Most Famous Race Meeting In The World
The June race meeting at Royal Ascot is the date that every lover of horse racing marks on their calendar. It is the most famous race meeting in the world. It is not just host to some of the best horse races in the world, but it is one of the biggest social events of the year. Over the years it has become increasingly popular and over 300,000 spectators attend the 5 day race meeting. The racing used to take place over four days, running from Tuesday to Friday, but this has been extended in recent years. There was always an Ascot meeting on the Saturday, but it was never part of the Royal Ascot meeting.
Ascot Racecourse Opened in 1711
Queen Anne stumbled across an open heath whilst out riding not far from Windsor Castle in 1711. In August later that year, the first Ascot race meeting took place. The Queen Anne Satkes is still run at Royal Ascot today, in memory of the monarch that discovered the now famous racecourse. Although Ascot racecourse opened in 1711, it is not totally clear when the first Royal Meeting took place. It was 1768 when the first 4 day meeting was run at Ascot. However, it is widely believed that the first true Royal Ascot meeting took place in 1807, which is the year that the Gold Cup was first run.
Ascot Racecourse Redevelopment
In 2004 Ascot Racecourse was closed for redevelopment and the famous racecourse underwent major surgery, for a complete facelift. Out with the old and in with the new. It was not until 2006 that racing returned to Ascot and the Royal meeting resumed. In its absence Royal Ascots meeting had been run at York Racecourse.