Best Australian bookie for Jockey Challenge betting
All the leading bookies in Australia offer jockey challenge betting. It is a popular type of bet for those punters who like to invest early in the day and then sit back and watch it unfold as a meeting progresses.
Or at least that is the way it is with most bookies …
Rising bookmaker TopSport has taken the jockey challenge bet to a whole new level. Its jockey challenge options remain live until late in every Australian, New Zealand and Hong Kong race meeting, meaning you can bet on them throughout the day or night, hedge your earlier bets or dive in if you see value.
The team at TopSport frame a good selection of options on the jockey challenge for every meeting, and then frame complete new markets within minutes (and sometimes seconds) of the completion of each race at each covered venue.
This means you can in effect bet live over the internet on those markets without breaching the rules around in-play betting in Australia.
As it stands, all live betting must be conducted over the phone, though this is not strictly live betting as the jockey challenge option lends itself to quickly recalculating odds and putting out new markets,
For savvy punters this means you can hedge earlier bets if your jockey gets off to a flying start, or you can also wait if the jockey you fancy has a strong hand late in the day and load up at inflated odds compared with where the market was before the first race.
The TopSport jockey challenge markets are so far ahead of the competition it is practically a different bet.
Also, they offer better value before any of the races have even been run. A quick scan of the horse racing markets on a Saturday for the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane meetings found that TopSport was betting an overround of 118 per cent compared with 127% at Tabcorp and 125% at Ladbrokes, and similar at Sportsbet.
At the time of writing we were not aware of any other Australia online bookmaker keeping the jockey challenge markets open past the opening race of each meeting. The TAB used to reframe the markets after the first three races but no longer does.
Why bet on the jockey challenge?
Some of the key reasons to invest on the jockey challenge:
- The bet is decided over an entire meeting and therefore is a good way of maintaining an interest in all races for a card without reinvesting on each race.
- You can potentially win big for a small outlay by combining several jockeys at different meetings into a multibet or parlay.
- Good for the time poor who can bet on their jockey or jockeys of choice without delving too deeply into the form of all the horses. You can have the best jockeys in the world riding for you.
- There is also quite a range of prices at different bookmakers, which is not always the case on individual horses as many bookies take their race markets from the same source. With the jockey challenge you can shop around and it’s not unusual to see, for example, a jockey at $3.20 at one site and $5 at another.
Types of jockey challenge bets
Most Australian betting sites will offer the standard jockey challenge bet allowing you to try to select which jockey will score the most points for the meeting.
They will also allow you to combine two or more jockeys from different meetings into a multibet, which can be enticing for smaller punters who prefer the multibets such as trifectas, quadrellas, trebles etc which can offer inflated returns.
Also, you will find at many bookmakers a great range of markets. Here are the jockey challenge markets available at TopSport at the time of writing and a brief description of what each entails. Most of these remain live during each meetings.
- Winning jockey: The basic product where there are usually seven jockeys listed plus the “any other jockey’’ category. The winner is the jockey who accrues the most points, usually on a 3-2-1 basis: 3 points for first, 2 points for second, 1 point for third. Points are split in the even of a dead heat.
* Note that points for jockeys in the “any other jockey’’ category do not simply accumulate. One jockey in that category must score the most points for that category to be the winner.
- Exact winning score: This market offers the chance to be on the exact number of points the winning jockey will accumulate. Bets are void in the event of the winning jockey having a fractional number because of a dead heat.
- Jockey challenge Exacta: Just as in a regular exacta, you must pick the two jockeys with the most points in the correct finishing order. That can add value if there is one jockey too short in the market to consider betting on.
- Quinella: Simply pick the two jockeys with the most points in any order.
- Winning score over/under: The betting site will set a mark for the winning jockey to either beat or fall short of. For example, it could be set at 9.5 points. A more conservative, almost head to head sports-type of bet.
- Winning score odd/even: This the real toss-of-the-coin type of bet when it comes to the jockey challenge. Though later in the meeting if the market remains open you might be able to make more of an educated guess.
- Challenge points line: This market sets an over/under points line for a couple of the leading contenders in the jockey challenge on the day.
- Race wins line: This market sets an over/under line for the number of winners the leading contenders will have on the day.
Best AU betting sites for Jockey Challenge betting
The Australian Gambling List has got several favourites when it comes to betting sites with jockey challenge betting. Without a doubt our top option is TopSport, but there are very few bookies in Australia that don’t have these types of bets. The best AU bookmakers with jockey challenge betting are:
Topsport: Our no.1 option for jockey challenge betting is TopSport, with the fact their markets run throughout an entire meeting, giving them a great point of difference to other Australian bookmakers. TopSport is more of a niche horse racing betting site in Australia, but they have operated on-course for many years in Sydney. TopSport review.