Horses racing past a flower bed at Royal Randwick Sydney

Up the stakes for The TAB Everest with our tips for making a bet

No idea what the difference between a long or short odd is? Mounting Yard and Racing Expert for Sky Channel, Lizzie Jelfs, gives you the low down on placing your bet at The TAB Everest.

Whether you’re one of the fortunate few attending The TAB Everest this year at Royal Randwick or barracking from afar, Lizzie suggests immersing yourself in the whole experience to really enjoy the ride.

A horse thunders past at The TAB Everest at Royal Randwick Racecourse
A horse thunders past at The TAB Everest at Royal Randwick Racecourse

If you’re reading this, it’s likely you’re not attending horse races every week or diligently looking up race results. Here’s where Lizzie and the team of horse racing experts can assist in identifying certain criteria to look for when placing a bet.

“You have some simple rules,” says Lizzie. “First of all grab the form guide – it has a lot of information to help you make your choice. There’s the full list of horses in the race, their trainers and jockeys, as well as a snapshot of past performance.” Some seasoned betters will make their decision based on where the horse is positioned – i.e. what barrier they’ve drawn – and the price of the odds for particular horses. Lizzie also suggests following a team or particular horse trainer – especially if that trainer has a large team of horses to choose from. This will make the whole experience more interesting, a little like barracking for your favourite football team.

Depending on where you live Racing New South Wales, Racing Queensland and Racing Victoria are great resources for learning more about a horse, jockey, trainer or stable – and keeping tabs on how they’re doing during the racing season. “You can see all their replays and some of the race meetings,” suggests Lizzie.

“You can look up a horse’s name and start following it that way. I think that’s a really interesting way to get involved, because you’re starting to educate yourself. It takes a long time to be an expert, but if you start educating yourself you can really learn a lot about how things are done in racing and how there is so much more than just going to the races.”

People and horses in the mounting yard at Royal Randwick horse track
Royal Randwick’s iconic Theatre of the Horse

The long and short [odds] of it

Whether you’re placing a serious bet or throwing some cash on a horse for a bit of fun, it pays to understand the odds against what you’re backing.

“If you’re betting on horses with short odds, they’re probably more likely to win, that’s why they’re those odds. But your return is not as big,” says Lizzie.

For rookie punters, Lizzie suggests tying in a few bets into a quinella or box trifecta. “Sometimes I like to take a horse with shorter odds and a horse with longer odds and put them together in a quinella,” says Lizzie. “Sometimes I like to put them in a trifecta as well, so then you can box them up, which means they can come in any order. I think that’s a nice way to get into racing – the quinellas and the trifectas.”

Common racing terms decoded

The TAB Everest Day at Royal Randwick Racecourse with horses running.
The TAB Everest Day at Royal Randwick Racecourse

Form guide: a resource containing most of the information you’ll need to back a horse. It will include the age of a horse, its pedigree, career statistics and performance history.

Group one: horses at the pinnacle of racing. The benchmarks of horse racing begin at group three (after winning their ‘maiden race’ horses are rated) and go up to group one – e.g. the Melbourne Cup includes group one horses exclusively.

Quinella: a bet in which you nominate two horses to place first and second in any order.

Trifecta: a bet in which you nominate three horses that will come in first, second and third – in the order you have chosen.

Boxed trifecta: a bet in which you nominate three horses to come in first, second and third in any order.

Long odds: means the horse is less likely to win based on information from prior races, the jockey riding them and track conditions. The information in the form guide will help you understand the odds – but it doesn’t take into account how the horse is performing on the day, so, they could surprise you.

Short odds: horses with short odds are statistically more likely to win based on previous race performance and other factors listed in the form guide. Betting on a horse with short odds is generally a safe bet but will not pay as big if it wins.

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