There’s a good reason that horse racing is known as the sport of kings, you can’t help but feel like one when you’re in the presence of such magnificent creatures. A day at the races can be a wallet friendly day out that everyone will enjoy. There are plenty of options to create a more luxurious day out if you want to, but we’ll cover a basic day that will suit any budget, as well as being budget-friendly, this can be a day that lets you experience something totally different to the norm and might even spark enough of an interest to form a new hobby. Here’s how to make sure that you’re well prepared for a day at the races to ensure that you get the most out of your experience.
What to Wear
Before you even get to the racecourse you’re going to need to decide on an outfit. There are some days in the racing calendar that require a little more thought than others, for example Ladies’ Day at Ascot, but on a standard raceday you can generally wear whatever you’d like. It’s a good idea to pick something with a waterproof outer layer if you’re going during the National Hunt season and something that will keep you cool, but is still modest during the summer. Ladies could benefit from wearing turf stoppers if they’d like to wear heels, whilst men might need to consider a suit jacket if they want entry into certain enclosures. Comfort and preparedness for the weather should be your main concern, with appearing modestly dressed and fashionable a close second.
The Order of Things
Knowing how a racing day progresses is something that will immediately make you feel at home on the course. Familiarising yourself with the layout is the perfect way to make sure you don’t miss out on anything important. Once you’ve done this, it’s time to go to the parade ring, which is where your day of racing will start. The horses will parade here before a race, allowing you to get a good look at them before their jockeys mount. Once the jockeys are on board, the horses will canter down to the starting gates, which will move around the course depending on the length of the race. After you’ve seen your horse in the parade ring, it’s a good time to place a bet, which can either be done using an online bookmaker, with one of the bookmakers on course, or with the tote. Once the horses are loaded into the gates the race will begin, so you’ll want to be in the grandstand to watch. Once the winner is decided and the jockeys are weighed in, the winner and placers will go to the winners enclosure for photos. After that they’ll be hosed down and the process will start all over again.
How to Spot a Fit Horse
Making sure you head to the parade ring is important if you’re hoping to place a bet. Being able to spot a horse that is well looked after and in great physical fitness is an important part of picking a winner. Horses that are carrying too much condition won’t be able to perform at their best, they’ll look heavy set and lack muscle definition. Conversely horses that are underweight might have prominent hip bones and very visible ribs. Spotting horses who are relaxed in their surroundings can be helpful too, as horses who are sweated up or misbehaving might tire themselves out before the race. Once you’ve spotted a fit horse, it’s onto the next part.
How to Read Form
Reading form is really important if you want to pick a winner. The form is all of the performances the horse has had in its racing career and you’ll be able to find it in the racecard. Alternatively, all good UK betting sites and similar will have information on the form of the horses that are running. SBO has collated a list of available sites alongside the bonuses they’re offering, which can be an attractive option for those wanting to keep a good spot in the grandstands. Being able to click on specific performances in the form provides a more interactive experience, allowing you to study thoroughly. The form of the horse will appear with most recent performances on the left, with a 1 being first and so on. The weight of the jockey will be listed, along with the rating of the horse, whether the race was over hurdles, fences or on the flat, as well as the class of the race. Ground conditions and the course the horse was running on are other important factors to take into consideration.