Understanding Australian Horse Racing (Part 2/3)

January 16th, 2015

Understanding Australian Racing as American Bettors

In America, we actually take a different approach then most countries, when it comes to what betting number horse will be coming out of what post position.

In Australia and most other countries, betting the 1 horse does not mean your getting the rail horse. It means that you're playing the top weight horse in the field. So you may ask, do they weigh each horse? The answer is no, this only means that the racing secretary assigns the weight to each horse to reflect what the horse has done in the past. The top weight in the field is seen by the secretary to be the best horse in the field from what it has achieved in the past races.

Weight is added to a horse by putting lead weights in the saddlebag, in what the race secretary deems fair to the horse, so it will be a much closer race than what it would have been without those weights.   The idea is to create a level playing field, which will create more competitive betting contests.  Always remember this when betting an Aussie race. Just because your taking the 1 horse you could very well be getting Post 12 in a 5 furlong race.

The Metric System In Australian Racing

In Australia, the races are not announced in furlongs but in meters.  1 furlong is equal to 200 meters.

  • 1,000 meters = 5 furlongs
  • 1,200 meters = 6 furlongs
  • 1,400 meters = 7 furlongs
  • 1,600 meters = 1 mile (for human athletes that's four laps of a track!)

When listening to the race you won't hear furlong poles referred to but meter marks, which translate to Americans as:

  • 800 meters - 1/2 pole
  • 600 meters = 3/8 pole
  • 400 meters = 1/4 pole
  • 200m = 1/8 pole
  • 100 meters = 1/16 pole

Research Locally

The very best Australian horse racing internet site, in my opinion is Racenet. Here you can find all of your post positions and past performances with the track conditions which will be studied in depth in the 3rd part of this series.

Previous Posts

Part 1: Understanding the Aussie Lingo