Australian Harness Racing
When people first encounter Australian Harness racing they are a bit confused. This is because it doesn’t look as if the horses are running as fast as they can. This is somewhat true because it is a method of racing that locks the horses into a very specific gait, which is a pattern of movement in the horse’s limbs that keeps its pace under control. The way this is done is through connecting the horse to a small two-wheeled cart known as a “sulkie”.
The races can be done in two different ways – trotting and pacing, and it is the pacing style that is done on roughly 80% to 90% of the tracks around the world. Many first-time viewers misunderstand the complicated Australian Harnesses and straps connected to the animals and think it is the “hobbles” that account for the horses’ gaits, but this is incorrect. The animals are actually running in a way that is free from restriction and which is entirely natural.
Why do bookmakers take bets on Australian Harness racing if it isn’t exactly the same as traditional horse racing? It is a sport that is just as competitive as classic horse racing, and it uses a different group of animals from the thoroughbreds that tend to fill the regular tracks and courses. Instead, Australian Harness racing relies upon the standarbred horses because of their shorter legs, calmer temperaments, and ability to trot in the required pace or gait.
This means that the animals are evenly-matched and winning any Australian Harness race is just as much a matter of the skill of the jockey and the strength of the horse as it is in other racing formats. This is the main reason that so many avid players like to place wagers on the outcome of Australian Harness racing too. The same wagers and odds will always apply to such events as well.