Whether it’s a day out with friends or you are a beginner sports bettor, a day at the races is something pretty special. The atmosphere, the majestic racehorses and the excitement of placing your first live bet, there’s nothing quite like spending time trackside.
But for the newbie, attending the races can raise a whole lot of ‘what should I do?’ questions. If this sounds like you, then we’re here to help with our beginner’s guide to horse racing events: dos and don’ts for the big day.
Yes, you may be going for a sociable day with friends, but a little prep beforehand can help you stay on track.
We’re not talking extensive studying but knowing the basics, such as understanding what odds are and the different types of bets will add a whole level of enjoyment and who knows, could mean you leave the course a winner!
Even on the day, you will find lots of helpful information in your race day programme, including your favourite horse’s form (their recent performance record) as well as insider info on the jockeys and trainers. And all this detail can help you decide where to place your wager, adding an extra thrill to each race.
Dress the part
A day at the races is a great excuse to dress up, so don’t shy away from putting on your best! It does depend on the race meet as well as the weather and time of year, but horse racing has always been associated with fashion and glamour, especially on Ladies’ Day when the big hats come out in force. And some races expect more formal attire so ensure you dress appropriately for the horse racing event you are attending so you really feel the part.
Take enough cash
To avoid the long queues at the ATM, it’s worth taking sufficient cash with you on the day. And that includes money for food and drink as well as your betting ‘pot’. Another good reason for taking cash is that you know your budget for placing bets in advance and you will avoid going over your limit.
Blow all your money on the first race
With the excitement of the racetrack, it can be easy to get carried away too early so always remember one of the key rules of betting – never blow all your money on the first race. Not only can this put a dampener on the rest of the day if you lose, but it can tempt you to go over your budget by drawing out more cash. The best option is to know your betting budget in advance and divide it, so you have pre-planned amounts for multiple bets throughout the day.
Always bet on the favourite
Even though a horse has the odds of the favourite, there is every chance it won’t win, in fact statistics show that the favourite typically only wins around 33% of the time. This means that it could be wiser to spread your bets rather than always backing the favourite. By spreading your bets across a couple of horses in a race you could be actually increasing your chances of bagging a winner, if you need help choosing the ITV 7 this is the article for you. Or study the form and opt to bet on a horse that may have higher odds (therefore the higher wager return) but can potentially place or even cause an upset by winning!
Don’t forget to have fun!
As a day at the races should be all about enjoying yourself. So, soak up the atmosphere, keep within your betting budget and don’t be tempted to chase any losses as there will be other horse racing events for you to come back and enjoy another day.