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Horse Racing in Australia: Why is it so Popular?

Horse racing is a sport that began several years ago, explaining its popularity globally. Horse racing seems to be more popular in Australia than in any other country. Some people have to watch the horse races live in the field while others watch them on TVs. Some people like horse racing because they bet on the horses to win some cash.

The Melbourne Cup currently oversees horse racing in Australia. This is a spectacular sport known for raising the adrenaline levels in the body. If you are a bettor, the adrenaline level and the high you’ll get from horse racing are unmatched because you won’t get it from any other sport.

The popularity of horse racing in Australia has grown exponentially over the years. No wonder many Australians spend amounts running into billions of dollars placing their bets. Read on for a guide to the Melbourne Cup.

History of Horse racing in Australia

Horse racing is one of the sports that Australians have been participating in for centuries. Sydney is considered the horse racing birthplace because the sport began way back in the 1800s. About a century later, the Sydney Turf Club was created. The Turf Club was responsible for overseeing all Australia’s horse racing events. From then, many Australians embraced horse racing, and its fan base grew bigger and bigger.

Horse racing developed from an entertainment sport to one where people could bet and win some cash. Many bettors in Australia participate in betting to pay tribute to horse racing history. The betters want to pass this sport from one generation to the next.

Australian Horse Races

Many big clubs followed the Sydney Turf Club. Currently, the one reigning is the Melbourne Cup. If you’ve ever had an opportunity to watch Australian horse races, you must have noticed that the country will grind to a halt when the 3.2 km horse race is on.

Globally, the Melbourne Cup takes longer than all their races. It is even bigger and more popular than the Grand National of Britain. Australians are very proud of winning in Melbourne Cup horse races. Other horse races in Australia are:

  • Queen Elizabeth Stakes
  • WS Cox Plate
  • Caulfield Cup
  • Victoria Derby
  • Golden Stakes

All the above events occur in Spring and Autumn months, though they are not as popular as the Melbourne Cup.

It’s right to conclude that the crowds witnessed during Australia’s horse races come because of the unquenchable love for these races and the richness of horse racing tradition in this country.

The excitement and thrill associated with horseracing events in Australia is the reason behind the many bettors in these events. It’s no longer a secret that many Australians have an appetite for the best wagers.

Horse racing isn’t like other betting forms because they aren’t machine-controlled. In horse racing, punters use their judgments on which horses to bet on.

Australia’s Horse Race Betting

Apart from getting entertained by the horse races, Australians also like betting on these races to win some cash. Betting supplements the adrenaline rush associated with watching your favorite horse lose or win. 

Sports betting is popular in Australia; it’s a global phenomenon making it a big industry worldwide. In Australia, the amounts involved in horse race betting run into billions of dollars every year. So the contribution of betting to Australia’s economy can’t be overlooked or ignored.

It’s a fact that Australia tops the global list when it comes to horse racing events. This is enough evidence to support the popularity of this sport in the country. Today, it’s pretty easy to bet on horse races. You can do so online, meaning you don’t have to be physically present at the racecourse. Many Australian bettors like online betting because it’s easy to access and is convenient. 

If you like to do things conventionally, you can deal with on-trach bookmarkers licensed to fix odds. They’ll make it easy for you to choose which horses to place your bet on. Before you start betting on horses, make sure you understand all the bettings jargon and terms. This will help you avoid betting mistakes. 

The Benefits of Horse Racing in Australia 

The importance of horse racing in Australia isn’t about entertainment and betting. Horse racing provides a source of income for many Australians. It also boosts social life because it brings people together. Some of the benefits of horse racing in Australia include:

Tourism and Economy  

Many tourists throng Australia not just to watch the horse races but also to learn their history. That’s why even towns that host not more than two horse races in Australia witness large turnouts. 

A good example is the QLD’s Birdsville Races. This is just a two-day event, but it attracts large crowds with substantial economic benefits. The race has put Birdville on the map as one of the top tourist destinations in the world. The income from the events and the parties held here every year provides a significant boost to the economy of this town.

horse racing
Image by dreamtemp on Pixabay

Employment Opportunities

Horse racing provides employment opportunities for many Australians and businesses involved directly or indirectly in the sport. It is a source of income for stable hands, trainers, jockeys, officials, organizers, etc. 

The sport also supports bookmakers, bar attendants, cooks, race club employees, retailers, racing equipment companies, and hoteliers. People working in the tourist industry also benefit from horse races in Australia.

All the towns in Australia where horse racing events are held benefit a lot from this sport. The horse races also act as social events, especially for those in rural areas. The sport provides much-needed tourism and economic dollars for Australia’s small towns, generating many employment opportunities. 


You now know that the reasons behind the popularity of horse races in Australia are a mixture of entertainment, sports betting, and the history of horse racing in the country. 

If you are a tourist in Australia, your trip can never be complete without watching these horse races. You can increase the fun by betting on your horse and watching it win or lose. 

Many big clubs followed the Sydney Turf Club. Currently, the one reigning is the Melbourne Cup. If you choose a horse to support/bet on, you’ll feel a high level of adrenaline pumped into your bloodstream as the race is going on.

Featured Image by Patty Jansen from Pixabay