Ascot have today announced that for the foreseeable future the feature Royal Ascot meeting will see five days of seven races each day, extending what we saw this year for the first time after the prestigious meeting originally saw six races a day.
This year the five day festival will runs between June 15th to the 19th and like last term will see seven race days every day with the extra races added now here to the stay to the delight of punters.
The new races were added to the fixture due to the Covid-19 crisis going on in the world which meant a delayed start to the flat season and these extra races gave extra opportunities for more horses to gain prize money they had originally lost the opportunity to try and win.
Races like the Copper Horse Stakes, Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes and Golden Gates Stakes were added alongside the reinstated Buckingham Palace Stakes and they will all be seen again next season.
The ‘Silver’ versions of the Royal Hunt Cup and the Wokingham Stakes, won by Sir Busker and Chiefofchiefs, run last year will not be retained and there will not be eight races on Saturday as there were in 2020.
(Credit ATR) Sir Francis Brooke Bt., Her Majesty’s representative at Ascot, said: “A positive that we drew from Royal Ascot 2020 was that the additional races presented more opportunities to participate and that this had been widely welcomed by owners, trainers, breeders and jockeys. We are delighted to be able to make this change permanent.”
The running order for this year's Royal Ascot meeting will be very different to that of last term, going back to what was seen in 2019, with the new races that have been added each day set to be raced as the last contest of each day.
(Credit ATR) Nick Smith, director of racing and public affairs at Ascot, added: “The concept of extended cards last year was well received, and we are very pleased to be able to offer additional opportunities to the horsemen community, the public, broadcasters and media going forward.
“At this time, more than ever, the increased opportunity to win prize money and to generate more levy and domestic and overseas betting income is crucial.
“Following consultation with the BHA, we decided to remove the two reserve races and bring in another high-quality handicap, as we are actually reducing the number of races run by one from last year, where eight races were staged on the Saturday.
“It occurred to us that the Old (round) Mile course is only used twice during Royal Ascot and another race on this track would add to the variety on offer.
“Last year’s extended cards were only possible by reducing some field sizes slightly, and because no overnight stabling was allowed under Covid-19 protocols.
“In order that field sizes can go up to their maximums again and with overnight stabling extremely important, we have commissioned extra temporary stabling to be built to the required high BHA standards.
“Royal Ascot is constantly evolving and has benefited from many recent race additions and promotions and we are excited that the week will now be bigger and better for everyone.”