If you’re a beginner to horse racing, it can be intimidating, with lots of confusing jargon and rules that you can’t figure out. So, here’s a short guide on how to make the most of your time at the races if you’re new to the sport.

How to Get the Most Out of Racing

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Firstly, take a friend with you. If you already know people who are interested in racing and have a little more experience, then you’ll feel more confident in asking them questions and learning more, rather than relying on the knowledge of strangers at the course. Racing can be a sport that is just as sociable as rugby or football and having a friend there with you to celebrate your wins or commiserate your losses will make it all the more fun. If you don’t know anyone, then bring someone who is as eager to learn as you – this means that you won’t feel stupid or alone if there’s something you don’t know, and you won’t be as self-conscious if you need to ask others for advice.

Do your research. You wouldn’t go to a football match without searching up the offside rule, or what role each position plays, and it’s the same with racing. Thanks to the internet, it’s possible to learn about different types of races, ground, and horses from your sofa, so do a bit of self-learning at home and you’ll feel far more confident when you actually get to the course. This also applies to the individual races, the more you can learn about each horse and its recent performances before you get to the race, the better. This knowledge will not only increase your chances of a win but will make you seem like a professional race-goer rather than a novice.

Check out the online community. This is one for the more modern racing fans, but anyone can get involved. With all sports becoming increasingly virtual, some of the classic event experiences have moved online, for example, horse racing betting is now available at home, with sites offering tips, race information and betting odds for you to browse. It is also a good way to make friends in the community, so that next time you go to a meet, you’ll have people to watch racing with and to learn from, as well as joining them for a celebratory pint at the pub afterwards.

How to Get the Most Out of Racing

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Only bet what you can lose. Gambling can be tricky to keep an eye on, so to make sure that you are only having fun experiences, only bet the money that you can afford to lose. Some racegoers do this by bringing only cash and limiting the amount they bring, or by transferring money from their main bank account to a smaller one that they only use for betting. The main point here is to avoid risking too much in case you don’t get lucky and end up in trouble rather than having a good time.

These general tips should help you to make the most of your racing experience, and will give you valuable knowledge that you can pass on to others when you are the pro, even if that takes a while!

Kelso Kelso ranks fourth on The Blood-Horse magazine list of top 100 US Thoroughbred champions of the 20th century. His career was remarkable and it has stood up to the test of time.
The gelding was foaled in 1957 at Claiborne Farm. Trained by Dr. John Lee, Kelso made his debut in 1957 at the Atlantic City Race Course. Kelso won the race and set in motion a career that would see him compile a 39-12-2 record in 63 races.
Kelso would race just two more times in his two-year-old rookie season. However, the races ended in second place finishes despite being favourite in both. The horse was rested for the remainder of the season and bigger things were on the horizon.
The gelding began his three-year-old season with a new trainer, Carl Hanford. Under the guidance of his new trainer, Kelso won eight of nine races in 1960; an six of Kelso’s wins came in stakes. Kelso’s biggest victories that year came at the Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap and at the Jockey Club Gold Cup.
Things just got better for Kelso and Hanford. The gelding won the first five races of the 1961 season completing a run of 11 straight wins between his three and four-year-old seasons. By the end of 1964, Kelso would win 11 major championship races.
During his career, he won the Jockey Club Gold Cup an unbelievable four times. Off the track, Kelso won five Horse of the Year titles. It is a record that still stands today.
After eight seasons in which Kelso won races, the horse was forced into retirement in 1966. Kelso suffered a hairline fracture in his right hindfoot. Rather than attempt a comeback, Hanford retired the champion race horse.
Kelso was not completely finished after retirement, however, and the horse became a show jumper and hunter. A year after retiring, Kelso was inducted into the US Racing Hall of Fame. The gelding is also immortalised as the Kelso Stakes at Belmont, which is named after him.

Sceptre Spectre was a remarkable filly who, in 1902, won the 2,000 Guineas, the 1,000 Guineas, the Oaks and the St. Leger, making her the only horse ever to win four English ‘Classics’. She also ran in the Derby, finishing fourth and, in a sensational, but exhausting, three-year-old campaign, also won the St. James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Nassau Stakes.

Bred, and originally owned, by Hugh Lupus Grosvenor, First Duke of Westminster, Sceptre was sold, for 10,000 guineas – making her the most expensive yearling in history – by dispersal sale following his death in December, 1899. Her new owner, Robert Standish Sievier, was an extraordinary character, who had already been declared bankrupt more than once. He initially sent Sceptre to Charles Morton in Wantage, Oxfordshire, but at the end of a successful two-year-old campaign, during which she won two of her three starts, Sievier began training in his own right.

Sievier was renowned as an inveterate gambler, who had won and lost a fortune, and he was out of luck again when Sceptre – whom, according to his not-totally-reliable autobiography, he had backed to win £30,000 – was beaten a head by St. Maclou, under just 6st 7lb, when favourite for the Lincolnshire Handicap on her three-year-old debut.

Compensation wasn’t far away, though; after a short break, Sceptre won the 2,000 Guineas and the 1,000 Guineas – without one front shoe in the latter – within the space of 48 hours, becoming the first horse ever to do so. She was, unsurprisingly, made favourite for the Derby but, despite recovering from a bruised foot sustained during a gallop at home, missed the break at Epsom. She was vigorously ridden to make up the lost ground, but the effort took its toll and she faded to finish fourth. Nevertheless, Sceptre bounced back again, winning the Oaks in a canter 48 hours later.

Her punishing schedule continued, with a trip to Longchamp for the Grand Prix de Paris, two runs at Royal Ascot and two more at Glorious Goodwood, before she attempted her fourth Classic, the St. Leger Stakes at Doncaster. She won, beating the Derby second, Rising Glass, as she had done in the St. James’s Palace Stakes, but even then Sievier had the audacity to run her again in the Park Hill Stakes two days later.