Fewer sporting venues can match the rich heritage and history of the Ascot Racecourse. Over the past 300 years, Ascot has established itself as a national institution; becoming the centrepiece of the British social calendar and the ultimate stage for the best racehorses in the world
This month, the anticipated event returns to the historic bandstands, with six top class races during the event, and each of the five days are sure to be unforgettable. And with a choice of four enclosures each with an individual character, spectators can create their own truly special occasion.
Back in 1711, Queen Anne saw the potential for a racecourse at Ascot, when it was originally called East Cote. When out riding near Windsor Castle she came upon an area of open heath that looked, in her words, “ideal for horses to gallop at full stretch.”
Since these origins over 300 years ago, the Royal event has somewhat evolved, with the Queen attending the annual event every year – arriving each day in a horsedrawn carriage. To celebrate its 300th birthday in 2011, the Queen was accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.
Royal Ascot is known for its extravagant outfits worn by punters, and its dress code invites guests to contribute to an occasion heralded as a major fashion event, and some parts of the course require ladies to wear a hat.
The Gold Cup still remains the feature race of the Royal Ascot, and is colloquially known as ‘Ladies’ Day’. The Gold Cup stands proudly as the showpiece event of Royal Ascot week and is the world’s premier race for horses that are specialists over long distance. Modern tradition has scheduled the race for the middle day of the meeting when the fashion and glamour is at its full peak!
This year’s sporting event promises to be as spectacular as ever for the racegoers, from the arrival of the Royal Procession at 2pm sharp, to the singing around the Bandstand.
The final day of the event will see a fitting finale, as the Royal Ascot closes with the Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes – one of the world’s great international sprint races and the second British leg of the Global Spirit Challenge. It was famously won in 2012 by Australian mare Black Caviar, who put her unbeaten record on the line to ensure global prestige. Tickets for the famous event are now on sale and it will also be broadcast around the world during the week.
For tickets and more information, visit www.ascot.co.uk/Royal-Ascot.
Facts and figures.
On average, over the five days, racegoers consume:
– 51,000 bottles of champagne
– 160,000 glasses of Pimm’s
– 121,000 pints of beer
– 42,000 bottles of wine
– 5,000 kilos of salmon
– 7,000 Cornish and Folkstone crabs
– 2,900 lobsters
– 2,400 kilos of beef sirloin
– 3,700 rumps of English lamb
– 10,000 Angus steaks
– 1,000 kilos of Cornish clotted cream
– 35,000 spears of English asparagus
– 50,000 macaroons
– 7,000 punnets of berries
– 30,000 chocolate choux eclairs
– 89,000 bottles of mineral water
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