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Tradition, Excitement. Prestige. It is all encapsulated yearly at The Melbourne Racing Club in October. Since 1879, it has proven year after year to be a thrilling spectacle. It is one of the toughest handicap races in the world. It is truly a production. The Caulfield Cup is a time-honored event that is respected with formality and etiquette by horse racing enthusiasts all over the globe.
Thoroughbred horse-racing, specifically, is a sport that is rooted in Australia’s history and has spanned the globe. Although the Caulfield began as early as 1879, it was not until 1998 that horses from around the world were allowed to compete in the race. The celebrated, anticipated Caulfield Cup is one of Melbourne’s big three horse-racing competitions called the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
The challenging race course itself is 2,400 meters. In 2000, the Melbourne racingClub and the Victorian industry spent millions to improve the track, and this was money well spent. Anticipated annually, this is more than just a horse race; fans, bettors and non-bettors watch breathlessly as if fundamentally connected to the majestic animals.
Gambling on the races has brought big money and a lot of excitement to the sport. The popularity of thoroughbred horse racing in Australia began with a mere $1,000.00 as a beginning purse. Today, the purse is worth millions to the rider, the trainers, the owners, and, of course, the bettors in the stands. Statistics, tips, and odds on horses are readily available online. As race day approaches, betting becomes more and more chaotic. The appeal of the Caulfield Cup happens on many levels.
Preparation for this race, as one can imagine, is extremely specific both for jockeys and horses. Strategically trained horses from all over the world and Australia compete for this prestigious opportunity. They compete for one of the eighteen coveted spots and four emergency entries. Horses are trained specifically for this race with special trainers because every race is different and requires a different type of training.
What can one expect on race day? Excitement and thrilling performances. Because the race has such a high handicap, it makes betting even more challenging to judge the winners. Surprises are around every corner. Anything can happen: with epic races such as this one, unexpected winners have come out of nowhere, epic accidents have taken place, and even death has occurred on this course.
Caulfield Cup results from last year in 2014 were as impressive as ever, and Japanese winner Admire Rakti came in first, becoming the new favorite. Rising Romance came in second, followed by Lucia Valentina for the third spot. As of August 2013, race track conditions are posted online by racenet analysts. Caulfield Cup results from all years are conveniently posted online as well.
It is more than the excitement of betting at this level; it’s truly hoping a particular horse will win because of strength and will and power. Perhaps it is a vicarious thrill for patrons to be a part of the struggle and the triumph of a race.
Betting on horse races can be exhilarating, even as a one-time adventure. If you're good at it, you can also earn some supplementary income. However, not all of us have the time or money to get to the racetrack on a regular basis.
Thankfully, there's analternative - many people are able to bet online on actual races. Some of these sites offer a simulcast of the race, and others simply will list the result. Though some of the sites require a minimum bet up front, others have adopted the important policy of offering free wagers. Free gambling can be found in a variety of forms - the matched free bet, the plain bet, and the periodic bet are three main ones.
Matched free betting online may well be the most common. These bets offer to match a customer's initial deposit up to a certain amount. This sort of policy is important for first-time bettors, as they get a sense of what it's like to bet on horse races without having a substantial initial investment. Many potential bettors are skeptical, and it can be risky for a betting company to not match an initial bet. For instance, say a new bettor signs up for a site and makes an initial deposit into his or her betting account. This deposit is equal to the minimum allowable bet.
Let's say this brand-new bettor put all this money on one race and lost. Having stepped into the world of horse-racing betting without any winnings, this person is likely to leave the scene and never come back.
However, when a matched bet is offered, the new bettor has twice his or her initial deposit when betting. If the first bet is a bust, this bettor may then place a new bet. More bets means best odds at winning, and more winning means more dedicated customers.
Some online betting companies, however, understand the extreme skepticism of many would-be bettors. Many people, understandably, don't want to invest any money up-front. While matched free bets can be a great way for a betting company to get more business (and for the enthusiastic online bettor to gain more bets without cost), some potential customers don't want to spend any money before getting an idea of what the site can offer.
For these customers, many sites offer plain no cost betting online. Used in conjunction with the best odds online this type bet requires no initial deposit, but it gives those who sign up a chance to place a bet risk-free on an event of their choice. This is crucial for those who have not bet before for several reasons. One is that many who have not placed a bet will be unsure of how it works and may not fully research betting options before placing a bet.
Another is that many people are not entirely sold on the idea of betting at all. These people remain skeptics, and having them pay additional money is not going to convince them to bet. When a company offers a free bet along with free odds, these people will often try betting because it's risk free. If a first-time bettor wins, chances are he or she will come back for more.
Periodic free betting opportunities are offered by some companies, and their main function is to help revive the resigned customer. If you've subscribed to a betting site and haven't won anything in months, you probably will soon think about closing your account. However, when a company offers a periodic free bet (every month, or two months, for example), it essentially incentivizes staying with the program. If a customer is about to quit but is offered free odds and a free way of gambling, chances are that he or she will stay on at least long enough to use what is essentially free money.
In summation, making gambling cheaper and the offer of free odds are key to any online betting company keeping and acquiring new bettors. And as more people bet, more are introduced to the beautiful world that is Australian racing.
As punter scour their European form guides and/or form guides in Australia, they often get the chance to wager on some of the top races in the world. Given the level of competition in some of these races, punters are challenged to handicap against the racing industry's biggest superstars using only their European form guides or form guides in Australia. Under the category of the best of the best, here are five of the most important horses races on these two continents.
1. Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe - Longchamp Racecourse (Paris, France), 2040 meter on turf, Group I, Three-years-old and up, purse of US$5,000,000+. As the European flat season draws to a close, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe is often positioned to determine the Cartier Horse of the Year honors. The race has been run since 1920 with many of the best turf horses from around the world lining up with the starter. Through the years, six jockeys have won the race four times (Jacques Doyasbère, Freddy Head, Yves Saint-Martin, Pat Eddery, Olivier Peslier, Thierry Jarnet) while one trainer, André Fabre, has accounted for seven wins. Prior winners include Ribot, Alleged, Prince Royal, Mill Reef, Sagace, Montjeu and Treve (2013 & 2014).
2. Melbourne Cup - Flemington Racecourse (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 3200 meters on turf, Group I, Three-year-olds and up, purse of AUS$6,200,000. As one of the most grueling races for true stayers, the Melbourne Cup remains as the richest grass event in the world. Australia's preeminent race has a rich history as horses from all over the world have assembled for the Melbourne Cup Spring Festival. The Cup is run as an invitational race with a complex nomination process. One notable record comes from trainer Bart Cummings who has won this race an amazing 12 times. Past Australian champions that have won the race include Makybe Diva (3 times), Empire Rose, Kingston Town, Black Knight, Think Big, Peter Pan and the great Phar Lap.
3. King George IV & Queen Elizabeth Stakes - Ascot Racecourse (Ascot, England), 2414 meters on turf, Group I, Three-years-old and up, purse of £1,065,000. In the heart of the summer racing season, the King George IV & Queen Elizabeth Stakes has drawn many of the top distance specialists in the world since 1951. It is also the centerpiece of the Royal Ascot Meet. The race was won by the legendary Lester Piggott on seven occasions while three trainers have accounted for five wins apiece. Past champions that have added this race to its resume include Nijinsky, Ribot, Mill Reef, Dahlia (twice), Nashwan, Lammtarra, Swain (twice) and Taghrooda in 2014.
4. Irish Champion Stakes - Leopardstown (Co. Dublin, Ireland), 2012 meters on turf, Group I, Three-years-old and up, purse of €1,000,000. During the racing calendar, this event usually draws many of the best milers in Europe. In it's relatively abbreviated history (1976), the race has been dominated by Ireland's most prominent human connections, including Michael Kinane (jockey), Aidan O'Brien (trainer) and Sue Magnier / Michael Tabor (owners), all seven-time winner. Past champions include Sadler's Wells, Muhtarram, Giant's Causeway, So You Think (AUS), Dylan Thomas (twice) and Sea the Stars.
5. W.S. Cox Plate - Moonee Valley Racecourse (Melbourne, Australia), 2040 meters on grass, Group I, Three-year-olds and up, purse of A$3,000,000. While serving as a major prep race for the Melbourne Cup, the Cox Plate has a great deal of quality on its own. The race has been run since 1922 with many of the continent's greatest race horses claiming victory. They include Phar Lap, Tranquil Star (twice), Tobin Bronze (twice), Kingston Town (three times), Strawberry Road and So You Think (twice).
When springtime arrives in Melbourne, it signifies it's time for the illustrious Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. As part of the Carnival festivities, the Cox Plate, one of the most prestigious races on the continent, is run as the event's centerpiece race. Conditions for the race: 2040 meters on turf for 3-year-olds and older, any sex, weights are assigned by age, starting at 49.5kg up to a maximum of 59kg. The race carries a purse of just over AUS$3.0 million, making it the second richest race in Australia with the Melbourne Cup carrying the highest purse.
This year's Cox Plate is going to be run at the Moonee Valley Racecourse in Moonee Ponds, just outside of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The race is scheduled for the afternoon of Saturday 24 October 2015. The field size will be restricted to 14 starters with 4 horses to be entered as emergency starters to be considered should any of the original starting 14 be unable to make it to the starting gate. Nominations are due by Monday, October 19th with the final list of starters and reserves to be release on Wednesday, October 21.
After scanning the Cox Plate results dating back to the race's beginning in 1922, horse racing fans will note the list of winners includes some of the greatest horses in the history of Australian horse racing. Horses like Phar Lap, Tranquil Star, Tobin Bronze, Kingston Town (only three-time winner), Strawberry Road, Sunline, Northerly and So You Think went on to capture multiple renewals. Last year's winner was the brilliant Adelaide, the Irish-bred from the barn of Aidan O'Brien, ridden by Ryan Moore. Adelaide's victory was the first time a horse from outside of the Southern Hemisphere was able to take down the first prize in this historic race. Adelaide also became the only horse from last season to win important races on three continents, North America (Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes) , Europe (Group III Gallinule Stakes) and of course Australia.
Australian racing fans and punters will spend the months leading up to the race looking over horse racing results for possible Cox Plate entrants to pick up when future book bets open up around the end of Autumn. In recent Cox Plate news, Moe-based trainer Peter Gelagotis has confirmed he anticipates trying to get his stakes winning steed Mourinho into the starting gate come October. It is also possible punters might see Adelaide return to defend his title, depending on whether or not owners Derrick Smith, Mrs John Magnier, Michael Tabor B & M Webb, J & C Murray,J , F Ingham , T & S Magnier decide to keep him in training as the European season comes to a close.
After the Cox Plate results have been posted, Australia's racing industry will turn its attention to the world renowned Melbourne Cup to be run in early November. Throughout the years, several Cox Plate heroes have gone on to capture the Cup, forever securing a place in the annals of horse racing history.
For punters, the horse racing results from the Cox Plate have often brought big-priced winners into the winner's circle. Some of the recent big-priced winners include Shamus Award (2013, 20-1), Pinker Pinker (2011, 25-1), So You Think (2009, 12-1), Fields Of Omagh (2003, 16-1 & 2006, 18-1) and Dane Ripper (1997, 40-1). As the race draws near, punters will be trolling future book prices at many of the popular online sports books, looking for the best kept secret of 2015.
Whether you're betting the Ascot or the Caulfield Cup, you want to take full advantage of every piece of information on your racing form to place the most educated bets, especially if you're wagering from home. Armchair punters can get fabulous information from the form, if they know where to look. You can rest assured that when looking at something like the Caulfield Cup results, for example, that the track going is a big factor in the outcome of the race. Here's a look at why that is and how you can use information about the going to place smarter bets.
Why the Going Is Important
The racetrack going (also known as the track rating in Australia or conditions in the US) plays a huge role in how horses perform on any given day. Most horses gravitate towards one type of track over another--the so-called "wet" or "dry trackers." While some horses love the quick surface and lack of strain associated with a dry track, others find the higher impact unpleasant.
Other horses don't like the mess that comes with a wet track. Even if they have the stamina to withstand a heavy track, they may not like getting splashed in the face or the "kickback" from horses in front of them as the track gets chewed up. While some jockeys can use this to their advantage and maneuver a horse to the lead, they may not be able to sufficiently urge on a horse who prefers to fade to the back of the field.
The going can also affect horses long-term. A horse that runs frequently on a harder track will eventually develop degenerative joint disease (arthritis). Horses that always have to work extra hard in the mud may develop tendon problems or soft tissue injuries.
Rough going makes racing difficult enough in flat races. In jumping races, it can make them downright dangerous. Regulations have become more stringent regarding shoeing to protect the horse's health. While old-style toe grabs and caulks gave more traction, they are rarely in use now.
How Track Conditions Are Recorded
A racing steward assigns a rating to the track on every race day using a specific vocabulary for the going. In the UK and Ireland, turf tracks can be rated as: hard, firm, good to firm, good, good to soft ("yielding" in Ireland), soft or heavy. The All-Weather tracks have a different rating system: fast, standard to fast, standard, standard to slow or slow.
Australia's rating system is as follows: Fast 1 (hard and dry), Good 2, Good 3, Dead 4, Dead 5, Slow 6, Slow 7, Heavy 8, Heavy 9 or Heavy 10 (very soft and wet).
The track going can be up upgraded or downgraded in the middle of a race card if the steward determines the conditions have changed.
How to Use Knowledge of the Going to Increase Your Wins
So now you know why the going is important and how it's assessed by race professionals, but how can you use that knowledge to make money? By matching horses that have historically done well in certain kinds of conditions with the going on race day.
To figure out a horse's going preference, you're going to need to do a bit of homework with whichever racing form you use. You should find a form guide that allows you to delve into any horse's past performances, which may entail purchasing a membership--well worth it if you place a few winning bets as a result.
When you look at past performances, find "race conditions" to see how your prospective bet finished in different types of going. If a horse has raced long enough, you'll probably see patterns that indicate what type of track it prefers. It's a rare horse that can do equally well in all categories of going.
From the Epsom to the Caulfield Cup to the Kentucky Derby, you want to be checking out the going and matching it to your horses' past performances. Play a little game with yourself, and look at, say, last year's Caulfield Cup results and the performance history of the field. Which horse wouldyou back? When you can start to do these retrospective wagers successfully, you'll know it's time to start putting some money down for real.
Tuesday, April 28
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