In Victoria, the four metropolitan tracks are Flemington, Caulfield, Moonee Valley and Sandown (mostly run on Wednesdays or Sundays, when jumps races are the main races) whilst in New South Wales they are Randwick and Rosehill on Saturdays and Canterbury and Warwick Farm mostly Wednesdays. In Queensland there are only two metropolitan tracks, Doomben and Eagle Farm, and amazingly they are almost directly opposite one another with only a major highway separating them. In South Australia there is only one track, Morphettville, and in Western Australia there are two tracks, Ascot, where they run in the summer months, and Belmont Park, where winter racing takes place. In Tasmania we have Launceston, Devonport and Elwick whilst the main track in the ACT is Canberra. Last, but not least, in the Northern Territory, Darwin is the metropolitan venue.
Across the world there are horses that simply do not like certain tracks but excel on others. It is never clear why this is so with some horses but others, due to issues with their gait, prefer either a tight track, where the turns are quite pronounced, or a larger track, where the turns are gradual. In Australia Moonee Valley is nationally acclaimed as THE track where a liking for the course is an enormous advantage and the term “horses for courses” applies to the nth degree. This doesn’t mean a newcomer to the track cannot win but if the same horse is opposed to a “Moonee Valley specialist” extra credence must be given to the proven track performer.
Conversely, tracks like Flemington and Sandown, in Victoria, and Randwick and Rosehill, in New South Wales suits the more loping type of horse. The type of horse that excels at these tracks are the type that need to be saved for a strong finish whereas the Moonee Valley specialist prefers to zip around tight bends. Without doubt the shorter straight at Moonee Valley (173m) helps the more nippier horses win races whereas at the larger tracks they would more often than not be run down by the swoopers.
All newbies to Australian horseracing should always determine if the horse, whose form they are studying, has a pronounced liking for today’s track. In fact, if they were to JUST bet on our track specialists, under the right conditions relating to distance and track surface, a yearly profit will “stare” them in the face. All Australian racetracks have these specialists: search for them.