The world of sports is growing and growing. The mainstream sports are getting bigger and better, and at the same time we can see the smaller sports develop at a rapid pace. One of the smaller sports in general is growing its interest in Malta and is beginning to be one of the bigger.

When people outside of Malta think of the country in the same sentence as sports, the first word that pops up is football. Which is fully understandable. Football is one of the sports that Malta is getting better and better at. The national team is on the up as well as the clubs on the island, and the league itself.

Football is not very surprisingly the national sport in Malta and it holds a special place in Maltese culture. The locals closely follow their favourite team as well as the national team, and it is tough to find people on the island that don't follow football in any shape or form.

However, football is not the only sport in Malta that is popular. There are a few of them that stick out for the outside public. The popular sports on the island include rugby, bocci, regatta, but first and foremost trotting.

What is trotting?

Trotting is a type of horse racing where the horse needs to race at a specific gait called trot. For a horse to conduct trotting in the right way it needs to move its legs forward in a diagonal pair. The horses usually pull a two-wheeled cart called sulky, chariot or spider which is occupied by a driver.

The sport is most popular around Europe but is also very big in the US. In Europe there is one country that stands out from the rest, and that is France. France has the most trotters and also the most races per year. France also hosts the biggest race in the whole world with Prix d'Amerique which takes place on Vincennes in Paris.

Trotting is also very popular in the Nordic part of the world and Sweden ranks as the second biggest country in Europe in terms of trotters and races. Norway, Denmark, and Finland are also countries where the sport has really made its mark.

Trotting in Malta

Even though it may not be famously known outside the country, Malta sure is a place where trotting is a big thing. The earliest traces of any type of horse racing in Malta go back to the 15th century when the Knights of Malta introduced it in the country. Back then even the locals were encouraged to participate in the races as well. Nowadays it's a bit different. The sport has grown in popularity massively since and approximately 560 races are held per year on the Marsa track.

The local races in Malta are held over four different distances - 1640m, 2140m, 2640m and 3140m. All the trotting races on Marsa racetrack start with something called an autostart. When the autostart is used the horses will be in two tiers behind a car with long wings, horses 1-8 will be in the first tier while horses 9-12 will be in the second tier.

Betting on trotting

When you visit the official website for Marsa racetrack we can find the statement that says “Betting is also an integral part of this sport”. The statement couldn't be more true and trotting is in fact one of the biggest sports to place a bet on in some parts of the world.

The history of placing bets on trotting, or horse racing, goes back a long time. Reports tell us that placing bets on horses did happen in central asia as early as 4,500 years B.C. However, many have been speculating about its history going a lot further back in time than that.

To place a bet on trotting is very popular for different reasons. First and foremost people who enjoy the sport like to spice it up, just as football fans are eager to place a bet on a Champions League game for example. Another reason why it's so popular is because of the pace of the races. You don't need to be watching 90 minutes, as you would for a football match, to conclude your bets. The races are finished within minutes.

Gambling on horses is very common all around the globe by all kinds of people. There are young ones, old ones, men and women who prefer to place a bet on horses rather than football for example. The sport itself gathers people from all backgrounds and makes the community into a very special family.

There are a lot of people who get caught up in the love of horse racing of different types every year, and make their way to a bookmaker to try their luck. When these people are going to place their first bets on trotting, they will find out that there are multiple ways of placing their bets.

What possible bets can I make on trotting?

The most common way of betting on trotting is by making a decision on which horse you think will win the race. When you place a bet of this sort all you need to care about is that your horse crosses the finish line before any other horse. It is as easy as it gets, and is by far the most popular way of placing bets.

Another type of bet you can make on trotting is a “place” bet. This one is not as easy to understand from the get go, but with the smallest piece of information it's easy to understand. When you are placing a “place” bet all that needs to happen for you to win is that your horse gets in at a top 3 position. It doesn't matter if the horse is first, second or third, because you will win anyway.

The third common way of betting on trotting is by making a h2h bet. This is a type of bet where the bookies have placed two horses against each other, and your job as the gambler is to place your bet on which of these two horses crosses the finish line first. It will not matter which position your horse concludes the race on, as long as it's placed higher than the h2h horse it was standing against.

How to think when betting on trotting

To be a winner at betting, regardless of the sport, you need to know a thing or two about odds as well as be good at collecting information. Information is key when you are gambling, and if you miss even the small details you will have a tough time competing against the bookmakers.

When you are betting on trotting there are a bunch of tips you can use to extend your chances of winning. The first one, and especially when you are new to the sport, is by listening to experts. There are many websites where you can find information and betting tips day in and day out. is one of the well respected websites where you can find free tips and information for trotting daily.

When people are placing bets all around the globe they often go after the team, or the horse with the best form. That is not the way to go, and you will get it after you read this segment. When a horse doesn't seem to be in great form, then it is the gamblers job to find out the reasoning. There can be numerous reasons why the horse hasn't won in a while. The horse that looks to be in bad shape, can possibly be in great shape but have come up against really strong oppositions in the last couple of weeks.

Horses who look to be in great shape can also be false sometimes. These horses may have come up against weak oppositions where everything other than a win should be a disaster. Therefore you are more likely to get lost on form, than make a great bet. By understanding why a horse looks to be in a great, or a bad shape, you will already be better prepared than all the new gamblers around you.

Use statistics!

When betting on horses there are a few things you should remember before placing your bets. One of the things is, how long is the race that you are planning to place your bet on? There are typically four distances in trotting, and it is not certain that a specific horse will be as good on all four. Therefore you will have to do your research to see which horses prefer which distances before making your final decision.

Another parameter in trotting is which starting position each horse has. Some starting positions are way better than others, and some horses make their best races from a certain starting position. Your job is to use all of the statistics and information around you to make a well thought decision before placing your bets.

Horses may be a gamblers dream!

Millions of people have sometime in their life placed a bet on a horse in some kind of race. Often people see their horse lose, but sometimes it brings them joy with a fantastic win. For a few gamblers around the world these quick horses have become a full time job.

It may sound like a fairytale, but there are people around the world that actually make a living out of betting on horses. With the right dedication, years of following the sport and with a good knowledge of odds it is possible.

Just as Rome wasn't built in a day, you won't be a full-time gambler in a short space of time. To be a full-time gambler, step one is to watch as many races as possible, and to gather as much information as you possibly can. You will need to dedicate many hours of the day to gather information about how the horses are doing, what opposition they are going up against and many more details.

Full-time gambler or not, harness racing is a beautiful sport to enjoy even if you just have a small bet here and there! Horses bring people together and the community of harness racing is a very familiar one. On the racing tracks you will find all sorts of people connecting throughout the very fast four-legged creature.

Marsa – The main arena for trotting in Malta

Malta is one of the European countries where trotting really has made its mark. The local trotting races are organized by The Malta Racing Club and during the year an average of 60 racing meetings are held in the main arena which is Marsa. Throughout these 60 racing meetings approximately 560 races are held. The local highlights are the championships which always generate a great deal of interest from owners and spectators. The Marsa Racing Club will be found in Marsa just five kilometres from the capital city Valletta.

There is a possibility to watch harness racing, where trotting is the most common discipline, almost all year round. During the summer the sport takes a break due to the heat condition, but every other time of the year you will find action on Marsa’s tracks. So head down to Marsa if you are around and would like to watch some high quality horses battling it out. To spice things up, you can even make a small bet and cheer on your horse to the finish line!

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