What makes Royal Ascot so special?
Royal Ascot is Britain’s most valuable race meeting and the social event of the year. Early each summer, hundreds of thousands of racing fans gather to watch the world’s finest horses and riders compete for five days for over £5.5 million in prizes.
This 300-year-old Royal Meeting, founded by Queen Anne in 1711, attracts over 300,000 spectators who come to enjoy top class racing amidst the heritage, style and pageantry unique to Royal Ascot.
The layout is divided into three enclosures: the invitation-only Royal Enclosure, the terraces of the Grandstand, and the lawns of the Silver Ring, right next to the roaring Final Straight with a great view of the traditional Royal Procession which brings the Queen from Windsor Castle to Royal Ascot.
Taking place from Tuesday 16th June to Saturday 20th June, the meet hosts 18 group races, eight of them in Group 1, kicking off on the first day with the St James’s Palace Stakes, open to three-year-old colts.
Day two continues to thrill with the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, a Group 1 for horses aged four and over.
One of the biggest highlights is no doubt Thursday’s Gold Cup, the world’s most prestigious long distance race, at a gruelling two miles and four furlongs long. It takes place in the middle of the day as the glamour and excitement of Royal Ascot is reaching its peak and it doesn’t get much bigger than winning this one. The winners of the Gold Cup are the legends of flat racing, right up to the greatest of all, Lester Piggott, who rode it home to win seven times, six of them during just eight years from 1974 to 1982. Check out Ascot runners during Gold Cup Day.
Friday keeps up the action with the Coronation Stakes, when racing fans can witness definitive battles between ‘Classic’ victorious fillies from the year’s English, Irish and French 1000 Guineas.
The Grand Finale Day on Saturday provides a dramatic climax, featuring one of the racing world’s most prestigious sprint races. Known as the Cork and Orrery Stakes but renamed for the 2012 Jubilee, the Diamond Jubilee Stakes is part of a new ‘Global Sprint Challenge’ series of international races.
As the second British leg, it has become one of Britain’s most valuable sprint races, matched only by Newmarket’s Darley July Cup.
The last day guarantees great racing with the Chesham Stakes, a 7-furlong 2-year-old Listed Race featuring some of the best horses from 2014, plus the Group 2 Hardwicke, and the Wokingham Stakes, a 6-furlong handicap for horses aged three years or above.
Top jockey Frankie Dettori – who achieved his ´Magnificent Seven’ at Royal Ascot in 1996, winning all his seven races and leaving the bookies in tears – is just one win away from his half century this year. Get the lowdown on Royal Ascot 2015 with William Hill online – just click here.
Royal Ascot is the ultimate stage for the world’s best trainers and jockeys to showcase their work, attracting some of the most famous names in racing; this year’s event won’t disappoint.