Next NSW Race

Beginner's Guide to ... Planning Your Day

There’s A Racetrack Near You! There are 119 racecourses located in NSW, including 110 Country tracks, 5 Provincial tracks, and 4 Sydney metropolitan tracks, so the chances are there’s a racetrack near you!

When to go to the races

Race meetings are held 354 days a year in NSW (Christmas Day being the only exception). In NSW in 2021/22 there were 699 official race meetings held.

The Star Championships is the highlight of the NSW racing calendar, held at Royal Randwick on the first two weeks of April each year

Australian Turf Club (Royal Randwick, Rosehill Gardens, Canterbury Park & Warwick Farm) has some excellent FAQs -

There are a stack of race meetings around the NSW countryside and is a great excuse to explore part of NSW you’ve never been to. Each race club puts on a big day each year, so don’t miss out on the fun and check out the NSW Racing Fixtures

Preparing for the day

Once you have booked your tickets for your big day out, you will need to know what to wear, how to get there and what you can and can’t take.

Each race club will have slightly different policies so make sure you check out their websites beforehand, but you can use the information below as a general guide:

Dress Codes
Don’t forget that dress codes apply for members areas. They will vary from club to club, but the general rules for example from the Australian Turf Club are:

  • General Admission Entry to the general admission areas of the racecourse requires guests to be neatly dressed. Shoes and a shirt must be worn at all times. All general admission dining rooms and function venues require smart casual attire - for example: dress jeans and a nice shirt (no shorts or thongs).
  • Members’ Enclosure Members are reminded of their responsibility of ensuring that their own attire and the attire of their guests introduced into the Members’ Enclosure conform to standards required.
  • Gentlemen are required to wear a suit, sports coat or blazer and tie, except during the period of daylight saving, when coats need not be worn, provided braces are not visible. Any form of sports shoe such as joggers, track shoes and runners are unacceptable. Sandals, thongs, dilapidated footwear, scuffs or slippers and any footwear without socks are not permitted. Denim jeans, jodhpurs, shorts or non-tailored slacks, open neck shirts and shirts without a collar are unacceptable, as are baseball caps or beanies. Pullovers or cardigans (without a jacket), rugby tops and football jerseys, even if wearing a tie are also unacceptable.
  • Ladies are required to wear non-revealing skirts or dresses and tailored suits. Ladies are expected to maintain a suitable standard in keeping with the dignity of the Members’ Enclosure. Shorts, jeans, denim or brief clothing are unacceptable. Pullovers, cardigans, parkas, duffle coats or waist length jackets, jeans and shorts as outer wear are not permitted. Running shoes including sandshoes, gym boots or thongs are also unacceptable.
  • Coats and ties must be worn at all official functions and luncheons. Coats may be removed at the Chairman’ discretion on any other day.
  • Eligible owners must comply with dress requirements to obtain Members’; tickets for the day.
  • Boys from 14 years of age are required to dress to adult standards.
  • Children accompanied by an adult under the age of 14 must be suitably attired.

How to get there:
Whether by car, bus, train or taxi, there are several option to get you to the racetrack. Be sure to check out your race clubs website for detailed information. Most tracks will offer infield parking for free.

What time should I arrive:
The race club will state on their website what time the gates will open. This will be around 2 hours prior to the first race. Horses will begin parading around 20 minutes prior to each race, so make sure you leave yourself enough time to find a suitable spot for the day and place your bets on the first race.

What to bring:
It is always good to bring a pen (to mark your form guide) and binoculars if you are serious about following the races. Depending on the season you may want to bring some sunscreen and sunglasses in the warmer weather, and an umbrella and jacket in the more unpredictable seasons.

Food and Alcohol:
Most tracks will allow you to bring your own food if you wish to pack a picnic. Please be aware that glassware, knives and alcohol are not permitted onto the racetracks.

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