Many punters prefer the sprinters to the stayers because sprinters tend to race more often. Horses that race more often not only become familiar faces (so to speak) but also become easier factors to consider in future races. When punters have access to free betting, they tend to place their bets on sprinters. In Australia, the most famous sprinter to ever gallop was undoubtedly the undefeated Black Caviar, now in the broodmare barn.
Sprint races are also popular with the Australian racing industry. 2015 is an especially exciting one for sprint racing, as six nations host the ten races of the Global Sprint Challenge. The racing calendar features many Group One sprints, with these being the most prestigious for free bets from a book maker.
Black Caviar Lightning Stakes
Once just called the Lightning Stakes, it was renamed to honour (guess who?) Black Caviar herself. She won the race in 2012. Held at Flemington Racecourse usually in late February, this $500,000 (AUS) 1000 meter sprint hosts world-class sprinters. The 2015 edition was won by Lankan Rupee, a questionable runner for the rest of the year due to injuries sustained in the 2015 Newmarket Handicap at Flemington in March.
First run in 1874, this is another Group One sprinting event at 1200 meters also held at Flemington but with a purse of $1 (AUS). The handicap tends to be more interesting than stakes races because weights come into play during the final few strides. The handicapper's goal is to get all of the horses to hit the wire together, which can make for some wildly unpredictable results, such as the 2015 running where the heavy favorite, Lankan Rupee, ran sixth. Brazen Baeu won.
The BTC Cup
Run in May at Doomben Racecourse, this Grade One for three-year-olds and up is another sprint race where punters use their free bets from a book maker. There are often full starting gates for this race which makes the odds juicy. Last year's winner, Famous Seamous, is expected to try for a repeat win.
AJ Moir Stakes
First run in 1976, this sprint may not have the largest purse on the calendar, but it certainly is prestigious. It's also challenging to pick a winner. Seeing what horse winds up the favourite is nearly as exciting as the race itself! Run in late September at Moonee Valley Racecourse, this 1200 meter sprint was won by Black Caviar in 2010 and 2011. Last year's winner, Buffering, may not be able to run this year's running due to injury.
Held in November at Flemington Racecourse, this prestigious 1200 meter sprint for three-year-olds and up is also part of the Global Sprint Challenge. This race, first held in 1868, was previously called the VRC Sprint Classic and then called the Patinak Farm Classic. Hopefully, it will still be called the Darley Classic come November. The purse is a mouthwatering $1 million (AUS.) This is a good race to use any free betting on as it is a weight-for-age instead of a handicap or one-weight-only race. Last year's winner, Terravista, may come back for a second win in 2015.