Beginners' Guide To Racing

You can't beat the spectacle and colour of seeing horses and jockeys close up, the bustle around the betting ring and adrenalin rush of the race itself. At Redcar, the social side is important too.

The more you know about it, the more fun you'll have.

Before you arrive

What to wear

For many ladies, dressing up is part of the experience, and with Ladies' Day in June Redcar provides a great excuse to wear a new dress!

For ladies, hats are not compulsory though more and more people are wearing them. Handbags should be big enough to hold a racecard - normally a DL sized booklet - as well as your essentials, with a secure zip compartment for your money and betting tickets.

Depending on the type of admission booked, you will have a ticket or a metal swing-badge. The latter should be prominently displayed - usually from a button hole or a handbag strap - so that it can be readily seen by officials.

A good deal of walking is involved on any racecourse, some of it on wet grass and at a brisk pace, so give particular thought to your footwear!

What to take

You will need cash for the bookmakers, some but not all may take a minimum bet of £5. The Tote will take bets as small as £2. Tote betting vouchers can also be obtained with credit/debit cards at the Tote information points.

Racecards (a detailed guide to the day's action) are on sale at the track. For homework beforehand, race details and tips are in the sports pages of national newspapers and the Racing Post, online at

Guide:  How to read a racecard.

Please disarm your camera flash: bright lights and sudden loud noises genuinely upset horses and undo their meticulous preparation for the race.

Binoculars are useful for following a particular horse but there is a big screen at all of our meetings on which to follow the action.

If you would like to eat in one of the restaurants it is always best to pre-book.  The Voltigeur Restaurant offers a 2 course meal for £10.95 however this does not include your table for the whole day.  This is a very popular option!


When you are here


The Racecourse opens 2 hours before the first race. The start of the first race will vary from meeting to meeting.  The closer the start, the busier the traffic, so aim to arrive about an hour and a half beforehand. This will give you time to understand the racecourse layout and check out facilities. More information for those coming by public transport, see General Information.

The Parade Ring

The raceday takes place in a number of 1/2hour cycles. This begins in the pre-parade ring about half an hour before the 1st race, when the runners will be taken into the saddling boxes to be saddled up. It's worth watching this to get a first impression of the horse before he proceeds to the main parade ring.

Before each race you are able to view the Parade Ring to watch the horses walk around before they race.  This is also where the Jockeys arrive to “mount up” before heading down to the start.

Entry to the parade rings is limited to owners, trainers and jockeys but you will find ample vantage points all round. 

The Racecard

The racecard is your essential guide to your day at the races. 

Full details of the horses running is included in the racecard - including details such as Owner, Trainer and Jockey, performance in previous races, the weight that the jockey will be carrying and the stall that the horse will start from.

The racecard also includes other details such as what there is to eat & drink, the list of forthcoming race meetings, special offers and competitions.

 Guide:  How to read a racecard. 


The run up to the race

About 5 minutes before the race, the horses leave the parade ring to canter down to the start. They will take a few minutes to be loaded into the starting stalls.

Having a bet - Beginners' Guide


Trackside viewing

From the Grandstand or Course enclosure you are able to watch the racing live from the trackside – witness the exciting finishes from up close on the rails and cheer home your horse.  We also provide a large screen on all racedays making the viewing of the whole race easy from both enclosures.

After the race - The prize giving

After each race, the horses all come back into the Winners’ Enclosure or the Unsaddling Area and are met by their grooms. They will be unsaddled so that the jockeys can go and ‘weigh in’ and all unplaced horses are taken back to the stables to be washed down.

The first 3 placed horses are taken into the Winners Enclosure for people to see. When all the jockeys have ‘weighed in’ you will hear a call of ‘Horses Away’ from the weighing room - this gives the all clear for the remaining horses to return to the stables. The race result is not official until you have heard the announcement "Weighed In." Until then, you cannot collect winning bets. There is no need to fret; winning tickets can be redeemed any time during your day.
This is also where the winning owners will be presented with their trophy by the race sponsors.   This prize giving  is worth watching, not only to spot famous faces but as a courtesy to the race sponsor.
Meanwhile, runners for the next race start to arrive in the Parade Ring and the whole cycle starts again.

During the day

Between races you may wish to buy a drink or snack, but so will everyone else, so please be patient. All betting areas have refreshment areas and TV screens so that no-one need miss the action.

We have 6 or 7 races on each race day run at 30/35 minute intervals.  Race times can be obtained from the racecourse in advance, Daily Press or the Official Race Programme on the day of racing.  On evening meetings, bars close two hours after the last race with last orders being called 15 minutes prior to this.  Times are subject to change so please confirm this at the time of your booking.

Going home

Inevitably, with everyone trying to go home at once, queuing in car parks will occur. Please be patient while the ground staff safely filters the traffic off the site.


A Typical Day for a Racegoer

The Racecourse opens at 12 noon on a day time meeting and 3.30pm on an evening meeting.  Please see our full Fixture List for details of approximate 1st race times.

12.00pm   Racecourse Opens

   Aim to reach Redcar Racecourse at least 1 hour before the first race

 Meet friends and Family at the Grandstand or Course Entrance

1.10pm   When you enter the racecourse you should look to buy a race programme for the day.  This will provide all the information on the runners and riders for each race, as well as outline all the facilities available within the racecourse.

1.15pm   Have a walk around the racecourse, familiarise yourself with the layout while it is still quiet, maybe have a drink and take a few minutes to look through the runners for the day highlighting any horses you like the sound of and may place a bet on later.

During the raceday you are free to explore the many different bars and restaurants within the Grandstand or Course enclosure.  For more details on what is available in each enclosure please go to Where to Eat & Drink page.

You can also enjoy visiting the Parade Ring, or watching the horses race past you at the trackside as this can be an exciting part of the race day  experience.

Redcar Racecourse: Buy tickets on-line button



Download our guides:


Redcar Racecourse - Totepool Guide to Betting Image Eat & Drink Vouchers  Racecourse Map



Redcar Racecourse - Telephone icon 

For more information please call us on 

01642 484 068 or  contact us by email


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Upcoming Events

Thursday 3rd May = Racing UK Club Day

Thursday May 3rd, 2018
First Race: 14.10

  • Regular Raceday.
  • 7 races on the card. 
  • Gates open 12:00 noon.

Monday 21st May

Monday May 21st, 2018
First Race: 14.05

  • Regular Raceday.
  • 7 races on the card. 
  • Gates open 12:00 noon.

Monday 28th May (BH) = Zetland Gold Cup Sports Day

Monday May 28th, 2018
First Race: 12.45

  • Premier Raceday.
  • 7 races on the card. 
  • Gates open 11 am.

Redcar Racecourse : Zetland Gold Cup Winner 2008

The highlight of our Spring racing season, The Racing UK Zetland Gold Cup is one of the jewels in Redcar's crown.

On your marks! Get set! Go for our traditional family sports day with fun children's competitions.


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