INSIDER TIPS Sophie Able, Newmarket Racecourse and international director for the Jockey Club, gives some advice for making the most of your day at the races 1. ARRIVE EARLY AND SUSS OUT THE SCENE If you’ve not been racing before, arrive in good time to get your bearings. There are indoor and outdoor areas, so you’ll want to work out where to base yourself and check out the food and drink options. Working out where everything is – key areas like the parade ring and winners’ enclosure – relative to the track, is always useful and will save you time when the crowds arrive. 2. GET UP CLOSE TO THE HORSES Whether you’ve been coming for years or it’s your first time, the thrill of seeing a racehorse up close never gets old. They are amazing animals, so get to the parade and pre-parade ring to see them in the flesh! At Newmarket, you can see them going to and from the course, too. 3. DRESS FOR THE WEATHER People love to dress up for the races – if you want to get your glad rags on, we’re all for it! But we’ve relaxed our dress codes, recognising not everyone wants to dress up – and British weather can be unpredictable. Racing is an outdoor sport, so keeping an eye on the weather forecast and dressing appropriately is essential. 4. GRAB A RACE CARD Racing can be jargon-heavy – furlongs, odds, maidens, novices – what does it all mean? The best way to learn the lingo is to get a race card. As well as having loads of useful information, it will tell you the runners and riders and explain what’s what. If you’re still stuck, ask racecourse staff, or a bookie if you want to have a little flutter – they’re there to help and are always friendly! 5. ENJOY YOURSELF! Between seeing the horses, having a drink, placing a bet and great opportunities for people-watching, there’s nothing to match a day at the races. It gets you into the outdoors (providing the weather is behaving itself) and alongside some of the most amazing animals on the planet – so enjoy yourself and make the most of it!
Seeing a racehorse up close never gets old
CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK MAY 2023 61
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