A day at the races can be a great social occasion, particularly if you’re heading to one of the high profile meetings such as Royal Ascot or the Cheltenham Festival. No matter where you are, it could be Doncaster or Chelmsford, the sport is pure entertainment but, if you’re new to horse racing, what exactly can you expect?

Having a Flutter

Placing a small bet as you move through the card is all part of the fun and it needn’t be a daunting proposition. Modest stakes can be placed on any or all of the races and a winner or two will only enhance the enjoyment.

Staking on an outright win is just one of a number of horse racing betting options that you can take but, if you’re struggling to pick the best runner, there are alternatives. Each Way betting will pay out if your horse finishes first, second, or third and, in certain cases, fourth, fifth, and sixth-placed finishes will also apply.

Taking an Each Way punt will return a smaller profit but it does spread the risk to an extent and that’s why it remains a popular option with both casual and regular bettors.

Schedule

bb 1 - What to Expect from your Day at the Races

At any meeting, there will be a number of races scheduled. Check for details but, as a general rule, these will be held some 35 minutes apart so there is plenty of time to grab a drink or place another bet ahead of the next event.

At any course, there will be a choice of catering and a wide selection of food and drink will be available to suit all tastes. In terms of arrival, gates will generally open some two hours before the first race but, once again, it’s advisable to check the website of the racecourse in question.

What to Visit

cc 1 - What to Expect from your Day at the Races

During those intervals between races, there are lots of places to visit around the course. Ahead of the off, the horses will gather at the parade ring and this is a perfect place to take a look at the runners and riders at first hand to assess their strengths prior to making a bet.

After watching the race, spectators can also head to the winners’ enclosure to join in the celebrations of those who have come first past the post. Other attractions will vary depending on the course that you happen to be visiting but there may well be a museum on hand that will underline the history and tradition behind the location.

Some courses in the UK, such as Epsom Downs in Surrey, have been around for hundreds of years and there is a rich history to discover if you enjoy those types of attractions.

A day at the horse racing is, primarily, about the excitement of each race and the battle between athletes to be the best. It’s a great day out for all sports fans and, at the same time, there is plenty to see away from the track so check the schedule before heading out and make the most of the entire day.