Horse racing

Horse races are a very popular sport in New Zealand, and therefore betting on horse racing is an activity in which Kiwis enjoy every day.

Two of the most popular races to which recreational players and serious one betting on are the New Zealand Derby or the maiden at Rotorua and each bet is exciting and very profitable.

If you are a fan of horse racing and you love to bet on horse races this guide will help to teach you all that you need to know to succeed at this pastime and find the best online horse betting sites that are legal and available to all players from New Zealand.

Best horse racing betting sites

  • Leovegas
    NZ$ 1000
    + 150 free spins and 50 cashspins
    2380+ games
    Massive win potential
    Spectacular selection of games
    18+ | Wager req: 35x | Free spins are wager free (cashspins) | Play responsibly | | Terms and Conditions Apply
  • William Hill
    NZ$ 300
    + 50 free spins
    700+ games
    Daily instant win prizes
    Selection of exclusive games
    18+ | Bonus & free spins wager req: 40x | Play responsibly | Terms and Conditions Apply
  • B bets
    € 250
    + 100 free spins
    600+ games
    Fast payout system
    Virutal gaming expirience
    18+ | Wager req: 30x | Play responsibly | Terms and Conditions Apply

Is it legal to bet in New Zealand at overseas gambling sites?

Yes! Remote gambling is permitted if it is offered by providers outside of the country. All sites that we are recommending are based outside of New Zealand and they are 100% safe and secure for Kiwis.

You can visit online bettting page if you are interested to learn more about other betting options.

image of the horse racing betting tips

How to choose the best horse racing betting site?

Choosing the best horse racing site to use while betting presents you with the need to look for the best value betting odds, highest winning percentages, and highest payouts.

Check out our 8 tips when choosing an online horse racing betting site:

No.1: Choose the best value betting odds!

When you choose a horse racing betting site you can choose the website that offers the best (highest) odds on the horse you want to bet. Pay attention to special offers such as:

  • Extra Places (you get paid to additional places in certain races)
  • Match Bets (bet that the horse ends in front of a particular horse instead of the horse that will finish the race first)
  • Moneyback (If your horse happens somewhat, some horse betting platforms offer a refund of the stake you placed)
  • The best odds guaranteed (This will be the best betting site for you the best odds on a certain bet.

No.2: Pay attention to types of bets!

The types of bets are different at every online horse racing betting site, so you should choose the right betting platform for the bet you want to place. The most common types of bets are straight bets are Win, Place, and Each-way.

No.3: Bet/Wager to watch or listen!

To begin betting, watch or listen to a horse race the most popular places to go are online betting sites, there you can begin betting, watch and receive your payout.

No.4: Loyalty programs for Kiwis!

With most online casinos you create an account that allows you to bet. Your account comes with membership benefits where users get points for betting then you can use for wager credits later. Check what loyalty program each platform offers and choose one that suits you best.

No.5: Welcome bonuses at betting sites!

Most online casinos and betting companies offer welcome bonuses. Every site that offers horse racing betting has different bonus offer. On our top list, you can see the welcome offers and you can choose the one that suits you best. There are few factors on what you should pay attention, like wagering requirements and validity of the bonuses.

No.6: Read the site reviews!

Bethard is one of the most well-known bookmakers in the world because they have been operating online casinos. The 888 sports are one of the oldest online casinos and one of the most trusted brands in the industry. On our website, you can read a review about every brand that we are recommending.

No.7: Horse racing ambassadors!

Friendly Racing Ambassadors are used to assisting with understanding odds, reading a racing program and simulcast screen, exclusive insight, placing a bet with a teller or on a self-service terminal, etc.

No.8: Data safety is important!

The risk of your details being sold is easily avoided, legitimate sites won’t sell your email address or banking information to fraudsters. Sites that run under the license from

  • MGA (Malta Gaming Authority)
  • UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission) are the most secure and safest for players.
  • Also if you see that domains of platforms has HTTPS and not HTTP that means that the website is under the SSL encryption (secure socket layer). That means that all our data is safe and protected.

How to bet on horse racing?

To bet on horse racing at online gambling sites first you do your research and find the site that works best for you including the best odds, payout, membership benefits, loyalty program and anything else that you need.

Horse racing gonzo
  • Choose a gambling site with the best advantages: Advantages of betting on horses online is a tool of convenience and it is the only legal way to bet on horse races.
  • Target betting sites with the highest welcome bonus: As far as bonuses go you need to choose between matched bets, matched deposits, no deposit bonuses, loyalty rewards and more.
  • Create an account/Register: When registering with an online casino, you will have to type in your details to prove legality.
  • Make your first deposit: To begin betting, you will need to see what payment options are available for you to deposit and withdraw money.
  • Start placing bets: To place horse bets, you need to search through the horse selections along with their odds. It will then be added to the betting slip. You then enter the amount you wish to stake and confirm the bet.

Popular racing betting offers at bookmarks

  • Extra Places bet: you place each-way betting on your chosen horse. Half of the betting goes on the horse to win and the other half of the bet goes on the horse to place.
  • Match Bets: you will take home both the place part of an each-way bet and the lay bet if the horse finishes exactly fifth. This is because you have a bet on it finishing in the top 5 but another on not finishing in the top 4.
  • Money-back betting: Different types of Horse Racing Refund Offers are; Back A Winner Refund which includes 4/1 or 3/1 Winner or Wins by 2 Length; Runner-Up Refund includes 2nd and 3rd Finish, Beaten by Head or Neck; and Refund as An Insurance.
  • Best Odds Guaranteed: The better the price you get, the more money you take home if a horse you back lands the spoils in a race.

Types of horse racing in New Zealand

There are four types Horse Racing, Group, maiden, listed and handicap races.

Each type has its ways of racing and deciding winners.

Let’s find out little more about each one below.

jokey riding a horse

Group races

These are the very top echelon of races which are divided into Group 1: the very best races including the Classics, Group 2: which is just below the championship standard and the Group 3: that often attracts quality horses, many of which are trials for Group 1 and 2 races.

Maiden and Listed races

The race for horses who have not yet won a race. However, a racehorse can earn a very reasonable living as a maiden and remain there for an extended period, thus winning plenty of place prize money.

Just below Group races, these are designed to identify racehorses of superior merit but below Group Standard. Listed races are very popular and players just love to place bets and getting that profit.

Handicap races

The race in which the weight each horse is to carry is individually allotted according to past performance. The goal of this is to give all the horses an equal chance of winning.

These typically have a larger number of runners than the other types. The side of the track that the race starts from can make a difference to the horse’s chances.

Biggest horse races across New Zealand

The biggest horse races include the Karaka Million(1200m), Karaka Million (1600m), Spring Classic (2040m), New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m), New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m), New Zealand Cup (3200m), Telegraph Handicap (1200m), Wellington Cup (2400m), Thorndon Mile (1600m), Auckland Cup (3200m), New Zealand Derby (2400m) and the New Zealand Oaks (2400m).

Breeders Cup

Breeders Cup began in Hollywood Park in 1984.

It had started as a one day, 7-race event but it has since grown into a two-day, $30 million extravaganza.

The Breeders Cup attracts the best horses, trainers, and owners from around the world. Breeders’ Cup Classic makes the final decision on the Horse of the Year.

Caulfield Cup

Caulfield Cup is a Club Group 1 complete with a Thoroughbred horse race held under handicap conditions.

This may change, however, because the MRC is in the process of turning the race into a weight for age conditions.

This means any horses three years or older will run over 2400 meters.

Cox Plate

Cox Plate is also known as “The Race of the Century”. It was given the name after W.S. Cox Plate in 1986.

Named after a thoroughbred horse race that was held in Melbourne, Australia, between two New Zealand racehorses in the 1980s.

It is the weight-for-age championship of Australia and New Zealand.

It is held annually at Melbourne’s Moonee Valley Racecourse and is considered one of the most significant races on the Australian calendar

Where to watch live races in NZ?

he best places to watch horse races in New Zealand are at the racetracks, online and on television.

If you are able and willing to venture out, Tauranga is a 1700m right-handed track with a 400m straight.

This is one of the best locations to watch races from.

On television tab trackside is the best channel to watch for up to date coverage.

Betting online with the TAB at the website of You can also keep track of your horses here.

Live Stream Live Racing for Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa is available at Sky Racing World and Racing New Zealand website.

get the bonus

Virtual horse race betting

Virtual racing accommodations are provided from the “Big Four” bookmakers in the United Kingdom and with some smaller firms.

You can find virtual horse races on platforms in our top list.

The races include virtual dog racing and virtual horse racing.

Horse Racing Breeds

Horse Racing Breeds include;

  • Arabian
  • Standardbred
  • Thoroughbred
  • and Quarter Horses

Most beautiful: The Arabian horse!

The Arabian horse is a breed that originated on the Arabian Peninsula. It has a distinctive head shape and high tail carriage and is one of the most easily recognizable breeds in the world.

American finest: The Standardbred horse!

The Standardbred horse is American best known for its ability in harness racing this is where members compete at a trot or pace. It is recognized worldwide and can trace its bloodlines to 18th-century England.

Racing horses: The Thoroughbred horse!

The Thoroughbred horse is best known for its use in racing. Although the word thoroughbred is sometimes used to refer to any purebred horse, it refers only to the Thoroughbred breed.

Respected breed: Quarter Horse!

Quarter Horse, one of the oldest recognized breeds of horses in the United States.

It originated about the 1660s as a cross between native horses of Spanish origin used by the earliest colonists and English horses imported to Virginia from about 1610.

types of racing horses

Interesting facts

All Up Poker: HORSE is an acronym for several popular poker games:

H– Hold’em
O – Omaha Eight or Better
R – Razz Poker
S – Seven Card Stud
E – Stud Eight or Better

Horse racing betting glossary

  • Win: choose the horse that you believe will win the race and if they succeed so do you, if they lose you lose.
  • Place: a wager on a horse to finish in the top two positions, if they do, so do you, if they don’t, you lose.
  • Each Way: combines the win and place bets. If our selection succeeds, we get paid out for both parts of the wager but if it finishes in the places, we get paid out just for the place part of the wager. We lose our entire stake if it finishes outside the places.
  • Double: correctly predict the winner in two consecutive races.
  • Exacta: which two horses will finish in the top two positions. To place, we must get both horses right AND in the correct order.
  • First4: select the first, second, third and fourth runners in horse racing, in the correct finishing order.
  • Superfecta: predict the top four in the correct order.
  • Pari-Mutuel: pool betting, all the stake money is collected in a pool and then shared out among the winners.
  • Percentage Betting: Public betting favorites place approximately 33 percent of all races and finished second 53 percent of the time.
  • Pick 6: requires picking the winner in six consecutive races.
  • Parlay: Each person in the group picks one race and one horse to bet to show. Place the first bet, and if you place, parlay the money on the next race and horse. Your winnings can add up very quickly.
  • Harness Racing: the form of horse racing whereby the horse’s race at a specific trot or pace also known as a gait, usually pulling a two-wheeled cart called a sulky.
  • Treble: A multiple bets consisting of three selections, all of which must place to gain a return. Three selections are made and the returns from the first are rolled over to the second, then the returns from the second rolled over to the third.
  • Trotting: to record pedigrees of trotting horses. One of the rules stated that a stallion was required to trot a mile in two minutes and thirty seconds or better, or 2:35 if hitched to a wagon.
  • Trifecta: predict the top three horses in the correct order.
  • Quaddie: select horses of each of the four nominated races, you can select any number of possible winners in each leg.
  • Quinella: pick which two horses will finish in the top two positions in any order.

History of the horse racing

Horse racing is one of the oldest sports in the world and left traces in various world cultures.

The first appearance of horse racing was seen in the early 18th century, in Englsek.

Now we can see it all over the world, including in New Zealand.

The celebrations on the first anniversary of the Canterbury settlement on 16 December 1851 included four-horse races from the Riccarton Hotel to the Fendalton Bridge.

There was also early racing on the West Coast and in Taranaki.


What’s the best bet to make in horse racing?

If you want to become better in horse race betting you should read our tips and tricks above in the article, where we have detailed explained the best tips for racing and provided you with best overseas online betting websites.

Can you bet a horse to lose?

Yes, you can. Betting on a horse to loose is called lay betting and you can place those type of bet in every betting platform that we have provided you at our best horse racing websites.

What are the odds?

1/4: For every 4 units you stake, you will receive 1 unit if you win.
1/2: For every 2 units you stake, you will receive 1 unit if you win.

Weight and Height limits of horses jockeys?

The weight of a jockey usually ranges from 108 to 118 pounds and no height limit.

How much do horses jockeys make?

Pay can be as little as $28 per race and as much as $124,000 for a triple crown competition.

How much do horse owners make?

First place 60%, second place 20%, 10% to third, 5% to 4th, 3% to 5th, 2% to 6th and 1% each after that.