With horse racing, the UK’s second favourite spectator sport after football, the ‘Sport of Kings’ has a special place in the nation’s heart. And it is a sport that is enjoyed by all, with an estimated six million racegoers passing through the racecourse turnstiles every year. A lot of these racegoers would have put a bet on by building a lucky 15.
So, just what is it about horse racing that brings people to the paddock, time and time again? We take a look at what makes horse racing so special.
It’s rooted in tradition
There’s a cultural side to horse racing that is rooted in tradition from the illustrious history of the sport. Thought to date back to Ancient Greece, horse racing as we know it today was established in Britain in the early 18th Century when the grand meets such as Newmarket and Ascot became big news. As a result, a day at the races still has traditions such as parades in the paddock, ‘Ladies Day’ and the excitement of the trackside bookmaker that make horse racing much more than a simple spectator sport.
It’s a sociable sport
Endorsed by Royalty – the Queen herself is a successful racehorse owner – a day at the races can also be a glamorous, social affair. Some of the largest meets, including Ascot and the Grand National, attract spectators in their thousands, many in their formal wear and finest clothes, ready to combine track betting with socialising and celebrating.
The athleticism of the horses
There’s no denying the power and beauty of the racehorse and watching a whole race with these four-legged athletes thundering by is an awe-inspiring experience. And when you know that only thoroughbreds are allowed to race, and each one can trace its lineage to one of the three original thoroughbred stallions, it makes the occasion even more remarkable.
The thrill of the spectacle
Unlike many other sports, with horse racing, you can live bet at the track and then watch your horse gallop past the finishing line, which just adds to the whole excitement of a day at the races. The chance to place a wager on the horses you are watching race just adds an extra layer of adrenalin to the occasion as well as the thrill of hopefully celebrating a win with your family or friends!
The sport allows for various bet types
Horse racing also allows for a range of different bets, giving punters a greater choice trackside – whether that’s as an amateur placing a fun bet or a more knowledgeable enthusiast. And with the odds changing constantly up to race time, you can add an extra thrill by placing a well-timed bet on what could well be the winner.
There’s always that chance of a win
Whether you choose to watch the races from the trackside or from the comfort of your own home, studying the form can help to make horseracing and choosing a winner just that little bit more predictable. And with the speed of each race – the average horse race over one mile lasts around 13 seconds – you will quickly know whether your gamble has paid off!