Spending a day out at the races is a tradition for many people in the UK, but if you haven’t had the chance to partake up to this point in your life, there is never a bad time to start.
Having said that, though, there are a number of things of which you should be aware before showing up at the tracks, as there are written and unwritten rules to attending specific equestrian events that all guests are expected to follow.
In this guide, we’ll teach you how to prepare for a day out at the races so you don’t end up sticking out like a sore thumb amidst a crowd of well-dressed and well-mannered folk.
1) Get familiar with how to place your bets
Most tips mentioned in this article are easy to implement; however, if you have never gone to the track before, the betting process may be too complex for you to understand at first glance.
To avoid the embarrassment of holding up the queue on race day, do some homework online beforehand.
Surf over to http://sports.williamhill.com/bet/en-gb/betting/y/9/Horse-Racing.html, as it is here where you’ll find betting lines on Equestrian races taking place all around the world.
Pair a beginner’s guide to betting on horses with the acumen you use to make wise investing decisions, and soon you will be able to read odds at the ticket wicket just as well as the seasoned pros.
2) Make sure you look sharp
The ladies are always looking their best when they head to the races – the same expectation applies to you and your mates.
Start by acquiring a sharp looking suit – the one you should wear will depend on the event; occasions such as the Royal Ascot call for suits and top hats that are black/gray, while your standard Saturday out at the local tracks will give you more creative leeway.
If your choice of clothing isn’t dictated by an established dress code (contact the track beforehand to confirm), you’ll have the option of donning anything from tweed jackets to pitch black formal shoes that shine like mirrors.
Surf through some men’s style blogs in the weeks prior to the race and let your imagination roam freely – whatever you end up choosing, wear it with confidence and you’ll impress the ladies and your lads.
3) Behave like a gentleman
Horse races in the United Kingdom are a social event where people go to be seen. Making a great first impression with well-connected individuals can only bode well for future interactions, but behaving badly can have the opposite effect.
First and most importantly, go to great pains to ration your consumption of alcohol. The champagne may be flowing freely, but having too much too quickly can lead to loose behavior later in the day.
Be sure to pace yourself at the buffet as well. Wait until everyone has had a chance to eat first before going back for seconds, lest you mistaken for being an uninformed American on holiday.
Finally, if you get lucky and make a tidy sum of money from your bets, don’t be a braggart about it. For every person that hits it big, there are many who have burnt through hundreds of quid with nothing to show for their efforts.