What is Harness Racing and How to Place Bets

Harness racing is a form of horse racing where horse race at a trot or pace which is also known as a gait.  In harness racing the horse pulls a two-wheeled cart known as a sulky or “bike” and has bicycle wheels. The driver has a light whip which is used to direct the horse by making a tapping sound.

Trotting can be defined as a horse that moves its legs diagonally, while a pacer moves its legs laterally. A horse that paces is usually faster and not likely to break its stride.  If the horse begins to gallop it must be slowed down and then taken aside until it starts trotting or pacing.  Pacers are usually hobbled, which is a strap connecting the horses legs on each side. Pacing is natural for most horses and hobbles assist in supporting pacing at high speed.

Most harness racing races will start behind a motorised gate.  The horses are lined up behind a hinged gate which moves forward slowly and the horses follow to the starting line.  At the starting line the gate folds up and the horses start the race.

Types of Bets

Most bookmakers offer a range of different harness racing bets and understanding what these are will help bettors make an informed decision when placing a wager.  The first and easiest wager is a win and here bettors place a bet on the horse they believe will finish first much like the winning team when looking at online horse betting australia.  A place bet is placing a wager on the horse that will finish 1st or 2nd.  The show is when a bettor places a bet on the horse that will finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd.  The daily double is betting on the winners of 2 successive races.  The next few bets include the exacta, trifecta and superfecta where bettors choose the first 2, first 3 and first 4 horses to win in the exact order respectively.

Tips and Strategies

There are a few factors to consider when betting on harness racing.  Being knowledgeable about the driver will assist bettors in making a wager.  It is easy to spot the good drivers.  Not only are they listed among the best in standings they are also found most often in the winners circle.  Good drivers will know how to navigate a race and have the ability to know when the horse must give its all.  The race tracks will also keep a record of the driver’s performance and next to his name they will list his performance at the particular track.

The starting position of a horse, known as the post position, is also a determining factor when placing a bet.  Some horses will have a better race when starting from the inside as they have a shorter distance to travel. Looking at the time the horse takes to finish a race is another factor to consider.  All harness races are 1 mile so comparing horses by time is easy.  The form of the horse is how the horse has performed.  Looking at the recent performances of the horse can be a good indicator for bettors.  Knowing whether a horse had raced on the outside and has won or come close to winning will have a parked-out symbol next to its name and is a good indication of the good form of a horse.

Looking at these factors will assist bettors in making a well-informed decision when considering placing a wager on a harness racing event.