Haydock Race Course
Haydock Race Course Reviews
A day at the races Aug 06, 2011
Haydock Park is a Race Course in the North West of England, and a totally brilliant place to go people watching. Entrance to the racing varies according to what’s on (we paid somewhere around £27), and you need to lay aside some money for gambling, so it isn’t a cheap day out. But this is a good place to go with a group of friends for a special occasion.
The people watching is great. There are some people who are there to gamble, hard, and some who are dressed up as though they are going to a supermodel’s wedding. The hairstyles in the posh enclosures are incredible – I have never seen such a huge collection of bee-hives and expensive prom dresses. On the other hand, in our part of the enclosure (the non-posh part), some people were in jeans, some in fancy dress for stag parties, and we were in suits or prom dresses and nice hair but nothing over the top. Watching the body language as people win and lose money is brilliant.
But of course, you are there for the horses. It is hard not to get sucked in, even with a small bet, and I am glad to say I won slightly more than I lost.
For those of you who have never bet on a horse, bets can be to win. There are minimum bets, with some bookies taking bets over £5 pounds and some taking larger or smaller. A £5 bet to win only pays out if the horse is first, and a £5 bet each way costs £10 but pays out if the horse is “placed” in the first few runners (which depends on how many horses are running). If you lose, you lose the lot, but if you win, you get your stake (the amount you bet in the first place), your winnings, and sometimes a percentage of your winnings again, which is how I won £28 from a £2 each way bet at 10:1. To be honest it is all horribly confusing and I think the best thing to do is to work out how much you can afford to lose/spend and just treat any winnings as a bonus, and whatever happens, don’t bet more than you can afford to lose. Also, I chose my horses on a combination of “pretty coloured coat” and “just feel good about the horse,” and won more than I lost – other people worked out the odds and going and stuff and lost more than they won. I know there is a science behind all of this and I am sure experts do better than novices, but if you are a novice, I would recommend the “pretty coat” school of horse-choosing as it seems to work at least as well as anything else. That, and stopping betting when you start running out of money for beer.
There are plenty of toilets, bars and places selling burgers. I didn’t see lifts in the stands and I suspect you would struggle to see if you couldn’t climb stairs, but I might be wrong about that and there are certainly large TV monitors around the place.
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