Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Provisional Fixture List for Ascot Racecourse 2012

The planning has already begun for our fixtures for 2012 with the provisional dates outlined below, so get your diaries out and make a note of them! The themes for the 2012 racedays will be confirmed in due course.

Saturday 21st January
Saturday 18th February
Sunday 1st April
Wednesday 2nd May
Friday 11th May (evening)
Saturday 12th May
Tuesday 19th to Saturday 23rd June - Royal Ascot
Friday 20th July
Saturday 21st July
Sunday 22nd July
Friday 27th July
Saturday 28th July
Saturday 11th August
Saturday 8th September
Friday 5th October
Saturday 6th October
Saturday 20th October
Saturday 3rd November
Friday 23rd November
Saturday 24th November
Friday 21st December
Saturday 22nd December

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

QIPCO British Champions Series Update



• It is very much a case of the top two trainers in the QIPCO British Champions Series going head-to-head in the sixth Middle Distance race of the Series and the last before the grand finale on QIPCO British Champions Day, the £1.3 million QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot on Saturday 15 October. Sir Henry Cecil saddles two runners and has five winners to date; Aidan O’Brien saddles three of the remaining four runners and has three winners to date.

• Should O’Brien match Cecil for winners by the time the Series concludes, he will take almost certainly the crown by dint of more second places as he currently has five seconds to Cecil’s one.

• Await The Dawn makes his Series and Group 1 debut, but if Midday is successful, she will join Frankel and Canford Cliffs as the only horses to win more than one Series race to date (she won the Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes in the Fillies & Mares category last month).

• All the O’Brien and Cecil runners in the Juddmonte International are also entered in the QIPCO Champion Stakes, with Await The Dawn and Roderic O’Connor also in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Midday also in the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes.

The Juddmonte Lockinge Stakes is 23rd race overall in the QIPCO British Champions Series and the sixth in the Middle Distance division:

1. Investec Coronation Cup (1½ miles, 4yo+), Epsom, Friday 3 June – won by ST NICHOLAS ABBEY
2. Investec Derby (1½ miles, 3yo), Epsom, Saturday 4 June – won by POUR MOI
3. Prince of Wales’s Stakes (1¼ miles, 4yo+), Royal Ascot, Wednesday 15 June – won by REWILDING
4. Coral-Eclipse Stakes (1¼ miles, 3yo+), Sandown Park, Saturday 2 July – won by SO YOU THINK
5. King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (sponsored by Betfair) (1½ miles, 3yo+), Ascot, Saturday 23 July – won by NATHANIEL
6. Juddmonte International (1¼ miles, 3yo+), York, Wednesday 17 August
7. QIPCO Champion Stakes (1¼ miles, 3yo+), Ascot, Saturday 15 October

The upcoming QIPCO British Champions Series races are:
The Darley Yorkshire Oaks (1½m, 3yo+ fillies & mares), York, Thursday 18 August (FILLIES & MARES)
The Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (5f, 2yo+), York, Friday 19 August (SPRINT)
The Weatherbys Insurance Lonsdale Cup (2m, 3yo+), York, Saturday 20 August (LONG DISTANCE)

Alistair Haggis, British Champions Series: 07761 896 500;

QIPCO British Champions Series - the world's finest Flat racing

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

What Ascot Racecourse means to you

Last Thursday it was our 300th Birthday and to celebrate we asked you what Ascot Racecourse means to you. We have had some fantastic entries and we have selected the best quotes which are below.

Congratulations to Jonathon Clements who was the overall winner with this quote. He has won a table for 4 to the 5th Ascot Beer Festival on Saturday 1st October plus some Ascot Tercentenary Goodies.

‘A day at Ascot Racecourse is not JUST about the horse racing. Although the action is always top class the experience is crowned by the 300 years of history, fantastic facilities, a beautiful panorama and a splash of Royalty which makes a day at Ascot the perfect venue for racing enthusiasts, thrill seekers and families alike.’
Congratulations to the following runner ups who have won a selection of Ascot tercentenary goodies:

‘There are few sporting venues that match the history and well-kept traditions as well as Ascot does. From the excitement in the stands as the bell rings for the horses turning for home to the roar of the crowd as the world’s best racehorses cross the line, nothing will get your heart racing faster.’ Joel Brown

‘Ascot epitomises all that is great about British Horse Racing - the brillance, the thrill and the unique atmosphere, all created in a natural amphitheatre by some of the finest thoroughbreds in the world duelling on Her Majesty's own hallowed turf!’ Hot To Trot Racing Club

‘Ascot to me - is a fun, glamorous, friendly occasion in magnificent surroundings. The excitement of the horses thundering down and the roar of the crowd make for a truly memorable day out. My appetite is never satisfied - I always want to come back for more!!’ Carol Phipps

‘I’d always dreamed of going to Ascot after reading a lot of Dick Francis books. When I finally got to go, the only thing that could have made my day better was if I’d seen the Queen. Ascot is a special place; steeped in history, home of the royals and an excellent venue for the King of Sports.’ Rebecca Chapman

'Ascot the home of Hats and Horses, Royals and Races,Champagne and Celebrations. Great Days out and Memories for life.' Twitter follower @PaddockPick

‘Ascot Racecourse is more than just a racing venue. So much more. It brings crowds of people together and injects them with a sense of fun, excitement and feelings of grandeur. With a huge choice of well built and well maintained facilities, you'll always have something to see, do and talk about.’ Craig Bell

Thank you to all those who have entered, stay tuned as we will be having further competitions throughout the year. Here’s to another 100 years!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Happy 300th Birthday Ascot Racecourse!

It was Queen Anne who first saw the potential for a racecourse at Ascot. Whilst out riding, she came upon an area of open heath, not far from Windsor Castle, that looked an ideal place for “horses to gallop at full stretch”. The first meeting on Saturday 11th August 1711 was such a success that 300 years on the racecourse has established itself as being the ultimate stage for the best racehorses in the world. There a few sporting venues that can match the rich heritage and history of Ascot.

To celebrate our 300th Birthday today we want you to write, in no more than 300 characters, what Ascot Racecourse means to you. The entry that we judge to be the best will win a table for four to the 5th Ascot Beer Festival on Saturday 1st October plus a bag of Ascot Racecourse goodies. We will also provide 7 runners up with Ascot Tercentenary goodies.

The top quotes will be put on the Ascot blog. So, get your thinking caps on and let us know what Ascot Racecourse means to you!

To enter the competition either comment on our Facebook page (Ascot Racecourse), tweet us at @AscotInsider or send us an email with your quote on to Good Luck.

Terms and Conditions
1. Competition closes at 3pm on Monday 15th August.
2. Offer only open to followers of @AscotInsider on Twitter or Fans of Ascot Racecourse on Facebook.
3. No cash alternative is available and all prizes are non-transferable and non-refundable. Tickets are not for resale and cannot be used for commercial use or use in further promotions.
4. The entries will be judged by the Marketing Department at Ascot Racecourse and the winner plus runners up will be informed by 3pm, Tuesday 16th August.
5. Prizes will be sent within 14 days after the competition closes.
6. Please note that your table may be shared with other people.
Promoter: Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, Berkshire. SL5 7JX.

Friday, 5 August 2011


Ladbrokes, the official bookmaker to the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, have installed reigning British champion jockey Paul Hanagan as the 4/1 favourite for the Silver Saddle. The Silver Saddle is awarded to the individual jockey who amasses the most points during the six-race card at Ascot tomorrow.

Ladbrokes’ full list of Silver Saddle prices is as follows.

4/1 Paul Hanagan (GBR)
6/1 Richard Hughes (IRE)
13/2 Hayley Turner (GBR)
9/1 Hugh Bowman (ROW)
10/1 Colm O'Donoghue (IRE)
10/1 Christophe Lemaire (EUR)
10/1 Olivier Peslier (EUR)
10/1 Douglas Whyte (ROW)
12/1 Yutaka Take (ROW)
12/1 Fran Berry (IRE)
16/1 Jim Crowley (GBR)
16/1 Mirco Demuro (EUR)

Ladbrokes’ latest prices for the team competition:

7/4 Great Britain
5/2 Ireland
7/2 Europe
7/2 Rest of the World

About The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup

The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is the world’s premier international jockeys’ team competition with four teams, each consisting of three jockeys, representing Great Britain (GBR), Ireland (IRE), Europe (EUR) and the Rest of the World (ROW).

Line-ups for the four teams are as follows:

Great Britain - Paul Hanagan (Captain), Hayley Turner, Jim Crowley

Ireland - Richard Hughes (Captain), Fran Berry, Colm O’Donoghue

Europe - Olivier Peslier (Captain), Christophe Lemaire, Mirco Demuro

Rest of the World - Douglas Whyte (Captain), Yutaka Take, Hugh Bowman

Held at Ascot tomorrow, Saturday, August 6, the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup consists of a six-race programme, with 10 runners in each race. Each jockey will have a total of five rides throughout the afternoon with points awarded on a 15, 10, 7, 5, 3 basis for the first five horses home in each race. The team with the highest total after the six races have been run lifts the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup while the individual jockey who gains the most points will be awarded the Silver Saddle.


Nick Smith, Head of Public Relations and International Racing, Ascot, 07771 791449

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Outstanding QIPCO British Champions Day in Prospect

Frankel, Canford Cliffs, Goldikova and Dick Turpin among 31 entries for
Queen Elizabeth II Stakes;
So You Think, Nathaniel, Pour Moi and Frankel head entry of 40 for QIPCO Champion Stakes

The inaugural £3m QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday 15 October looks set to provide a stunning climax to the QIPCO British Champions Series after entries for the five championship contests on Britain’s richest ever raceday were revealed today.

An outstanding entry of 31 horses for the £1 million Queen Elizabeth II Stakes sponsored by QIPCO (Group One), which will be by far the richest mile race ever run in Europe, includes the world’s top four milers headed by superstar Frankel, the best horse in the world this year and already hailed by many as the greatest racehorse of the modern era.

The Sir Henry Cecil-trained three-year-old maintained his faultless record with a remarkable five-length success in the QIPCO Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood a week ago - his third Mile victory in the QIPCO British Champions Series following wins in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in May and the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.

Ladbrokes have installed him as their red-hot 1-3 favourite for the glittering contest which will be run over Ascot’s straight mile.

The world’s second highest rated miler, Canford Cliffs, who was beaten five lengths in the QIPCO Sussex Stakes but had previously reeled off five Group One victories in succession, looks set to have another crack at Frankel and is the 4-1 second favourite in Ladbrokes’ ante-post market.
Also entered is the world’s joint third highest rated miler, the brilliant French-trained mare Goldikova, who recorded her 14th success at the highest level with a record fourth consecutive victory in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville on Sunday, having gone down by a length to Canford Cliffs in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. She is 6-1 with Ladbrokes.

Canford Cliffs’ trainer Richard Hannon has also entered Dick Turpin, who won the Prix Jean Prat last year and is joint third in the international mile ratings, and ready Goodwood Group Two scorer Strong Suit, while other potential contenders include last year’s winner Poet’s Voice, multiple Group One heroine Sahpresa, Coronation Stakes winner, Immortal Verse, Italian star, Worthadd and the St James’s Palace runner-up, Zoffany.

The £1.3m QIPCO Champion Stakes over one and a quarter miles, which will be the richest race ever run in Britain, has attracted a similarly powerful entry of 40 horses, headed by three of the world’s leading middle distance performers including Southern Hemisphere champion So You Think, who was victorious in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown at the start of July for his handler, Aidan O’Brien.

Nathaniel was an impressive winner of the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (sponsored by Betfair) for trainer John Gosden at Ascot on July 23, while fellow three-year-old Pour Moi has been entered by legendary French handler Andre Fabre following an exhilarating last-to-first success in the Investec Derby at Epsom Downs in June.

Frankel also holds an entry in the race just in case connections decide to step him up in trip, but the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes appears to be the far more likely target.
Further spice may be added by the likes of Twice Over, who has triumphed in the past two renewals of the Champion Stakes at Newmarket, French Group One winners Sarafina and Planteur, as well as So You Think’s stable companion Await The Dawn, a ready winner of the Group Two Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Midday and Snow Fairy have posted 10 victories in Group/Grade One company between them, while Classic winners Roderic O’Connor, Misty For Me, Reliable Man and Tin Horse are also engaged.

Golden Jubilee Stakes victor Society Rock and Dream Ahead, successful in the Darley July Cup, headline an entry of 44 for the £250,000 Group Two QIPCO British Champions Sprint over six furlongs. Indeed, the first six from the Darley July Cup are all entered together with the Golden Jubilee runner-up, Monsieur Chevalier.

Sole Power could also aim for a second victory in the QIPCO British Champions Series having triumphed in the Temple Stakes at Haydock in May, while Hoof It looks set to make his mark in Group company following a record breaking victory under 10st in the ultra competitive Stewards’ Cup at Glorious Goodwood on Saturday.

Other entries include Masamah, Moonlight Cloud and Wizz Kid, who beat Prohibit in the Group Two Prix du Gros-Chene at Chantilly in June.

Midday also features alongside Classic-winning three-year-olds Blue Bunting and Dancing Rain in the 40 entries for the £250,000 Group Two QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares over a mile and a half.

The consistent Wonder Of Wonders may bid to avenge her Epsom defeat by Blue Bunting and she could be joined by Irish Oaks runner-up Banimpire, successful at Ascot in the Ribblesdale Stakes at the Royal Meeting. Other entries of note include Crystal Capella and Principal Role, while a six-strong French entry includes Group Two scorer Maria Royal and the unbeaten Pacifique.

The 55 entries for the £200,000 Group Three QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup over two miles includes this year’s Gold Cup victor Fame And Glory, Emirates Airline Yorkshire Cup winner Duncan and Opinion Poll, who posted a thrilling victory over Lost In The Moment, Blue Bajan and Fox Hunt in the Artemis Goodwood Cup last week.

Leading Ladbrokes St Leger contenders Sea Moon, Namibian and Masked Marvel may also line up alongside the progressive Keys, Hardwicke Stakes runner-up Harris Tweed and the Dermot Weld-trained Sense Of Purpose.

The two Group Two races and one Group Three contest all carry Group One conditions, with no penalties and prize money levels consistent with Group One races.

“We couldn’t have asked for better QIPCO British Champions Day entries with the mouth-watering prospect of Frankel’s last race of the season in the QE2 in a rematch with Canford Cliffs, with the possibility of Goldikova as well, unquestionably topping the bill,” said Rod Street, Chief Executive of the British Champions Series.

“In the Champion, So You Think may look to bow out from his European campaign on a massive high, perhaps against the fast improving King George winner, Nathaniel, while stars like Dream Ahead and Hoof It in the Sprint, Midday and Blue Bunting in the Fillies & Mares and all the top stayers in the Long Distance Cup promise to make this one of the most exciting Flat racedays that this country has ever seen.

“Getting 26 French-trained entries and 36 from Ireland has exceeded our expectations.
“We expect ticket sales to build up a real momentum now and we’ll be looking for an early sell-out of Premier Admission as has been the case on Ascot’s other big days this season.”

Tickets for QIPCO British Champions Day are priced at £45 for Premier admission and £26 for Grandstand admission, with a 10% advance booking discount available now and greater reductions for group bookings of 10 or more people. Under 18s will be admitted free.

To book tickets, visit or call Ascot on 0870 727 1234.

Ladbrokes Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Prices
1/3 Frankel

4 Canford Cliffs

6 Goldikova

6 Zoffany

20 Cityscape

25 Dick Turpin

150 Bullet Train
E/W 1,2 Others on request.

Alistair Haggis, British Champions Series: 07761 896 500;
Nick Smith, Ascot Racecourse: 07771 791 449;
QIPCO British Champions Series – the world ' s finest Flat racing

Monday, 1 August 2011

QIPCO British Champions Day Entries Close on Tuesday

Entries for the five championship races on QIPCO British Champions Day, which offer total prize money of £3 million, making the programme at Ascot on Saturday 15 October by far the most valuable in British racing history, close at 12 noon on Tuesday (2 August).

The £1.3m QIPCO Champion Stakes (Group 1) over 1m 2f and the £1m Queen Elizabeth II Stakes sponsored by QIPCO (Group 1) over a mile are the afternoon’s main highlights and represent the climax to the Middle Distance and Mile divisions in the QIPCO British Champions Series.

The £250,000 QIPCO British Champions Sprint (Group 2) over 6 furlongs (formerly the Diadem Stakes), the £250,000 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares (Group 2) over 1m 4f (formerly the Pride Stakes) and the £200,000 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup (Group 3) over 2 miles (formerly the Jockey Club Cup) provide the climax to their respective Series categories and although they do not have official Group 1 status, they do have Group 1 conditions.

“Our main message to trainers pondering their entries for QIPCO British Champions Day is that these three races do not entail penalties for Group race winners and, with the level of prize money that they offer, they are effectively Group 1 contests in all but name,” commented Rod Street, Chief Executive of British Champions Series Limited.

“We hope that all five races will attract strong entries, especially the QIPCO Champion Stakes, which will be the most valuable race ever run in Britain, and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, which will be by far the most valuable mile race ever run in Europe.

“Frankel’s likely participation in the latter might make some owners and trainers think twice about taking him on, but it’s worth pointing out that second place in the QE2 is worth £215,000, which is more than any other mile race in Britain carries in first place prize money.”

Alistair Haggis, British Champions Series: 07761 896 500;
QIPCO British Champions Series – the world’s finest Flat racing

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