The race that’s also a lottery

Every country has its own unique bet type.

Hong Kong has the Triple Trio, which involves picking three consecutive trifectas on a specified sequence of races.

The English have the Placepot, which requires picking one horse from each of the first six races of the meeting to finish in the placings (it sounds easy enough but isn’t).

Closer to home, Sydneysiders have a fondness for taking a First Four while Victorians love their Quaddies.

For the French, their bet type of choice is the Quinte+ which mixes wagering with a lottery. France’s most emblematic bet has all the flair and fanfare you’d expect.

How the bet works

The Quinte+ is run by the French tote, Pari Mutuel Urbain, otherwise known as the PMU.

The PMU selects one race per day where the Quinte+ bet will be available. This could be on a thoroughbred or trotting race with at least 14 runners, usually the most open betting race of the meeting.

As the bet operates across both codes, the Quinte+ race can be at different times of the day but is usually reserved for the meeting held in Paris (or nearby) that day. The aim of the Quinte+ is to pick the first five horses to fi nish in the exact order.

There are five ways in which you can get a dividend.

Correct Order (Ordre): Selecting the first five horses in order.
Any Order (Désordre): Selecting the first five horses over the line in any order.
Bonus Four: Selecting the first four horses over the line in any order.
Bonus Four of Five: Selecting four of the first five horses over the line in any order. Bonus Three: Selecting the first three in any order.

The PMU unit cost of the bet is €2 and flexi betting in more recent times has been introduced, whereby a half, quarter or 10 per cent of the total unit cost can be wagered.

The luck of the draw

But here is what makes the Quinte+ absolutely unique. There’s a lottery component to the bet type, which ensures massive payouts.

Every bet is allocated a random number from one to 3,000. To win the daily jackpot, a minimum of €2 million ($3.15m), you must have the first five horses in the correct order plus the random number on your betting slip.

If you have the random number and any of the other four lower-graded winning payouts, winnings are multiplied by ten.

Huge jackpots, dividends

As mentioned, the Quinte+ pool starts at €2 million. For every day nobody claims the major prize (correct order plus the lottery number), the jackpot increases.

When the jackpot hovers between €2-3 million, the daily prize pool increases by €100,000 ($158,000). Should the pot increase above €3 million ($4.7m), it rises at a slower rate of €50,000 ($78,000) every day.

In 2013, when there was a minimum daily jackpot of €1 million ($1.57m), five punters won more than €4 million ($6.3m).

In 2016, nine punters won at least €1 million and 111 individuals collected over €100,000 ($157,000).

There’s been some massive payouts over the years with one punter collecting €7.45m ($11.7m) back in November 2008.

IMG_1590
The field assembles before the start of a steeplechase race at Auteuil.

Thirteen is lucky for some

The number 13 carries plenty of superstition in European countries. The Italians have an expression “fare tredici” which directly translates to “do a thirteen”, meaning to hit the jackpot. The French have a similar mindset.

On the 13th of every month, the Quinte+ carries a special increased jackpot. Back in 2013, a punter from Strasbourg snared €5 million ($7.8m) on July 13.

The 13th of November later that year saw a punter based in Reunion Island, to the east of Madagascar, collect €8 million ($12.6m).

These days the special 13th of the month jackpot is worth €10 million ($15.7m)!

Major coverage

France’s racing publications provide a huge amount of detail on the selected Quinte+ race to satisfy the demands of those wagering.

France’s premier form guide is Paris-Turf. They provide three-start form for each gallops or trot meeting covered but slip into overdrive for the Quinte+ race.

The middle pages of their broadsheet-sized form guide contains eight-start form for each runner.

Connections of each horse are contacted for comment and 24 racing media pundits or organisations provide their Quinte+ selections, each expert ranked from first to last based on past performance.

The Quinte+ race is also shown live on free-to-air television network LCI each day, irrespective of timeslot.

For instance, a Thursday evening meeting during June at Longchamp hosted the Quinte+ race at 8:15pm with the race covered by television network LCI for 15 minutes from 8:10-8:25pm.

~ Also published in Winning Post newspaper.

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