Racing Superstitions – Finding Luck at the races

When it comes to finding luck at the races, it seems that racing fans and professionals alike will believe in just about anything to get good fortune on their side. Whether born out of supposed fact or pure superstition, many of the below old wives tales have become a part of racing’s fabric.

If you’ve ever visited a racecourse then there’s a chance you’ll have heard at least one of these…

Looks Matter

While one should never judge a book by its cover, the racing world have come up with character traits that are supposedly linked to the makeup of a horses hair colour, size and facial features.

    • The more wrinkles below the eyes the better the jumper the horse will be
    • Big ears mean the horse is genuine and will have an excellent racing attitude
    • A good big ‘un will beat a good little ‘un

Sock Poetry

The mental state and attitude of a horse can allegedly be determined by how many white sock marks he or she has on their legs. I wouldn’t necessarily trust it very much though; Frankel famously had four white socks and he turned out to be pretty useful on the racetrack!


One white sock, buy him

Two white socks, try him

Three white socks, look well about him

Four white socks, do well without him


One white sock, buy him

Two white socks, try him

Three white socks, buy him for the wife

Four white socks, run for your life



  • Always back the outsider in a 3-runner race
  • Last horse to leave the parade ring on the way down to the start will end up being the first back in (and therefore win the race)
  • Back the first horsebox you see on the way to the races
  • Mares in foal run above their form (statistically proven not to be the case!)


  • All Jockeys have to stand on new sets of colours before they will wear them – pristine colours are bad luck
  • Jockey Sam Twiston-Davies admits he salutes a magpie when he’s heading to the racecourse
  • If Ruby Walsh sees a magpie before heading on course, he’ll desperately search for another one
  • Frankie Dettori put white tape on his saddle before the Derby in 2007 and 2015, he won both races
  • If someone rings Paddy Brennan when he is having a bad day at the races, he will not answer the same caller the next day