Many people see the races as a haughty affair. A chance for the upper-middle classes to sip on champagne whilst they chant “tally ho!” at their favourite horses in a dignified manner. A lot of people have never bothered going because the thought of hats and white lace dresses has them running for the pub. It is not possible to work out who started these rumours of a muted atmosphere filled with bland people – perhaps it is just a British thing? One thing is for sure: there is nothing quiet about a day at the races.
The races are a great day to spend with your mates. If you go on Ladies Day, you can dress to the nines, wear that dress that you only save for your biggest parties and bask in the sun. There are also some horses running around and, if you’re interested, free bets from Timeform can help compensate for a complete lack of knowledge about how fast they are. It’s basically one big garden party; nobody is on their best behaviour and the cruel paparazzi are on hand to ensure that nobody forgets.
Whilst it might not seem as though there are many rules to race season, you should probably follow a few to ensure that you have a great day (and manage to remember it tomorrow), here are our top tips for a great race day:
Check the Dress Code
We might have said that we’re all for relaxed affairs, however, some events will have dress codes, and these will depend on which stand you have chosen to spend the day within. Check the dress code in advance of getting ready and well in advance of buying a fresh outfit. Some events will specify a hem length for women, and collars for men, and some (we’re looking at you, Ascot) will even specify a minimum hat width. You’ll want to be clued up before you go as nothing ruins a day out at the races like not being allowed to go to the races.
Get your SPF and Stay Hydrated
You’re likely to be spending the whole day outside and depending upon the time of year, the weather is going to be hot. If you want to spend the whole day outside, slather on a good SPF, and then do it again 20 minutes later. (Repeat until the sun goes away or you head inside) You don’t want to have to head home when the party is getting started because you’re sporting red lobster chic. It is also really important to hydrate, especially if you’re drinking a lot. It sounds square but try alternating your drinks with a glass of water, you’ll thank us for it!
Remember to Eat
All that excitement of the horses running around the track leads to a cycle of drinking and cheering but not much eating. There will be a variety of food outlets positioned around the arena so make sure you give yourself a bit of a feast when there is a break on the field. A lot of people forget basic human needs on race day, most likely because they’re having fun and don’t get a chance to see so many horses in one place but, once this excitement subsides, grab a bite to eat and get excited all over again.
You Do You
Dress to impress, dress in bright colours, try fancy dress (but check the dress code!), or dress in a white lace tea dress if you wish. Whatever happens, make sure that you’re wearing something that will be comfortable all day. Most of the day is spent standing outside, so you’ll want to wander around the house in your shoes for a bit before you leave – blisters will probably ruin the day. You could even get a second pair of flats for when the heels start to hurt, or take some flip flops for the way home.
Whether you’re a Melbourne Cup sort of punter or you prefer Stakes Day, you can ensure you have a great time if you take care of yourself. In the meantime, swat up on your favourite horses and head out for a week-long shopping trip to pick your outfit. At the end of the day, just make sure you have fun