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 Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne.
Flemington Racecourse, the home of the Victoria Racing Club, is the most famous racecourse in Australia. Most notably, it hosts the Melbourne Cup Carnival in November each year.
There’s is a rich history behind Flemington which dates all the way back to 1840. It’s the oldest continuing metropolitan racecourse in the country and was actually placed on the National Heritage List in 2006.
Over the journey of 150 years, the track has been transformed from literal cow paddocks to what is today a world-class facility. There’s also offers a top class training centre for horses with many of Australia’s best trainers operating stables at the venue.
Flemington Racecourse was originally run by two rival clubs known as the Victoria Turf Club and Victoria Jockey Club. Initially they had separate race meetings at the track, before merging to form the Victoria Racing Club in 1864.
Flemington features a number of major races in Australia in addition to the the Melbourne Cup, including the Victoria Derby, Mackinnon Stakes, Newmarket Handicap, VRC Oaks and the Australian Guineas.
One of the most well-known features of Flemington is the extremely long home straight. At 450 metres, many punters believe it gives all the runners a better chance at winning because it evens out the ‘luck in running’. The track also has a long home straight chute which means all races up to and including 1200 metres in distance are run directly down the straight. These sprint races pose a challenge for punters, with many horses used to only running around bends.
Finding An Edge at Flemington Racecourse
Champion Bets Melbourne Analyst Trevor Lawson is obviously a Flemington regular and has picked up a fair few nuances over his time.
Are there any nuances to Flemington that you notice in your analysis?
Not as much nowadays. The inside holds up better than in the past, when it used to chop right up. Cover is required when there is a north or westerly wind.
Flemington obviously features one of the longest straights in Australia. Does that help level the playing field in terms of luck-in-running?
Yes and no. Because there’s such a long turn, from around the 1200 to the 500, the backmarkers tend to wait till the corner to make their move… That can be detrimental to their chances.
What sort of runner (pace-wise) is most suited and why?
Like most tracks, those runners that race up on the pace are most advantaged.
Are there any jockeys or trainers that you really like at Flemington and why?
Not in particular. With plenty of meetings and large fields, most jockeys get a lot of chances there, and they all go on their runs of form.
What sort of an impact does the weather have on Flemington?
Winds from the west or north are what you need to look out for. They have an impact on horses that have no cover, as it’s into their faces from the 800-metre mark.
Do the big racing carnivals make for improved betting at Flemington?
The main advantage is there are bigger betting pools and plenty of ‘mug money’. Particularly over the Cup Carnival as it attracts more once-a-year punters than any other time in Australian racing. That means there’s plenty of uneducated money to be had. There’s also big fields for the big races which tends to means there’ll be value.
On the flipside, there’s horses coming from all different states and now, all over the world. That makes it tricky to line up formlines, so you have to tread carefully with visiting horses.
What tips would you give for your average punter betting at Flemington?
First and foremost: check the wind direction.
Look for horses on pace if there’s a little wind. If it’s from the northerly or a westerly, wide barriers can be an advantage.