Backing the right bet

WANT to have a flutter on the Melbourne Cup today but don’t know where to start?

Confused by terms such as TAB, tote and trifecta?

Well, today’s your lucky day. The NewsMail has brought together TAB regional manager Garry Gray and Bundaberg Race Club president Rodney Titterington to help bring you this dummy’s guide to betting.

Last year Queenslanders bet $27 million on the Cup and $47 million over the day, so you want to make sure your bets give value for money.

The first step is to pick a horse.

Mr Titterington said most people liked to pick a horse on its form — using guides such as yesterday’s News-Mail special liftout — but we all know there are other recognised methods, such as who the jockey is, barrier numbers, jockeys’ silks, horses’ names, or a blindfold and pin.

Once you’ve chosen a horse, you must decide on the type of bet.

"The easiest for the low punter is to win or place. All you need to do on a win-place is write the number of the horse on the slip," Mr Gray said.

With a place bet, a payout is given if the horse comes first, second or third.

"After that there are the more exotic bets. The next is the trifecta and then the First4," Mr Gray said.

Mr Titterington said a quinella was for first and second in any order, an exacta for first and second in the correct order, while a trifecta was for the first three horses in any order.

A First4 bet is just as it sounds: the gambler needs to select the horses that come first to fourth.

Mr Gray said those worried about incorrectly placing a bet should not be concerned.

"Generally there is someone at the TAB site to help out," he said.

The lowest bet a punter in Queensland can place is $1.

For those who want in on the Cup action, but are still too daunted by a formal bet, there is the option for an office sweep.

"You need 24 people. Cut the horses’ names out of the paper, and the person then picks the name out of the hat and that’s the horse they get," Mr Titterington said.

The prize money is awarded to first, second and third (and sometimes fourth), with the last place-getter often winning the cost of the bet back as a consolation prize.



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