We love a day at the races, we do, and we’re very fortunate in Leicester to have Leicester Racecourse right on our doorstep in Oadby, just a short distance from the town centre. The ideal day out for friends, family and special occasions, what’s not to love about an excuse to dress up, have a drink and maybe win some money?
We know there’s a lot of our readers out there who might never have been to the races before and not really know what it’s all about, so we’ve put together our top tips for a top day out with the horses!
- Give yourself a little betting allowance. Don’t let anybody tell you that you need to be betting big bucks, you’ll still be over the moon when you win from a £2 bet, believe us. With 5 or 6 races during the day you don’t need to worry about losing what you can’t afford, with many of the bookies taking bets from just £1.
- Try out the hospitality. A day at the races isn’t just about the racing, it’s about much more than that, it’s about the food & drink. Leicester Racecourse has a fantastic on site restaurant overlooking the course and you can enjoy a full 3 course meal and drinks whilst watching the racing and even place your bets from inside the restaurant. It’s perfect for a special occasion as the table is yours for the whole day so you can nip off to watch soak up the atmosphere for a race outside whenever you choose. Food in the restaurant is of a top standard and changes for each raceday, with items such as Cod loin wrapped in Parma ham, with a lemon herb crust, spring onion mash potato and roasted Mediterranean vegetables or Slow Roast Belly of Pork, Kale Mash Potato, Braised Red Cabbage, Glazed Carrots and a Five Spice Reduction Sauce. Places cost £46.95 for a full 3 course meal, racecourse entry and a racecard.
- If you don’t want to splash the cash on the full hospitality, there are plenty of other great food & drink options for you. Firstly, for just £44 you can take a car of 4 people into the picnic car park, which is located just to the side of the racecourse so you can still see all of the action. For just £11 each you can enjoy the full race experience but take a car full of food & drinks with you! Or why not enjoy the range of food options inside including the Angus Beef Bar as well as various pop ups that vary between racedays from a smoke shack to the finest Indian cuisine.
- Visit the Parade Ring. Head down to the Parade Ring about 20 minutes before the start of a race to see the horses as they’re walked around. The perfect opportunity to see them up close and see which ones look eager for action and will be more likely to win the race! Head back afterwards and you might just see the winners presented with their trophies after the jockeys have unsaddled! Keep your eye on the names on the racecard, you never know when a well known jockey or celebrity owner might show up (my mum once had a chat with Andrew Flintoff whilst he was watching one of his horses was racing at Leicester. True story).
- Go for a drink at The Winning Post. Leicestershire’s Steamin’ Billy (the guys behind The Parcel Yard, The Cow & Plough and The Western, among others) have recently taken over their own little space at Leicester Racecourse. Head to the back of the Grandstand and pull up a chair in The Winning Post as they’ve created their own little pub within the stand. Definitely worth a visit.
- Head to the finish line and watch the end of a race. I know we’ve banged on about the restaurants and the bars, but you still can’t beat watching a race from the finish line. Head down to the railings and watch as the horses cross the line. Make sure you check in the book which colour yours is and hopefully you’ll be picking up some winning!
Leicester Racecourse hold race meetings throughout the year, as well as hosting special family fun days and the fabulous Ladies Day in the summer. For all upcoming race meeting dates and times please visit the Leicester Racecourse website.
Stuck for a gift idea? Leicester Racecourse also do gift vouchers make the perfect present for a friend or relative. More information on the website.