While it might not immediately spring to mind as a horse racing nation, you will do well to find a day in the calendar when there is not a horse racing event of some kind taking place in Germany.
Famous German Horse Racing Courses
Racing is popular and there is a long list of German racecourses that share the big races, including famous venues at Baden-Baden and Cologne, as well as other tracks at Hamburg, Leipzig, Verden, Krefeld, Pferdersportpark, Mariendorf, Bremen, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Dresden, Daglfing, Rennbahn Karlsruhe, Hanover, Magdeburg, Ostseerennbahn and many more.
For racing fans in the UK, it might be said that Baden-Baden is the most well-known German course, often being tagged as the Royal Ascot of the German racing scene. Just a small distance from the French border, Baden-Baden is an idyllic spa town which offers a course which is a flat circuit of 1 1/4 miles. The narrow nature of the track means that no more than 18 runners can compete in one race. Its well followed September meeting features the Futurity two-year-old race, which dates all the way back to 1859. There is also the Grosser Preis steeplechase, featuring a total of 16 obstacles.
Cologne is another elite German racecourse and is known for its beautiful tree-lined track. Its fast grass is considered to bring the best out in both jockeys and horses and holds Germany’s most lucrative race, the Preis von Europa. This October showcase is open to three-year-olds and upwards.
Notable Jockeys And Trainers
Among the most reputed jockeys in Germany are Andrasch Starke, who rode Danedream to success at Longchamp’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2011, the Austrian Andreas Suborics, a three-time champion jockey, Frederik Tylicki, who made the move to Britain to compete in flat racing, and Peter Schiergen, who holds the European winner record for a jockey.
Renowned trainers in Germany include Heinz Jentzsch, a fourth generation racehorse trainer who has branched out to the Far East racing scene, Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling, known for his unorthodox training techniques and the late Heinz Jentzsch, accepted as the most successful trainer in German racing history.
Betting On German Horse Racing
RaceBets and Betfair are two UK online betting providers which offer plenty of options when it comes to German horse racing, having been awarded online betting licences in the country.
RaceBets televises German races to punters, allowing those who have placed a bet to follow the action on its website. The free streaming offer also qualifies those who have placed bets up to the value of €20 in the past fortnight. This offering can be found simply by navigating to the ‘streams’ section of the RaceBets site. For customers who wish to check on the form of horses, there is an archived video section which can be taken advantage of, allowing past races to be viewed. It all adds up to a resource which allows customers to make a more informed decision when it comes to placing money on the races.
Betfair’s selection of German races appears to be less extensive and more focused on the bigger races such as Baden Baden, when their experts will have their say on all the top tips ahead of the event.
In terms of the kind of bets which can be placed, punters will be familiar with the options from UK horse racing betting. Options include backing a single horse to win, as well as each way betting and place betting. Forecast (picking the first and second placed horses) and tricast (picking horses finishing one to three) bets can be placed, as well as accumulators in which punters predict the outcome of more than one race, with winnings being multiplied.
Harness racing is a distinctive part of German horse racing, with two-wheeled carriages being pulled around a circuit. Horses are not permitted to gallop or canter and must stick to a trot. They still get up to impressive speeds, and the different elements the carriages provide to the action makes for some exciting races. Harness races have a large emphasis on the tactics used by jockeys depending on their position on the circuit.
German horse racing might not have the prestige of England or France, but a strong calendar through the spring, summer and autumn months and some standout showpiece events make it one of Europe’s racing leaders. Its native twists, such as harness racing, also mean it can make for a refreshing change for British online betting customers in search of events with a difference.