Using the Scratchings and Results service

Once you press 9 you’ll hear Press 1 for Scratchings, 2 for Results.

  • For Scratching Press 1, then select your meeting and race by following these prompts:
  • Enter meeting number and press #.
  • For next race to go at this meeting press hash, or enter race number and then press hash.
  • If there are no scratchings for a particular race the customer will hear “Race and Scratchings: All start.”
  • To listen to multiple race scratchings at a particular meeting, enter a meeting number and then the first race number for that meeting. After hearing the scratchings for that race, the next race’s scratchings will be played.
  • Press * to return to the scratchings menu, or ** to return to the main menu.

For Results Press 2, then enter your meeting number and press hash.

If no results are available you’ll hear a message saying “that event has no results” and then will be returned to the Results menu.

If results are available the next prompt will play:  “For most recent race result at this meeting press hash, or enter race number and then press hash.”

Press * to go back to the previous menu, or ** to return to the main menu.

There is a betting menu given which you make full use of to place your bets.

Finally, remember the online bookies offer you great bonus offers and other promotions such as free bets on sports and races. (info source: TABNZ)

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