If there’s one thing that you don’t want to wrong – it’s the toilets! Steve Finch, maintenance team leader, says “The toilets are the thing we get most issues with, but it’s also a lot different this year in the tented village. We try to plan it all in advance, but this year it’s about making sure the right pipes and connections are in the right places. Just moving a marquee four or five metres can have a huge impact.”
AndyLoos have been providing racegoers at Cheltenham with luxury toilet facilities for over 15 years, the planning that goes into building the marquees, toilets, shopping village and Guinness Village is immense – but what planning do you need to do to make your day a success?
Before your visit
You’ll need to plan your journey. How are you getting there? By Car? Plan your route, your parking and think about getting out at the end of the day! You may want to stay a little later and enjoy the atmosphere and miss the rush to get out.
What will you wear?
Remember it’s only just Spring and the weather can be a little unpredictable! There is no official “Dress Code” at Cheltenham, so you can either dress for warmth or dress to impress.
Choosing your horse and betting
There are numerous guides available to help you choose your horse. There is the Official Racecard, available on the day for £3.00, there are various newspapaers you can get beforehand or they will be for sale on the day and there are Form Guides. Form Guides are usually a little bit more pricey and need a little experience to interpret!
Once you’ve got an idea of the horses running, go to the Paddock or Parade Ring and see the horses before you place your bet. Look for horses with good muscle tone, shiny coats, bright eyes and look alert. Avoid ones that look agitated, sweaty or too docile!
There are few ways to bet at the racecourse. There are the On Course Bookmakers – these only accept cash, so make sure you’ve got plenty of cash! There is the Tote, this is betting system that shares all of the proceeds between all winning tickets, a bit like to Lottery! They will accept bets on credit and debit cards along with cash. Tell the bookmaker if you want to bet on a horse to Win or Each Way, this means to come either First or in the places, usually 2nd to 4th, this will cost you double the amount of a win only bet though!
Watching the race
Once you’ve placed your bet – you need to get in a spot where you can watch the race. Try and get an elevated position, maybe in the Grandstand, you don’t want to miss the final furlong!
Collect your winnings
If you’ve won, go and collect your winnings! There will be long queues, but you will be paid out eventually!
There is a whole Shopping Village at The Festival dedicated to the racegoer, country life or just the finer things in life. Spend some of your profits before the next race.
You are in the right place to spot some very famous people. There are many famous racehorse owners who will be hoping for a win and don’t forget The Queen is a very big fan of horse racing – and is a frequent visitor to The Festival.
Food and Drink
You are not allowed to take food or drink into The Festival, but don’t worry, there are plenty of mobile caterers, food stalls, restaurants and plenty of bars!
Food available ranges from full silver service to pork rolls, steak sandwiches, pies and freshly made sandwiches. There are numerous bars throughout the racecourse and complimentary water is available at all bars.
Unfortunately, only registered guide dogs are allowed on site.
To sum it up
Well, all that’s left to do is enjoy yourself, pace yourself and make to bookmakers weep!