A Day At The Races
Fancy experiencing the thrill of British horse racing? Here’s our guide to enjoying a day out at Leicester Racecourse, where it’s not only the on-track action that keeps racegoers entertained.
Select the Right Outfit
You’ll want to look your best for a day at the races so prepare your outfit in advance. Although not compulsory in all areas of a racecourse, smart attire is the accepted dress code. For men, a collared shirt paired with trousers and shoes is the usual for summertime, with the addition of a traditional tweed jacket in winter.
Ladies frequently identify horse racing with the opportunity to make glamorous fashion statements. There’s even designated ladies days, with prizes handed out for the best dressed. Remember that we are in England, where the temperatures can be unpredictable, so it’s a matter of choosing weather-appropriate clothes.
Arrive at the Racecourse
Make your way through the gates and then familiarise yourself with the racecourse. Your ticket will determine which areas; enclosures and stands are accessible to you. The more expensive the ticket, the more places you can access. Locate the bars, bookmakers, restaurants and viewing sections. It might be an idea to choose a meet-up point, just in case you get split up from your group.
Get yourself a race day programme, which will serve as a reminder of the race times, horses and their jockeys. It’ll have information about any racecourse attractions and entertainment, too, and be a great souvenir to take home.
Place Your Bets
Feel the excitement building? Around half an hour prior to a race, trainers walk their horses around the parade ring. Stand as close to the front as possible to witness a unique sporting opportunity of being within touching distance of the competitors. Have a good look at the horses: do you recognise the names, do they look eager to race or do you simply like their colours?
Now’s a good time to think about placing a bet; however not everyone does so. Tote bookmakers offer several betting options, with singles, doubles and Placepot being popular. Only bet amounts that you are prepared to lose and never overestimate your horse sense. If temptation gets the better of you then consider bringing cash only and leave cards at home.
View the Race
With the race about to get under away, it’s time to find a good viewing area. Position yourself in the stands or plan ahead and grab a spot trackside. Either way, the cheers of the crowd and pounding of hooves is breathtaking. Hospitality suites sometimes have access to the finish post and winners enclosure. It’s not easy to see the horses as they race around the most distant points of the track. Fortunately, animated commentators are on hand to provide up-to-the-minute updates.
Pre and Post-Race Entertainment
While the racing is undoubtedly the main event, there are plenty of other attractions going on to keep you busy. Race meetings can be long days, so you’ll want to stay refuelled and hydrated. Luckily there’s usually cafés, food trucks, formal restaurants and pub-style bars to visit. Bands often perform in the bars and on outdoor stages to create a vibrant party atmosphere throughout the day.
Choose a Hotel Nearby
Once the day is over you can count your winnings and start making your way home or to your accommodation. Booking a hotel located close to the racecourse will be heaven to your weary legs. Our hotel on the corner of De Montfort Street and historic New Walk is just a 10-minute taxi ride from the course.