Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Royal Ascot: The Greatest Race Meeting in The World

There are few sporting venues that can match the rich heritage and history of Ascot Racecourse. Over the past 250 years Royal Ascot has established itself as a national institution and the centrepiece of the British social calendar as well as being the ultimate stage for the best racehorses in the world.

Tradition, pageantry, fashion and style all meet in a glorious setting at one of the most beautiful racecourses in the country. The quality of the horseracing at Royal Ascot is simply outstanding, with £4 million in prize money on offer and a total of seventeen “Group” races over the five days.

Located on Crown Estate land, the racecourse was founded by Queen Anne in 1711. The monarch decreed that the village of ‘East Cote’, now known as Ascot had good galloping ground for horses to exercise upon and instructed that her Master of the Buckhounds should lay out a racecourse. There has been racing at Ascot ever since and the racing during the Royal meeting is second to none. Such is the sustained quality over five days that it is often referred to as the Olympics of the sport by those participating. Owners, trainers and jockeys all dream of having just one winner at Royal Ascot as it’s the pinnacle of the flat season.

Nick Smith, Ascot’s Head of International Racing said: ‘There is no week’s racing like Royal Ascot anywhere in the world in terms of quality and diversity. There are championship contests for all distances and age groups and competition comes from all around the world.’

On the opening day, Tuesday, 15th June, there are three Group One races on the six race card – The Queen Anne Stakes, The St James’s Palace Stakes and The King’s Stand Stakes. On Wednesday, the feature race is The Prince of Wales’s Stakes, one of the highest rated races run in the world every year. Thursday features the best known race at Royal Ascot, The Gold Cup, which celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2007. Last year, the great Yeats completed an unprecedented fourth win in the prestigious long distance contest. The top female horses take centre stage on Friday in The Coronation Stakes, run over a mile, whilst Saturday’s feature race is The Golden Jubilee Stakes, renamed in 2002 to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Tuesday’s King’s Stand Stakes and the Golden Jubilee Stakes are Royal Ascot’s championship sprint races and part of the Global Sprint Challenge. They are the most international races in the European calendar, having attracted runners from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the USA, Hong Kong and all over Europe this decade.

Royal Ascot 2010 takes place from Tuesday 15th to Saturday 19th June inclusive. Tickets start from just £56 in Grandstand Admission and £17 in the Silver Ring. To book call 0870 727 1234 or visit ascot.co.uk

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