A sport with origins dating all the way back to ancient Greek civilisation, horse racing remains as popular today as ever before.
As cultural events go, a day at the races promises fun, excitement and a chance to dress up in your finery – horse racing is a sport that appeals to the aristocracy (the British royal family has owned and bred racehorses for decades) as well as those simply seeking an enjoyable outing.
Races to Know
More than six million people attend race meetings in Britain each year, with around 150,000 of those taking in Aintree’s Grand National Festival each April alone.
The Grand National, one of the oldest horse races dating back to the 1800s, is the star attraction of the meeting, with the horses tackling one of the toughest courses in racing. But there’s quality action elsewhere, with the 2023 edition of the Aintree Hurdle the scene of the great Constitution Hill’s final race over the smaller fences. As short as 1/6 in the odds on the Aintree Hurdle, he is expected to give his fans and backers a fitting send-off.
“It’s possible Aintree could be his last run over hurdles.”— Racing TV (@RacingTV) March 30, 2023
“I don’t think he’s ever looked better in his skin. He looks in great health.”
Nicky Henderson with the latest update on Constitution Hill 👇📰
From Great Britain and Ireland to France, the USA, South Africa, Hong Kong and Australia, horse racing is a sport beloved in all four corners of the globe. So here’s what you need to know for your next day at the races…
Dress to Impress
Every horse racing meeting has its own dress code; be it informal for everyday racecards right through to the ‘tops and tails’ associated with storied festivals such as Royal Ascot.
In the UK, the dress code has been relaxed somewhat, although there are still plenty that dig out their best suits and dresses from the wardrobe – that formal feel helps to add to the special atmosphere that horse racing enjoys.
The key is to feel comfortable, which will largely be determined by which country you attend racing in and what time of the year. A suit (tie optional) and traditional shoes for men and a sophisticated dress and (flat) shoes for women can be considered a sensible starting point for your next day at the races.
Ladies Day fashion for HM The Queen, Princess Royal, Princess Eugenie, Autumn Phillips and The Countess of Wessex at Royal Ascot. pic.twitter.com/p4Es4Bby7c— Mark Stewart (@RegalEyes) June 20, 2019
Reading the Form
It’s thought that the first on-course bookmaker stood at a meeting at Newmarket Racecourse as long ago as 1795, which helps to explain the public’s penchant for a flutter at the racing.
Seasoned punters study the form of each horse, their past performances in the conditions, the recent results of their jockey/trainer, their handicap and many other factors. But if you just want to place a fun bet or two, remember that the favourite is the horse expected to win – not that it always pans out that way.
Be sure to study the form guide, which is typically available on the race cards that can be picked up at the venue, of each horse to see if you can pick out a winner or two.
Aside from the racing out on the track, many meetings put on a diverse itinerary of events and entertainment to support the four-legged action.
From circus-style performers to rock climbing walls, you’d be amazed at the activities you can enjoy at the races. And the fun goes on into the evening – chart-toppers like Tom Jones, Craig David and Olly Murs are all scheduled to perform concerts at race meetings this year.
So be sure to check out the calendar of your local racecourse. A day at the races could become your new favourite hobby!
- As per the Public Gambling Act of 1867, all Indian states, except Goa, Daman and Sikkim, prohibit gambling
- Land-based casinos are legalized, with certain guidelines, in Goa and Daman, as per the Goa, Daman and Diu Public Gambling Act 1976
- Land-based casinos, Online gambling and E-gaming (games of chance) are legalized in Sikkim under the Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Rules 2009
- Only some Indian states have legalized online/regular lotteries as per and subject to the conditions laid down by state laws. Kindly refer to the same here
- Horse racing and betting on horse racing, including online betting, is permitted only in a licensed premise in select states. Kindly refer to the 1996 Judgement by the Supreme Court Of India here and for more information
- This article does not endorse or express the views of Qrius and/or any of its staff.
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