Royal Ascot

The June race meeting at Royal Ascot is the date that every lover of horse racing marks on their calendar. Below is a useful guide tot he meeting

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.

royal ascot racecourse
Royal Ascot Bandstand

Royal Ascot Facilities

Premier Admission or The Members Enclosure: 

All Day Member Badge Holders also have full access to the Grandstand and Paddock Enclosure. This enclosure has a dress code. At Royal Ascot meetings, Ladies are required to wear formal day dress with a hat which should cover the crown of the head. Trouser suits are also allowed, but have to be matching in material. For Gentlemen, it is requested that only black or grey morning dress with a top hat is required. For overseas visitors Ascot welcomes them to wear the national dress of their own country.

The dress code is strict at Royal Ascot and those not complying with this code will be asked to leave the Royal Enclosure. For all other Ascot race meetings gentlemen are asked to dress smartly. Preferably wearing a shirt and tie. A collared polo shirt is also acceptable. At general Ascot Meetings many Ladies still wear hats but this is not dress code outside of the Royal meeting.

General Admission or The Grandstand and Paddock Enclosure: 

This enclosure has an array of bars and restaurants, with the catering outlets in the Grandstand and Paddock Enclosure offering an excellent variety of both cold and hot food and drink. At Royal Ascot meetings, Gentlemen are asked to wear a suit or jacket and tie. Ladies are permitted to wear trouser suits. At the Royal meeting many ladies wear hats although this is not a dress code in this enclosure. You will not be permitted to wear jeans, shorts or trainers in this enclosure.

Royal Ascot Fashions

In recent years Royal Ascot has become an arena for many people to show off their fashions. In a desperate attempt to attract the cameras, you will now see an array of wild outfits and bright colours. Although there are still many retaining that element of class, there is now a high percentage of bright and distasteful fashions on parade. There are still many fantastic fashions on show at Royal Ascot and every year the cameras pick out the best and the the worst.

Royal Ascot Days and Races

DAY ONE – TUESDAY: The Coventry Stakes, Kings Stand Stakes, Queen Anne Stakes, The Ascot Stakes and Windsor Castle Stakes.

DAY TWO – WEDNESDAY: The Jersey Stakes, The Windsor Forest Stakes, Prince Of Wales Stakes, Royal Hunt Stakes, Queen Mary Stakes and Sandringham Handicap Stakes .

(LADIES DAY) DAY THREE – THURSDAY: Norfolk Stakes, Ribblesdale Stakes, Royal Ascot Gold Cup, Britannia Stakes, Hampton Court Stakes and Buckingham Palace Stakes.

DAY FOUR – FRIDAY: The Albany Satkes, King Edward VII Stakes, Coronation Stakes, Wolferton Handicap Stakes, Queens Vase and the King George V Stakes.

DAY FIVE – SATURDAY: Chesham Stakes, Hardwicke Stakes, Golden Jubilee Stakes, Wokingham Stakes, Duke of Edinburgh Stakes and Queen Alexandra Stakes.

How To Get To Royal Ascot

By Road: 

From London

If you are traveling to Ascot from London or the North then leave the M4 at Junction 6 onto the A332 Windsor by pass and simply follow signs to Ascot Racecourse. If traveling from the West leave the M4 at Junction 10 onto A329(M) signposted Bracknell and then follow the signs to Ascot Racecourse.

From South & East

If you are traveling to Ascot from the South and the East then take the M3 to Junction 3 onto the A332 signposted Bracknell. Then follow the signs to Ascot. If taking the M25 leave at Junction 13 onto the A30 signposted Bagshot. You will then need to join the A329 and follow the signs to Ascot Racecourse.

From The North

If traveling from the Midlands area then take the M40 southbound and exit at Junction 4. You then need to take A404 towards M4 Junction 8/9. Once on the M4 head for Heathrow/London. Then leave the M4 motorway at Junction 6 and follow the A332 Windsor bypass to Ascot and simply follow the signs for the racecourse.

By Train:

From both Reading and London Waterloo there are frequent trains running to Ascot. The journey time is only about half an hour from Reading and about 45 minutes from London Waterloo. There is also a regular train service running from Guildford. Once at Ascot station the racecourse is a short 5 or 10 minute walk. It is clearly sign posted.

Contact Details:

High Street
Tel: 0344 346 3000

1994 Ascot Stakes Winner

Sweet Glow

Sweet Glow wins the Ascot Stakes in 1994

Sweet Glow ran in 2 flat races prior to Royal Ascot 1994 as preparation but there were none that were anywhere near the 2 miles 4 furlongs he would tackle in the June. He ran in a 1 mile 4 furlong race at Bath and then a 1 mile 6 furlong race at Sandown with little chance over distances far too inadequate. We knew this would make little difference to his chances at Ascot and had a 2 week wait until the race in June.

We were waiting for the shows to come through the day before the race and expecting to see about 8/1 chalked up and could not believe what faced us. The bookies had surely made one of the biggest pricing errors in years. The list was long and there he was at 28/1 with AR Dennis. This was a horse that had been winning some of the best staying hurdle races around and was running at a track he loved. The gamble commenced!

By the time we were in position in the paddock AR Dennis had taken enough money to seriously dent their annual profits should Sweet Glow win as the word spread and the odds tumbled.

I remember standing in the paddock with Martin Pipe marking his racecard. He looked at me and asked “What are the dangers?” I mentioned some of the obvious and he smiled with a smile that I had seen many times before and just said “There are none!” Even with all the money that had been put down, even with Cash Asmussen having been booked to ride weeks before that was the moment when I realised it could all really happen.

With a 30 runner field and a horse that needed to be switched off at the back it was still going to be a tough race against some very good opposition. As they came round the bend and the bell rang Cash had him in about 22nd and he had about 12 or so lengths to find on the leaders. Surely he had given him too much to do! But then came that turn of foot that we had seen so many times and he simply took off and won the Ascot Stakes in a canter. Cash Asmussen never even produced the whip!

He was entered in the Queen Alexandra on the Friday and as Cash got off he said If he runs on Friday I’d like to be on! Even though he came out of the race fine it was decided not to risk him so soon.