In the world of sports betting, racing betting is certainly the biggest betting market in New Zealand. Racing betting includes thoroughbred horseracing, harness racing and greyhound racing. While thoroughbred racing is most popular of the three, harness racing offers punters plenty of betting action throughout the year. In harness racing, the races are divided into two different categories or gaits namely trotting or pacing. This describes the way the horses run while carrying their sulky.
For online betting purposes, trotting races and pacing races can be viewed as separate entities as the horses and riders do not overlap. For those who are new to the sport, harness racing is a type of horseracing where the horse is harnessed to a sulky which the riders sits on during the race. In harness racing, the trainer plays much more of a role in the success of the horse overall. This factor should be considered before placing any large bet.
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Major Harness Races in New Zealand
In New Zealand, harness races take place throughout the year. Some of the most popular harness races include:
- New Zealand Welcome Stakes – 2 year olds
- Southland Fillies Classic – 2 year olds
- New Zealand Derby – 3 year olds
- Southern Supremacy Stakes – 3 year olds
- Taylor Mile – 4 year olds
- Kumeu Stakes – 4 year olds
- Auckland Cup – open
- Easter Cup – Open
- New Zealand Trotting Stakes – 2 year olds
- Harness Jewels 2YO Ruby – 2 year olds
- Northern Trotting Derby – 3 year olds
- New Zealand Trotting Derby – 3 year olds
- 4Y0 Trotter Championship – 4 year olds
- Greenlane Cup – Open
- New Zealand Trotting Championship – Open
Online Racing Bets
One of the reason’s harness racing has become so popular in New Zealand is because of the sheer number of bets that can be placed on each race. For novice punters, the best way to start is by placing a straight win bet. This involves picking the winner of the main feature race. A slightly easier bet is called a placing bet. This is where a punter picks one horse to place anywhere in the money. This would be any placing from first to third place.
For more experienced punter, harness racing offers up all the same exotic and multi bets that you would find in thoroughbred horse racing. Some of the most popular exotic harness racing bets include:
- Each Way Bet – This is a combination of a placing bet and a win bet. Both have to be correct for the bet to pay out.
- Doubles – This is where a punter places a joint bet two separate races. In each race, the horse must win for the bet to pay out.
- Trebles – This is similar to doubles except that the punter must accurately predict the winner of three races at the same event.
Before You Bet
Before placing any sizable bet, it is important to do as much research as possible on the horses, the trainers and race conditions. In the weeks leading up race the various online betting sites will release the racing odds. The odds will give punters a good indication of which horses are tipped to win the race and which are longshots.