When it comes to Britain’s social calendar, the Royal Ascot is one of the most prestigious meetings held at the Ascot Racecourse. So, it’s almost impossible to talk about the Ascot without mentioning the Royal Ascot event. If you’ve not seen the royals, you might get the chance, although it may be from a distance.
What’s more, you can’t miss the dazzling display of fashion, which has become an important part of Ascot—just as important as the horse racing activities. Whether you are visiting for fun, entertainment, or a chance to get a piece of the prize money, here’s your Ascot Racecourse guide: everything you need to know about Ascot.
When it started.
The Ascot racecourse has been around since the early 1700s; when Queen Anne suggested the grounds of the Ascot was perfect for full stretch galloping of horses as she rode out on her horse near the Windsor castle. However, it wasn’t until 1911 that the racecourse’s activities became a modern event.
What to expect.
Every June, usually around Tuesday to Saturday, the Ascot racecourse becomes very busy. Asides from the usual riders and horses competing against each other, the 5-day long event is also a gathering of royals, elites, and other entertainment activities. Horses from outside the UK will also be present.
That’s because the Royal Ascot is one of the most expensive horse racing events with a total cash prize of £8 million for both riders and punters. If you are going to stand a chance at gaining returns for your wagers, you might want to brush up your knowledge on horserace betting and the things to look out for on the racecards for horses.
The Ascot Racecourse gates will open by 10-10-30am, but you may not get to see the royal procession until afternoon. About 30 races will be run throughout the 5-day event. Races begin on the first day, which is always a Tuesday. The first group of the Prince of Wales Stakes usually goes down on Wednesday, while Thursday is ladies’ day.
This is the day you get to see some wardrobe action on display. That’s not all; riders and their horse also get to compete for the Gold Cup race on Thursday, which is another highlight for the day. Two other group-one races come in Friday while the last day ushers in the longest race of the tournament.
If you are going to come on your wheels, parking is expensive, including almost everything at the event. It’s a prestigious event; so don’t expect anything cheap if you’ll be buying. However, you might get a chance to get free drinks.
If things don’t get worse with the viral pandemic, spectators will be allowed with proper safety protocols and social distancing rules. You might want to get your tickets on time as fewer people will be allowed into the racecourses. But hey, you can still catch the event on television if you choose to remain at home. If you are an on-site punter, you’d likely be doing all the bettings online, so it’s best if you get used to how it’s done virtually on smartphones and computers.