Horse racing is as much a part of New Zealand’s customs and traditions as are the Hongi and the traditional family barbecue. The first horses to be brought to New Zealand were probably a gift from the Governor Macquarie from New South Whales, to the Maoris. These horses went on to become pivotal in the establishment of thorough breeding in the country.
Horse racing meets soon became well-attended social and sporting gatherings. The initial races were mainly controlled by local horse racing committees, with the establishment of local racing clubs following soon after. Today, there are no less than 71 official horse racing clubs, with a total of 259 days of the year officially allocated to horse racing. Most clubs own their own race courses, and collectively host a variety of top horse racing events.
The top 10 horse racing events NZ hosts rank among the best of the best on a global level as you see from the online horse betting sites. These include the Karaka Million, the Spring Classic, the New Zealand 1000 Guineas, the New Zealand Cup, the Telegraph Handicap, the Wellington Cup, the Auckland Cup, the New Zealand Derby and the New Zealand Oaks. These do not only rank among the top 10 horse racing events NZ hosts, but are also sport betting favourites.
The Karaka Million
Held at Ellerslie Racecourse, the Karaka Million is New Zealand’s most extravagant race. An interesting aspect of this race, is that horses allowed to compete are restricted to those sold via the New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sales, at Karaka. Only two year old horses are permitted to enter the race. The two year olds are then eligible to be entered in the Karaka Three Year Old Mile, during the following year. This creates an interesting avenue as far as sports betting is concerned, as the horses are able to compile a portfolio of races and events over time, which makes for valuable race betting research.
The Wellington Cup
The Wellington Cup is held during the month of January, at Trenthan Racecourse, and is hosted by the Wellington Racing Club. Horses cover a distance of 2,400 metres.
The Spring Classic
The Spring Classic is run at Hastings Racecourse, and is a weight-for-age race. Horses are made to carry a specific set of weights, according to the weight-for-age scale. The weight will vary and will depend on the horse’s age, sex, race distance as well as the month of the year. Weight-for-age races provide opportunities for a variety of creative betting combinations.
The New Zealand Derby
The New Zealand Derby is a set-weights horse race run by three year old horses. The New Zealand Derby is well-known for having been won by some of New Zealand’s most famous race horses, including Desert Gold and Silent Achiever. The event is a popular sports betting event due to the attendance and high-profile race horses regularly competing in the event. The New Zealand Derby is held annually on the first Saturday in the month of March, and is one of the favourites of the top 10 horse racing events NZ has to offer.