Launceston is a horse racing track in Tasmania where a number of races are conducted annually. It is also known as the Mowbray Racecourse, and is located 3 km outside the city of Mowbray. The city has a number of National Trust Properties which attracts tourists who often go to the races as well, creating interest and generating wagers.
Launceston has a modest entry fee, although entry fees over the Carnival Cup are usually higher. The track is operated by the Tasmanian Turf Club which hosts approximately twenty five race meetings annually. The main Carnival held at Launceston is the Tasmanian Summer Carnival which attracts large number of thoroughbreds, not just from the island of Tasmania but from the mainland of Australia as well as New Zealand.
Races at Launceston
Launceston does not hold any Group 1 races, but a number of lesser group races are held during the Tasmanian Summer Carnival in January. Races include the Launceston Cup and the Sovereign Stakes.
The track itself features a 230 metre straight which makes up part of the 1830 metre long course. Racing direction is all anti clockwise, and the track has many turns making it quite a tight course and giving the inside barrier horses a distinct advantage in most races. There are a number of starts offered at Launceston, the shortest being 800 metres and the longest being 2600 metres.
Although Launceston does not have any Group 1 races, there are two group 3 races run annually. The Launceston cup is an open handicap race run over 2400 metres and has a purse of $225,000. The Vamos Stakes is a good size 1200 metre long race with a purse of 125 000 dollars, open to fillies and mares. The purse size of both of these races means that the fields of horses entered into them are of high enough quality to attract good wagering. Odds on favourites are set by bookies at the track and online, and may change at any given time.
The Launceston Cup
The Launceston Cup is held on the 3rd Wednesday of February each year and is set aside as a public holiday for most of the region in order for punters and spectators alike to go and spend a day at the races.
Placing a wager on the Launceston Cup is traditionally done down at the track itself via a number of on site bookies, although more and more wagering is being done online. A number of sites host wagering on the Launceston Cup not only for Tasmania, but also for punters from surrounding countries such as Australia and New Zealand as well. Online wagering on smaller races such as the Launceston Cup results in better odds as well as more varied wagers available for the race. The race was first run in 1865 over a distance of 2600 metres making the Launceston cup one of the oldest races in Tasmania with a rich betting history.
Placing a bet on the Launceston Cup also allows punters access to a number of other services, such as information on the horses and trainers. Knowing a horse’s history and pedigree can make a great difference when placing a wager on a race.