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Author Topic: Australian Racing  (Read 5844 times)
burton
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« on: February 08, 2006, 02:11:21 PM »

I'm going to Australia and New Zealand the last part of February.
I have already been to Harold Park in sydney and plan on going again.
Unfortunately, my Auckland visit doesn't fit the Alexandra Park schedule.
My question is this;
Are there any horseman out there who have been to Australia and spent time at the races.
I lucked out and made money last trip but still didn't have much of a clue as to strategy etc;
It is a much different game with 12-14 horses on a track similar to half miler.
I saw a great down under champion last year named Elsu.
This horse was sired by Falcon Seelster.
Would love to hear any opinions on Australian racing.
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Honest1
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2006, 10:33:04 PM »

I think your one lucky man, I owned and trained a few ausie horses most were not easy to handle, but I wish I had the chance to visit and see how they do things down under. Wish I could have helped you more. Good luck and have a safe journey! Joe 
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HORSEMON
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2006, 10:48:19 PM »

honest1.Do you train any yourself?
I see you are useing team Dudzik.
the kid wouldn't be bad if he would go threw ANGER MANAGEMENT!!
pepitone sure turned around!!!
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theiman
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2006, 12:48:41 AM »

Burton,

Havent posted in here for awhile.
I will be making a NZ and Aussie trip in late Sept to early Oct.

would love to know any hints you have and stuff to look for at the tracks.

Look forward to your report.
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aussie_ascoli
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2007, 12:06:32 PM »

G'day guys, hows it going?

Just a bit about myself first. I was born into the industry since my father was a owner-trainer-driver in Australia. We got out of the industry due to the decline in the sport, especially to the non-big time people as money became a major issue. Myself i'm 20 years old and i'm a decent follower of the sport here in Aus. I just came back from the heats of the biggest race of the year the interdominion in my hometown of Adelaide. Fantastic night of racing, another set of 3 heats to go, then the finals  trotter.

I see most don't know what the harness racing in Aus is like, so i'll try to explain to you guys. Sorry if i use terms that may not be used in the US. Hopefully i'll understand a bit about your form as well.

In Aus, the tracks are not dirt but a type of soft loose gravel. Tracks are usually 800metres big (half mile), which makes for slower times as the straights are not as long. Although there is a push for 1000m tracks around Aus. The main gait is pacing rather than trotting. Obviously the sulkies are longer and winder in Aus. The drivers here don't lie down  Grin. Seeing footage of American races is strange for me, as with smaller tracks here, the racing is much tighter, and closer, it seems that american racing is very spaced out, not willing to form two rows. I guess in Aus if your not near the front near the finish you'll never win, as the straight to the line is only 200 metres, and you don't want  to be 3-4 wide round the bend. Race distances varies from 1600m to 2800m.

This night i was lucky to see a track record for the last mile 1.54.7, not sure what the fastest time is here.
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edwardwilliam
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« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2007, 12:18:27 PM »

This night i was lucky to see a track record for the last mile 1.54.7, not sure what the fastest time is here.

Interesting post!

The fastest time on a mile track (1609m) is 1:46 4/5.  On a 5/8ths, it's 1:48 3/5, and on a half it's 1:49.

As you probably know, all races here are a rolling start (that I know of), and probably 99.9% are over the mile distance.

Best,
EW
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aussie_ascoli
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« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2007, 12:31:49 PM »

Interesting post!

The fastest time on a mile track (1609m) is 1:46 4/5.  On a 5/8ths, it's 1:48 3/5, and on a half it's 1:49.

As you probably know, all races here are a rolling start (that I know of), and probably 99.9% are over the mile distance.

Best,
EW

I don't know about the tracks there but in Aus theres not much straight, theres a lot of turn. I think races are run differently as well, at starts theres a lot of pace, for positioning, then the race slows, then the pace picks up and the last quater is usually the fastest. Tonight we had 26.6 for the last quarter. Watching youtube clips of American races, theres no real preasure during the race nor fighting for position.
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burton
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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2007, 12:34:49 PM »

I don't know about the tracks there but in Aus theres not much straight, theres a lot of turn. I think races are run differently as well, at starts theres a lot of pace, for positioning, then the race slows, then the pace picks up and the last quater is usually the fastest. Tonight we had 26.6 for the last quarter. Watching youtube clips of American races, theres no real preasure during the race nor fighting for position.
Great topic.
I've been to Harrold Park in Sydney several times and have been to Alexandria Park in Auckland.
Will be returning this February.
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aussie_ascoli
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« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2007, 12:39:11 PM »

Great topic.
I've been to Harrold Park in Sydney several times and have been to Alexandria Park in Auckland.
Will be returning this February.

How did you find the racing?
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burton
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« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2007, 12:46:06 PM »

How did you find the racing?
I liked it.
The large fields were unusual for me for the small track size, but I enjoyed the constant movement.
I also enjoyed the atmosphere.
I recall paying $10 entry fee which got me a large ham sandwich, a shrimp platter and two beers along with admission at Harrold Park.
The racing paper was a bit difficult to read.
I do prefer the US format.
Leaving cold Chicago for sunny Sydney is always a treat.
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aussie_ascoli
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« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2007, 12:53:12 PM »

I liked it.
The large fields were unusual for me for the small track size, but I enjoyed the constant movement.
I also enjoyed the atmosphere.
I recall paying $10 entry fee which got me a large ham sandwich, a shrimp platter and two beers along with admission at Harrold Park.
The racing paper was a bit difficult to read.
I do prefer the US format.
Leaving cold Chicago for sunny Sydney is always a treat.


Its a bit of a culture shock isn't it. i remember first seeing video footage of an American race and a European race. I couldn't understand anything.

I don't know if in America you use these terms like the breeze, the death, 1-1, etc.

How did you find reading the race and tactics involved?

Unfortunetely for others this is the only footage i found of a race in Aus http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcm9gj-E7kU , not the top but alright, and its only of the last lap.
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burton
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« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2007, 01:05:08 PM »

Its a bit of a culture shock isn't it. i remember first seeing video footage of an American race and a European race. I couldn't understand anything.

I don't know if in America you use these terms like the breeze, the death, 1-1, etc.

How did you find reading the race and tactics involved?

Unfortunetely for others this is the only footage i found of a race in Aus http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcm9gj-E7kU , not the top but alright, and its only of the last lap.
As far as the race paper.
I did enjoy all the news, articles etc; the past performances were difficult.
From what I could understand of the tactics, it was like here in that you liked to be near the lead with a slow pace.
All in all I enjoyed it.
I will ask you more questions about it as my trip is confirmed.
Thank you!!
Very interesting.
We get some stories from down under on the USTrotting.com site here.
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aussie_ascoli
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« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2007, 01:30:02 PM »

This is one of the biggest races of the year its the miracle mile http://www.haroldpark.com.au/Results/videos/2407.WMV
Be Good Johnny and Blacks a Fake are probably the two best horses in Aus.
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edwardwilliam
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« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2007, 01:34:39 PM »

Watching youtube clips of American races, theres no real preasure during the race nor fighting for position.

It's actually the exact opposite.  The early pace to jostle for position is far faster than what I've observed in Australia.  It's fairly common to see 54-55 second opening halves, in order to be close to the pace, and that's one of the reasons you don't see horses racing off the rail -- the pace isn't slow enough for them to win parked out.

I believe the term 1-1 is 2nd over in America?  The second horse up on the outside?  I'm sure we have terms for "breeze" and "death" as well, but I'm not familiar with those.

Best,
EW
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aussie_ascoli
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« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2007, 01:48:40 PM »

It's actually the exact opposite.  The early pace to jostle for position is far faster than what I've observed in Australia.  It's fairly common to see 54-55 second opening halves, in order to be close to the pace, and that's one of the reasons you don't see horses racing off the rail -- the pace isn't slow enough for them to win parked out.

I believe the term 1-1 is 2nd over in America?  The second horse up on the outside?  I'm sure we have terms for "breeze" and "death" as well, but I'm not familiar with those.

Best,
EW

I guess thats probably why you see horses streched out more, so i'm assuming speed is more important, and here in Aus its positioning?
Top horses will usually run 29-30 first quarter and similar second, but i still don't know how they would compare to your tracks as i believe there a bit different.

The death is outside the leader.
A horse facing the breeze is usually the leader or the death.
Yeah the 1-1 is the one out one back, so the horse behind the death.
The horse behind the leader its common place to hear the commentators use sprint lane.
The horse behind the sprint lane horse is 3 peg, so on.
The horse behind the 1-1 is refered to 2 back 1 out or 1 out 2 back and so on
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edwardwilliam
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« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2007, 01:56:47 PM »

I guess thats probably why you see horses streched out more, so i'm assuming speed is more important, and here in Aus its positioning?
Top horses will usually run 29-30 first quarter and similar second, but i still don't know how they would compare to your tracks as i believe there a bit different.

The death is outside the leader.
A horse facing the breeze is usually the leader or the death.
Yeah the 1-1 is the one out one back, so the horse behind the death.
The horse behind the leader its common place to hear the commentators use sprint lane.
The horse behind the sprint lane horse is 3 peg, so on.
The horse behind the 1-1 is refered to 2 back 1 out or 1 out 2 back and so on

Our terms:
"death" = first over, or sometimes called parked out (especially if they are trying to clear the lead)
"1-1" = second over (and those continue back -- in a 10 horse field if they are 5 in and 5 out, the final horse on the outside is fifth over)
The horse behind the leader is "in the pocket" or has a "garden trip."
We really don't have any terms like "3 peg" -- they'll just be called 3rd on the rail, if not just by position...

Speed definitely plays a huge factor.  It's been an evolution, especially in the past two decades or so.  Position matters far more on the smaller tracks, but there's still normally a fast first quarter in order to reach that positioning.

The spacing results from these pace scenarios.  In races where a leader slows the pace (and no one pressures), you see fields stack up in two lines.

Best,
EW
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aussie_ascoli
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« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2007, 02:06:29 PM »

Our terms:
"death" = first over, or sometimes called parked out (especially if they are trying to clear the lead)
"1-1" = second over (and those continue back -- in a 10 horse field if they are 5 in and 5 out, the final horse on the outside is fifth over)
The horse behind the leader is "in the pocket" or has a "garden trip."
We really don't have any terms like "3 peg" -- they'll just be called 3rd on the rail, if not just by position...

Speed definitely plays a huge factor.  It's been an evolution, especially in the past two decades or so.  Position matters far more on the smaller tracks, but there's still normally a fast first quarter in order to reach that positioning.

The spacing results from these pace scenarios.  In races where a leader slows the pace (and no one pressures), you see fields stack up in two lines.

Best,
EW

All quite interesting. In Aus its always stacked in two lines. If the death doesn't challenge the pace, someone from deeper will challenge the death. A lot of staying horses will put preassure on the leader (may not challenge for its position), as they don't have much of a sprint. But slow pace will always invite the sit sprinter (usually the horse behid the leader) and the deep challenges, depends if the leader has the sprint. Its more common to see the leader win, if it controls the race to its terms (fast or slow).

All very interesting.
I have to go know, but definetely keep posting on this topic. 
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burton
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« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2007, 02:30:02 PM »

Very interesting discussion.
Look forward to hearing more about Australian harness racing.
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theiman
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« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2007, 02:32:55 PM »

I was at both Alexandra Park in Auckland and Harold Park in Syndey this past September & October.

What surprised me was that horses dont work out an hour before the race as they do here in N. America. With the programs basically listing only the last 3 races, and with no PP lines to go by it was hard to plot how a race would go. They didnt have race replay machines as the Big M has(dont know about Balmoral). The standing start races were weird to watch and it seems not all of the horses were ready when the word go was given.  I did like the fact that you can bet fixed odds with the on track books vs the windows. Harold Park, which I took a bus to, was an older track where most of the people park in the infield and walk thru a tunnel to get to the grandstand. I felt the drivers for most of the horses would have no chance competing at any of our top tracks.  They have a tack shop right in the grandstand so it was cool to check out trainers/drivers picking up last minute supplies.

Alexandra Park in Auckland was a bit bigger than a half mile track but not as big as a 5/8th track. They too had no workouts between races and the programs were just as hard to read.

I had a good time at both places and would go back again. Outside Alexandra Park track is the NZ Hall of Fame. Alot of old pictures of some top down under horses, including Cardigan Bay.  

I also got to take a tour of Alabar Breeding Farm in south Auckland. Great place to go and the outdoor paddocks there lead right up to the ocean, or it might be Tasman Sea. Ocean Property in that location, if it were in California would go for the Millions.   Horses are treated regally down there.

I will say the best track I saw in Australia was Royal Randwick where they run the T-Breds.
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burton
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« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2007, 03:00:28 PM »

You point out a interesting fact left out before.
That being the on-track bookmakers.
That was fun to watch.
I also went to a greyhound trak in Sydney and two of the bookmakers had quite attractive young ladies collecting the cash.
Very interesting.
A lot to take in as far as handicapping etc; when you're only there for a night or so.
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edwardwilliam
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« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2007, 03:10:02 PM »

A lot to take in as far as handicapping etc; when you're only there for a night or so.

Pretty much impossible!

You could carve out a ridiculous advantage over time, however -- I would think!

Best,
EW
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burton
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« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2007, 03:17:59 PM »

Pretty much impossible!

You could carve out a ridiculous advantage over time, however -- I would think!

Best,
EW
I found it entertaining.
Horses parked the mile was the norm.
Horses going three wide at the half just to end up first over.
It was fun!!
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theiman
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« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2007, 03:23:41 PM »

Some of the on track books had cute girls and some had guys who looked like they got them out of a 1920's soup kitchen.

I dont understand why a track would want the books on the grounds as they take money away from the on track wagering pools. I am sure the books pay a fee to have a stand at the track.

Maybe our down under fan can enlighten us as to what the books pay the track(if anything) for the right to take wagers. Maybe he can let us know.

Cheers
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edwardwilliam
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« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2007, 03:26:03 PM »

Some of the on track books had cute girls and some had guys who looked like they got them out of a 1920's soup kitchen.

I dont understand why a track would want the books on the grounds as they take money away from the on track wagering pools. I am sure the books pay a fee to have a stand at the track.

Maybe our down under fan can enlighten us as to what the books pay the track(if anything) for the right to take wagers. Maybe he can let us know.

Cheers

I'm pretty sure that the wagering in Australia is handled by the State, and that the tracks have nothing to do with it.

Best,
EW
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« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2007, 03:33:40 PM »

I'm pretty sure that the wagering in Australia is handled by the State, and that the tracks have nothing to do with it.

Best,
EW

I believe the TAB is handled by the states in Australia. I think there are seperate pools depending on where you live. NSW-TAB for the Sydney area, then either Uni-Tab or Super Tab for the other parts of OZ. I do not know about the books. At Harold Park there were only 4 books they night I was there.
At the T-Breds(or the Gallops as they call them down under) there were at least 10.
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