Track Etiquette

As with any outing, you want your day at the races to go well. Ideally you will get there, have a great time, and go back home. However, as with any outing, there is always the chance of things going wrong along the way. Some of these things, like a horse breaking free from the track and trampling you, cannot be controlled. Other elements of unpleasantness, like getting death stares from those around you for inappropriate behaviour, are completely within your control. So take heed of the easy-to-achieve guide to racing manners provided here and nothing but an act of god or really bad luck at the bookies will be able to rain on your parade.

Honour the Dress Code

Some racecourses enforce a dress code, especially on days of big events. It is commonly advertised on the track's website or even in the brochures the racecourse may distribute. There is literally no way you can escape being informed of the dress code after purchasing your tickets -which is exactly why you must honour it. Any establishment, racecourses included, reserves the right to deny entry to patrons who disregard the establishment's regulations. In plain English: If they don't like what you're wearing, they can refuse to let you in.

Don't be too alarmed though, this does not necessarily mean you have to turn up in a suit, or heels and a massive hat. The dress code varies from enclosure to enclosure, and the cheaper your tickets were the more relaxed the dress code will be. Most of the time it's enough to throw on a nice shirt and good shoes. Maybe no jeans. But as long as you respect the host's wishes, there should be no dramas.

Remember Where You Are

Sure, you are on a racecourse. Still, with all the excitement of racing and gambling around you, it's easy to get swept away in it all. Although you have seen the screaming, ticket-eating punters in every movie that features a horse racing scene, the celluloid does not necessarily reflect the correct ways of acting in the stands. You simply do not want to be the person shouting profanities at their loosing horse, stamping on your betting ticket and generally blowing your top when surrounded by families picnicking with their kids. Or very wealthy people sipping champagne. Or a group of hot chicks/guys chilling in the vicinity.

It's Betting Not Looting

A bookmaker, in the end, does provide a service. Like the people selling you your movie tickets, the people at your supermarket check-out, the people validating your parking after a restaurant meal. So when dealing with a bookmaker, especially when it comes time to (hopefully) collect your winnings, you should not get too excited. You will get your money, it is the law, it is guaranteed. So no pushing, shoving and other nonsense to get a good spot in the cue for the pay-off. You may have to wait a little bit, but that is no reason to act like a buffoon.

Engage Common Sense

Although everyone technically knows the things we are about to list we are going to do it anyway, just to be on the safe side.

Don't throw things onto the racetrack (glasses, shoes, jackets, garbage, food, etc).

Don't litter.

Don't try to get into an enclosure not included in your ticket.

Don't haggle over wins, losses and pay-offs.

Don't tell your fellow bettors you have a sure-fire tip unless you do.

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