I went to the Cheltenham Races 2022 and lost all my money

If you can picture a Tory grandad rocking your fit you’re doing it right

Cheltenham races happened last Saturday and although it was relatively out of character for me I found myself hopping on a bus, googling “how to bet” and purchasing a £30.80 ticket.

Throughout my time at Bristol Uni I have seen students skipping off to the races in their ridiculous outfits filled with hopeful excitement to win some serious cash. 

Although I have seen endless images of my friends with not-so-sober cheesy grins on the racecourse I wanted to know what it was truly like for myself. So I cos played as Tommy Shelby for a day and went along to see what the fuss was all about. Here’s a rundown of the big day…

The journey

Drunken students ran for the bus as crowds of mullets were ushered onto coaches. Bottles of vodka were smuggled expertly in bras and waistbands, while disinterested security overlooked the oddly shaped race goers and got them seated. Once onboard, drinking immediately continued and the energy was high in anticipation for the social event of the season.

The journey was around an hour and without a bathroom onboard, bottles of pee were inevitably produced. A word of warning: beware of goony rugby types offering you “vodka squash”.

After several pleas to stop at a bathroom with oscar winning performances of being sober, the coach driver finally stopped on the side of the motorway where everyone flocked to the bushes and tried to stay clear of their boots and burberry scarves. 

A fallen soldier was left on the side of the motorway after chunning all over herself, let her be a lesson to not go too hard on the pres. 


Eager students swarmed the betting stands, in drunk certainty that they’ll be paying off their entire student loan with a single winning bet. 

Try to avoid the crowds of rah boys wearing pinstripe suits that will advise you on the best strategies and dive into long winded monologues on how they won £700 at the last races. 

Attempt to bypass the intrusive need that slowly creeps up on you with every passing drink to spontaneously bet your entire maintenance loan on a horse you just know is lucky because it’s your favourite colour. It’s the burberry trench coat you’re wrapped in and the bottle of wine you necked on the coach that’s talking. 

If you have no experience, just go with your gut and the cute names like I did (yes, I did happen to lose a lot of money). It was fun pretending to be rich in my tartan scarf and high heel boots until I was £20 down and had to take out a loan to afford a half pint. 

What to wear 

If you can picture a Tory grandad rocking your fit you’re doing it right.

Get yourself down to your local charity shop to easily construct the perfect races outfit at a low price. Don a tweed jacket and you’ll effortlessly blend into the sea of tweed trousers, skirts and hats. In a world where not wearing a flat cap is more strange than wearing one, sporting this racey headwear is a must. 

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