A Day at The Races
Before you plan your day out at the races always check the time of the first race. Preferably aim to arrive at the racecourse half an hour before the first race. This will give you time to familiarise yourself with the facilities, have a drink and most importantly bet on the first race.
At Ballinrobe you can purchase tickets at the admission desk upon arrival. There is an option to pre-book tickets with tickets.ie but generally there is no need to do this. Tickets are €15 per person with concession for students and seniors citizens however you must produce valid ID. Children u14 are free.
There is no dress code at Ballinrobe. Wear whatever you find comfortable. Do remember to check the weather forecast before you leave the house as weather can be tempermental. A light jacket for our evening meetings is a suggestion.
Ladies Day, 23rd June is a fashionable affair with many Ladies opting to dress in formal attire. However this is not a condition of entry to the course.
There are dining options in the racecourse to suit all tastes and budgets. You can pre-book corporate tables in our Coranna restaurant or you can drop in to our self-service Corrib restaurant.
How to Read a Racecard
Buying a race card is one of the first things you should do when you arrive at the racecourse. It contains all the information required for a day at the races. Below is a guide of how to read a typical race card at Ballinrobe:
Types of Races at Ballinrobe
- Flat Maiden – is a race for horses that have not won a flat race before. These races are normally confined to an age group e.g. 3-Y-O (a race for horses aged 3 years old only).
- Flat Handicaps – is a race in which the weights are calculated by an official assessor (handicapper). The better class horses carry the highest weights ranging from 8st 4lb up to 10st. The range in ratings normally go from as low as 47 to as high as 120+. The flat handicaps normally have a top and bottom rating e.g. 60-90.
National Hunt Race Types
- Bumper – is a special type of flat race for horses beginning their national hunt careers. Confined to horses aged between 4 and 7 and run over a distance of at least 2 miles. The horses are ridden by Qualified Riders (amateurs). A horse can only race in a maximum of six bumper races unless he wins one in which case he can race in winners bumpers.
- Maiden Hurdle – is a race for horses that have not won a hurdle race or steeplechase but they have won flat races or bumper races.
- Beginners Steeplechase – is a race for horses that have not won a steeplechase but have won hurdle races, bumper races or flat races.
- Novice – A novice hurdle is for horses that have not won a hurdle race before the start of the season. A novice steeplechase is for horses that have not won a steeplechase before the beginning of the season.
- Handicap – Just like the flat races, handicap races for hurdlers or steeplechasers with the better class horses the highest weights (usually 11st 12lb)
Want to get involved in the thrill and action of the racing? Why not place a bet to introduce some excitement and competition.
Where Can I Place a Bet?
In Ballinrobe Racecourse, there is three options for placing your bets:
The TOTE is located between the Mask Pavilion and the parade ring. There are cashiers to take your bet on either side of the TOTE building or you can use the touch screen TOTE betting machines at either end of the building. There are also TOTE persons to take your bet in the Coranna Restaurant and Carra bar. There are screen located around the racecourse to give you an indication of what you might get paid if your bet wins.
The bookies ring is located opposite the parade ring. Each bookmakers pitch will display the runners for the upcoming race and the odds/prices that are being offered. There are difference in prices between bookmakers so look for the one who is giving the best price.
To place your bet simply tell the bookmaker ; the horses number, type of bet and the amount you would like to bet. Keep your ticket safe as you will need this to claim if you win.
This is the same as any betting shop whereby you write on a betting slip, the name of the horse, the type of bet and the amount you would like to bet. The slip is then handed to the cashier.
Different Types of Bets
Win – pick a horse to finish 1st.
Each Way – an each way bet is two equal sized bets, so the total stake is twice the unit stake e.g. €5 each way will cost a total of €10. The win part of the bet is placing a bet on the horse to win the race but the place part is a little more complicated.
Additional Bets you can place on the TOTE
Place – pick a horse you think will be placed. This means that if there are 5 to 7 horses in the race you will get paid if it comes 1st or 2nd. If there are 8-15 you will get paid for 1st, 2nd or 3rd and if there are more than 16 horses you will get paid for 4 places.
Exacta – the Exacta bet is often also referred to as the Forecast bet. A Straight Exacta involves selecting the 1st and 2nd horses home in the correct order. You can place an Exacta bet on all races with 3 or more runners.
Trifecta – The Tote Trifecta involves you selecting the 1st, 2nd and 3rd horses home in the correct order. This bet is available with the Tote on all races with 3 or more declared runners. The Trifecta is the ideal bet when you fancy a few horses
Jackpot – You must pick the winners of races 3, 4, 5 and 6. Perhaps one of the trickier Tote bets, however, it is also one of the most rewarding. Your Jackpot bet must placed before the “off” of race 3.
Placepot – The aim of the Tote Placepot is to select horses to be placed in all 6 of the Placepot races. The Irish Placepot races are always races 1-6. However, you can also do a Placepot on all UK race meetings daily. A placepot bet must be placed before the “off” of race 1.
PickSix – The Tote Pick Six involves picking the winners of six consecutive races, which are always races 1 to 6. The Pick Six must be placed before the “off” of race 1.
The Parade Ring
When choosing a horse to bet on don’t forget to view them in the parade ring. One of the main betting advantages you have is being able to see the horses before the race. You can often pick up on vibes (both positive and negative) from how look and behave. Here are some pointers:
The horse is not relaxed and getting upset. It misbehaves generally by kicking with its hind legs. It walking around lazily with its ears flat against its head. The horses coat make appear dull and it lacks muscle definition. Also the horse may be sweating alot. While a little sweat is often a good sign, excessive sweating are signals of agitation or nervousness.
Going to the Start
Its also a good idea to watch the horses cantering down to the start of the race to check that it is moving fluidly and seems comfortable.
Now that you have read your race card and watched the horses in the parade ring, it time to place your bet. Only five minutes to the off of the race, place your bets now!
Of course there are alternative ways to pick a horse without hours of studying their form:
– Pick a horse whose jockeys silks included your favorite color
-Pick a horse whose name you like
– Pick any horse at random