Thursday, 31 March 2011

Taking the racing line

Part 2 in our occasional series of retrospective photographs from the past 300 years of Ascot history looks back at a seemingly never-ending line of racegoers snaking towards the racecourse from Ascot train station in the 1930s.

Since the 1830s, when the railways opened up the race meeting to the masses, the journey by train to Ascot has been an important and exciting start to the eager racegoer’s day.

In 1873, the Times wrote “Never has the South Western Railway brought down such a heavy and fashionably filled train as that which …dispersed its contents over an Ascot radius of some half dozen miles or more, while the afternoon trains on the Great Western have filled the Royal Borough with…bustle and excitement.”

Guess which horse Beccy will be riding in the Charity Race on 27th April

Beccy Green, PA to the Clerk of the Course is training to ride in a Charity Race on 27th April at Ascot. With less than four weeks to go you can follow her journey in trying to become a jockey on Twitter @AscotInsider and our Facebook page.

Beccy's intended mount is running in the Granby Handicap at Leicester at 3.50pm this afternoon. Whoever can correctly guess the name of the horse that she will ride, will win this lovely Ascot Mug! To win an Ascot Mug, e-mail with your chosen horse along with your name, address and Twitter name. Please retweet the Twitter message and note that horses are only available to followers of @AscotInsider.

Terms and Conditions

1. Only one Ascot china mug per Twitter follower and Facebook fan.

2. Twitter followers are asked to retweet the @AscotInsider message.

3. Offer only open to followers of @AscotInsider on Twitter

4. Offer limited to the first 250 Twitter followers and Facebook fans that correctly choose which horse Beccy will be riding.

5. Mugs will be dispatched within 10 working days.

6. Mugs are not available for purchase.

Promoter: Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, Berkshire. SL5 7JX.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Cheers! Raise your glasses to Fuller’s Special Edition ‘Ascot Tercentenary Ale’

In celebration of Ascot Racecourse’s 300th birthday, Fuller, Smith & Turner, London’s only traditional brewer, has created a special tercentenary golden ale. Ascot Tercentenary Ale is a brand new, limited edition ale which will be available nationally in Budgens, regionally in selected supermarkets, and Ascot Racecourse itself, from late April, followed by selected Fuller’s pubs in cask during June and the Ascot Beer Festival on 30th September and 1st October. Only 30,000 bottles will be produced so they are sure to be hot property once they go on sale.

Crafted in partnership with the historic racecourse, and brewed to 5% ABV, Ascot Tercentenary Ale is bottle conditioned meaning a small amount of yeast remains to enable extra fermentation in the bottle. It is this fermentation which gives the beer a wonderful zing. Combined with unmistakable tropical fruit notes, provided in part by the dwarf Sovereign hops, this will make Ascot Tercentenary Ale a perfect summertime beer.

Richard Fuller, Sales Director for Fuller’s, said: “There are not many racecourses that could celebrate a 300th birthday; we are delighted to help Ascot Racecourse mark theirs. Ascot is a place full of majesty and history, and we like to think that our Ascot Tercentenary Ale will go down in Ascot legend in its own time too.”

John Blake, Head of Sales and Marketing, commented: “We are delighted that esteemed British brewer Fuller’s is marking our birthday in this way. It is set to be an exciting addition to the racecourse’s celebrations and an absolute must-try at the Beer Festival in September.”

Friday, 25 March 2011

Our Facebook followers’ reflections of Ascot

Earlier this week, we asked our Facebook followers for their reflections of Ascot, and in particular Royal Ascot in June. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their time – we had some wonderful comments and memories. Here are just some of the best ones...

Lisa Ball Orchard: Because I haven’t been since my daughter was three months old, she’s now fourteen! But, we love the family days in the year as I have five kids and it’s such a good value day out!

Simona Quaresima: When you get down from the train to Ascot you just enter the city of horses. And when in that moment you look at your boyfriend it's just like the first time a kid enter the playground. He is the portrait of the happiness in his city of horses.

Emma Patterson: A great excuse to dress up and make a noise as your horse romps past the winning post!

Beau Caiger: To put the Bookies into administration!

Sam Rook: Jumps has the Cheltenham Festival, the flat has Royal Ascot, but this show is like no other!

Sue Barlow: I'm looking forward to it [Royal Ascot] because I'll get some peace! My daughter's 11 and obsessed with horses and the Royal Family. Royal Ascot is her idea of heaven, and she's been getting more and more excited for the last few weeks.

Carly Richardson: I'm looking forward to it as the Jump season is now coming to an end so I get to see Frankie in action again..... ♥ love going to Ascot as it’s our time off from working at our National Hunt yard so a big crowd of us go for end of season day out :) xx

David J Colbran: Looking forward to the excitement at the off, the wind, the crowd cheering, the faces, the bookies and their boards, the winning and losing and most of all getting close to the horses and feeling the ground vibrate as they rush past - magic!

Paolo Figini: Royal Ascot host the best races in the world and a great organisation. Amazing to hear all these different languages.

Dee Osmond: I travel every year to Royal Ascot from Northern Ireland and have done so for the last twelve years. I even went four years ago with a broken ankle! Ascot has the X Factor as far as racecourses go.

Lindsey Tomlinson: Yearly incentive to remove the boots and overalls and enter the world of racing at Ascot; Fashion, Pimms and the singing by the bandstand.

Les Taylor: I was born a bit too late to see Brown Jack win any of his Royal Ascot races but I have seen some of the other great ones, but this year will be something special.

And a beautiful poem from Debra Caunter to end with:

Oh little horsey with no name,
Being at Ascot is a betting game.
I'm coming there in May and June,

Roll on the summer cos it's coming soon.
Horses racing past the winning post,
That's when I celebrate my winnings with a champers toast.
Ascot is the place to be,
So enjoyed by friends, family including meeeee!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

The Royal Box in 1950

Part 1 in our series of retrospective photographs from the past 300 years of Ascot history, looks back at the Royal Box in 1950.

Although the Royal Box and the Royal Enclosure have always been very exclusive - with entry by invitation only - Royal Ascot provides an opportunity for spectators to watch the Royal Family enjoying a day’s racing, one of their best-loved pastimes.

The first Royal Procession was instituted by George IV in 1825, and now takes place on every day of Royal Ascot. The opportunity for everyone to see The Queen and other members of the Royal Family arrive in state in their open carriages, and then relaxing with their guests in the Royal Box is part of the unique atmosphere that makes this meeting so special and memorable.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Royal Ascot Recycled Fashion Competition Entries Unveiled

On Monday 21st March, the Royal Ascot-themed recycled fashion competition entries were unveiled in the former Waterstones unit in the Nicholsons Shopping Centre. Visitors to the town are welcome to come and view the entries which will be on display all week.
Milliners and fashion designers from all age groups were invited to submit Ascot themed outfits made from recycled and unwanted materials e.g. from charity shops and household recycling to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Ascot Racecourse.
The judging will be taking place on Saturday 26th March at 1pm. The judges will be looking for outfits that are creative, relevant, eye-catching and innovative, capturing the essence of a day at Royal Ascot.

The shop unit will be opened between 11am and 3pm on Saturday 26th March so that shoppers can have a closer look at the entries.

Ascot Racecourse have offered some spectacular prizes including the opportunity to have the overall winning design displayed in one of the prominent window display cases during Royal Ascot.

Steph James, Maidenhead Town Manager, said 'The standard of the entries received has been fantastic and we have been really pleased that we have had entries from a range of ages'.

Jane Wright, Nicholsons Shopping Centre Manager, added 'The creativity on show has been outstanding and has added a real buzz to the empty unit'.

John Blake, Head of Sales and Marketing at Ascot Racecourse added, ‘We are delighted by the creativity expressed and the effort put into the exhibits by all entrants. None of the designs would look out of place at Royal Ascot’.

For more information check out

Monday, 21 March 2011

Save up to £10 per person on Royal Ascot tickets if you book before 6pm, Friday 13th May

As Ascot Racecourse celebrates its 300th anniversary, there has never been a more exciting time to visit the World's Most Famous Racecourse.

There are no fewer than 18 Group races at Royal Ascot 2011

For three centuries Ascot Racecourse has been synonymous with tradition, pageantry, fashion and style coupled with some of the greatest racing the world has ever seen. Celebrations reach their peak at Royal Ascot 2011 - the must do event of the British social calendar.

The Royal Proocession marks the official start of each day's festivities

Don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity to celebrate Ascot's tercentenary at Royal Ascot - the Greatest Race Meeting in the World. Save money with our generous early booking and group discounts.

The racing action is nothing short of sensational

For those booking less than ten tickets, if you order before 6pm on Friday 13th May you can save as much as £10 per ticket. If you are planning on bringing a party of 10 or more to Royal Ascot, the discounts get even more generous with a saving of as much as £17 per ticket.

Royal Ascot would not be the same without the traditional singing around the Bandstand after each day's racing action.

For full details of prices and discounts as well as an explanation of Grandstand Admission and the Silver Ring visit

Friday, 18 March 2011

Ascot and David Austin announce the launch of the Queen Anne Rose

‘Queen Anne’ by David Austin, is one of five new rose varieties, which will be officially unveiled in May at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show in London.

The medium-sized flowers of ‘Queen Anne’ are a beautiful, pure rose pink, the outer petals slightly paler than the central ones. It will quickly form an upright but still bushy shrub rose, with very few thorns. The blooms have a most attractive, rounded Old Rose scent with hints of pear drops. The rose is ideal for rose beds, mixed borders and large decorative planters.

This beautiful rose is named after the founder of Ascot Racecourse, in celebration of the tercentenary anniversary of this national institution. Deciding upon a name for a new English Rose is something David Austin sees as an essential part of the rose breeding process. Rose lovers write to suggest many hundreds of names each year, which are considered for one of his new releases. From so many options, David Austin aims to choose a name that perfectly suits the unique character of each rose. Many of the rose names celebrate people or places that have played an important part in shaping British heritage. David C.H. Austin says: “‘Queen Anne’ is a rose with a very classic Old Rose beauty. The flowers have something of the charming character of Bourbon and Centifolia roses, which have long been celebrated by artists. The way the flowers of a rose are held on the stem has always fascinated me – this makes a very particular and often overlooked contribution to its overall character.

'Some of the David Austin roses have flowers that face upwards, others are gently nodding, while others are held in airy sprays. The flowers of my new variety ‘Queen Anne’ are very beautifully poised on their stems, and this somehow made me feel that the ideal name would celebrate not only a Queen, but also a sport where poise and grace are so important.”

This new variety of rose will be planted at Ascot for all racegoers to enjoy. Subject to the unpredictable English weather, the first blooms of Queen Anne will hopefully be on display in full glory during Royal Ascot and this rose will continue to bloom throughout the summer months. It will also take its place in the National Collection of English Roses which is displayed alongside David Austin’s Plant Centre in Albrighton. This new rose will be available to view on both the David Austin and Ascot websites from mid May and will feature in David Austin’s ‘Handbook of Roses’.

David Austin is the internationally recognised, award winning breeder of the English Roses. These combine the beautiful flower forms and fragrances of old roses with the wide colour range and repeat-flowering of modern roses. As a group they offer a rare blend of beauty, fragrance and functionality with an almost indefinable characteristic – grace. On the Shropshire border, David Austin and his son, also called David Austin, oversee one of the world’s largest garden rose breeding programmes. 150,000 crosses are made between April and July each year and over 250,000 seedlings will germinate the following year. These are grown on to flowering size when the rigorous selection procedure begins. After eight years of field trials, only the best three to six new varieties will be released each year. The ‘Queen Anne’ rose is a wonderful result of this extensive breeding programme.

The ‘Queen Anne’ Rose will be available to buy as a potted rose at the end of May direct from David Austin Roses. Bare root stock will be available to buy from May onwards for November 2011 despatch.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Pick the winner of the Queen Mother Champion Chase and win a Cuddly Ascot Horse

Correctly predict the winner of the 2011 Sportingbet.Com Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham today and we will give you this Free Cuddly Ascot Horse.

To claim Your Cuddly Ascot Horse, e-mail with your Queen Mother Champion Chase selection before the off, your name and address plus your Twitter Name and retweet the Twitter message. Please note that horses are only available to followers of @AscotInsider.

Terms and Conditions
1. Only one Ascot cuddly horse per Twitter follower.
2. Twitter followers are asked to retweet the @AscotInsider message.
3. Offer only open to followers of @AscotInsider on Twitter
4. Offer ends 3.20pm, Wednesday 16th March 2011.
5. Offer limited to the first 250 Twitter followers that correctly predict the winner of the Sportingbet.Com Queen Mother Champion Chase.
6. Horses will be dispatched within 10 working days.
7. Horses are not available for purchase.
Promoter: Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, Berkshire. SL5 7JX.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Latest news of the Colts & Fillies Horse; Safari Team

Safari Team in action at Lingfield last year

Safari Team, the Colts and Fillies horse in training for 2011, came back to Robins Farm Racing Stables in early January. He looked very well, happy and relaxed after his break and Anton and the team have commenced his training programme for the 2011 Flat Season.

The first stage of training was to begin walking and trotting as well as start his new diet, that helped him shed a few pounds after his holiday! The second stage of his preparation is to start the fitness training to build up muscle and condition. He is now cantering and starting to look sleeker. If all goes well, Safari Team will begin to ‘work’ (controlled gallop) next month and the plan is to have him ready to run in May.

The Safari Team silks (courtesy of Allerton & Co)

Great news! We now have our own Colts & Fillies Club silks, they were designed by Frances Flannagan, age 9, and we are currently having them made ready for Safari Team’s first run of the season. The design is really rather clever; leopard spots and zebra stripes for ‘Safari’ Team and Scotty's dark blue and silver starred cap.

Children can join the Colts and Fillies Club to participate in additional activities on a raceday and follow the progress of Safari Team with stable visits and watching him race. The Club is free to join and membership currently stands at 11,500. For details visit or call 0870 727 1234.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Complete Order of Running for Countryside Alliance Family Raceday Sunday 10th April

Countryside Alliance Family Raceday: Sunday 10th April
Gates open: 10.45am.Tickets available from £17. Children aged 17 and under are admitted FREE OF CHARGE. To book, visit or call 0870 727 1234. Please note that all information is correct as at 3.15pm, Monday 7th March and may be subject to change.

Preliminary Race: 12.00pm: Charity Flat Race
Distance: Seven furlongs (Hurdle Course)
Twelve Masters of the Hunt have been entered. This Flat sprint is run under The Rules of Racing.
Prize money: Bragging rights!

Race 1: 2pm: The Colts & Fillies Club Maiden Hurdle (Class 3)
Distance: Two miles, three and a half furlongs
Age: 4 years old and upwards
Prize money: £7,000

Race 2: 2.35 pm: The Ascot Racecourse Novices’ Chase (Class 3)
Distance: Two miles and about five and a half furlongs
Age: 5 years old and upwards
Prize money: £10,000

Race 3: 3.10pm: The Sunningdale Juvenile Novices Handicap Hurdle (Class 2)
Distance: About Two miles
Age: 4 years old
Prize money: £13,000
Race 4: 3.45pm: The Berkshire Handicap Chase (Horses rated between 0 and 130) (Class 3)
Distance: Two miles and about three furlongs
Age: 5 years old and upwards
Prize money: £10,000

Race 5: 4.20pm: The Ascot Veterans Handicap Chase (Horses rated between 0 and 145)
Distance: About Three miles
Age: 10 years old and upwards
Prize money: £16,000

Race 6: 4.55pm: The Woodstock Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle (Horses rated between 0 and 135)
Distance: About Three miles
Age: 4 years old and upwards
Prize money: £7,200

Race 7: 5.30pm: The Guy Salmon Ascot Land Rover Hunters’ Chase (Class 4)
Distance: Two miles and about five and a half furlongs
Age: 5 years old and upwards
Prize money: £4,500

Friday, 4 March 2011

Ascot All Areas is back on Thursday 14th April 2011

Back by popular demand, you and your friends are invited to a free open evening at Ascot. The secrets of the racecourse will be revealed along with everything you need to know from the top horses to the top hats!
By the end of the night you will be an expert in the basics, know your way around your local racecourse and be equipped with simple tips on how to make the most of your day at the races. There will even be a sneak preview into what’s hot to wear this season for all of your summer engagements.
The Newcomers and Novices Show
A fun and insightful look at the racecourse; a typical day, the simple basics, and a top ten of things to do – all you really need to know!
Ask The Expert Area
Experts will be available to give advice on racecourse etiquette, how to spot a winning horse, top jockeys to look out for and how to read a racecard. The tote will provide simple guides to betting for the uninitiated and Ascot representatives will be on hand to answer any questions about planning a day at the races; where to go, what to do, where to eat, picnics and dress code.
Explore the Racecourse
A unique opportunity to explore the Ascot Grandstand as we open mareas which are not usually accessible to the public. Everything from the Parade Ring, Weighing Room and Jockeys’ Changing Rooms to a Private Box and the Royal Ascot Racing Club.
Fashion Show
A short introduction on what’s hot to wear this season and this year’s Ascot summer style.
Prize Draw
Guests who book tickets for any raceday on the night will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win a table for four in one of our top restaurants on any raceday in July.

So please come and enjoy some light refreshments as you take a relaxed and informal look behind the scenes at The World’s Most Famous Racecourse, in this, its historic tercentenary year.

The Evening ’s Entertainment : The Timetable
6.30pm Gates open
7.15pm The Newcomers and Novices Show
7.30pm Fashion Show
7.40pm Ask the Expert area opens
7.40pm Behind the Scenes Tours begin (running throughout the evening)
9.00pm Bar closes
Parking is free of charge in Car Park 3, opposite the Grandstand. No dress code applies.

To confirm your attendance for this free event, Register at or call 0870 727 1234.

If your visit to Ascot All Areas leaves you wanting to experience a real raceday, why not put everything you learn into practice and come racing at Ascot on Wednesday 27th April for FREE. Gates open 11am and the first race starts at approximately 2pm.

Simply book your free tickets at or call 0870 727 1234 and your tickets will be sent to you in advance. Alternatively, tickets will be handed out on the night to all guests who attend Ascot All Areas.

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