This is down to you. You may have a favourite colour that coincides with what a jockey is wearing in a race or you may have a lucky number. Alternatively you could follow a jockey or trainer. All the runners and riders, with the colours of silks the jockey will be carrying, are listed in the racecard, and there is also a guide to each horse’ s form.
Have a good look and decide what you want to bet on.
There are three ways to bet. Firstly you can place your wager with the rails bookmakers - here at Ayr they can be found in three places - adjacent to the Paddock, in the Ayrshire Suite within the Grandstand area or in front of the stand also in the Grandstand area. Odds are displayed on screens. If you choose to bet this way simply name your horse to the bookie and how much you want to bet on it. He will repeat the bet to you and this gives you an opportunity to correct him if he is wrong. He will hand you a receipt which will tell you exactly how much you stand to win. If you are lucky enough to have a return you simply hand the receipt back after the race and you will receive your winnings.
Or you can bet at one of two William Hill Bookies Shops on course. One is situated in the Ayrshire Suite while the other is on the first floor of the Princess Royal Stand within the Club area. You write on your bet on a slip provided and if you have a winner go back to the counter and hand over your slip and you will receive your money.
The third option is to place a bet with totepool. There are totepool windows throughout the course and also staff roaming in the hospitality areas who will happily take your bets. Unlike betting with a bookie your stake goes into a pool and like the lottery, your win depends on how many other winning tickets there are.
You can back a horse to win or, depending on the number of runners in the race, each way which means you will get a percentage of the odds if the horse is placed. Not all on course bookies take each way bets so check this first. The standard each way terms that will be offered by bookmakers are as follows:
All bookmakers will display on their boards whether they are betting each way or to win only.
Putting on a bet at the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival is all part of the experience. The secret is never to bet more than you can afford to lose. Stick to the plan - be it £2, £5, £10, £20 or more per race don’t let success or failure affect that plan.