Horse racing attracts enthusiasts from all walks of life for numerous different reasons; some come to watch the beauty and grace of thoroughbreds as they battle out for glory; some come for the social scene and others come for the thrill of the bet. Whatever the reason, horse racing is full of colour, character and competition. If you are a newcomer to horse racing, here are some top tips to help you achieve the best possible day.
First decide whether the speed of a flat race or the thrills of a jumping race interest you more and pick a meet accordingly. Flat racing is run with younger finer horses and the excitement will appeal to those who love to see the battles on course of change of lead, followed by the push for the line. Jump racing is slower and often run over longer course, with a series of obstacles along route. These jumps add a second dimension of skill to accompany the speed and can cause numerous problems to horses and jockeys who misjudge the approach. Flat racing used to be restricted to summer months on grass but all weather surfaces are popping up now, giving the option to flat race all year round. Jump racing is traditionally run from August to May.
Be aware that the standard of racing will depend on the particular category. The top races are known as pattern races, with listed just below this level and it is these races that attract the quality horses that are tried and tested. If you enjoy seeing well known names and a high level of competition, pick meets that include pattern or listed races.
For those who go racing to enjoy the ambiance and the festivities, try and pick a course that is well known for its hospitality and offers household known festivals. Of particular note are the Grand National Festival held at Aintree in Liverpool, perhaps the best known course of all due to the fame of one of the biggest events in the racing calendar. Newmarket is often known as the home of British horse racing and the town itself is built around the sport. Cheltenham is widely held as the home of jump racing and the March festival culminating in the Gold Cup attracts people in their thousands to enjoy the special meeting. Ascot has been thought of as the Royal family`s favourite venue and holds prestigious flat and jump racing
To enjoy betting, try and do a little homework before you attend your horse racing meet. The horses racing any particular day at any course are published in advance online and in the racing press, so it is worth doing a little research about each horse first. You will be able to find out how many races they have entered and won, what going they prefer, what weights they are carrying, who is the jockey and trainer and get expert advice from experts. It is also possible to get free racing tips which, although not guaranteed, do take some of the guess work away for novices. Be prepared not necessarily to win, but bet to add excitement to the day. The thrill of watching your horse running will guarantee you come back time and again.