Iglu Students Sydney and Brisbane

And they're racing

With the Spring Racing Carnival in full swing, Iglu Central’s very own racing aficionado, Manisha, tells us why she loves the races and reveals some tips for a winning strategy.

The Spring Racing Carnival is the sort of event where fortunes are made and lost in a day. Lucky winners can take home thousands of dollars, but many leave with an empty wallet. Some Iglu Central students recently ventured out to the horse races at Rosehill Gardens.

People who hadn’t been before were hoping to come across beginners luck – the races tend to generally favour ‘newbies’. And it was certainly the case this time with one of the guys in our group making a profit of over a hundred dollars by placing a mere one dollar bet. He selected a horse with an interesting name but a very slim chance of winning. However, amazingly it crossed the finish line ahead of its competitors. The jockey couldn’t have looked happier about his big surprising victory or maybe he knew all along. Being on the winning side of a bet like that is bound to make anyone a fan of the races – with a small leap of faith resulting in a big reward.

The races are usually only a few minutes long and anything can happen within seconds. The fastest horse can finish last and the favourites can be pulled out of the race minutes before starting, making it a highly unpredictable and exhilarating experience. It is a sport that keeps you on the edge of your seat or in this case clinging to the railing as that is where most of the spectators stand chanting their horse’s name. Racing enthusiasts place their bets after evaluating different factors. Some choose the horse based on size, lucky numbers, the odds of winning, and even interesting, quirky names like Pinkstar or GeorgeMuscles.

My strategy of placing a bet is slightly different. I spend a good amount of time talking to men and women sitting around the betting area reading big books containing all the information regarding the horses about to partake in the race, these individuals are also sometimes referred to as ‘bookies’. They may or may not provide genuine information but sometimes you can get some of the best tips here. In the past I’ve had some great advice and been able to win more than I’ve lost but it wasn’t my lucky day at all. I won $20 on one race only to lose it in the next.

So I might not have found the winning strategy after all but that’s part of the fun – you never know what is going to happen. I believe the races are something most visitors to Australia should try and experience as they offer a unique atmosphere and a glimpse into the life of the rich and famous. If you’re not into any of that, go just to test your luck, see beautiful horses, engage in interesting conversations, meet new people and you might just come back with an interesting story to tell.

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