Ladies what…go to the races

Racing at Bath
Racing at Bath

Lots of the things that we get up to for Ladies what… are found on discount sites like Groupon and Living Social. A while back, we noticed a deal for premier tickets to the Big Festival Weekend at Bath Racecourse and since neither of us had been to the races before, it was the ideal opportunity to give it a go.
I must say that the day didn’t start out hugely promising. As it was advertised as a festival weekend, we expected there be loads of activities taking place as well as the races themselves but this wasn’t the case really – all we could find were some inflatable games for children and a jazz band (who were very good though).

After a wander around outside, we decided to head up to the premier bar to get a drink and have a sit down before the races started. Unfortunately, there were hardly any seats in the bar (or in the cafe which we checked afterwards) and of course, the drinks cost a fortune!
However, once the races got going, things got much more interesting. We nabbed a spot in the premier grandstand which was out of the wind (it was freezing cold all day!), armed ourselves with cups of tea and decided who we were going to bet on (which in my case, was based entirely on which names were the best).

There were eight races, each half an hour apart and around 8-10 horses in each race. When you’ve decided which horse you are going to back, you then need to decide whether you are to bet at the Tote (Which is the government-run bookmakers) or choose one of the many bookies that have stands at the event.

If you choose the latter, you walk round checking their boards to see what odds they are offering for your horse, as they can vary quite a lot. As we’d finally managed to get somewhere to sit, we decided to leave this bit to the boys who seemed to be taking things much more seriously than us – even going to far as the download the Racing Post smartphone app so they could study previous form.

I’m apparently rubbish at betting as I didn’t win a thing but Keri won £9.75 with an each-way bet on Small Fury in the third race. Which was so very exciting it pretty much entirely made up for the cold, lack of seats and hugely expensive drinks!

The winning ticket!


Co-editor Emma is LWT's resident history lover and fact nerd. She loves travelling overland - especially by train. Her trips tend to be planned around good food and a little bit of adventure.

One Comment

  • Keri

    I do think we’d have enjoyed it more if it was sunny and warmer, but I have to admit when the races begin you do get really into it. We would choose our horses entirely on their names – one was called Roger Ramjet! – which meant we rarely won, but it was definitely a chuckle. And even though there’s around half an hour between each race the time whizzes by as you’re choosing your next horse then popping off to make your bet and get a (warm) drink!

    We’ve decided we’re going to give it another go next year, but that time we’re going to aim for a summer ‘ladies’ event so we can don posh frocks and make fascinators! 😉

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