Backing and Laying Bets on South African Horse Racing
With over 100 years of horse racing and breeding history, South Africa is well-established when it comes to equine excellence. The country has 10 top class race courses and plays host to some of racing’s most glamorous events. For those that like to bet on horse races, the South African race calendar is worth following, and with betting exchange, you can back or lay bets on all of the South African race cards.
The Racecourses
The 10 racecourses in South Africa are situated in prominent locations throughout the country including Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. There are a total of eight turf-only courses, one course with both turf and sand, and one with just sand. The tracks at Greyville and Turffontein are both floodlit and can accommodate evening and night racing.
There are daily meetings held throughout the year and this provides plenty of betting opportunities for shrewd punters from around the world. South African gamblers should note that WBX is the only betting exchange that offers South African horse racing to South Africa customers.
The major Grade 1 races are held at Turffontein (Johannesburg), Greyville (Durban), Scottsville (Durban) and Kenilworth (Cape Town) with further events being held at Vaal (Johannesburg), Clairwood (Durban), Arlington (Port Elizabeth), Fairview (Port Elizabeth), Flamingo Park (Kimberley) and Durbanville (Cape Town).
The Major Races
One of the most well-known South African horse races is the J&B Met which is held every January at the Kenilworth track in Cape Town. This one-day event attracts many of South Africa’s rich and famous celebrities and is almost as well-known for its displays of haute couture fashion as it is for its horse racing. Having said that, the racing itself is always of a world class standard.
The Durban Handicap was first staged at the Greyville track in July 1897 and has been held annually ever since. While the J&B Met may be the most glamorous social occasion; this thoroughbred event in Durban is the best in terms of overall horse racing quality and always sparks an explosion of betting action. A significant prize fund helps to attract a strong field to this showpiece meeting.
The Turffontein race track in Johannesburg is the destination of choice for race-lovers in November when a total of 12 races are contested in the day-long Gauteng Sansui Summer Cup. A large winner’s purse for the feature race ensures that a field of the highest quality is always guaranteed for this summer extravaganza. The Summer Cup is one of the country’s oldest races having first been staged in 1887. Turffontein is also host to the Champions Challenge which takes place in April and features a total of eight high-value races. This event marks the conclusion of the country’s autumn racing program.
Where to Bet
You can bet on all of these South African races and more by visiting the World Bet Exchange website. As well as getting the best odds, you can also back and lay horses on the daily race cards. WBX is the only betting exchange that also offers this service to its South African punters.
What is a betting exchange?
If you want to get the most out the betting markets by finding better odds and improving your strategy, it is essential that you understand the importance of betting exchanges. In addition, it is vital that you know the difference between backing and laying a horse racing bet. The terms may be familiar to you but until you are fully aware of when and why you should back or lay a bet, you should hang on to your cash.
Betting exchanges reflect the way in which gambling has changed over the years. As well as backing an outcome in the usual way, punters now have the option to lay or bet against a particular result occurring. By doing this, the punter effectively becomes the bookmaker and stakes their own money on the book.
A Traditional Back Bet
If you pick a horse to win a race and place a traditional bet, you are backing that horse to win. The bookmaker sets the odds and if your horse wins, you will receive a payout.
Example of Backing a Bet
• South African horse race No. 1
• You stake 1 unit on Horse A to win at odds of 1.5
• Horse A wins and your return is 1.5 units
• Your profit is 0.5 units
This is the type of bet that most people will place on a horse race, so what is a Lay bet?
Placing a Lay Bet
You lay a bet when you think that an outcome will not happen and you offer a price to other punters who want to place a back bet. If your price is matched, your bet becomes active.
Example of Laying a bet
• South African horse race No. 2
• You lay Horse B at 5.00 for a 1 unit stake
• A punter matches your bet
• Horse B wins and you lose the bet. The punter keeps the 1 unit stake and you pay them another 4 units.
• If Horse B does not win, you keep your 4 unit liability and also claim the bettors 1 unit stake
When you lay a bet, your liability and the punter’s stake go into a pot and the winner claims all the money. To place a lay bet, you must have sufficient funds in your exchange account to cover the liability.
Why Lay a Bet?
Once you understand how to lay a bet, you then need to learn when and why to lay a bet. In fact, there are various situations when laying a bet should be considered. Firstly, when you are betting in-play, you can take advantage of momentum swings and price changes to lay bets that you have already backed. By using this technique, you can actually lock-in a profit at the right moment. There are many sports where this technique can be useful.
You can also lay bets when you think that the price to back a horse is too low. By laying the outcome, you can take advantage of a situation where the probability of the outcome occurring is lower than the price suggests. Many fans of lay betting will pick a horse at a certain price (such as 3.75) that also fulfills the criteria of their chosen strategy.