Royal Ascot: The Six New Races to Watch This Year

Royal Ascot New Races

Royal Ascot 2020 is nearly upon us and while it may not be the Royal Ascot as we know it to be, we are still set for five days of mouth-watering action.

The famous races will take place behind closed doors and begin in just the third week of the season, meaning we could well be in for some shocks. Due to a restricted calendar and some restricted field sizes, Ascot this year will stage 36 races, which is six more than usual.

This will mean from Tuesday to Friday, fans can look onward to an extra race each day (7 in total) whilst the meeting will end on Saturday with a blockbuster eight-race card.

We talk you through each of the new races below.

Buckingham Palace Handicap – Tuesday 1:15

The first change to Royal Ascot 2020 is that the Buckingham Palace Handicap will actually open up the meeting instead of the traditional Group One, Queen Anne Stakes, which will now move to the second race on the card.

The Buckingham Palace Handicap isn’t a new race entirely but is an old race that has been reintroduced for this year's royal meeting. Its last showing was in 2014 before it made way for another Group One in its place, the Commonwealth Cup, for three-year-old sprinters.

The race is a class two handicap and is ran over the distance of seven furlongs across Ascot’s straight track.

Silver Royal Hunt Handicap – Wednesday 1:15

The Royal Hunt cup is traditionally one of the biggest handicaps of the week at Royal Ascot and for Royal Ascot 2020, the decision has been made to introduce a consolation race.

Because of the restricted field sizes, many horses - who would normally have no trouble being one the 30 or so runners that tackle Ascot’s straight mile - will miss out. Although to avoid disappointment, a second race has now been introduced.

As it is a consolation, the prize money is less but everything else remains the same; a class two event over the straight Ascot mile.

Copper Horse Handicap – Wednesday 4:40

This a brand new race that will only be staged for 2020 Royal Ascot.

The race will conclude proceedings on Wednesday and will be run over the extended distance of one mile and will be open to horses four and above.

The race has been introduced for staying horses that perhaps don’t have the chances to run in other races, due to fewer races on the calendar at the moment.

Golden Gates Handicap – Thursday 1:15

Another race that has been introduced exclusively for Royal Ascot 2020 is the Golden Gates Handicap that begins the action on day three.

The race is a class two event and will be ran over a mile and a quarter, with the race being open to three-year-olds only.

The race has been introduced because the restricted calendar has meant a lot fewer opportunities for the three-year-olds, particularly over middle distances and will give them a chance here if not up to tackling the bigger races just yet.

Palace of Holyroodhouse Handicap – Friday 1:15

Another handicap for the three-year-olds that starts Friday’s proceedings.

This handicap will be run over the dashing five furlongs and is another that is exclusive to Royal Ascot 2020.

Three-year-olds hoping to step up into graded company over five furlongs for the Kings Stand Stakes this year will no doubt find it difficult with very little five-furlong races in the calendar prior to the meeting, therefore, this race has been introduced as an alternative.

Silver Wokingham Handicap – Saturday 1:15

Very much like the Hunt Cup, this year's Wokingham will also have a consolation race.

With the actual Wokingham the penultimate race of the week, the Silver version will kick off the action on the final day.

The race ran over the straight six furlongs usually attracts 30 or so runners but due to resections on field sizes this year, a silver version has been introduced for those who don’t make it into the Wokingham itself.