Both horse racing and greyhound racing have a large following in Australia. For those who may be new to either sport, there are key differences between the two. 

The Tracks

Although horse racing is more popular in Australia, greyhound racing is still a multi-billion dollar a year sport that began in 1927 at Epping Racecourse in Glebe, New South Wales. Each state and territory in Australia partakes in greyhound racing except for the ACT where it was banned in 2018. New South Wales currently has the most active racetracks at 29. There are over 80 active greyhound racing tracks in Australia.

There are over 360 registered thoroughbred horse racing tracks in Australia, with the main ones being in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. 

Each year there are around 19,000 horseracing events held while there are over 40,000 greyhound races held annually in Australia.

Who is faster?

An interesting question indeed. A thoroughbred racehorse or a greyhound? Greyhounds can take off much quicker than a racehorse but cannot keep their speed up for long so in a longer race a thoroughbred racehorse would win due to its inherent endurance. 

The wealth of the races

The richest turf race in the world for horse racing is The Everest which is run at the Royal Randwick Racecourse annually and has a total prize purse of $15,000,000. 

The richest greyhound race in Australia is the Million Dollar Chase which is held at Wentworth Park in October and has a total prize purse of $1,000,000 comparatively. 

The wealth of both races is not just in the available prize money though. With the right Golden Easter Egg or Sir Produce Stakes betting tips, punters can win a lot of money from both horseracing and greyhound racing. 

After racing

Adoption agencies have been set up throughout Australia for previous Greyhound champions, which gives them a new lease on life after their racing days are behind them. However, it was reported in 2018 that 38% of greyhounds adopted had failed the New South Wales rehoming test, which is a stark contrast to other countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom where the results of a successful adoption were 95% and 100% respectively.

Racehorses when they retire are either put out to stud or rehomed. Champion horses are often used to sire the next generation of racehorses or can participate in smaller racing events as they age. Racehorses can continue to make money for their owners if they are put out to stud from breeding fees. Other horses return to their owners and live out their days on a property or in locally-based stables.


Australian thoroughbred racing has had a slew of champions over the years, including Carbine, Tulloch, Poseidon, Phar Lap, Kingston Town, Wakeful, Makybe Diva, Peter Pan, Rising Fast, Might and Power, and Tobin Bronze. Each of these racehorses has had very successful careers which have made some of them household names. The trainers and owners have become equally well-known including T.J. Smith, Bart Cummings, Gai Waterhouse, Lee Freedman, and Colin Hayes. 

Some of the top greyhound trainers in Australia are Jason Thompson, Andrea Dailly, Seona Thompson, Lisa Ahern, Mark Delbridge, and Jeff Britton. Each of these trainers has had much success in the sport and all have the respect of their contemporaries.

Though there are some differences, both greyhound and horseracing remain popular in Australia.

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