A Day at the Races. Where to go, when and what to wear?

Posted on 13th June 2017

horse racing flat

A day at the races can be enjoyed by all the family, young and old and is an excellent occasion to dress up, enjoy yourself and watch some fantastic sport.

We here at Carl Russell and Co enjoy spending time going to the races on a rare occasion that we have a day off, and many of our customers also attend race dates throughout the calendar. Being a country clothing shop with a particular interest in sporting occasions we have a wide range of products that would suit the race goer; from a tweed coat to keep you warm on a crisp point to point morning or a feathered hat to finish a classy look for a more refined flat day during the summer. In this blog post I have put together a guide for where to go, when and what to wear, including items that are available from our online shop.

Throughout the year there are two particular ‘seasons’ in racing, much like there is in the shooting calendar. The race seasons are flat and point – to – point. Flat racing is what it says on the tin, point to point is where the horse and jockeys jump a range of fences around the race track.

When and where?

You can often find local race tracks that hold meets throughout the year, this can be low key, sometimes free admission, and are a relaxed and enjoyable way to watch racing and admire local countryside, and meet potential new friends. These days are often frequented by a racing enthusiast whom enjoys watching the progression of a particular horse, trainer or jockey. Often everyone is welcome to spectate at events like these and you can find more information about these online.

I have included some more detailed information about the ‘big dates’ that are ticketed events, attracting thousands of spectators, some of these events can also be viewed on the television. Of course one that many of us have heard of would be the Grand National, which is partly what inspired me to write this blog after watching the race earlier this year at the pub filled with other supporters; the pub filled with enthusiastic cheers (many of us had no idea where our ‘chosen horse’ was on the tiny screen) but it was all good fun and a great atmosphere. It occurred to me that this was something enjoyed by everyone not just racing experts.

Ascot, Wednesday 3rd May. Enjoy the first day of the Flat season at the world’s most famous racecourse. As part of our commitment to introducing new audiences to the sport there is no cost for Queen Anne Enclosure (formerly Grandstand Admission) on this day and King Edward VII Enclosure is only £13 in advance. For racing enthusiasts, this is the curtain raiser for the Flat season. Featured is the £60,000 Group 3 Longines Sagaro Stakes, one of the most important trial races for The Gold Cup, which takes place on the third day of Royal Ascot.

Chester May Festival, 10th-12th May. Chester’s most premium ticketed enclosure is situated adjacent to the Winning Post itself and within the heart of the buzzing paddock. The Winning Post is the perfect spot to socialise and soak in all of the atmosphere a day’s racing at Chester has to offer. There is an adult only enclosure which is partially covered with informal seating and offers a degree of shelter from the elements. Gents are requested to wear suits with collar and tie and for ladies, smart dress is suggested.

York May Meeting, 17th-19th May. York in May is a fantastic place to go racing.

Epsom Derby Festival, 2nd-3rd June. The vibrant atmosphere, roaring laughter and thundering hooves of top quality racing are what make the Derby Festival an unmistakably British event. Rain or shine, every year on the first Friday of June, a multitude of ladies and gents head to Epsom Downs Racecourse to experience a day full of high octane racing, music, glamour and fashion. Across the Queen’s Stand to The Hill there is an air of excitement all round. Dressed to impress, Ladies in the Queen’s Stand and Duchess’s Stand are invited to enter the Style Awards with the promise of not only taking the title but going home with some superb prizes. With a series of six races throughout the day and post racing DJ set in the Hyperion Bar it’s a day to mark the start of your summer.

Royal Ascot, 20th-24th June. Tickets are available for all five days of The Royal Meeting but we anticipate that Thursday,
Friday and Saturday will sell out several weeks before the event so it is recommended that you book soon if you want to attend.

Newmarket July Meeting, 13th-15th July. Moet & Chandon July Festival in on the Thursday 13 July 2017 Newmarket Racecourses
July Festival Ladies Day followed by the Moet & Chandon July Festival on Friday 14 July 2017 with the Newmarket Racecourses
Gentleman’s Day ending with the Darley July Cup on Saturday 15 July 2017

Glorious Goodwood, 1st-5th August. With five days of thrilling action set against the magnificent backdrop of the rolling Sussex countryside, Qatar Goodwood Festival – popularly known as ‘Glorious Goodwood’ – is the sporting and social highlight of the flat-racing season.

Other notable events include:

  • Haydock Spirit Cup, 9th September
  • AYR Gold Cup, 23rd September
  • Ascot British Champions Day, 21st October
  • Cheltenham, The Open 17th-19th November
  • Newbury Hennessy Gold Cup, 2nd December
  • Sandown, Tingle Creek Chase, 9th December
  • Kempton, King George VI Chase, 26th December

The Jump Season runs in 2016/2017 from April, 24th, 2016 up to and including April 29th, 2017.

What to wear?

Here I have selected some of my favourite products that we sell here at Carl Russell and Co, that would add a touch of class to your racing outfit, some items would suit fine days and some to suit the chilly winter meets.

Firstly I am going to start with the staple to any country persons wardrobe, the Schoffel Fleece Gilet. Available in Lyndon for the Ladies and Oakham for the Men, and both ladies and men’s ranges include a wide selection of colours. We stock the majority of colours in both ladies and gents and a good selection of sizes are always kept in stock. This is our best selling product and can be worn all year round, adding a light layer in the summer to keen you warm as the evenings cool off and can be worn as an extra layer in the winter to keep you cosy. A classic staple to your country wardrobe.

The second product photographed below is the Really Wild Felt Trilby Hat with feather and bow details. To buy this product, click here. Following this would be one of our most popular tweed coats, this one being made by Dubarry, offering a flattering fitted classic, which adds elegance to your outfit. Click here to buy the Dubarry Tweed Coat.


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One of my favourite products has to be these feather pins, supplied by Really Wild Clothing. They are just beautiful, and can be worn in your hat, or on your jacket. Available in a wide range of colours, these can be viewed for sale here.

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Finally for the ladies, we have three gorgeous products, starting with the Really Wild Silk Scarf, which will perfectly complement your chic country wardrobe and comes presented in a gift box. Painted by Clare Brownlow, Clare’s work first caught Natalie’s (the designer at Really Wild) eye at a CLA Game Fair in 2013, with her unusual approach to painting wildlife using a pheasant feather rather than a traditional paint brush. There is an extraordinary accuracy to her work, which is enhance by her stunning use of ink colours, and this ties in seamlessly with the Really Wild aesthetic. The natural synergy between the two brands has resulted in collaboration this Season to create a beautiful silk scarf designed by Really Wild and painted by Clare Brownlow.

The leather boots featured above are also by Really Wild, and are a Spanish riding boot style. Fully waterproof with Gore-Tex, and very elegant. These can be worn year round and keep you looking smart and comfortable. Available by clicking here.

For Him… we highly recommend the Schoffel Interactive coat as a great all-rounder for men. This product also allows you to zip in the Schoffel Oakham Fleece Gilet.  We would also highly recommend the Dubarry Wexford boot as a good practical men’s boot, smart and waterproof made with Gore-Tex.


And if your a jockey…

…Well we have something for you too! We sell MacWet gloves which are proven among the best riders in the world. Including jockey Derek Fox whom won the Grand National 2017 aboard the 14-1 winner One For Arthur.

Happy Racing!

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