Royal Ascot is a national institution and the centrepiece of the British social calendar. Each year, for the third week in June, tradition, pageantry, fashion and style combine at one of the most beautiful settings in the country.
The quality of the racing at Royal Ascot is simply outstanding, with £4 million in prize money on offer and a total of eighteen ‘Group’ races (racing’s term for the most prestigious races) over the five days.
Each day follows the same format with The Royal Procession making its way from the Golden Gates, along the racecourse and into the Parade Ring from 2.00pm each afternoon. The first race of six each day is at 2.30pm and the last race is at 5.35pm, after which racegoers are invited to celebrate their winnings as they sing traditional favourites, and a few new ones, around the bandstand.
Tuesday 18th June
The opening day of what is sure to be a spectacular Royal Meeting gets off to a flying start with three Group 1 races (i.e. the very best in the world); the Queen Anne Stakes, the King’s Stand Stakes - the first British leg of the Global Sprint Challenge – and the St James’s Palace Stakes.
As the first day of Royal Ascot, the fashion stakes are high but the atmosphere is relaxed which allows racegoers the chance to enjoy a glass of Champagne between races or explore the racecourse at their leisure.
Wednesday 19th June
The highlight of the second day is the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes, arguably the most important race at the Royal Meeting in the modern era with £400,000 prize money on offer.
Also on the card are the Group 2 Windsor Forest Stakes, for older female milers and the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes, for the best up and coming two year old fillies (females).
Wednesday is perfect for groups of friends to enjoy the Royal Ascot experience at a slightly more gentle pace.
Thursday 20th June
Thursday’s highlight is the Group 1 Gold Cup, a battle of stamina and determination over two miles and four furlongs - this undisputed long distance world championship is not for the faint hearted!
Style, elegance and the height of the summer social calendar all combine on Gold Cup Day, colloquially known as ‘Ladies’ Day’. Although the whole week of Royal Ascot is a fashion show like no other, it is Thursday when the designer creations and millinery masterpieces reach new heights.
To commemorate 300 years of racing, the Hampton Court Stakes has been renamed the Tercentenary Stakes.
Friday 21st June
The feature race on Friday is the Coronation Stakes, which traditionally brings together the leading three-year-old fillies in Europe.
Also on the card is the King Edward VII Stakes, colloquially called the ‘Ascot Derby,’ as its conditions mirror those of the Epsom Classic.
This is the perfect way to start the weekend with friends and work colleagues.
Saturday 22nd June
The final day of the Royal Meeting always provides a dramatic climax and features one of the world’s most important and international races, the Golden Jubilee Stakes, - the second British leg of the Global Sprint Challenge.
Saturday is a relatively new addition to the Royal Meeting, having been introduced as recently as 2002. Although the fashions are as elaborate as they are during the week, there is a pronounced, relaxed family feel as many people who are unable to attend until the weekend come to enjoy the experience of the greatest race meeting in the world.
Alongside the outstanding racing action, Ascot continues to pride itself on first class cuisine and service. Whether you require a three or five course luncheon, an exclusive table overlooking the Parade Ring or a private chalet or dining room in which to entertain clients or friends, we will find the perfect restaurant to meet your needs.