Our Finding An Edge At The Track series looks at some of Australia’s best racetracks and asks our pro punters for any tips when betting on them. Today, we check out Kembla Grange Racecourse in Wollongong, New South Wales.
Kembla Grange Racecourse, the home of Illawarra Turf Club, is one of five provincial racetracks in New South Wales and the centre of racing in the City of Wollongong. The track was designed to be similar in size and shape to Randwick. As a provincial club, Kembla Grange regularly hosts racing on Saturdays.
Finding An Edge at Kembla Grange Racecourse
Professional punter Mark Rhoden regularly bets at Kembla Grange and believes there are a few things to look out for that can help you find an edge. In particular, it’s worth keeping an eye on those that run regularly at Kembla as they seem to outperform the competition. We asked him to share his thoughts on betting at Kembla Grange:
Are there any nuances to Kembla Grange that you notice in your analysis?
Kembla is a spacious track with a long straight so is very different to the tighter tracks like Gosford and Wyong. A horse who takes time to wind up in his races will be much better suited at Kembla than some of those other tracks.
Kembla Grange is a major provincial track. Is there a specific way you like to analyse the provincials in comparison to metro venues?
In general, there’s a bit of definition between metro and provincial standard – and provincial and country standard – in NSW racing, so class shifts are very important. Those dropping back from metro grade are at a distinct advantage, while those stepping up from the country need to have produced figures well above the country average to compete.
Kembla Grange is apparently the exact same size and dimensions as Randwick. Can you use this in your analysis to get an edge?
Similar styles of horses can be suited at both tracks, definitely. Although track patterns on the day sometimes make direct comparisons difficult. But in general, strong one pacers or stayers who need to build momentum will be suited at both tracks.
What sort of runner (pace wise) is most suited and why?
Run-on horses are better suited at Kembla than other tracks. But I would (almost) never prefer to be on a back marker than on-pacer, particularly if the tempo is moderate. But back markers are certainly less disadvantaged at Kembla than elsewhere.
Are there any jockeys or trainers that you really like at Kembla Grange and why?
As Kembla races on a lot of Saturdays, the “second division” jockeys can get their chance there. As for the trainers, not really – the big metro stables all send horses there.
What sort of an impact does the weather have on Kembla Grange?
Kembla cops a fair bit of racing, and the fence can turn into a no-go zone quite easily. It’s also pretty exposed to the elements so high winds can be a factor.
Are there any times of year that are best for betting at Kembla Grange?
I’d prefer to playing on a drier track at Kembla. It can be tricky with marked biases when it gets wet. In terms of quality, the feature meeting on the Friday in March stands out.
What tips would you give for your average punter betting at Kembla Grange?
Be prepared to give backmarkers and proven Kembla specialists a chance. And as always, keep notes on rail positions, track conditions and any patterns you notice.