Horse Racing Betting: The Best Horce Racing Betting Sites in New Zealand

Lincoln Trembley

Horse Racing Betting is one of the most popular forms of gambling in the world. For Kiwi punters, frequent races are happening around the clock, providing the opportunity to place bets at will. However, you might be wondering where someone would get started if they wanted to start punting on the horses. This guide will give you everything you need about horse betting. We’ll inform you about the different types of horse racing bets, where you can gamble on horses, tips for making informed bets, and a brief history of horse racing in New Zealand. Let’s get started…

Places to Bet on Horse Racing in New Zealand?

For horse racing enthusiasts in New Zealand, there’s only one place to go to place your bet online.


TAB NZ is a statutory monopoly for sports betting in New Zealand. It was established as part of the racing act of 2003. The agency was designed to promote the racing industry and maximise the profits of the industry. For this reason, it is not possible to find horse racing on gambling sites that are not affiliated with TAB.

Fortunately, this does not mean that horse racing gambling is illegal in New Zealand. Quite the opposite in fact. TAB offers a wide range of wagering channels which ensures fair and safe horse racing betting. These channels include betting totes at racetracks on race days, a national network of street-front betting shops, and a dedicated website.

Types of Horse Racing Betting Markets

In horse racing, while you can take a simple bet on which horse is going to win the race, there are actually a number of other types of bets you can make. The beauty of these bets is their odds are normally higher, making the outcome all the more exciting.

Win or Each-Way (E/W)

As stated, a win, or outright, bet is a straight bet on which horse will finish first. This can sometimes be risky, however. To spread their bet, many punters take an each-way (E/W) bet. This is betting that the horse will finish 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th. You must pay double the stake to the bookie, but your chances of getting money back significantly increase. Depending on which place the horse finishes in, you will get a percentage of your winning stake.

Distance Bets

Some bookmakers give you the chance to bet, not just on a win, but by the winning margin. This type of bet increases the odds of betting on a favourite.

Ante Post

An ante-post bet is betting on a horse well in advance of the race. This is a bet usually made by those who are very familiar with the racing form and can predict how well a horse is going to do well ahead of time. The benefit of this type of betting is that you can get higher odds than just before that race when the market becomes more volatile. Also, you are rewarded for inside knowledge and research.

Betting without the Favourite

Some bookmakers offer a betting market without the favourite. This means if the favourite does win and the horse you backed comes second, you’ll win the bet.

How to Read Horse Racing Betting Odds

Learning how to read the odds is one of the most important things in horse racing betting. In New Zealand, the most common form of odds format is the decimal format, which is used at TAB. This is the easiest form of odd to read, as it is just a multiplication of what you can stand to win. For example, if you bet on a horse at 6.00, you would win $6 for every $1 you bet.

Another common form of odds format is the fractional odds format. These odds are very common in UK and Irish bookmakers. They are written in the form of a fraction, 6/1. They can be more difficult to read as the odds get more complex. Odds of anything to 1 (2/1, 3/1, or 4/1) are easy to read as it is again just a multiplication of what you initially bet – 6/1 will get you $6 for every $1 you bet. But tighter odds, of 7/4 let’s say, can be read as winning $7 for every $4 you bet.

Best Horse Racing Betting Events

Race meets generally occur all year round, meaning you’ll never miss a day of being able to bet on horses. However, there are certain events in the horse racing calendar which are more important than the rest. These are the racing events where even the most casual bettor gets in on the action. Think of them as the champions league or world cup tournament of horse racing.

The Melbourne Cup

The Melbourne Cup is the biggest horse racing event down under. It is run on the first Tuesday of November and takes place at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne.

Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot is one of the most famous in the UK and also the rest of the world. It is dedicated to flat horse racing. It is famous for its affiliation with the British Royal family. The Gold Cup is the main feature race, which occurs on the third day of the 4-day event.

Cheltenham Festival

The Cheltenham festival is one of the most famous and anticipated horse racing events of the year, with millions of horse racing enthusiasts flocking to Gloucestershire in England. It takes place in the middle of March every year, coinciding with St. Patrick’s Day. It’s four days of betting fun with the world’s top hunt horses (jumping horses) taking each other on over a number of races.

The Grand National

The Grand National is a National Hunt horse race which takes place in Aintree in England every year. It is run over a distance of four miles and two furlongs and involves 30 fences. This makes it one of the most difficult races for horses to run, let alone win. The handicap system used for the races means that all horses running have an equal chance of winning, making it very appealing to make a wager on.

The Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is the most famous race meet in the United States. It is traditionally held on the first Saturday in May. Just like its British counterparts, the event has taken on the style of a festival over the years. It is still one of the prime horse betting events on the racing calendar.

Horse Racing Betting Tips

Horse racing betting is a constantly changing industry, and due to the sheer amount of thoroughbred racing and horses being bred in New Zealand and Australia, changing competitive odds and many other factors.

However, the advantage one has here as a punter placing horse racing bets and reading horse racing odds is that the fundamentals of the horse racing betting markets and how to gamble wisely remain essentially the same as other popular sports betting.

So before you browse some horse betting sites for the best odds and lay down some of your bet credits at your favourite online bookie, here are some tips to increase your chances of making sure that you get more money out of the next race day.

🏇 Play The Safe Game

Before a race starts, the bookmaker will analyse the horses that are running the race and make the calculations for the horse racing odds that will be set before the race is set to begin. One part of this process is letting the horse racing markets know which horse will be the favourite (the horse they believe will most likely win the race day when compared to the others)

Naturally, as it goes in sports betting, the horse that they decide to be the favourite will be the one possessing the lowest odds for Kiwi punters. The horse in the race classified as the favourite before the gates open statistically finishes in third place 67% of the time and wins 33% of the time.

While horse racing odds are classically designed to not pay too much for the favourite horse, at the same time it is one of the more secure and safe bets that a horse racing punter can make.

🏇 Pay Attention to Experts

If somebody has a widely recognised and respected platform for talking about horse racing betting, it’s probably because they know what they’re talking about and have years of experience in the field that has helped thousands (if not more) of punters generate better results for themselves.

Something to consider before you go looking for that valuable third-party perspective is checking their credentials. Has this source seen big events like the cox plate and the Cheltenham Festival? Are they respected individuals or publications with a large online presence and/or influence within the horse betting industry?

Many commentators on horse racing have come from backgrounds of working in the industry or breeding thoroughbred horses, so people like this will have valuable opinions that are worth taking note of.

🏇 Remember to Take It Easy

Unless horse betting is your profession and what you do to get paid (if you’re reading this I’m going to assume it isn’t) then this piece of advice may not apply to you.

One note you should remember at the end of the day is that betting on horses is meant to be an entertaining pastime above all, and you should treat it as such. Enjoy going to the horses and betting, but also make sure that you enjoy it with balance, and don’t get too invested in a sense it will negatively affect your life, healthwise or financially.

If you’re having problems with your gambling habits, always seek help and advice. Keep it casual and you’ll be in a much better spot.

Brief History of Horse Racing in New Zealand

It can be expected that for a country that the British colonised, horse racing would follow not soon after. Early coloniser settlements immediately established a horse racing culture after they arrived in New Zealand. It was a significant part of the first anniversary events in Canterbury, Wellington, Auckland, Nelson, and Otago. Race meetings quickly moulded themselves into significant social and athletic occasions. The military garrison in Auckland held the first horse races in the vicinity of 1840. Horse racing gradually developed over the 19th century as administrative bodies and clubs were established, such as the New Zealand Racing Conference, which to this day is the main legislative and administrative body of all horse racing that occurs in New Zealand.

As horse racing fluctuated in popularity during the two great wars and the great depression, it was after the conclusion of WW2 that New Zealand started to see a great rise in the organisation and attendance of horse racing and also horse racing betting. The industry continued to develop into a thriving and popular pastime for Kiwis and continues to be a significant part of the sports betting culture in the country. One of the greatest racehorses ever to come from New Zealand was Phar Lap. The horse, who has been inducted into the New Zealand and Australian Hall of Fame, won over 20 major races during his career.

Horse Racing Betting – Conclusion

Getting started with horse racing betting and knowing how to read the odds, where to bet, and how to bet is not an easy feat. But hopefully, the team at CasinoCrawlers have made it easier for you. Now that you know where to place a bet and what type of bet to put on, you can use your time to do some research on the form and start wagering on the horses today.


Horse betting FAQ

What's the Biggest Horse Race in New Zealand?

The biggest horse race that takes place in New Zealand is undoubtedly the New Zealand derby, which is a thoroughbred horse race, taking place at Ellerslie Racecourse in Auckland. The race takes place on the first week of March annually and is the opening day of the Auckland Cup Week.

What Types of Horse Racing is Common in New Zealand?

You'll find two modes of horse racing in New Zealand that are widespread and universally enjoyed, those being Thoroughbred Racing and Harness or Standardbred racing, which is where the horse is attached to a cart. The cart is commonly referred to as a sulky.

Is Horse Racing Popular in New Zealand?

Horse racing is a nationally enjoyed pastime in New Zealand, enjoying a business and cultural interchange with neighbouring Australia to boost the industry further. Even more impressive yet, is that New Zealand possesses 52 racecourses throughout the nation, giving a punter plenty of options to see horseracing if they desire.

Lincoln Trembley
Lincoln Trembley
Betting Expert
28 Articles
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Lincoln is an expert in sports betting. With his skill and passion for trying our new brands in the iGaming industry, he frequently reviews sports betting sites and writes news about sports betting. Being a former sports trader, there’s not much he doesn’t know when it comes to sports betting.

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