Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot

ROYAL ASCOT RACES

Royal Ascot is the jewel in UK Flat racing’s crown - five days of high-class action staged every June at the Berkshire track.

The track enjoys close association with the Royal Family - it is located just six miles from Windsor Castle - and their attendance at the annual showpiece meeting merely adds to the buzz and glamour it brings.

The meeting, which has a rich and colourful history, now attracts a total attendance of around 300,000 racegoers over the five days.

Royal Ascot takes place on the same grounds as the usual Ascot horse racing events 'Ascot Racecourse' and is recognised as the UK’s most popular horse racing event.

It takes place every year in June and draws in huge crowds, Lords, Royalty and wealth is also flown in from Arabia. Its reputation for high-class is insurmountable, as thoroughbred horse’s line-up to glisten in front of a Champagne-swilling, lobster gouging and berry punnet loving crowd.

The first Royal Ascot race ran in 1711 and has since become one of the most prestigious horse meets in the world. The event has recently drawn in crowds exceeding 300,000, qualifying it for the busiest of all European horse racing events.

Royal Ascot 2019 will take place between Tuesday June 18 and Saturday June 22 inclusive. Racing each day begins at 1430 BST.

The feature races for the 2019 meeting are as follows:

  • Tuesday June 18: Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1, 1m)
  • Tuesday June 18: King’s Stand Stakes (Group 1, 5f)
  • Tuesday June 18: St James’s Palace Stakes (Group 1, 1m)
  • Wednesday June 19: Prince of Wales’s Stakes (Group 1, 1m2f)
  • Wednesday June 19: Royal Hunt Cup (Handicap, 1m)
  • Thursday June 20: Ascot Gold Cup (Group 1, 2m4f)
  • Friday June 21: Commonwealth Cup (Group 1, 6f)
  • Friday June 21: Coronation Stakes (Group 1, 1m)
  • Saturday June 22: Golden Jubilee Stakes (Group 1, 6f)
  • Saturday June 22: Wokingham Stakes (Handicap, 6f)

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ROYAL ASCOT TIPS

As already detailed, Royal Ascot is one of the biggest betting meetings of the UK racing calendar. Ante-post prices are available in advance for many of the big races, and the biggest events attract massive overall stakes.

Naturally, most trainers aim their best horses at the Royal meeting and some are prepared with a single target in mind for a year in advance.

Often horses which have run in the Epsom Derby or Epsom Oaks will try to atone for defeats there by taking consolation at the Royal meeting, but punters should bear in mind the short turnaround between the two meetings.

On the round course the draw does not appear to have a profound effect on races unless there is a big field of runners - in which case high numbers are often best. The straight course again does not have a huge draw bias. Often the winner will come from where the pace in the race is. In the Royal Hunt Cup for example the horses often split into groups and sometimes the field will end up spread right across the track.

Here at The Winners Enclosure, we study every single runner and look to profile them all in our race guides, which can be accessed in the days up to any high-profile meeting.

Find our Royal Ascot tips here:

Our tips and selections are all researched and backed up by our experienced team of betting tipsters.

ROYAL ASCOT BETTING

Royal Ascot plays host to some of the most exciting betting races of the annual calendar – and attracts some of the biggest bets of the season. It is not unusual to see high rollers staking upwards of £100,000 on course.

The major betting races of the meeting are the Royal Hunt Cup - a one-mile handicap run over the straight course on the Wednesday of the meeting, and the Wokingham Stakes - a six-furlong sprint handicap run on the Saturday.

Another fascinating betting heat is the Ascot Stakes, a long-distance handicap which normally attracts some top-class National Hunt horses from the likes of Nicky Henderson, Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott.

Royal Ascot of course features a host of major Group races, and the sheer quality of the fields means races are much likelier to run true to past form than lesser meetings.

The battles to be top trainer and top jockey at Royal Ascot also provide major betting interest, thanks to the prestige each title holds for the winner.

ROYAL ASCOT WINNERS

Not surprisingly Royal Ascot has played home to some of the finest horses in racing history down the years.

The mighty Frankel - trained by the late Sir Henry Cecil, ridden by Tom Queally and perhaps the greatest horse of all time - only just lasted home to win the 2011 St James’s Palace Stakes before romping to an incredible 11-length success in the Queen Anne Stakes in 2012.

Read more here: Foals of Frankel & Kingman

Yeats wrote his name in Royal Ascot folklore by storming to four successive victories in the Ascot Gold Cup for all-conquering trainer Aidan O’Brien between 2006 and 2009.

Ardross was another brilliant stayer - winning the Ascot Gold Cup twice for the aforementioned Sir Henry Cecil in 1981 and 1982.

Nothing excites the crowd quite so much as a Royal winner at the Royal meeting, and The Queen claimed Gold Cup glory as recently as 2013 with Estimate, trained by Sir Michael Stoute.

There has only ever been one female jockey to win a Royal Ascot race so far - Gay Kelleway on Sprowston Boy in the Queen Alexandra Stakes back in 1987.

Ahead of the 2019 meeting Aidan O’Brien had been top trainer at Royal Ascot nine times and was hot favourite to make it 10. His 65 all-time Royal Ascot wins ranked second only to Sir Michael Stoute (79).

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ROYAL ASCOT RACING EVENT

The 5-day event features eight Group One races and 18 Group races in total and is viewed in over 200 countries.

There’ll be over 2,400 cleaners in attendance for the 5-day event and over 300 mobile toilets to cater for the crowd. The lucky ones will arrive in 1 of 400 helicopters and there will be at least a thousand limos bringing in a few hopeful punters.

The facilities at Ascot are some of the best across the land. During Royal Ascot no stone is left unturned and you’ll enjoy a fantastic day, no matter where on the course you end up.

ROYAL ASCOT TV COVERAGE

ITV Racing has the terrestrial rights to show Royal Ascot in the UK until 2020, and will have heavy coverage each day on ITV’s main channel. The main presenters include former Sky Sports Monday Night Football host Ed Chamberlin and Francesca Cumani - daughter of former trainer Luca Cumani.

They are baked up by the likes of Oli Bell - son of trainer Michael Bell - and former jockey Jason Weaver. Meanwhile Good Morning Britain presenter Charlotte Hawkins will run the rule over the fashion stakes and Lucy Verasamy will provide weather updates.

Daily live coverage of the action on ITV will be from 1330BST-1800BST, while a daily The Opening Show preview programme will air at 0900 BST on ITV4 from Tuesday to Friday inclusive, and from 0930 on Saturday.

Pay TV channel Sky Sports Racing (formerly At The Races) also now has rights to show Royal Ascot through to 2020 inclusive, and again will provide comprehensive coverage.

ROYAL ASCOT DRESS CODE

Royal Ascot has one of the most comprehensive and strictest dress codes on the racing calendar, again adding to the glamour and buzz of the occasion.

In the Royal Enclosure for example, gentlemen are required to wear full grey or black morning dress including a waistcoat and tie (no cravats allowed), a black or grey top hat and black shoes.

Ladies in the Royal Enclosure are also subject to great scrutiny from a dress perspective – for example they must wear dresses and skirts “of modest length, falling just above the knee or longer” and tops and dresses should have straps of one inch or greater.

Other fashion red flags for ladies in the Royal Enclosure include halter neck, strapless, off-the-shoulder and spaghetti straps as well as fascinators and headpieces without a base of 4 inches (10cm). Midriffs must be covered at all times.

Racegoers intending to attend the meeting as a family should note that children are only allowed into the Royal Enclosure on the Friday and Saturday of the meeting.

Dress codes are slightly more relaxed in the other enclosures on course, right down to the Windsor Enclosure where smart dress is encouraged and replica sports shirts are not allowed.

Fancy or novelty dress is not allowed on course during the Royal Ascot meeting.

ROYAL ASCOT FASHION

Thanks to the Royal status and the strict dress code, Royal Ascot is one of the biggest events on the UK’s annual fashion calendar.

The arrival of the Royal Family and their guests from Windsor Castle as they parade down the track before racing in horse-drawn carriages is one of the great sights in racing. Every detail of their attire is analysed in great detail by fashion experts and the colour of the Queen’s daily outfit and hat is often the subject of a lively betting market.

The major TV networks and newspapers around the world devote hours and inches of coverage to the blaze of colour and high fashion that Royal Ascot presents.

ROYAL ASCOT TRAVEL

Royal Ascot is in Ascot in Berkshire and is within relatively easy reach of London. There are a large number of parking spaces available at the course for those wishing to head for Royal Ascot by road.

Racegoers travelling by train from London can make use of the South West Trains service from London Waterloo. The journey takes 52 minutes and the railway station is just seven minutes from the racecourse by foot.

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