Courtesy of the BHA, below is a list of frequently asked questions, often posed by those who are keen to “go racing”.
What should I wear on the day?In the Premier Enclosure (or equivalent), men are generally asked to wear a jacket and tie unless it's Derby Day at Epsom or Royal Ascot, when full morning suit is required. Many racecourses ask people to be smart casual in the Grandstand Enclosure (or equivalent) and in the Silver Ring (or equivalent), there is no dress code. Please refer to the individual racecourse pages for precise details about what to wear.
Do I have to pay for children's entry?The general rule across racecourses is that children who are 16 and under who are accompanied by an adult, enter free. For some bigger meetings, racecourses do charge an entry for children. Please refer to the individual racecourse pages for precise details about children's entry.
What time should I plan to arrive?Try to arrive at the course between 30 minutes and an hour before the first race is due to start, so that you can get a feel for the layout of the racecourse facilities. At weekends and during school holidays there are often special activities for children and live music and entertainment before racing.
Is car parking free?Racecourses offer free parking for the majority of meetings. However, if you are going to a major event, you may well have to pay for parking in certain areas and it may be necessary to book parking in advance. Check the General Facilities section on the racecourse pages to see if this is necessary.
Can we take a picnic?Racegoers are not allowed to take food into the Premier or Grandstand Enclosures however picnics are permitted in the Silver Ring, Centre Course or the aptly named Picnic Enclosures.
What food and drink will be available?There are bars where coffee, alcoholic beverages and soft drinks can be purchased in all Enclosures and there is usually a tobacconist's kiosk selling sweets and soft drinks etc.
The range of food on offer varies from fast food vans selling hot dogs and burgers, baked potatoes and oriental cuisine to cafeterias where sandwiches can be purchased. Restaurants are also available. Please note advance booking will be required for the restaurant.
What is the Parade Ring or Paddock?This is where the horses come immediately before the race. Jockeys mount their horses here and you can get a good chance to view the horses. Sometimes the Winner's Enclosure is at one end of the Parade Ring.
How do I bet with a bookmaker?To place your bet simply tell the bookmaker the horse's name, the type of bet and the amount you'd like to bet. In return you'll be given a ticket or receipt confirming your bet. Keep this safe as you'll need it to claim your winnings if your horse is successful.
What is the Tote?The red booths of the Tote with their smartly dressed cashiers offer pool based betting. Instead of odds presented on boards, dividends are displayed on television screens. Betting with the Tote is simple. For example, you can just have a 2 win on horse number 5 in race number 2.
How many races are there?There are usually 6 or 7 races staged at any meeting at half hour intervals. During the winter, afternoon meetings tend to start around 1pm whereas during the summer, meetings start around 2pm. You can check the individual race times on the racecourse pages.
You can follow Premier Information on Twitter or find out more about us via the Premier Information website. You can also keep up to date with our company via the Premier Information LinkedIn page.