It’s the 60th anniversary of the Louth Races and here’s your insiders survival guide to what to wear, how to bet, how to get there and how to skip the painfully long toilet queues.
1. Dress to impress
Ladies, while sky-high heels and a mini skirt might seem like a good idea at the time, do yourself a favour and skip the blisters and goosebumps by dressing appropriately.
Alexandra Murray, committee member of the Louth Turf Club and organiser of Fashions on the Field, has some tips for those hoping to take away a prize.
“We are a winter race meeting, so winter looks is what we are going for,” she said.
“An entry requirement, is that we ask all contestants to have an elopement of wool in their outfit to support our industry.”
Ms Murray said the temperature can change in Louth, so the key is to dress in layers.
Colours of the season are the ever-popular black, but Ms Murray encourages entrants to branch out into the deep greens, burgundies and blush colours.
“We don’t have a catwalk so it’s high-end fashion kicking up the dust,” she said.
“The event has gone gangbusters and race meetings across NSW are make them more significant so Fashions on the Field is a good crowd please.”
The two categories are Best Dressed Gentlemen and Best Dressed Lady.
PRO TIP 1: If you decide on wearing heels, stash a pair of flats in your bag just in case you regret that choice.
PRO TIP 2: Styling on a budget? Check out these tips.
2. Tackling transport and accomodation
All roads to Louth are unsealed. They are in good enough condition for 2WD cars, although show caution as there will be loose gravel and corrugations.
You MUST drive to conditions and be careful on these roads with so much traffic, wildlife, dust etc.
Turn your lights on, don't sit close behind another car in their dust, pull right off to the side if you need to stop etc. Please just be patient and show some common sense on our outback roads!
Stratus Aviation is offering return flights from Wagga to Louth (for more information click here), but for the rest of us, we’re on the road.
Camping facilities are available at Louth racecourse at no charge on the Friday and Saturday nights. Facilities include some firewood, toilets and a couple of showers.
You may camp for free under the wing of your aeroplane at the airstrip (some firewood provided), or set up your swag in the designated area on the banks of the Darling River adjacent to the village.
Local accommodation providers
There are options other than camping for those who aren’t a fan of sleeping under the stars.
PRO TIP 1: Don’t just organise the way there, make sure you’ve got a way home as well.
PRO TIP 2: If you’re driving make sure to organise a killer playlist. If you don’t have the time, check out this one.
3. Know your form
Thoroughbred horses are amazingly consistent animals and if you can crack the code in the form guide, you can beat the bookies.
Look for horses that are good at the track and distance, have solid recent form and have drawn a good barrier.
Even better, go and watch them in the parade yard. Not only are they breathtakingly beautiful animals, but the trained eye can tell how they're feeling on the day.
For short races (1000m-1400m), look for horses that are compact and stoutly built, with big strong behinds. Don't worry too much about how fit they look, pick the ones that looked keyed-up, bouncy and ready to go. If they're sweating a lot between the legs or around the flanks (near the lower ribs), your horse has already expended a lot of energy.
For longer races (2000m+), look for horses that have a longer, narrower look about them. You also want your distance horses to be relaxed, rather than champing at the bit.
PRO TIP 1: Picking horses based on your favourite colour or pretty name is more than likely to send you home broke.
PRO TIP 2: Don't bet more than you can afford. Set a bank you're prepared to lose and stick to it.
4. Map your route
Take a look at the map of the grounds, to ensure the maze of punters doesn’t leave you in a sweaty panic.
It’s all about prime position. Know where to place your bets, where to find food and drinks, how to get to the portable toilets (a much better option if you want to avoid queues).
PRO TIP 1: Once you have all the facts, pick a spot and set yourself up for the day
PRO TIP 2: Check out the program ahead of time by clicking here.
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