The latest news from the horse racing world is always something to look forward to, and December was no exception. The month was dominated by headlines about an unstoppable force of nature that is Elia, the two-year-old filly from Australia who is now the racing world’s third most valuable horse behind only Deep Freeze and Ruler Of The Rings.
Elia, owned by Shane Best and ridden by the great Australian jockey Luke Nolan, broke the track record at Flemington in Victoria, Australia, on October 27 by seven lengths in what was described as one of the greatest performances ever. The previous record had stood for 14 years, and Nolan had never lost an appearance race at the venue.
Nolan was quoted as saying after the race: “She’s the best I’ve ever ridden. Ever. She’s just absolutely incredible.” Elia’s form has been so spectacular that some bookmakers have placed bets on whether or not she will beat the world record for a 1000-meter race, which currently stands at 22 seconds. Elia hit 25.45 seconds in her record-breaking race, just edging out the all-time leader, American Pharoah, who ran 25.43 in 2018.
Elia’s performances were good enough to convince some bookmakers to change the definition of winning and losing in betting. In previous seasons, Nolan would have lost his place in the lineup if Elia had not finished first or second in every single race. Instead, according to a report published by the Wall Street Journal, Nolan was allowed to keep his place in the lineup even though he finished fourth in the Greystoke Stakes (1000 meters) in what was considered a disappointing showing. With Elia’s dominance in mind, it’s evident that Nolan would have been the first choice for many owners who were looking for a runner in the 25-26.5 second range. (This is assuming, of course, that the owners were looking for a flat racer who is fast enough to keep up with the leaders but not so fast that he breaks down before the end of the race.)
Elia’s success has also led to a surge in popularity among Australian owners looking to invest in overseas races. As it stands, the 16-time champion and two-time winningest female horse in the history of the sport is valued at around US$16 million, which is more than enough to buy her own plane ticket to anywhere in the world. Amazing stories like Elia’s emerge from the horse racing world about as often as a snowflake falls in May, so it’s not hard to understand why people are excited about the sport in Australia again.
How Do I Place A Bet On Elia?
It’s a good idea to get into the habit of keeping up with the latest news coverage concerning the sport you love. Many bookmakers now offer odds on individual horses instead of just offering odds on the outright winner of an event, so knowing which races Elia will be in is essential. Luckily for you, we’ve done the dirty work of exploring the various betting options for Elia, including the markets and where to place your bets. Let’s take a look.
The Ladbrokes Open Race 2018
On December 11, 2018, Elia will compete in the 2018 Ladbrokes Open Stakes at Royal Ascot in England. This is another of the four major races she will compete in this year, with the other three being the King George VI Stakes, the Prix Vergne, and the Prix OuijaBoard. As a general rule, anything with the prefix of King in the title is a good place to put your bet.
The odds on the Ladbrokes Open Stakes are 33/1, with the exacta (a ticket on both the first and second place horses) at 4.1/1. It’s also worth noting that the 2018 Open Stakes will not be shown live in Australia due to race scheduling conflicts with the Melbourne Cup. Instead, the closing moments of the race will be shown live in Sydney, which is a great opportunity to bet on the early leader of the field if you’re there.
The 2018 King George VI Stakes
On December 11, 2018, Elia will compete in the 2018 King George VI Stakes at the 2018 Royal Ascot. This will be her third appearance at the prestigious Ascot meeting and her first since the 2015 renewal in which she placed third. The odds on the 2018 King George VI Stakes are 17/1, with the exacta (a ticket on both the first and second place horses) at 4/1. Elia drew the outside pole position in the 2018 renewal and was settled in behind the leaders before pulling away in the last furlong to win by three-quarters of a length. It’s clear that this slow pace, half-mile race is a recipe for success for the two-time defending champion. Although the pace of the race has always been a sticking point for her, with her previous wins coming either in fast or slow events, it’s worth noting that this is a completely different kettle of fish with regard to her 2018 run.
The 2018 Prix Vergne
On December 18, 2018, Elia will compete in the 2018 Prix Vergne at the 2018 Royal Ascot. This will be her third appearance at the prestigious Ascot meeting and her first since the 2015 renewal in which she placed third. The odds on the 2018 Prix Vergne are 15/1, with the exacta (a ticket on both the first and second place horses) at 3/1. Elia drew the outside pole position in the 2017 renewal but faded in the last furlong to place third behind the winner. Like the other three races mentioned thus far, the 2018 edition of the Prix Vergne will be a slow, measured mile-and-a-half race, which should play to the strengths of the horse and her jockey. It’s also worth noting that just days after the 2018 Prix Vergne, Elia will be off to New York for a nine-race series that will conclude with the Breeders’ Cup Classic, which is the final leg of the three-race American Classic series.
The 2018 Prix OuijaBoard
On December 25, 2018, Elia will compete in the 2018 Prix OuijaBoard at the 2018 Royal Ascot. This is another one of the four major races she will compete in this year, with the other three being the Ladbrokes Open Race, the 2018 King George VI Stakes, and the 2018 Prix Vergne. Just like the other three races mentioned thus far, the 2018 OuijaBoard will be a mile-and-a-half, low-profile event with a moderate 18/1 payout. Like the other three races mentioned thus far, the 2018 OuijaBoard will be a slow race that suits the strengths of Elia and her jockey Joe Mercer.
It’s no secret that Australian racehorses are successful overseas, but it’s also becoming commonplace for the horses to make a successful impact in their new surroundings. Elia’s first trip overseas will be her greatest challenge yet, but with the right preparation and some luck on the part of the filly and her handlers, it’s clear that she can become an important part of the international breeding program for the sport.