How to Plan a Students’ Day Out at the Races

It’s difficult to beat the thrill of the turf and attending the races is undoubtedly one of the more enjoyable ways to spend an afternoon. Visiting a racecourse doesn’t necessarily have to be an expensive experience and there is a possibility that you may even return from the track having made a small profit!

Pick Your Race Meeting Carefully

On average, there are three UK race meetings staged each day, giving students plenty of options when it comes to planning a big day out. Some racecourses occasionally offer free entry for students, whilst many others hand out discounts to those attending from local colleges or universities. Ordering your tickets in bulk from the racecourse website could also prompt a small reduction in the admission price.

Lower Profile Meetings May Be More Enjoyable

There are a number of high-profile meetings staged throughout the year, but these may be best avoided for big groups of students. If a race day is particularly popular, tickets are likely to be more expensive, queues at the bar significantly longer and space in the grandstand hard to come by. The Grand National and the Cheltenham Festival are two of the more popular events on the calendar but unfortunately, many punters resort to watching the action unfold on the big screen whilst struggling to get served. The latter is an extremely popular destination, with tickets for the final day particularly sought-after.

Gloucestershire Racegoers always enjoy watching the pinnacle of National Hunt racing unfold, with the highlight undoubtedly being the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2018. It is a race in which ante-post betting is extremely popular and the market is available all-year round. Racecourses such as York, Haydock, Sandown and Brighton regularly stage decent cards and whilst they may be less glamorous than some of their counterparts, they always guarantee a great day out for students.

Source: The Racing Post via Twitter

Know the Dress Code

Every single racecourse will have its own dress code. It’s advised to always look smart and presentable with the majority of meetings unlikely to have specific requirements such as black tie. Smart casual is a phrase often associated with going racing, but it’s always best to check before setting off. Some tracks such as Chester do not allow denim, whilst others such as Ascot now operate a strict no-fancy dress policy. It is imperative that the entire party are aware of the dress code as this will help ensure a hassle-free entry into the venue.

Set Your Budget

Unless you’re a horse racing expert, picking multiple winners is likely to be tough. There are usually six or seven races on each card, giving racegoers numerous opportunities to place bets. Most on-course bookmakers have a £2 minimum stake, however if you shop around, some may accept smaller wagers. Form is available in the race-day program and studying this can help you whittle down the field.

There is no obligation to have a bet in every single race and if you’re on a tight budget, simply following the action and seeing how the rest of the parties’ bets progress can be just as much fun. You don’t want to spend the majority of your student loan in one afternoon so ensure you set yourself a budget the night before. It’s always advised to withdraw enough cash from the ATM to factor in drinks and bets. If you land a winner in the opening contest, you can afford to be a little more flush for the remainder of the card.

Going racing is a wonderful experience and contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t have to drain your bank balance. As long as you plan carefully, set yourself a budget and know what to expect, it’s likely to be a hugely enjoyable afternoon.