UK Racing members have two runners at tonight’s Stratford meeting.
Stratford (Race 1), 2.20pm UK time, 1.20pm Melbourne time
Soft ground at Stratford and there is more rain forecast so I think running under a penalty will be tough for any horse that is not a true wet lover. The opening race is a novice for the mares and the favourite looks short for that reason. I am backing the Dr Newland runner Evita Du Mesnil, with Sam in the saddle and about whom I hear positive news. She had decent form in France and the headgear is expected to settle her down nicely. She will be OK on the ground and I expect her to be too strong in the finish if she settles well.
2.00 Points Win
Stratford (Race 5), 4.45pm UK time, 1.45am Melbourne time
It could be a slog by the time this race comes around and the front two in the betting may find it tough at their prevailing odds. I prefer to have an each way bet on Maliboo, who won a point and is still improving. He will stay well and I think we may find that the conditions today suit this runner. He looks very nice value.
1.00 Point Win and 1.00 Point Place
If you’re not into British racing, it’s well worth checking out. For starters, it’s a great time to fill in those annoying overnight hours when there’s no racing on this side of the world.
Seriously though, in many ways the UK is the home of horse racing. And although betting on football and sport has taken off in a massive way over in the old dart, Britain remains one of the world’s biggest and most vibrant racing scenes. Many of the top imports you see in Australia at this time of year come out of the UK, where world-renowned breeders and trainers have less of a focus on sprinters than we do here.
A Bit Of History…
In the UK, they’ve been racing horses for stakes since the 1100s (yep, getting toward 1000 years ago), with organised race meetings being held since the 1500s.
A major watershed in British (and indeed world) horse racing took place between 1680 and 1720, when three stallions were imported to England from the Middle East: the Byerley Turk, the Darley Arabian and the Godolphin Arabian.
These stallions were bred with local mares and a new breed of horse was created – one notable for its size, agility and power: the thoroughbred.
To this day, the lineage of every thoroughbred racehorse on earth can be traced back to one of these three stallions.
One of the major differences between Australian and UK racing is the prevalence of jumps racing. While a very minor part of racing in Australia, the jumps have a long history in Britain and remain popular today. The official name for it is “National Hunt Racing”, and races are over either hurdles (jumps racing) or fences (steeplechases), and usually between 2 miles (3200m) and 4.5 miles (7200m) in distance.
Non-jumps races are more familiar in distance and referred to as “flat” races. Flat races make up around 60% of all races in the UK, with the remaining 40% run over obstacles.
There’s a total of about 1,500 race meetings in the UK each year. Races at the elite level – Group One (or Grade One as it’s sometimes referred to over there) – number about 75 annually.
There’s sixty racecourses in the UK, each of which holds between five and eighty meetings a year. Some of the main names you may recognise are Lingfield Park, Wolverhampton, Kempton Park, Chelmsford, York, Epsom, Newcastle, Southwell, Newmarket, Ayr, Doncaster, Chepstow, Cheltenham, Aintree, Haydock Park and Ascot.
The UK has long and proud history of feature racing festivals, where the industry converges on a single track for a few days of racing (jumps, flat or both), punting and partying. Some of these festivals are among the biggest and most famous in the world, and are definitely on the bucket list for many racing tragics! Events include:
- Cheltenham Festival – March
- Grand National Festival (Aintree) – April
- May Festival (Chester) – May
- Dante Festival (York) – May
- Derby Festival (Epsom) – June
- Royal Ascot – June
- July Festival (Newmarket) – July
- Glorious Goodwood – July / August
- Ebor Festival (York) – August
- St Leger Meeting (Doncaster) – September
- Cambridgeshire Meeting (Newmarket) – September
- The November Meeting (Cheltenham) – November
Betting in the UK is dominated by corporate bookmakers and Betfair. Bookies operate both online and from retail betting shops which dot shopping strips across the country (there’s no controlled monopoly on retail shops like the TAB and UBET have in Australia). There’s over fifty bookmakers operating in the UK: some of which you’ll recognise as they’ve expanded to Australia, and some which you may not. Names include Betway, Bet365, William Hill, Paddy Power, Betfred, BetVictor, Ladbrokes, Stan James, Coral and SkyBet.
(An interesting aside – they don’t have retail betting in pubs in the UK, which is a bit strange and a bit shit! The glorious PubTAB… an Aussie invention?)
Another point to note on UK racing is the popularity of Betfair. Betfair started and is based in the UK, and while it’s quite popular in Australia, it’s at a different level over there. The pools are far deeper and the volume of betting far greater. This is good for us, as we bet into the same pools through Betfair Australia.
For us Aussies, all our local bookies offer fixed-odds on UK racing too. So if you’re going to have a crack, you’re already set-up with your current corporate accounts and Betfair.
UK Racing with Champion Bets
If you’re keen for some UK action and actually want to make some money, then the Champion Bets’ UK Racing package is a no-brainer.
It’s run by a sports betting syndicate. A team of full-time analysts, statisticians and gamblers who punt for a living. Make no mistake: this is one of the most professional, organised and profitable betting syndicates you’ll come across.
UK racing is a key focus for them and as usual they’ve left nothing to chance. They have developed a network of form analysts and stable employees within the UK racing industry to put together their betting strategy.
In a pretty rare opportunity, this is now available publicly. Details of the package are:
- Betting from Monday to Friday – the sources of these bets are employed in the UK racing industry, and the weekend is their peak time work-wise: so much so that they don’t have time to do the weekend form properly. They’re all about profit, so only bet when they’ve done the form completely.
- One or two bets per night, released at around 8pm AEDT.
- Releases include a full review of the previous days’ bets, a preview of the day’s racing in the UK, recommended bets, which bookmakers and prices to take, and the stake. It’s all done for you.
- Bets are at Betfair SP which is simply huge on UK Racing. This means the SP pool is very deep and stable, offering a solid option that can provide better value than the corporates.
- As usual a 100 unit bank is recommended. Individual bet stakes are between 1 and 3 units.
So it’s all extremely easy and quick: simply receive the message each night and take a couple of minutes to place your bets sometime before 11pm. It’s that easy.
These guys have been operating for years and it really is a super-reliable service.
Set aside your bank, place a handful of bets each week and watch the bank grow.
So no matter what your approach, it’ll work for you; whether you’re a shift worker (or insomniac!) who wants to enjoy some racing overnight, or just want to place your bets then wake up the next morning and count your winnings.
You can view current results here.