Heading to Cheltenham this week? If you haven’t had a day at the races for a while, or if you’ve never been, here are some basic tips on racing and betting
-Check the dress code before the race day, some courses operate strict dress codes in particular enclosures. Avoid looking too casual, it is generally best to opt for a smarter form of dress when attending a race day.
-Acquaint yourself with your new best friend, the racecard. This handy little guide will tell you everything you need to know about the races taking place along with plenty of tips and pointers.
-Many people take binoculars to follow the race, if you don’t own any they are usually available to hire on the day.
-The parade ring. This is your chance to view the horses before the race. Even if you know very little about horse racing, this is a good opportunity to examine the condition of the horses, look for good muscle tone and a relaxed demeanour, a shiny coat and bright eyes are tell-tale signs of a horse in good health.
-Before placing a bet, try to study the horse’s form. Consider points such as the going (conditions of the ground)-has the horse ever won on a course with the same conditions? Has it ever won a race covering the same distance?
-Once the horses have left the parade ring and you have decided on a winner (hopefully!) It is time to place your bets. When placing a bet be sure to shop around for the best odds, not all bookmakers will be showing the same odds for the same horses.
-When placing your bet, clearly state the name of the horse and the stake you wish to bet, wait until the bookmaker repeats the bet to confirm it. You will then be given a receipt detailing the particulars of your bet, you will need to keep hold of this to claim any winnings after the race.
-There are two main types of bet that can be placed during horseracing- win only and each way. Win only bets mean that the horse you are placing the stake on must win the race to qualify as a winning bet. An each way bet works as two bets one will qualify as a winning bet if the horse wins the race and one if it places.
-Remember a day at the races is a chance to relax and enjoy yourself amongst family and friends. With many courses offering dining options, shopping villages and themed days you’ll really be able to make the most of it!