Place your bets at the met

2010-01-24 11:53

WHENEVER Cape Town’s premier horse race, the J&B Met, is

mentioned, the first thought that pops into mind is fashion.

The Met has become so popular that in recent years the gates of

­Kenilworth Racecourse have had to be closed halfway through the afternoon and

the “house full” signs put up as more than 50 000 people cram into the

picturesque venue.

This gathering of people in often garish or revealing outfits is a

sight to behold. With additional events like best-dressed couple, it’s no

­wonder fashion has come to overtake the horses in terms of ­popularity.

YFM DJ and television presenter Bridget Masinga-Khati, who with her

husband Thabiso Khati was ­second runner-up for the 2007 ­best-dressed couple

event, says the Met is “always a whirlwind ­weekend for me and the girls.

“It’s the one event I have not missed in seven years because it is

way fun. The fashion, all-day eating and skinnering. Heaven! I’ll be dressed by

Gavin Rajah this year,” she says.

Another local celeb and fashionista who is looking forward to

­“outrageous, out-of-the-box fashion trends” is YFM DJ and TV presenter Bonang

Matheba. She says, “for me this annual horse­racing event is synonymous with

glamour, gloss and lots of celebs. It might be different for guys but I know we

ladies are looking forward to the fashion.”

For singer Loyiso Bala the actual race is all the rage. “I’m not

big on gambling and placing bets but every year at the Met I place a small bet

on a horse and try to meet the jockey and trainers.”

Masinga-Khati says she also places bets on the horses and once won

R25 000, which she donated to ­charity.

But how does one place a bet at the race?

“Betting seems so complex unless you have someone to hold your hand

through it. And most people at the race don’t like to share their knowledge or

tips,” complains the DJ.

J&B Met organisers Gold Circle offer tips on how to place bets.

Becoming a punter (a person who places a bet with a licensed

totalisator) is not as complicated as it sounds.

Punter-extraordinaire ­Richard Mthembu says people have a higher

chance of winning on horses than on the lotto.

“Just yesterday I made R200 after betting with R10. That’s money

for petrol I tell you,” he says.

The best place to start is with ­single race bets. Simply look at

your race card (you will get that at the event) or check the horses in the

­parade ring and decide which ones you like. Then go to a tote (short for

totalisator: a computer-driven, ­machine-operated betting system which

eliminates the bookie in the betting industry) window which you’ll find on the

premises and place your bet, starting at R6.

Following are different types of bets you can place on the

races:

The Win Bet

You win if your horse wins. So if a winning Win bet was taken six

times, you get six times the declared win dividend. All the tote operator needs

is the racecourse, race number, horse number and the amount you wish to spend.

So, you call the bet like this: “Kenilworth, Race Three – R10 Win on number

nine.”

The Place Bet (only available on races with eight or

more runners)

If you’re the cautious type, then perhaps a Place bet is for you.

You win if your horse finishes first, second or third if there are eight or more

runners or first,  second, third and fourth if there are 16 or more

runners.

The Swinger Bet

Choose your two favourites to fill any two of the first three

positions in any order – like first and second, first and third, or second and

third. Then you will call the bet like this: “Kenilworth, Race Seven?– R6

Swinger numbers two and nine.”

The Exacta Bet

This one is more difficult to win but that’s because there’s more

moolah involved. In the Exacta, your two horses have to finish in the exact

order of your bet. So if you take numbers nine and two then nine must win and

two must run second.

Once you have mastered these easy bet types, you can move on to a

Trifecta (choosing the horses to be placed first, second and third in the

correct order in a race).

You can dabble in a Double by ­selecting the horses finishing first

in each of the two consecutive races designated in the race card as a Double.

Then there’s the Jackpot: play a Pick3, perhaps a Pick6 or Place ­Accumulator or

take a quick Quartet. It might sound a little too much but if you are with

someone in the know, they’ll be able to explain.

Punters like Mthembu say knowing the trainer and the horses helps a

lot in predicting which one will win.

Some of Mthembu’s tips include: betting on horses running in middle

spots, lightweights who are likely to run faster, checking the horse’s winning

history (found on the racing card) and the distances it ran and the positions it

achieved.

Mthembu warns that players must be careful about how they spend

their winnings and “play with your head and not with your heart”.

After all, as they say, horse racing is “the sport of kings” so go

forth and make those royal bets and multiply those fashionable

purses.


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