Greyhound racing is the second most popular racing sport for betting in Australia. Unlike most sports, the vast majority of the spectators watching the greyhound races in Australia are also involved with betting on the races. Greyhound races were responsible for over $3.4 billion wagering turnover for 2010/11. This is higher than all other sports betting combined, however it only measures up to be equal to about a quarter of the turnover generated from Australian thoroughbred horseracing.
As the name suggest, greyhound racing is the sport of racing the greyhound dog breed. Greyhounds are specially bred for their unprecedented acceleration and speed. They are known to be able to reach a full speed of around 70km/h within 30 metres of the starting box.
Australian greyhound races have a maximum field size of 8 hounds. This enhances the greyhound racing betting options. The dogs chase a lure, which is generally an artificial hare or rabbit, around a track. The tracks are circular or oval shaped and races range from 400 metres to 750 metres. Greyhounds lack riders or jockeys so there is a greater emphasis on the form and success rate of the hounds when it comes to betting. The outcome of a greyhound race is rarely affected by wet or dry conditions, so wet weather rarely plays a role in deciding a race’s result, unlike horseracing.
The major upcoming Group 1 races this year are the Garrards Winter Cup, the Golden Easter Egg, the Cartwright Property Gold Cup, the Sky Channel Galaxy and the Australian Super Stayers. These are run at distances of 520 metres and 720 metres. The longer distances are better suited to stayers, which are specialist long distance runners, these dogs will be a shorter price in the betting. While there are stark differences between greyhound racing and thoroughbred horseracing, the betting options available remain the same.