Monday, 1 February 2010

Ascot Racecourse: 20 Fascinating Facts

Here are some interesting facts you may not know about the World’s Most Famous Racecourse:

  1. Ascot Racecourse has been in operation since 1711 when Queen Anne rode out from Windsor Castle and declared this area of East Cote the perfect place for her horses to run full stretch. In 2011, Ascot Racecourse will celebrate its tercentenary.

  2. The first Royal Meeting at Ascot took place in 1768. The meeting was extended to five days in 2002 for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

  3. Ascot Racecourse is visited by over 550,000 racegoers a year (latest figures from January to December 2009 inclusive), accounting for 10% of all UK racegoers. Ascot was the first racecourse in Europe to reach the 500,000 racegoer milestone in December 2001.

  4. Royal Ascot is Britain’s most popular race meeting, welcoming over 275,000 visitors over the five days of Royal Ascot.

  5. Royal Ascot is the most valuable race meeting in Europe with £4 million in prize money on offer in 2010, featuring a Group One race on each of the five days and seventeen group races in total.

  6. There are two tracks - Flat and Chase & Hurdle (first jump fixture in 1965), allowing us to race throughout the year with both flat & jump meetings.

  7. It is a Right handed course, slightly in excess of 1 mile 6 furlongs.

  8. Famed for being a tough course, especially over fences - 73 foot climb from the lowest to highest point (Swinley Bottom up to the Winning Post).

  9. The Racecourse covers 179 acres, plus exterior car/coach parks.

  10. The ground is looked after impeccably by the 12 regular ground staff.

  11. Grass is cut to a regulation 4” height for flat racing and 5” for jump racing.

  12. The reservoirs on site in the middle of the track collect rain water from the grandstand roof and the Winkfield and Heath tunnels.

  13. There is currently 70 full-time staff at Ascot Racecourse. The workforce increases by over 6,000 temporary staff during Royal Ascot.

  14. Ascot Racecourse is leased from the Crown Estate, adjacent to Windsor Great Park.

  15. Ascot’s facilities are available for hire throughout the year for a variety of different purposes, including conferences, banqueting, exhibitions, diner dances, product launches and weddings.

  16. At Royal Ascot 2009, the following quantities were consumed: 60,000 bottles of Champagne, 8,300 gallons of Pimm’s, 16,000 gallons of beer, 40,000 scones, 1,500 lobsters, 8,000 spears of asparagus and 11,500 punnets of strawberries

  17. During the months of June and July, we have a triple-decker temporary structure equipped with fully functioning lifts was which is erected in the Old Paddock to house The Carriages Restaurant and The Bessborough Suite. Up to 1,400 covers are provided each day in this premier facility.

  18. Ascot has 266 private boxes.

  19. There are 39 kitchens operational for Royal Ascot with 25 specific to the new Grandstand, plus finishing kitchens, one for every two boxes.

  20. The new Grandstand, opened in 2006, cost £200m to build and was opened on time and on budget.

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