First Time Racegoer's Guide
First Time Racegoer

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.

The social side is just as important as the great racing entertainment.

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

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!

There is no dress code at Redcar so the best advice is to dress for the great British weather and the occasion.  You’ll find that more racegoers will dress up on a Premier Day than a Regular Day.

For ladies, hats are not compulsory though more and more people are wearing them, especially on Premier Days. 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 card / 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. Betting vouchers can also be purchased from our website in advance.

Racecards which include full details of all the races during the day are on sale at the racecourse.

For homework beforehand, race details and tips are in the sports pages of national newspapers and the Racing TV website –

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 Crow’s Nest Restaurant package is the ultimate dine and view option with all of the tables offering a trackside view, whilst the Voltigeur Restaurant offers a very popular 2 course special meal.


The Racecourse opens 2 hours before the first race.  Please see our full Fixture List for details of approximate 1st race times.

The closer to the first race time, the busier the traffic, so we’d recommend that you aim to arrive about an hour and a half beforehand. This will give you time to understand the racecourse layout and check out facilities.

Please visit our Find us page for details on how to get to the racecourse.

The Parade Ring

The raceday takes place in a number of ½ hour 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 horses before they proceed 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.

How to bet

For many people, having a bet – or a flutter – is part of the theatre and excitement of a day at the races, but it can be an intimidating experience.

That’s why we’ve put together a simple guide to placing a bet to help you make the most of your day.

Please visit our Betting Guide page to find out all you need to know about having a flutter at the races.

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.

You can watch the race live from the viewing steppings in the Grandstand or Course Enclosures or watch the exciting finishes from up close on the rails and cheer home your horse.  There's a large screen on all racedays and plenty of tvs in the cafes and bars make viewing the whole race easy from both enclosures.


After the Race - 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 7 or 8 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.

The racecourse is proud to be in the heart of Redcar so please be courteous to our neighbours as you're leaving the course.

A Typical Day for a Racegoer

The Racecourse opens 2 hours before the first race.  Please see our full Fixture List for details of approximate 1st race times.

12.00pm   Racecourse Opens

1.00pm   Aim to reach Redcar Racecourse at least 1 hour before the first race

1.05pm   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.

Whichever enclosure you're in you'll find that watching the horses race past you as you stand at the trackside is an exciting part of the race day experience.

During the raceday you are free to explore the many different bars and restaurants within the Grandstand or Course Enclosures.  Please visit the Enclosures page for more information about bars & dining options.

If you're in the Grandstand Enclosure you can also enjoy visiting the Parade Ring and Winner's Enclosure.


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