I constantly get email requests from all over Australia and internationally asking “where will I find such and such”. Some of the requests are quite simple, yet many newcomers to the racing web have no idea where to source information from. I suspect many long term followers of racing also has no idea what is available to them. Most of the available information is totally FREE. Knowing the websites is the hard part and provides the short cut to success.
Let’s work our way through the minefield that is the racing Internet.
Most racing people like to have a bet so that’s a good place to start.
There are numerous sources to place a bet on the Internet with either bookmakers or TAB’s.
Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory are under the Unitab banner at www.tabonline.com.au
Click on here and you can open an account to bet on racing and/or sports. Fixed odds betting on future racing – from any of the three codes of thoroughbreds, harness and greyhounds may be available. You’ll have to check to see. For thoroughbreds click on “Racing”, then click on “fixed odds”. You do not need to be a current account holder to view the fixed odds markets.
On the subject of thoroughbred racing, a service is often available on future racing. For instance, if there is Group racing on a Saturday, the fixed odds markets will normally go up during Thursday afternoon after the final field is declared. It will tell you at the far bottom “each way bets permitted” if that is the case. If that wording isn’t there, the market is assumed to be “win only”.
Once the final field is declared, any scratchings from that field (be they scratchings through injury or emergencies being scratched on race day) will affect your dividend should your initial fixed odds bet (taken Thursday afternoon or Friday) be successful. The same deductions will apply as happens with a late scratching Saturday afternoon with bookmakers.
If the races are abandoned, a full refund of stake will apply.
If you want to know a result on any given day’s races, go onto the TAB site and as the day’s racing proceeds, results will be kept up to date. Most TABs Australia wide bet on the same meetings on the same day.
If you prefer to bet with a bookmaker that is no problem.
There are many reputable bookmaking services offered. The bigger ones like Mark Read’s International All Sports and Michael Sullivan’s Sportingbet are so big they are listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. They turnover many hundreds of millions of dollars a year and will let you on your fancy for good money.
The advantage of betting with the bookmakers (or the TAB fixed odds) is that you have an agreed payout (excluding deductions for subsequent scratchings).
I like Mark Read’s site of www.iasbet.com
On Saturday mornings he is first up with markets, putting parts of his anatomy on the line, with a fixed odds “win only” market for each of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Just click on “Aust/NZ Horse” on entry to the website. This is generally up by 10 a.m. on Saturday mornings. Whilst it is a win only market, you can bet each way, however, the place component will not necessarily be one quarter of the win odds. In layman’s terms, it will be a place dividend based on the average of the three big TABs declared place dividend.
You can have trifectas etc., and you can even have a horse to win a race at a price and a football team to win a match in an “all up” bet and so on. There are many different bet types available.
You do not have to be a member to go in and have a look – there is no smoke and mirrors – it’s all transparent. Go in at 11a.m. on a Saturday morning and see what the shorteners are. Go back in Saturday night and see what the entire fluctuations for the day of racing were.
A similar service to Mark Read’s is available at www.sportingbet.com.au
They have a “virtual tour” click on which is a wonderful idea and navigates you around the site.
If you’d like to have a bet many months out from the Caulfield Cup, Melbourne Cup or Cox Plate, or just see what horses are in the market, check out the prices at Victorian bookmaker Michael Eskander’s website of www.eskander.com
and go to the “Horse Racing” click on. Once again, you don’t have to be a member.
So there is no shortage of betting outlets available with either bookmakers or TABs. Be always aware though that “all in” betting is just that. If you bet “all in” before the final field is declared, and your horse is injured or bitten by a snake, or whatever and doesn’t start – you do your money cold. The offsetting factor is you get big odds through betting early, like my Sectional Times clients did when getting 14-1 each way Hollow Bullet many weeks out from the 2004 VRC Oaks. She won on the day at 6-4.
One central body in Australia (Racing Services Bureau) takes all thoroughbred nominations and acceptances and scratchings. They occasionally come in for a bit of flack when the Internet goes down. I say they do a magnificent job. Like the rest of us that breath oxygen, they occasionally make a stuff up. They have a site well worth checking (and it is free) at www.rsb.net.au
and you can go through any State’s thoroughbred nominations and acceptances. Go in Tuesday and see what is already nominated for Saturday’s metropolitan races and so on.
There are many places you can either download form for free or you can pay for it, if you want more performances of the horse.
For instance, in Queensland, you can go to the governing body’s great website at www.queenslandracing.com.au
and get free form on upcoming Queensland TAB meetings – say for Caloundra on Sunday.
If you want to have a look at any Australian thoroughbred’s form 24/7, bookmaker Mark Read has a wonderful service for people to go to at www.ozeform.com.au
and you can join for free. Just don’t abuse the system and stay on for lengthy periods. It is more to quickly check where Soi Cowboy ran in last year’s VRC Derby and has it started since, or who trains him, or how much prizemoney has he won to date etc.
Another site very similar to Mark Read's form site is a good one that you can view at www.expertform.com.au
and it also has information on New Zealand racing as well as a good Australian component.
There are other outlets that sell extended form on horses – e.g., the last 10 starts. These are for the serious punter who wants more than normal form guide information of the last start or two. The best one in this field that I have tried is www.pastthepost.com.au
and they offer a monthly membership for $39, or you can pay $4.40 for a 24 hour viewing. An added attraction at this site is the opportunity to view, for free, the big three TABs approximate win and place dividends side-by-side throughout the day.
If you want to see what horses are or have been sold at public auction, you can go to www.magicmillions.com.au
for the Magic Millions bloodstock results and dates of upcoming sales etc..
If you want to educate yourself on the Australian thoroughbred breeding scene, it is a good idea to go to www.studbook.org.au
and pay $29.95 for an annual membership. That way 24/7 you can go in and source heaps of horse information – on stallions and broodmares – as well as statistics and reports.
The Stud Book is the regulatory authority to which everyone who owns a broodmare in Australia must report to annually. That reporting will encompass such information as to whether a mare was mated, date of her last service by a stallion, date of birth of this year’s foal with its colour and sex etc. A report is also required even if the mare wasn’t mated – or died during the year. If you want to know what foals Emancipation gave birth to and what they were named etc., you can do all that.
What horses are Danehill’s black type winners and what races did they win? It is easy to find out if you are a member.
The Stud Book offers a great site for both the breeding buff and anyone who would like to improve their education on the fascinating subject.
If you want to subscribe to a quality monthly publication that gives a good overview of the Australian breeding industry, you can subscribe to “The Australian Bloodhorse Review” at a cost of $179 per year. If you join at the right time of the year, you will also get an A4 size book of about 500 stallions standing in Australia in the current season with six generation pedigree tabulation, stallion photograph and that stallion’s statistics to the time of the publication. You will have to turn a blind eye to the copious bombardment of advertising in the monthly publication from cash strapped studs! That aside, the publication has some wonderful information in it. The website to order that through is www.bloodhorsereview.com.au
If you would like to know who the inductees into the Hall of Fame are, or the location in Melbourne where you can go and see the magnificent tribute to Australian thoroughbred racing, or to ask a historical question, go to www.racingmuseum.com.au
There are a myriad of quality monthly racing publications that come out with tips for the future, or betting strategies worth looking into, or feature articles etc. I subscribe to www.practicalpunting.com.au
as I have always found its editor Brian Blackwell a very ethical man to deal with and Practical Punting sometimes reproduces a story of mine. There are also many other commendable publications.
If you wish to subscribe to each State’s own thoroughbred monthly racing publication, you are able to do so, as you don't need to have any financial interest in a racehorse to order the monthly book.
For instance the “Queensland Racing Magazine” has wonderful stories in it and gives the next three months calendar of racing for all tracks (TAB and non-TAB) in the State of Queensland. There are also special reports from each racing “district” within the State. There is an up to date list of “bleeders” and so on.
To subscribe to the 12 editions, costs $99 and can be ordered through www.tmpc.com.au
Each State has their own monthly glossy publication, so it would be best to contact the governing body in the State of your interest.
Check out the wonderful website of New South Wales racing at www.racingnsw.com.au
or spend some time and go through the Victorian governing body's great website at www.racingvictoria.net.au
whilst over in South Ausralia the governing authority's web address is www.racingsa.com.au
and in Western Australia you can view their informative website at www.rwwa.com.au
and you can literally get hours of entertainment out of these websites.
Sectional times for ALL THREE Saturday race meetings conducted in the capital cities of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne are only available from one outlet - this website. A detailed overview of the product can be read by logging on to www.sectionaltimes.com.au. The cost is $220 per State per 52 weeks membership, or a discounted $600 for all three services. Reports are emailed direct to clients requested email address. No report is done when the track is rated “slow” or “heavy”, as that would be a waste of time due to horses not handling the going etc.
If you want to know what is happening Australia wide in harness racing – from fields to results and news, the industry website of www.harness.org.au
will keep you informed.
This is probably Australia’s best website for having all the information about the entire industry at the one web address. Their links will take you everywhere around the industry.
I trust that this serves as an educational tool to all readers, and so the article will be preserved for easy reference, it has also now been placed permanently at the top of the site in the circular thread for easy access.
To find out all the industry news from greyhound racing around Australia, go to www.graq.org.au
and it will give you all Queensland fields and form and links take you to the other State’s governing bodies.