New To Racing Guide

Racing Explained

There's nothing like a day at the races for excitement, thrills and quality entertainment. Please remember to book ahead if you want to dine in one of our restaurants.

What to bring

  • Cash – most bookmakers only accept bets of £5 or more, though the Tote will take bets from £2 which you can pay by credit or debit card.
  • Your racecard – all you need to know plus features and tips for £3 on the day or £2.50 in advance.
  • Camera – don't forget to disable the flash so you don't upset the horses.
  • Binoculars – bring your own to catch all the action or hire them at the course.

You'll enjoy your day more if you know a little bit about betting and horses. 

Visit the paddock before the race

Visit the paddock to see the runners before they head out onto the course. This is a chance for you to look at the horses you think might win.

Look for:

  • Good muscle tone
  • Shiny coat
  • Bright eyes
  • Alert manner
  • A relaxed walk


  • Very sweaty horses
  • Very agitated horses

Study the form

Points to look for:

  • Past wins or places (1st, 2nd or 3rd) at the course.
  • Performance on the same going (ground conditions).
  • Performance over the same distance.

Your racing card has some essential information, and there's more in The Racing Post.

Making a bet

Once the horses leave the parade ring, you've got about 5 mins to place your bets and get to the stand to watch the race.

Shop around – bookies often offer different prices so be sure to shop around to get the best value.

Know what you want – state the horse's name or racecard number to the bookie and the amount you want to bet. Check the ticket they give you and keep it safe – you'll need it to collect your winnings. You can collect your winnings any time on the day.

After the race – head for the winners enclosure and then prepare for your next race.

Ante post betting 

You can also bet before the race day and many bookies also offer early prices on the day. Try searching online before you come to the races.

To book call our Ticket Hotline on 08445 793 013

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