Anybody who has ever had a day at the races before can vouch for what a fun afternoon it can be. Even if you are not an expert in horse racing, having a flutter on a runner whose name catches your eye can be great fun, especially when you attend with a group of friends.
If you are looking to follow horse racing more closely, here are the three biggest races in Oceania, some of which you have probably heard of before.
"The race which stops a nation." The Melbourne Cup is the richest 3,200m handicap race anywhere in the world and it takes place annually on the first Tuesday in November. A huge crowd flocks to Flemington Racecourse in Victoria for this race, while almost everybody in the country finds a TV to watch the contest unfold. The Melbourne Cup is now a huge global event as horses from New Zealand, Europe, and the USA travel to Victoria to take on the best of Australia. Betting is already available for the 2017 running of the race and all the available odds can be found on Oddschecker's Australian racing page, including daily meetings from Bairnsdale and other tracks in the country.
New Zealand Derby
The best three-year-olds in New Zealand are pitched against each other in Auckland in March to find out who is the best colt of that year’s crop. The winner of this race usually goes on to take on the older horses from Oceania later in the campaign. Look out for jockey Vinnie Colgan in this race as he has been successful on six occasions, his most recent success coming in 2016 on board Rangipo.
The Cox Plate has been running since 1922 and it remains one of the leading races anywhere in the world. It takes place at Moonee Valley in October and it always attracts a high-quality field. The current star of Oceania horse racing, Winx, has been successful in the last two runnings of the race and she is the odds-on favourite to make it a hat-trick of wins later this year. The Australian sprinter has won her last 16 races on the track and could head to Europe next year for Royal Ascot.
Although the above three races are huge events on the racing calendar, the action takes place 364 days a year in the sport so look out for the schedule at your local track if you fancy a day at the races sometime soon.
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