Horse racing is one of the major spectator sports in the United Kingdom, with fans flocking from far and wide to win money on the horses at the event. In fact, in 2016, the Royal Ascot and Cheltenham Festival clocked in as the third and fourth most attended annual sports events in the UK, with an aggregate attendance of 295,000 and 261,000, respectively.
So, if you want to get in on the horse racing action and take home some serious winnings, there are a few key things you’ll need to know before going in. Here are some top tips to winning big at the major festivals of the horse racing season.
Know the festival
Kicking off with quite a simple one here, but it’s vital for you to know where everything is on race day as you may end up missing out on the great events of the festival, such as placing bets. You need to know the layout because the distance between areas can be far – even further with all of the crowds to meander through.
The next big meeting is the Royal Ascot, and to help with this, and knowing which races you want to bet on and how much time to keep for moving around the festival, you’ll want to know when the main events are. So, when are the main events of the Royal Ascot? The whole festival from 20 June to 24 June hosts so many top events, including the prestigious Diamond Jubilee Stakes in which Limato is the early favourite at 4/1, and you’ll want to be a part of as much of it as you can.
Furthermore, many of the major festivals cut off certain areas for those who are VIPs and have paid for such a pass. These areas can be put up for their convenience, meaning that everyone else has to go a long way around to get to and from certain areas. It’s a very good idea to know where you can and can’t go beforehand.
Studying the horses and trainers
Some bet on their lucky number, some back a horse because of its colour – grey horses being a popular bet but not always successful – but the best thing to do to help you win big at the major horse festivals is to study the card.
At every race, you can see each race card beforehand or get a race programme at the event. Within is a slew of numbers, statistics, facts, and tips. There are a few key areas to look for which you may have to go online to find out.
First is the trainer; do they have a history of success at this course or have they been doing well there in the previous days. Some of the top trainers at the big festivals will be very well represented, such as Sir Michael Stoute at the Royal Ascot, and their history of wins at the meeting means that their horses are worth a look.
It’s also well worth looking to see if the horse has run that type of race, a similar distance, and that particular track with success before. The horse’s form in these criteria is possibly more important than their overall form, as the horse will likely prefer certain tracks over others.
Before a big horse racing event, be sure to know your way around the festival and do your research. You could get lucky and make some great calls out of nowhere, but the best way is the research way.