The Cheltenham ‘weekender’

It’s always great if you can think of a different way to spend a weekend away with your mates and have a focus beyond just all getting together at the same time in the same place. A racing festival is a perfect choice as you have the spectacle of watching the horse racing, great entertainment and catering facilities and the added dimension of being able to have a few bets on the races as well. You never know, if luck is on your side, you could end up in pocket even after a few big nights out.

One of the biggest racing festivals in the UK is the Cheltenham Festival which takes place every March and it’s a great one to get booked in early, so that you’ve got it to look forward to after Christmas and New Year are over and you’ve got nothing but the tail end of the winter stretching out before you. It’s not always proper spring time by the time Cheltenham comes around, but it can be great weather for the Festival week. Also as Cheltenham is a mid-week festival, if you get everyone organised now, they’ll be able to book the time off work.

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Irish Champions Day Attracts Derby Winner Australia

Australia’s appearance on Saturday in the Irish Champion Stakes has given the inaugural Irish Champions Day a big boost. The Derby winner is the warm odds-on favourite to win the 1m2f contest at Leopardstown and he should be able to get the job done once again to seal his fourth Group One success of his career.

There may be tougher tests to come for Australia later this year with the Arc and British Champions Stakes both likely targets. However, he will have to overcome The Grey Gatsby and Mukhadram who both have picked up Group One victories of their own this season.

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How to Get an Edge on Horse Race Betting

ID-10082549 horse racing
Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Basic horse race betting is fairly simple. When you get to the teller, say the name of the racetrack (if it’s not the one you’re betting at), the race number, followed by how much you want to bet, the kind of bet you want to place and the number of the horse.

An example bet might be “Santa Anita, race four, $2 for #3, #7 and #5 to show.” If you want to do well with horse race betting, you’ll need to read the racing program quickly, and make some snap decisions. Long term success is not determined by choosing winners alone, and the key to big money in horse racing is your ability to figure out when a long shot is a sure shot.

Don’t Go in Blind

If this is your first time betting, visit the website for the track you’re going to. Whether you are betting in a casino or race track setting ask for tip sheets and programs. Tip sheets are picks that are favored by the handicappers at the race.

The program is useful as an insiders magazine, a place for you to read interviews, commentary and other indicators of past performance. Use handicapping software to help determine which picks will be most profitable for you throughout the day. Get to know anything you can that would help you form a picture of the horses you want to bet on. There will be multiple races for you to bet on, so pace yourself and choose races that you have thoroughly vetted.

Listen to the Simulcast Commentator

In addition to your handicap tip sheet, you can usually find televisions at the track or in the casino. The commentary provided by race track announcers is often useful, and can include up to the minute information that the program may not contain.

Play the Odds

The highest rated horse and jockey combinations often do win the races, so use the race program to help narrow down your choices. Obviously you want the highest payout, so compare the odds listed for each horse with the racing program to see if how that horse and rider combo stacks up against the completion. Try “Show” bets if you are not sure that you can choose a single horse to win.

Don’t Stick to Favorites

Statistically speaking, horses that are favored to win often do, but the long shots make or break a good exotic better. Horses with a smaller than average chance of winning often pose the threat of upset, where your bet on the favored horses is upset when the long shot catches up. A quick tip is to scan the racing sheet for horses that are expected to show, but not win.

Long Term Tips

Long-term success in horse racing is about determining which horses are likely to place, and in what order. First build consistency by choosing winners. As you frequent your track, try to talk with the trainers you find there. In a casino setting, use the data you have from your day of betting to look up horses and racers on a computer so that you can learn more about their methods.

The most important advice is to enjoy the day outside. The excitement of watching fit horses race one another, and the heat of the finish, are great excuses to go outside with family and friends.

  

Orb wins Kentucky Derby

The track was sloppy, so we can only imagine how messy things got as people partied in the infield. The Kentucky Derby is an event that everyone should experience at least once.

Orb emerged victorious coming from behind with a hard charge down the stretch. Now we can all root for the first Triple Crown winner since 1978, as Orb seems to have what it takes to at least compete. This win wasn’t a fluke.

Orb Jockey Joel Rosario discusses the race in the video above. We’re hoping they can keep this up for the Preakness.

  

Looking forward to the Kentucky Derby

I remember about five years ago, one of the horses in the Kentucky Derby caught my attention because of its name. The horse was a 50-1 underdog, so I thought it would be fun to place a bet. Of course I never got around to it, and then I was pretty bummed to see the horse pull out a stunning upset.

A couple of year’s later, I got to attend the race and another long shot pulled off the upset, but this time I of course bet but picked the wrong horse.

Despite these losses, I still look forward to the Kentucky Derby every year. The urge to bet on Kentucky Derby winners is always there, but there’s so much more to the whole experience. I always loved watching it on TV, and I still love watching highlights of iconic horses like Secretariat and Seattle Slew winning the Derby. I remember as a kid when Affirmed beat Alydar, and I’ve been waiting for years for another Triple Crown winner. I was at the Belmont Stakes in 1989 when Sunday Silence was denied the Triple Crown by Easy Goer. Of course, I let my emotions get the better of me as I bet on history happening. Given the very long drought, it’s become an annual tradition as each Kentucky Derby winner is evaluated for the potential of winning the Triple Crown.

But after attending the event, I appreciate the Kentucky Derby mystique even more. You can see above how celebrities love the Derby as well, as lovely ladies like Marisa Miller pick out a sexy hat for the occasion as you can see in the video above. It’s amazing how many beautiful women come out in force over Derby weekend, so there are plenty of ways to enjoy this weekend. You’ll have to try a Mint Julep of course, but frankly I thought the drink was a bit overrated.

If you’re thinking of attending, make sure to book well in advance as this is an annual holiday in Kentucky. The place will be packed, but it’s a very appropriate addition to anyone’s Bucket List.

  

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