All major Australian and Provincial racetracks have been included in The Whip database. If they appear then you can be sure that the barrier draws for each distance have the appropriate barrier factor calculated. Tracks in New South Wales, ACT and Queensland are run in the clockwise direction. Tracks in Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia are run in the anti-clockwise direction. It is important that you know your racetracks. A summary of the major metropolitan tracks can be viewed by clicking on the sidebar links at left. Tracks included (and fully analysed) in The Whip’s comprehensive database include:

Flemington

Contrary to most The Whip believes this track is a “horses for courses” track. Some horses prefer Flemington over the other tighter tracks like Caulfield and Moonee Valley. Main distances are:-

  • 900m – Usually the early 2yo races are the only horses to run this trip. In the straight so there are no barrier disadvantage unless a track bias is favouring either the inside division or the outside division.
  • 1000m – Down the straight so again no barrier disadvantages or advantages. Care with track bias. Sometimes the inside brigade or the outside brigade have a clear advantage.
  • 1200m – Again down the huge straight. Track bias is the only time that barrier penalties might be considered. Check the penetrometer readings on both the inside and the outside areas. A tricky distance and one which you should bet lightly. Definitely a distance that suits the horses for courses tag.
  • 1400m – A run of only 250m before the long sweeping double turn. Harder for horses drawn outside 9 or 10 to get a good position. Outside this and the harder it is to win.
  • 1600m – Again only a short straight run of 260m to the first and only sweeping double turn. Horses can get trapped wide if unable to secure a good position early. The Whip suggests that horses outside 9 or 10 should be at a disadvantage. The wider they are the worse the disadvantage.
  • 1800m – Few races this distance. A run of about 410 m to the long sweeping turn. A fair distance to sort themselves out. No real problem for horses drawn at or below 12 however if wider then they could suffer some disadvantage in the run.
  • 2000m – A long 600m straight run in which to sort themselves out. The far outside brigade could find themselves wide if they have not taken up a good position in the run. Apart from that a fair start for most runners.
  • 2500m – The famous Victoria Derby distance. Starts just off the main grandstand area with a relatively short 200m to a very tight double turn. Those fast beginners may be advantaged if drawn wider however the others will suffer from being forced to travel at the rear. However the distance of the races allows for all to gain runs if capable. Horses outside 12 might be considered at a slight disadvantage.
  • 2800m – A long 500m run until the very tight turn out of the straight. Those unable to obtain a good run before the turn could be disadvantaged. Start penalising horses outside 13.
  • 3200m – The world famous Melbourne Cup distance. They start in the home straight with a huge run of 900m before the tight first turn. No barriers are to be a problem for any runner. Look at the horse’s fitness for the trip rather than barriers at this distance.

Caulfield

One of The Whip’s favourite tracks. Our record at this track is superior to that of Flemington. Must be its layout or the fact that you know some horses who travel with the leading division will be better off. Whatever the reason, we like Caulfield. It has a relatively short straight of approx. 320 meters. Horses that can be in the first 4 or 5 before the turn into the straight are at a clear advantage. Those who usually travel at the rear are at a clear disadvantage. Those who travel at the rear and have a relatively inexperienced jockey on-board find it very difficult to win.

Main distances are:-

  • 1000m – The starting stalls give a reasonable 400m in which to find a position before the home turn. Not a lot of races are over this trip. Those drawn outside 11 can find it more difficult to get a forward position.
  • 1100m – The trip of the Oakleigh Plate. A solid run of 500m before the home turn gives most sprinters time to find a good position in the run. Backmarker’s will find it more difficult however. Those outside 12 might be at a slight disadvantage while any wider and it gets harder but not an insurmountable disadvantage.
  • 1200m – A further 100m making it a 600m run to the home turn. This trip should not be a problem for the outside barrier horses.
  • 1400m – Clearly a distance to be wary of the barrier positions. Only a short run of 120m to begin the first of two turns. Those inside speedsters could be at a clear advantage here. The horses drawn outside 7 or 8 will start being at a disadvantage here. Those wider than 12 are at a clear disadvantage.
  • 1600m – A straight run of only 290m before the first of two turns. A barrier position inside 10 would be advantageous. Those outside 10 could find themselves at a clear running disadvantage if unable to get in before the first turn.
  • 1800m – Respectable run of 500m now so barriers are less important. Those outside 12 might find it harder to get a run in top 6 runners.
  • 2000m – Starts with a slight turn and then they have a solid run of 500m in which to sort themselves out. Suggest the barrier positions outside 10 might be a disadvantage.
  • 2400m – Barrier stalls start in front of the grandstand area. Runners face a run of 300m before they face the first of four turns. Those outside 11 might suffer from being unable to take up a forward position. The wider barriers have longer to find a better position during the race so major disadvantages should not be evident. The start of the time honoured and famous Caulfield Cup.

Sandown

Some consider this track as a real horses for courses track. We concede that some horses do seem to handle the banked turns better than others. However the track is less of a disadvantage to some horses than the likes of Moonee Valley or the straight six at Flemington. No track bonuses are recommended by The Whip as most horses seem to handle Sandown in their stride. Jockeys can steer their charges wide on the banked track to wipe out any barrier disadvantages here. Apprentices seem to have a good win rate on this track and sometimes their normal jockey penalties (JF) can be reduced especially if they have won on the horse at this track.

Main race distances are:-

  • 1000m – Horses face a great run of 500m before they come into a very slight turn into the straight. There is a run of 410m to the finishing line giving every runner their chance. Horses outside 13 might have a slight disadvantage.
  • 1200m – Completely different story here. Horses now face a run of only 300m before they begin a reasonably sharp double turn before they enter the straight. Those drawn outside 9 are at a disadvantage here. Those quite wide suffer a very severe disadvantage at times.
  • 1400m – The extra 200m now gives horses 500m of the back straight before they enter the sharp double turn. Those drawn outside 13 seem to be at a slight disadvantage here.
  • 1600m – Huge straight run of 700m now so barriers of little importance.
  • 2100m – Only 300m straight run before the first of four turns. Those horses outside 8 might suffer from some disadvantage. The wide runners suffer more problems.
  • 2400m – A big run of 600m up the main straight before they take the first of 4 turns. No real problem until the horses get out wider than 14.

Moonee Valley

Definitely a horses for courses track. Many big performances at this track fail to be repeated at the other Victorian racetracks. Treat most form as dead track form in our opinion. This track has a new racing surface called StrathAyr. It is supposed to allow for year round racing come rain or shine. It seems to be working in that regard but the soft texture of this surface invariably suits those horses who excel on the softer or dead tracks. A point to bear in mind when you are doing the form in Rate the Race. It is run by the Moonee Valley Racing Club. Apprentices seem to do better on this track than others. Maybe it is the fact that most seem to take their mounts to a forward position early which seems to favour most horses at this track.

It has only five main distances and they are:-

  • 1000m – Cuts across the infield with a straight run of 400m until the first and only sweeping turn. They then enter a straight of approx. 220m in which to get home. Horses who travel at the rear need to time their runs to perfection if they are to get home over the top of the front running brigade. Horse numbers are usually limited to 12 runners so very few suffer from an outside draw at this track and at this distance.
  • 1200m – Horses have a straight run of 350m before the first of two turns. Again horses travelling at the rear will need to have a clear trouble free run to get over the top of the front running horses. Barriers outside 12 might be a disadvantage to some.
  • 1600m – A straight run of 400m gives most horses time to take up a forward position. Barriers outside 12 might prove a slight disadvantage. Horses now have 3 turns to overcome.
  • 2040m – The distance of the famous Weight For Age Cox Plate. Starts in front of the grandstand with a very short sprint of 190m to the first of four turns. With this trip the inside barriers from the start will help runners. Those outside 9 might find it a slight disadvantage however if they are reasonably handy throughout they can certainly win from any barrier at this distance.
  • 2600m – The Moonee Valley Cup distance. A reasonable 400m to the first of 5 turns. Can win from any barrier over this trip.

Royal Randwick

Randwick has a long 410m straight which gives every horse a fair chance to win from most barrier positions. It is also a very wide track which allows horses plenty of room in which to manoeuvre. Main race distances are:-

  • 1000m –  A straight run of less than 600m to the turn into the home straight. Horses outside barrier 10 to 11 may have some difficulty but with the huge wide straight the outer barriers are not a major concern.
  • 1100m – The straight run is now 700m to the home turn. Similar to the above outside barrier positions are not that much of a disadvantage to the average beginners.
  • 1200m – A straight run of 800m now to the home turn. Outside barrier penalties should start at 12 or 13. Again the disadvantage to the average beginners drawn wide can be overcome but a small penalty would be wise.
  • 1400m – A short run now of only 350m and now horses have two turns to contend with. A barrier penalty might start at barrier 9 or 10. The penalties will increase as they get further out at this start.
  • 1600m – A run of 500m to the first turn gives those fast beginners no real disadvantage. However the average beginner could be at a disadvantage as they may have to cover extra ground from their outside barrier positions. The natural back-marker who has a strong finishing run can usually score from the extreme outside starting stall. This is the distance of some memorable Doncaster and Epsom Handicap finishes.
  • 1800m – Not many races at this distance. Horses now face a sweeping turn then another two turns before they are into the home straight. Outside barriers are a clear disadvantage to those who need to use up precious energy to get to a forward position early. However, the well ridden back-marker will have no problem getting a clear run in the home straight and if able to can still storm home over the tiring front running brigade.
  • 2000m – The extra distance before the sweeping first turn gives horses outside more time to position themselves. However the gradual turning can place horses outside 11 at a running disadvantage. The outer barriers are a clear disadvantage at this barrier positioning.
  • 2400m – Four turns now face all runners. The straight run from this start is only 220m before the first gradual bend and the horses drawn in an outside barriers definitely have a harder time to take up a forward position.
  • 2600m – Very few races are run at this distance. Starting in the straight, the horses have a respectable 420m in which to sort themselves out. Little disadvantage to the outside brigade at this start.
  • 3200m – The distance of the Sydney Cup. This start gives horses a huge 1000m before they face the first turn. Barriers do not cause any major concern to the outside horses.

Rosehill Gardens

This track has a straight of over 410m and is quite spacious which gives both sprinters and distance runners a fair run. It is not a “horses for courses” type track. Many feel that this track is easier on horses compared to the uphill rise in the Randwick straight. Main distances are:-

  • 900m – Straight run of 300m give most runners a solid run over this short course. Usually the 2yo races are held only at this distance.
  • 1100m – Short run of 300m before a sharp double turn into the 413m straight. Average type of beginners are definitely at a disadvantage outside 9. The outside brigade who do not begin smartly are at a severe disadvantage.
  • 1200m – A 400m run now which follows the same course as the 1100m trip. The sharp double turn will place the average beginners outside 10 at a clear disadvantage. It may force some horses quite wide if they have not secured a run close to the fence before the turn.
  • 1350m – With a relatively short run of 300m before the first of two turns, those horses drawn outside 10 are being disadvantaged. While they have a little more time in which to get a passage home those drawn towards the outside may be forced to travel wide in the final turn into the straight.
  • 1400m – Same trip as the 1350m run except they now have 350m before the first turn. Smart Beginners drawn wider than 14 maybe slightly disadvantaged. The average beginners drawn between 11 or 12 are going to be at a reasonable disadvantage.
  • 1500m – Big run of 450m to the first of two turns. Plenty of time for most horses to take up their usual running position. Horses outside 13 or 14 may be at a running disadvantage.
  • 1750m-1800m – Tough little barrier position. They have only 200m to 250m before they start the first of 3 turns. If this distance is still current then those drawn wide are at a severe disadvantage if they do not begin brilliantly. The STC keeps the fields small to protect the horses and the riders at this distance. Not many races at this trip these days.
  • 1900m – A little more reasonable 350m to the first of three turns but still the horses outside 9 would be at a disadvantage here. Those wider than 12 may be facing a fairly difficult time securing a satisfactory run in larger fields.
  • 2000m – Now the run from the barrier is a more acceptable 450m. The ability to take up a forward position is still made more difficult if outside 10 or 11. The further out the bigger the disadvantage is going to be.
  • 2400m – Starts before the grandstand area. There is a straight run of only 350 m before the first of four turns. Those runners outside 10 or 11 might suffer from being wider in the running from this starting position.
  • 3200m – Very few races (if any) this trip. Six turns face all runners so being tucked away on the fence would be the ideal travelling position.

Warwick Farm

A good betting course in our opinion. It has undergone redevelopment work making some starting barrier positions easier to start from. Particularly from the 1400m start. Main distances are:

  • 1000m – It has a run straight run of 400m to the first and only home turn. They then have a run of 330m to the winning post. Not too severe on the outside brigade with this run.
  • 1100m – Not many races this trip. Same as the 1000m but extra 100m making it a 500m straight run from the start. No problems with barriers at this trip.
  • 1200m – A huge 600m straight run. If a horse cannot take up a reasonable position with this straight it needs longer. No problems with this barrier.
  • 1400m – This starting position has been re-aligned. Nowadays I don’t feel any barrier penalty should apply to any runner apart from the extreme outside brigade.
  • 1600m – This trip definitely suits the smart beginners. If average type beginners are drawn outside 9 or 10 then they could suffer in the run. Ideally you would prefer a horse up with the leading division early as they can be trapped wide on this track with it’s sharp turns.
  • 2100m – Starts in front of the grandstand area. Only a short 200m trip to the first sweeping turn out of the straight. Horses inside 10 are in a better position than the outside drawn starters.
  • 2200m = Starting in front of the leger, this trip has a 300m run out of the straight to the first sweeping turn. Those drawn outside 11 are definitely going to find it harder to secure a good run.
  • 2400m – A huge 600m straight until they start the first sweeping turn. No problems with any barrier positions unless extreme outside brigade.

Canterbury Park

Canterbury has the shortest straight of all Sydney courses. It suits the front running brigade best. Any horse court wide or at the rear will find it hard to get a clear passage home with such a short straight run to the finishing line. This track is not used often as a Saturday venue being used mainly for lower grade mid-week quality horses. Main distances are:-

  • 1000m – Short run of 300m to the first half – circle ( double turn ) bend. Horses need to be able to take up a forward position early. Those outside 10 would be having some difficulty unless exceptionally fast out of the barriers.
  • 1100m – With a run of 400m now the horses have more time to sort themselves out. For those caught wide at the bend then they are in for a tough time. Barriers outside 11 or 12 could be at a disadvantage at this trip.
  • 1200m – A nice run of 500m from this barrier until the double turn before the home straight. Usually provides enough time for the average beginner drawn inside 14 to sort themselves out. Backmarkers do not like this track.
  • 1250m 1280m 1290m – These trips are much the same as the 1200m start however the horses have that little bit extra to sort themselves out before the double turn. Still favours those able to take up a forward position.
  • 1550m – Clearly a barrier position to be wary of. Only 200m before a first sweeping turn. Inside barrier positions could be given a bonus and the horses outside 8 are going to have a difficult time. Penalise the backmarkers here.
  • 1900m – A fairer start with 300m up the straight before the first turn. Still better to be drawn inside 11 as those average to slow beginners could have trouble securing a decent run.
  • 2600m – Similar position to the 1100m start however only 350m before the double turn. Another full 5 turns follow. Look for the ones able to take up a forward position in any race at this track. Because of the distance however, the backmarkers have time to slowly gain on the forward running horses.
  • 2800m plus. – Because of the distances covered no barrier position should be considered a problem.

Eagle Farm

With its long home straight of 433m this course offers all horses the opportunity to stretch right out in the run home. However a good barrier is still a benefit from most starting positions. Some course adjustments have meant previously difficult barrier starting positions are now much fairer on the outside brigade. The main distances are:-

  • 900m – This distance is rarely used however some early 2yo’s may start at this distance. There is a straight run of 300m before the sweeping double turn. Those outside 9 may suffer from some disadvantage.
  • 1000m – At 100m further back up the shute it now gives 400m of straight running before the double turn into the long straight. Horses outside 11 might be at some disadvantage.
  • 1200m – Barriers are more important at this start. A run of only 200m to the first double turn. Those caught wide at this turn have a torrid time getting in. Those outside 8 might have a slight disadvantage and further out than 11 and the disadvantages get much greater.
  • 1300m – A further 100m back up the course proper with a more reasonable 300m straight run before the double turn. Those outside 11 might be at a disadvantage.
  • 1400m – Solid straight run of 400m before the turn gives most horses time to get positioned for the double turn. Those outside 13 might start feeling a little disadvantaged.
  • 1500m – Barriers are of less importance here. A straight run now of 500m gives most horses ample time to take up a position in the race that suits it’s style of racing.
  • 1600m – The new starting position gives a clear straight run of 600m before the double turn. Only the extreme outside division should suffer any disadvantage from this start.
  • 1810m – This starts in the middle of a turn into the back straight. Inside draws are a distinct advantage while those wide could be extremely worse off.
  • 2100m – Starts in front of the grandstand area in the home straight. A straight run of only 110m before the first sweeping turn. The inside barriers have an advantage here. The fact that they have the full back straight to improve their position means that outside draws are not that much of a problem.
  • 2200m – In the home straight, this barrier stall gives runners 200m before the first angled turn. Better to be drawn on the inside however the outside barriers are not insurmountable. They have the back straight and the added distance to make up any lost ground.
  • 2400m – Not many races this distance these days. Starts in the beginning of the long home straight with a run of 400m to the first turn. No problem with any barrier positions here.
  • 3200m – Starts in the middle of the back straight with a run of 210m before the first of six turns in this trip, the Brisbane Cup distance. Barriers are not that important because of the distance.

Doomben

The shorter straight of Doomben of 320m does favour the horses in the leading division as they enter the straight. It is a fairly tight circuit making barriers important at most starting positions. The two Brisbane racecourses are quite different in their layout but geographically they are a pigeon pair. They are just separated by the one street and are located in the suburb of Hamilton. The main distances are:-

  • 1010m – Only a short run of 200m to the sweeping double turn means that inside barriers are a definite advantage here. Those outside 7 or 8 will start being disadvantaged. Those wider will be at a distinct disadvantage.
  • 1110m – Not many races at this distance. They now have a 300m straight run before the double turn. The runners outside 9 will definitely suffer from a running disadvantage. The wider suffer even more disadvantage.
  • 1200m – Starts in the back straight with a 400m run before they face the double turn. Those runners inside 8 are at an advantage here. Those outside 9 would soon start feeling the effects of their wider barrier position.
  • 1350m – Situated in a shute off the back straight runners now have a run of 550m to take up their preferred running position. Those outside 12 or 13 may have a slight disadvantage. This is the distance of the famous Doomben Ten Thousand and the Tourist Ministers Cup.
  • 1600m – 1615m – This starts in a shute near the turn out of the home straight. Only 200m to the first of 3 turns so barriers are important at his draw. Those inside 8 are at an advantage. Those wider than 9 could be at a clear disadvantage.
  • 2020m – They start in the home straight with a 300m run before the first of 4 turns. Those outside 9 or 10 would be at a disadvantage.
  • 2200m – Starts in a shute off the main home straight with a clear run now of 500m before they take the first of their 4 turns. Barriers are not a major concern however those wider than 13 might be at a disadvantage unless they can begin smartly.

Morphettville

The main racecourse in South Australia it has a main straight of 400m which gives all horses a chance to win. Horses run in the same anti-clockwise direction as Victoria making it easier for their horse to compete over the border. It is fairly wide track which allows horses more room to manoeuvre and/or make up for any interference suffered early. The main distances are:-

  • 1000m – Not many races at this distance. It has a straight run of 400m before they start into the sweeping first turn into the straight. Barriers outside 8 might be at a disadvantage if unable to secure a forward position.
  • 1050m – With a similar start as the 1000m barrier position the runners have an extra 50m in which to take up a good position. Horses outside 10 may be at some slight disadvantage her.
  • 1100m – Similar to the 1050 only an extra 50m making it a straight run of 500m before the first tight turn into the straight. Barriers outside 12 might suffer some disadvantage.
  • 1200m – A huge 600m before they start the tight turn into the straight. Should have little problems with most barriers however the outside brigade in large fields will be at a disadvantage.
  • 1600m – This starts in the back straight with a run of only 300m before they take the first of two turns. Inside barriers are the favoured position at this start. Those outside 9 might be disadvantaged. The further they are out the more severe the disadvantage.
  • 1800m – This barrier starts in a shute off the back straight. Horses now have a fair straight run of about 500m in which to sort themselves out. Those runners outside 13 might be at a slight disadvantage.
  • 2000m – Starts in a turn which leads into the back straight. Important to secure an inside barrier here. Those outside 8 could be disadvantaged. The runners starting any wider are at a more severe disadvantage.
  • 2400m – With barrier stalls located near the winning post in the home straight, runners have a short 200m before the first of their four turns. The distance of the event makes barriers less important.
  • 2500m – Similar to the 2400m start. Very few races at this distance.
  • 3200m – Starts in the turn before the home straight. While extreme outside barriers may suffer some disadvantage the distance of the race gives most time in which to make up for any lost ground.

Ascot

Perth’s main track and the Western Australian Turf Club’s main racecourse. It has a relatively short straight of only 300m. Inside barrier positions are a definite advantage at all distances apart from the 3200m. Main distances are:-

  • 1000m – This start has a reasonable 400m straight run before the home turn. The inside barriers are an advantage here. Those outside 8 might be disadvantaged and those wide out will be at a definite running disadvantage.
  • 1100m – Starting in the same straight horses now have 500m in which to take up a better position in the run before the home turn. Even so the outside brigade will need more luck in the running to take up a forward position before the home turn.
  • 1200m – In the same straight as the shorter races horses now have a solid 600m in which to make up for any outside barrier disadvantage. Horses outside 11 might still be at a disadvantage.
  • 1400m – This barrier stall starts in a shute with a run of only 200m before the first or two turns. The average beginners drawn well are definitely at a advantage here. Those runners outside 7 could be trapped wide and the outer brigade will have a hard time catching the early leading division if they are slow out of the barriers.
  • 1500m – Starts in the same shute as the 1400m and inside barriers are still a major advantage here as they only have 300m before the first of two turns.
  • 1600m – This barrier starts in a shute with a run of only 100m before they start the first sweeping turn. Horses starting outside 7 could be caught wide and those outside 10 are definitely disadvantaged.
  • 1800m – Horses have a straight run of only 300m before they start the first sweeping turn. Just like most other barrier positions mentioned earlier the inside barriers are definitely at an advantage here. The runners outside 10 will be at a running disadvantage if caught wide early.
  • 2200m = Starts in the home straight with a run of 250m to the first of four turns. As with all barriers at this track the inside draws are advantaged. Those outside 10 are at a disadvantage.
  • 2400m – This barrier stall starts in a shute off the main home straight. Horses now have 450m to take up a reasonable running position. Because of the extra distance horses have longer to make up for any running disadvantage. The runners outside 12 are definitely at a disadvantage.
  • 3200m – The start of the Perth Cup. This starting stall begins at the same start as the 1200m run. The runners have 600m to get a decent running position. Because or the distance barriers are of little consequence.

Belmont Park

This track is also under the control of the Western Australian Turf Club and is regarded as the second track of Perth. Belmont Park is the smaller track but its home straight is slightly longer than Ascot at 330m. Main distances are:-

  • 1000m – This start is in a shute with a run of only 300m before they start the turn into the home straight. The runners outside 9 are at a disadvantage.
  • 1200m – Starting stalls are in the back straight where runners have 300m before they start the first turn. The runners outside 8 or 9 could face running disadvantages. Those widely drawn are at a clear disadvantage.
  • 1300m – This start starts in the same back straight as the 1200m and runners have 400m now in which to take up a decent position in running. The inside runners are at an advantage and the outside brigade will need more luck in running.
  • 1400m – The starting stalls are placed at the start of the back straight with a clear straight run of 500m to the first turn. The runners outside 10 might be at a running disadvantage.
  • 1600m – Just off the main course proper with a run of only 110m before the first turn. Runners drawn outside 8 might start feeling some barrier disadvantage. Those wider than 11 will be at a clear disadvantage.
  • 1800m – Very few races this distance. Starts near the winning post at the end of the main straight. Extremely short run before they take on the first turn so inside barriers a distinct advantage however they have time to get over the initial awkward start.
  • 2000m – 2100m – Starts in the home straight with a short 250m or 350m before the first turn. Those runners outside 9 might find some running disadvantage at the 2000m start and those at the 2100m might see some disadvantage outside barrier 11.
  • 2200m – Also in the home straight the runners now have a reasonable 450m in which to sort their running position out. Those outside 11 might find some running disadvantage.
  • 2400m – This start is in the home turn into the main straight. The inside runners are still at an advantage but the outside runners have more time in which to rectify any bad start.
  • 2800m – Not many races this distance. Barriers are not considered of much importance.