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GO dog racing in east london

Dog racing in East London

Placing a couple of quid on a four-legged flyer may not seem like a thrilling way to spend the evening but you may be surprised at the fun you could have ‘down the dogs’.

Whether you’re a first timer, novice or regular high roller, Walthamstow Stadium [map] (as immortalised on the cover of Blur’s Parklife album) is a great place to enjoy some greyhound racing. And as with most tracks around the country, Walthamstow Stadium has a bar and restaurant to help fuel your passion for the sport.

Greyhound racing has been going on in England for centuries in some form or another and began life as a sport for noblemen. Today the sport has associations with the working class although people from all walks of life enjoy it.

Normal race nights are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday with the gates opening at around 6.30pm, however there’s also daytime racing on Monday and Friday lunchtime.

Unless you’re particularly interested in dogs, and specifically greyhounds, then the fun of a night at the dog track comes from trying to pick a winner. When you arrive you can get a programme which not only tells you when the races are, but who is racing in them and some idea of recent form. Your job is to pick a winner, by any means necessary - this could be as basic as liking the look of the dog or picking your favourite number (from 1-6).

In terms of betting, this works in a similar way as horse racing with punters being able to use straightforward betting (i.e. betting on the dog to come win or to come first or second) or the more complicated tri-cast and accumulator bets. The onsite ‘Tote’ system usually sets the minimum bet at 20p but if you’re confident enough feel free to wave your notes at the trackside bookmakers.

Depending on how daring you are, an evening down the dogs can be one of the cheapest nights out you can have in London and if there’s still cash in your wallet at the end of the evening you can round off your night at Charlie Chan’s nightclub [map] at the stadium itself.

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