Monday 15 April 2013

Guide To A Day At The Horse Races

Going to the horse races is a fantastic day out and it’s not just for the professionals. Anyone can get to grips with how to bet and have a great time. You just need to know the basics and you could be in with a chance of winning. Here are some of the things you need to know before heading down to the races.

Choose Your Outfit

Be aware that the dress code for all horse racing events is very smart. Different events have slightly varied dress codes so check before you go so that you can blend in with the racing fans. For women, hats are a must have accessory at most horse racing events.

Choose Your Venue

There are many different racecourses and events held throughout the country. You might want to go to a venue close to home, or travel somewhere exciting for the day. Royal Ascot is a particular highlight but it really does depend on how far you want to travel. Check what type of races each venue is hosting as they can vary quite a lot.

Have A Few Drinks

When you arrive head to the bar so that you can soak up the atmosphere and enjoy a refreshing drink. If it’s a special occasion or you want to splash out then buy yourself a nice bottle of champagne. 

Watch The Horses Warm Up

The horses will warm up before the race and it’s great to see them getting ready and preparing for the all important race. This also gives you a first look at the range of different horses and you can start to pick out your favourites.

How To Decide On A Horse

When you arrive at the races make sure you pick up a programme, as it will contain a huge amount of information about the horses and their jockeys. Have a good read and dig into their history to see what they have achieved in the past. The horses will then go into a parade ring so that you can look at them closely and pick which one you think looks the best. Things to look out for include a nice shiny coat, relaxed walk and pricked ears. A winning race horse will have good skin, a broad chest, big ears and big nostrils. They shouldn’t be sweating too much either, as this is a sign that they are too hot before the race and stressed by the whole experience. Watch them as they ride around and observe their temperament, they shouldn’t be too jerky or too laid back. A horse looking around a lot or looking down at the floor probably won’t be that alert during a race.

Understanding The Odds

There will be a substantial guide to understanding the odds in the programme. The basics are, if short such as 3-1 then there is a higher chance of the horse winning but it will cost you more money. For 3-1 : every 1 unit you stake will return 3 units. If the odds are longer such as 12-1 then they are less likely to win, but you will get much more money if they do.

Different Types Of Bet

There are lots of different types of bet, you don’t have to just bet on the winner. For example, you can bet on a horse coming in the top three. Check the programme to see what type of bets are on offer and an explanation of what each one means. 

Visit The Winner’s Enclosure

Before you celebrate your win head to the winner’s enclosure. Your win won’t be confirmed until the jockey has been weighed after the race, to check for any foul play. It’s also amazing to see these magnificent creatures after the race.

Go Star Spotting

Horse races are normally packed with celebrities who love to spend a day at the races. Spend a bit of time star spotting to see if you can find any famous faces at the event.

Neil Maycock writes articles on horse racing, odds and results for