First Day at the Races? Here’s What to Expect

Going out for a day at the races is a longstanding tradition and a well-loved part of sporting and social culture. Horse racing happens all over the world at a variety of different venues of different sizes.

The biggest events in the world, such as the Kentucky Derby, the Grand National, the Melbourne Cup, and the Dubai World Cup Carnival, attract hundreds of thousands of visitors, while other events are smaller. Whether you are going to one of these huge events or a smaller one, you may not know what to expect from your first day out to the races. In this guide we explore some of the things that you should know!

What to Wear

The races are not just a sporting event—there is a strong aspect of community, socializing, and tradition. Although there is not always an enforced dress code, visitors usually dress up in formal wear. A day at the races is a perfect opportunity to get dressed up in your most stylish suit or dress, even if you never get any other chance to wear it!

For men, the traditional outfit is the classic collared shirt, trousers and dress shoes combination. Depending on the weather and the occasion, blazers, ties, and flat caps are often worn. If in doubt, just picture the Peaky Blinders! For ladies, you can be even more flexible and adventurous with your outfit, but the key is to wear your best, so dresses and accessories such as summer hats, high heels, and handbags are encouraged.

What to Bring

A day at the races can include plenty of bustling crowds, so it is often advised to bring a mobile phone with plenty of battery life in case you lose your friends. Bringing an umbrella or waterproof coat may also be a good idea in case of rain. Many people also bring binoculars as it allows them to get a better view of the horses as they race.

There is usually no need to bring food or drink, as there are typically plenty of refreshments on offer. However, there may be queues for food and drink, so factor this into your plan for the day and don’t leave it until the last minute.

Other Tips

In terms of racing tips, there are plenty of sites where you can find the latest horse racing odds. However, you don’t need to place bets to enjoy a day at the races. Betting is only one aspect of the experience and should be enjoyed in moderation. If you go out with the sole intention of making a profit you are likely to be disappointed. A useful tip that is recommended is to limit how much money you take with you, and don’t play with money you can’t afford to lose. Drinking alcohol is a large part of the experience for many people, and this can sometimes lead to being less careful with your cash.

Think of the day as an activity to enjoy regardless of money, and you are likely to make some great memories.