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Crowds gather around betting stands displaying the latest odds at Brighton Racecourse.

Racing For Beginners

How to pick a winner?

Nobody knows who is going to win but to give yourself the best possible chance we recommend that you study the 'form'. This is information and facts about a horse's previous performances and can be found in the race programme or card which is available to buy at the course on the day.
 
Alternatively, you can make a selection by watching the horses in the Parade Ring, picking your favourite name or maybe the Jockeys colours that you like the best.
 
Whatever your tactic we wish you the best of luck!
A young race goer studies the racing programme in the sunshine and smiles.
Crowds fill the stands at Brighton Racecourse as they await the start of the next race.

Where to watch

If you have a Premier, Grandstand or Paddock ticket, racing can be watched live from the Grandstands and the terraces as well as from many private suites. You can also see all the action on the big screen positioned over in the centre course as well as on Racing TV screens in our restaurants, bars and betting hall.
 
To feel the thrill of the race, the best place to stand is right by the rails or make your way down to the final fence so you can feel the ground move as the horses come thundering down the final furlong.

Parade Ring

Racegoers with Premier, Grandstand or Paddock tickets have access to the Parade Ring. This is the perfect spot to pick your winners, as you can view the horses as they are led round the ring before their race. Here you’ll have the chance to see how fit the horse seems, their temperament and even how they behave once the jockeys mount up before heading to the start point.
 
After each race, the Parade Ring becomes the Winners Enclosure. Witness the joyous moment of the return of the winning and placed horses when they meet their owners and trainers. This is also where the winner will be presented with their trophies.
Visitors line the outside of the parade ring at Brighton Racecourse as the horses are walked around.

If you fancy a flutter and are new to racing, download our Betting Guide below.

Download

The Tote
Whether you are planning to make a first visit to the races or you’re a huge fan, cheering home a winner while clutching a successful betting ticket is, for many, an exciting part of the raceday experience.

When you bet on-course with the Tote, your stake (the amount of money you place on a bet) is pooled together with all other bets on that race and then shared out amongst customers with winning tickets. Your betting on the racecourse with the Tote supports racing, with the majority of revenues flowing back to that racecourse.

There are several bet types available with the Tote such as win, place, each way (win and a place bet) and an exacta (picking the first two in the correct order). One of the most famous tote bets is the placepot which rewards customers who can pick a horse to place in each of the first 6 races. The average dividend of the Placepot is over £454* to a £1 stake so it is a fun bet where you can a large amount for a small stake. 

You also have the option to place a ‘Lucky Pick’ bet, which is similar to the lucky dip on the National Lottery. However, the Lucky Pick is designed to be smarter than a random lucky dip as it uses a special formula which is weighted towards the more likely outcomes in an event. 

The Tote has a minimum bet of just £2 and accepts cash and card across all courses.

So, if you’re a seasoned racegoer or having a day out with friends, there are plenty of betting options and the friendly Tote team are always on hand to help with your selections. By choosing to bet with the Tote during your visit to the races, you’ll be doing so in the knowledge that racing is benefiting from your support.

Jargon Buster

Racing seems to have its own language, so read our jargon buster - then impress your friends and family with your racing knowledge!

  • Card – Short for racecard. This is your race programme with the runners and riders on.
  • Colours (Silks) – The colours worn by the jockey in a race.
  • Handicap – A race in which weights are to be carried by each horse according to recent or past racing performance.
  • Form – A record of a racehorse’s previous performance.
  • Furlong – An eighth of a mile, 220 yards or 201 metres.
  • Going – A term used to describe the condition of the ground, ranging from hard through to heavy. These include Hard, Firm, Good to Firm, Good, Good to Soft, Soft, Heavy.
  • Listed Race – A high-class competitive race.
  • Maiden – A race for horses that have not yet won a race.
  • Non-runner – When a horse is no longer running in the race.
  • Stewards – Officials responsible for enforcing the British Horseracing Authority’s Orders & Rules of Racing.
  • Under Orders – When the racehorses are called into line before the start of a race. Once racehorses have come ‘under orders’ they are judged to have competed in the race and no bets will be refunded.
  • Weighed in – Weighing of jockey before and after a race to ensure that the correct weight has been carried. At the end of the race when ‘weighed in’ has been announced this means the result is official and all bets can be paid out.
  • Weights – Fixed weights to be carried by horses in a race according to ability, age, distance, sex, and time of year. This weight includes the jockey and equipment, saddle and weight cloth.
  • Weight Cloth - Leather cloth with pockets that hold flat pieces of lead. They are removable and interchangeable. The weight cloth is carried under the jockey’s saddle and is to ensure that they ride at the correct weight in a race. 

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