Some of the horse racing season's most lucrative races are run on turf (grass). Want a piece of the pie? Then it is crucial to know all typical characteristics of these and other surfaces. The surface is very decisive for the result of a race. Turf horse races are by far the most popular races in Europe. As soon as you know what influence turf has on the performance of the participating horses and what the general determining factors are for this surface, you will soon have a considerable advantage! Ladbrokes is happy to explain it for you…
Simply put, turf races are run on a different surface than, say, the major Triple Crown races in the United States. In North America, only 10-20% of races are run on grass, yet it is a more than prominent surface worldwide. This is also shown by the many major races in the United Kingdom, Australia and France, which are all settled on this surface.
Grass races are known to be a lot more competitive than those on clay courts, as there is a greater chance that 'more expensive' selections will produce big runs and thus boost lucrative winnings for bettors. That is why, here in Europe, they make up a big part of the options you have for betting on horse racing. We therefore further explain some of the essential differences between dirt and grass races below.
Anyone who knows anything about horses and races knows that a surface is extremely decisive for the course of a competition. Horses are sensitive to the hardness or softness of the surface they walk or run on. Quite logical: us humans also walk a lot differently in the mud than on a perfect green turf!
The most crucial difference between turf and dirt races is that turf races are more tactical competitions. Turf racing is all about smartly choosing the right moment to strike. In other words: horse and rider must find the best position every second of the race. At the same time, it all has to fit into the personal plan for this horse to simply reach the finish line as the fastest competitor.
That is also the reason why jockeys are of utmost importance in turf races. After all, they are the ones who map out the strategy (and adjust it at lightning speed if necessary). The pure speed of the horse is of course also important here, but not to the same extent as in the more straightforward dirt races. The latter mainly focuses on the intrinsic speed of the horse.
The speed numbers for grass races are less telling and consistent. They are therefore taken into account to a lesser extent in the predictions and bets. There are, of course, some other physical characteristics of a horse that make all the difference when it comes to grass racing. For example, horses need more stamina here than when racing on unpaved dirt tracks. They must be able to handle a tight pace for a long time and at the end have one last sprint left; not easy!
When you look at bets on turf races versus dirt races, the markets are pretty much the same. For experienced gamblers, this has been common knowledge for a long time, but for those who are still a bit new to it all, we are happy to provide a clear list of the basics. This way you quickly know which race or bet is the most fun for you and which yields the most!
The most well-known market on which you can place a bet is the 'win market'. Unlike other variants, you simply place a bet on the horse you think will win the race. Your selection wins the race? Then you win money. Does your selection lose? Then you lose your bet. The power is in the simplicity!
Grass racing playing fields can vary considerably, especially when betting on the National Hunt races in the UK, for example. This also means that various betting methods are equally popular. In 'each-way' bets, both predicting the winner and the right place(s) will determine your success. This means you are also ‘covered’ on both markets, where the bet can be doubled. For example, if you bet 5 euros for one race on a selection, your total bet is 10 euros. So you win when your selection finishes first or in one of the ranking positions offered by the organizing body.
Want it all to be a bit more difficult and complex? Then in both dirt racing and turf horse racing; the Exacta and Trifecta markets are about the most challenging bets you can find. In Exacta betting you not only have to correctly predict the first two horses across the finish line, you also need to do this in the correct order. Would you like to take it one step further? In a winning Trifecta bet you predict no less than the first three in the race correctly and in the right order!
Ready to try your hand at grass racing? Then know that there are a number of factors you should always take into account. For example, research is an important part of betting on all types of races. The most important thing here is that you ask the right questions. That is why we list a few below with which you can actually make a difference for your successful turf bets:
Ideally, you will look for a horse and rider who have already won on this specific turf. Experience certainly counts in horse racing. The past is telling and, while surprises from young talent are always possible, they are statistically less common. Are you aiming for big wins? Then it is always worthwhile to consider some risk and to bet on an up-and-coming talent!
Either way, at Ladbrokes we help to keep it fun and safe. Newbie or experienced hand; on our platforms you can be sure that fun and safety prevail without any doubt!