BETTING ON HARNESS RACING
Harness racing, also known as trotting, is a form of horse racing which has great importance in the Australian sports betting scene with huge amounts of money wagered annually. The sport is hugely popular with spectators and bettors all around the world.
Harness racing differs from traditional horse racing as drivers are pulled on carts rather than ride atop the horses, who race at a trot or pace and are not allowed to run at a full gallop. Pacing races are much more common than trotting races in Australia, and constitute about 85 per cent of all events.
Specialised trotting horses may enter pacing events, however pacers may not enter trotting events. If a horse breaks its stride during a race, it must move aside until the driver has full control over the horse’s gait.
Australian harness races include standardbred horses, a breed which is specially reared for its ability to race in a harness at a certain stride. These horses have a more powerful build than the thoroughbreds used in horseracing, and are better suited to trotting and pacing rather than galloping.
Instead of jockeys, riders contest harness races. They are on a lightweight, two-wheeled cart known as a sulky or bike which are pulled by the horses. Drivers carry whips to signal horses and help them keep control of pace.
Australian harness races are generally held between 1,600 and 2,650 metres. The weight of the driver and cart do not impact the horse as much as those running at full gallop in a classic horserace. Therefore handicaps based on weight do not exist in harness races. Instead, the handicap system of a harness race is based on distance.
A handicapped horse will have a starting line which is further back than the other horses. This relates to standing-start races only where horses must stand still before tapes across the track are released and horses step into stride.
Harness race betting is very popular amongst punters in Australia with the sport offering a different type of excitement that regular horseracing cannot provide. There are a huge number of options available when betting on harness racing with at least five meetings a day to choose from when placing your bets.
Some of the major events each year include the Inter Dominion Championship, Miracle Mile, Victoria Cup, New Zealand Trotting Cup and Breeders Crown series.
WHERE TO BET ON HARNESS RACING
Finding the right bookmaker is crucial and harness racing is no different. We have assessed all of the best bookmakers and have narrowed it to three when it comes to placing harness racing bets – Ladbrokes, Sportsbet and BetEasy – and revealed the reasons why they are superior to others.
Whether you are looking for a bookmaker that provides early fixed odds or looking for one that is easy to use, we have got you covered in our guide to the best harness racing bookmakers and also where you can find the biggest harness racing odds.
HARNESS RACING BET TYPES
There are a number of ways to bet on horse racing from a standard win or place bet to quadrellas and multibets.
SINGLE: The most common bet. The single bet involves betting on your selection to win, place, or both (each-way). If betting each-way (see our guide for what an each-way bet is), the stake is doubled as you are betting on your selection to win, and also to place.
QUINELLA: A Quinella bet is available on every thoroughbred, harness and greyhound race provided there are at least three or more runners. To win a Quinella, you must successfully predict the 1st and 2nd placegetters in any order.
EXACTA: An exacta is exactly the same as a quinella. However, you must successfully predict the 1st and 2nd placegetters in the correct order.
TRIFECTA: A Trifecta bet is available on every thoroughbred, harness and greyhound race provided there are at least four or more runners. To win a Trifecta, you must successfully predict the 1st, 2nd and 3rd placegetters in a given race.
FIRST4: A First4 bet is available on most thoroughbred, harness and greyhound race provided there are at least four or more runners. To win a First4, you must successfully predict the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th placegetters in a given race.
MYSTERY BET: A Mystery Bet takes the guess work out of picking a Trifecta and is generated by the betting agency’s computer. The computer system will randomly select three runners and if they fill the placings you win the Trifecta.
QUADDIE: A Quaddie bet, or Quadrella bet as it is fully known, is available on most thoroughbred, harness and greyhound race meetings. A quaddie is betting on the winners of four nominated races, which are typically the last four races of any meeting, and is a very popular bet.
MULTIBET: Multibets offer a great way to secure big winning returns on your bets as you combine various bets into one, and are proving to be an extremely popular way to bet. A multibet combines any number of bets from two to 25 into one single bet and dramatically increases the odds.
PATENT BET: A Patent bet is similar to a three-leg multibet but is made up of seven separate bets: three singles, three doubles and a trio. Where a multibet requires all selections to win for a return, a patent bet will yield a return from just one winner.
ALL-IN BETTING: All-In betting involves a bookmaker offering fixed odds on selected feature races prior to the declaration of the final field. All-In betting on the Melbourne Cup, for example, is available for the better part of 12 months leading into the event. The risk with All-In Betting is that you will not receive your stake back if your horse is scratched.
HARNESS RACING REPLAYS
Watching replays is crucial for successful form analysis and we show you where you can watch harness racing replays online.
Technology continues to evolve and we live in a great era where harness racing replays can be accessed via the click of a button within seconds.
Fans of thoroughbred racing can click here to view which websites provide horse racing replays for free.
Harness racing replays are free to view and the majority of states provide harness racing replays in the same area of the website.