Thursday, 29 September 2011

Countdown to Inaugural QIPCO British Champions Day Intensifies




There is now just over a fortnight until Britain’s richest-ever raceday is staged, the inaugural QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday 15 October. Interest in the five Group contests intensifies today with the unveiling of the latest acceptors following the 27 September scratchings deadline.

As expected, the unbeaten Frankel heads the 14 acceptors for the £1 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, sponsored by QIPCO. Officially rated the best horse in the world, Frankel has won all his eight starts, most recently sauntering to a five-length success in the QIPCO Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on 27 July.
Among the potential rivals for the Sir Henry Cecil-trained colt is the filly Immortal Verse, winner of the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot and Deauville’s Group 1 Prix Jacques Le Marois on her latest two starts. Her stunning victory at Deauville on 15 August saw her defeat 14-time Group 1 winner Goldikova cosily by a length with Sahpresa, successful in the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday, back in third. The three-year-old, who is trained at Chantilly by Robert Collet, missed her latest intended start in the Group 1 Qatar Prix du Moulin de Longchamp on 11 September due to an overreach but is firmly on course for Ascot next month.

Brendan Hayes, who manages owner Richard Strauss’ Kilfrush Stud in Ireland, commented: “Immortal Verse is very well and we are targeting the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes with her. We are optimistic and it looks like it is going to be a great race.

“Hopefully, she can show her usual turn of foot, although it is certainly going to be an interesting race in terms of tactics. A good pace would suit us.

“She had to miss the Moulin due to an overreach. It wasn’t very bad, but overreaches are never a good thing and so we had to miss the race.

“That means she will be going to Ascot fresh and she showed when she won the Marois that she can win when she is fresh. She is very straightforward filly to deal with, which is a big help.”

Other possible starters include Excelebration, who has twice filled the minor honours behind Frankel this season but showed he is a top-class horse in his own right when an impressive winner of the Group 1 Qatar Prix Du Moulin De Longchamp on 11 September. Dick Turpin looks set to represent reigning champion trainer Richard Hannon and warmed up with a short-head victory over Cityscape in the Group 1 Premio Vittorio Di Capua at San Siro on 24 September.

The mile contest is also an option for Ballydoyle’s So You Think, while last year’s winner Poet’s Voice is one of two left in by Godolphin’s Saeed bin Suroor alongside Rio De La Plata.

Sir Henry Cecil revealed last week that he is likely to be two-handed in the £1.3 million Group 1 QIPCO Champion Stakes, run over 10 furlongs, with both Twice Over, who has won the race for the past two years when it was run at Newmarket, plus the mare Midday. The Khalid Abdulla-trained pair, who filled the first two places in the Juddmonte International at York last month, feature among 26 acceptors for the QIPCO Champion Stakes. Other potential starters for the richest race in Britain include So You Think, the Australian champion who has won four of his five starts since joining Aidan O’Brien, and King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes victor Nathaniel.

Godolphin’s Mahmood Al Zarooni, who lies second to Sir Henry Cecil in the trainer standings for the QIPCO British Champions Series, has three very interesting potential contenders in Casamento, French Navy and Dubai Prince, who have all won in the last month on their return to action.

The Queen, who will be in attendance at Ascot on QIPCO British Champions Day, could be represented in the QIPCO Champion Stakes by Investec Derby third Carlton House.

QIPCO British Champions Day kicks off with the Group 3 £200,000 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup over two miles. Among the 23 going forward for this contest is Godolphin’s Opinion Poll, trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni, who has already taken two races in the Long Distance category with victories in the Artemis Goodwood Cup and the Lonsdale Cup at York. Opinion Poll could face a rematch with the Aidan O’Brien-trained Fame And Glory, who got the better of him by three lengths in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in June.

Sprinters get their chance to shine in the Group 2 £250,000 QIPCO British Champions Sprint over six furlongs, with 32 remaining entries including Society Rock, Sole Power and Dream Ahead, who have all won races in the Sprint division of the QIPCO British Champions Series. Three-year-old Moonlight Cloud, impressive winner of the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest on her latest start, is set to make the journey from France, while Deacon Blues, Hoof It and Bated Breath are all improving four-year-olds who are being targeted at the race.

A fascinating contest is in prospect for the £250,000 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes for which 23 go forward. Among those still engaged in the mile and a half event is Godolphin’s Blue Bunting, a three-time Group 1 winner in 2011 with her victories coming in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas, Darley Irish Oaks and Darley Yorkshire Oaks. Sir Henry Cecil plans to run Vita Nova, the close runner-up to Blue Bunting at York, while another leading contender is this year’s Investec Oaks and German Oaks victress Dancing Rain, trained by William Haggas.

All races on QIPCO British Champions Day are run with Group 1 levels of prize money and with Group 1 conditions (i.e. there are no penalties for previous Pattern race winners).

The next confirmation stage for QIPCO British Champions Day is on Monday, October 10, when there is also a supplementary entry stage for each of the five Group races.


Matt Chapman, Amanda Davies and Robert Cowell will be leading the way in front of the microphone on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday 15 October, alongside Ascot’s usual broadcaster, Rupert Bell, and racecourse commentator for the day, Mike Vince.

Matt Chapman, voted “Broadcaster of the Year” by the Horserace Writers and Photographers Association in December and best known for his slots on racing satellite channel At The Races, will anchor the Ascot TV programme, parts of which will also be broadcast over the public address system.

BBC Sport’s Amanda Davies will be speaking to the day’s special guests and helping to capture the mood amongst racegoers.

Newmarket trainer Robert Cowell, who saddled Prohibit to win the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes in the QIPCO British Champions Series this summer, will be alongside Chapman for much of the afternoon, helping to preview each race for the benefit of racegoers at Britain’s richest ever raceday.

Rupert Bell, Ascot TV’s presenter for more than 15 years, will be handling the post-race interviews with the winning connections. These will also be taken by At The Races and Racing UK, both of whom are televising the day, as well as by international broadcasters taking the world feed.

Up in the commentators’ gantry, Mike Vince, who has called the races on Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Day at Ascot for the past 10 years, will be providing bespoke commentaries for the racecourse. Richard Holies will be the RaceTech commentator for the day, calling the races for ATR, RUK, Turf TV in the betting shops and the international broadcasters.

“We are delighted to have assembled such a strong team to present QIPCO British Champions Day to racegoers on the day,” said Rod Street, Chief Executive of British Champions Series Ltd.

“We want it to be a little different to a normal raceday and think that the combination of Matt, Amanda and Robert will provide just that, while having our own race caller as part of the team will help link the commentaries to the rest of the presentation, something which works really well at the Shergar Cup.”

Matt Chapman said: "For the purist, the inaugural QIPCO Champions Day provides £3m of gift-wrapped reasons to savour Europe's finest equine talent but, in the same way as a non-footballing fan might still watch the FA Cup or Champions League Final, the event should evolve as a 'must see' for general sports enthusiasts.

"The on track team see it as their mission to enhance the experience of regular racegoers while engaging and enlightening those less familiar with a truly great sport. It's terrific to be part of an occasion which provides horse racing with the chance to be a winner."

Amanda Davies said: “British Champions Day is going to provide Flat racing in this country with a fantastic shop window and while my racing colleagues are broadcasting the big races live on BBC TV and radio, I am thrilled to be part of the racecourse team capturing the atmosphere on course.”

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

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Sir Henry Cecil Press Conference

You are invited to a QIPCO British Champions Day Press Conference with Sir Henry Cecil in the Limekilns Suite on Level 3 of the Millennium Grandstand at Newmarket's Rowley Mile Racecourse this Friday (23 September) at 12 noon.

Sir Henry will give an update on his team of runners for QIPCO British Champions Day, the richest day in British racing history at Ascot on Saturday 15 October, which is expected to include the top-rated racehorse in the world, Frankel, in the £1m Queen Elizabeth II Stakes sponsored by QIPCO, Twice Over going for a record-equalling hat-trick of victories in the £1.3m QIPCO Champion Stakes, three-time Nassau Stakes winner Midday contesting either the QIPCO Champion Stakes or the £250,000 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes, a race at which the Darley Yorkshire Oaks runner-up, Vita Nova, is also being targeted.

Following the Press Conference, Sir Henry will be happy to do brief one-on-one interviews with TV and radio. It will be a great opportunity to hear from Sir Henry in the run-up to QIPCO British Champions Day.

During the afternoon race programme which follows the press conference on Shadwell Day, the Nayef Joel Stakes, the final QIPCO British Champions Series race prior to QIPCO British Champions Day, will be run. The field includes last year's Queen Elizabeth II Stakes winner, Poet's Voice, having his final run before possibly defending his QEII crown against Frankel on Saturday 15 October.

Sir Henry's QIPCO British Champions Day team gallop

At approximately 6.15am on Friday morning, Sir Henry's QIPCO British Champions Day team will work on the watered gallop, racecourse side. If you would like to watch/film this gallop, please meet at the Annual Badge Holders car park on the Rowley Mile soon after 6am. As it's a work morning for Sir Henry, all interviews will need to wait until the press conference at noon - the gallop is just an opportunity to film, take photographs and watch.

There is no need to RSVP to this invitation.

For more information:

Alistair Haggis, Head of Communications, British Champions Series,


tel: 07761 896 500

Her Majesty The Queen to Attend QIPCO British Champions Day

Ascot Racecourse is delighted to announce that Her Majesty The Queen will be attending the inaugural QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday, 15th October.

QIPCO British Champions Day will be the most valuable raceday ever run in the UK with £3 million on offer and the race named in Her Majesty’s honour, “The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes,” will be the highest value mile race ever run in the country at £1,000,000.

The Queen has graciously consented to present the trophy to the winning connections.

- END -

21st September 2011

Contact: Nick Smith, Ascot, 07771 791 449

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Royal Ascot Sponsors Headonism at London Fashion Week

Ascot Racecourse is proud to be working together with the British Fashion Council (BFC) in sponsoring the BFC’s Headonism initiative during London Fashion Week on Friday 16th September. This partnership reflects the British Fashion Council’s aim to support emerging British design talent, providing an additional showcasing opportunity to an audience of racegoers from around the world. The initiative curated by Stephen Jones, celebrates the new wave of emerging London milliners. It was launched during the BFC’s 25 Year celebrations by Mayor of London Boris Johnson. The four up-and-coming milliners who will be showcased are J Smith Esquire, Noel Stewart, Piers Atkinson and Charlie Le Mindu. Please see their biographies below:

Charlie Le Mindu
Born in Bergerac, France, Charlie Le Mindu was a hairstyling prodigy at the French Hair Academy, cutting and styling hair from the age of thirteen. Le Mindu ascended from boarding school disciple to a fashionable hairdresser/stylist in Berlin and is now London’s French Master of Haute-Coiffure.

In Berlin, Le Mindu established himself as Resident Hairdresser at nightclubs such as White Trash, RIO Club, and Barbie Deinhoff's. He performed "Live Cuts" in his champagne suite at countless private parties and set up several ensuite salons. He cultivated his own technique and style, known for creations ranging from classic to trashy, wearable to insane.

The French designer set up his East London flat and hairdressing residencies around the city’s nightspots and developed a regular clientele including Carrie Mundane, the B52s, Adamski, Peaches, and Jodie Harsh. Charlie Le Mindu drew inspiration from local East London personalities like Slayer, John Waters and even animals, claiming that “The hair is so much more interesting here!’”

The infamous milliner, Stephen Jones

After being featured in Vogue Russia, Elle, French Vogue and being selected as the Observer’s 22nd coolest person, Charlie decided to take hairstyling to the next level. In February 2009, Charlie launched his first wig collection at London Fashion Week, surprising London’s fashion scene with his dramatic large scale wigs.

With his fourth collection underway, The Master of Haute-Couiffure has now been featured in publications such as Vogue Italy, Vogue Hommes Japan, i-D and The Guardian. His repertoire of clients includes the likes of Lady Gaga, Kap Bambino and Ayumi Hamasaki, to name a few. Having being exhibited at the V&A in London and opening the Art Athina fair in Greece, Charlie Le Mindu’s work truly transcends the boundaries of fashion. Charlie currently hosts the hit TV Show Charlie’s Treatment on Konbini, receiving 2 million views in the first two weeks. If that wasn’t enough, his up-coming collaborations include projects with Machine-A and Disneyland Paris.

J Smith Esquire

Following a successful hairdressing career culminating in several awards and his own exclusive salon called ‘And people like Us’ J Smith Esquire began designing and making hats in 2000 while undertaking part time millinery training. In 2007 Justin completed a two-year MA in Millinery from the Royal College of Art, at which his graduate show earned critical acclaim.

Since then Justin has gone from strength to strength winning the iD styling award and the Maria Louisa award at ITS6. His first collection debuted in 2007 at London Fashion Week under the New Generation sponsorship scheme and marked the beginning of a hugely successful millinery career.

Stephen Jones's masterpieces at the
Royal Ascot Fashion Show 2011

His creative eye and innovative vision knows no bounds and whilst creating his own collections seasonally he is also regularly approached to collaborate. To date, Justin has created headpieces for a number of high-end designers including Moschino, Manish Arora, (Es*) Artsinal, Aganovich, Carolyn Massey and Aminaka Wilmont.

Whilst Justin’s artistic flair is a prerequisite for designing such beautiful millinery, so too is upholding the traditions which accompany the trade. Time-honoured techniques are an integral part of the final outcome, as is using quality materials and craftmanship. After a successful time at the RCA, he has now become a respected teacher and visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art.

2010 was a particularly successful year for Justin accumulating in him being named the British Council’s Young Fashion Entrepreneur of the Year as well as being invited to showcase at Italian Vogue’s Young Talent Exhibition. This paved the way for his AltaRoma debut that took place In January 2011 which in turn led to a prominent display at the Limited/Unlimited exhibition.

Justin has numerous stockists and supporters around the world and continues to show at London, Paris and Rome Fashion week.

Noel Stewart

Noel Stewart is a London based milliner with international status. Taking inspiration from sources such as contemporary art and architecture and fusing them with historical references he modernises millinery with his fresh look at how we dress the head.

Before attending the Royal College of Art to do his masters, Noel had already worked with designers Dai Rees and Stephen Jones. This included time spent as Stephen Jones’s assistant at Christian Dior Couture.

Since establishing his own label Noel has designed hats for leading fashion designers such as Roland Mouret, Marios Schwabb, Roksanda Ilincic, Erdem, Hussein Chalayan, Diesel, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Oscar De La Renta. His continuing relationship with such designers reflects the importance of his role in the fashion world.

Stephen Jones's masterpieces at the
Royal Ascot Fashion Show 2011

Off the catwalk Noel Stewart has acquired a loyal fan-base. His hats have been worn by the likes of Kiera Knightly, Lilly Allen, Kylie Minogue and Beth Ditto.

Noel receives ongoing, widespread press. His hats feature regularly in magazines such as Vogue UK, Italia, Russia, China, Japan as well as Harpers Bazaar, Dazed and Confused, ID, V Magazine, LOVE, Another and 10 Magazine.

His ability to create high quality hats that have impact has led to his creating the hats for Britney Spears’s and Kylie Minogue’s world tour.

Noel’s work has also had an important role in the Stephen Jones – anthology of hats exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum which opened to record visitors in Brisbane and is opening in New york in September. Noel Stewart Millinery is currently stocked in Barneys New York, Alan Journo - Milan, Hatwoman and IT- Hong Kong, Test –Tokyo

Piers Atkinson

Artist, illustrator, milliner, costume designer, party organiser, fashion editor, and project manager – his creative energies only seem to be matched by an insatiable curiosity.

Stephen Jones's masterpieces at the Royal Ascot Fashion Show 2011

He grew up in Norfolk with three generations of women – his mother, herself a milliner; his sister Lucy, the long-suffering photographic model for his teenage reconstructions of Grace Jones and Art of Noise record covers; and his grandmother, the artist/writer/horticulturalist and illustrator Lesley Gordon, from whom he took his multi-disciplinary cue.

Piers has had many great influences down the line, from his mother the theatrical milliner Hilary Elliott, at whose knee he learned hat-making as a youngster, to Stephen Jones, who paid a brief but memorable visit to his grad show at University of Bristol, where he studied graphic design and photography.

Moving to London in 1995, he helped out at that year’s Alternative Miss World, the brainchild of artist Andrew Logan, now an occasional collaborator but constant inspiration to Piers: ‘He helped me see the rich possibilities of free-form events and a ‘just do it’ attitude.’ Much of which, it should be pointed out, could be seen in the successful Show-Off nightclub events that Piers co-created from 1999 to 2001. He also showed a range of his idiosyncratic and charmingly anachronistic character sketches in a joint exhibition, which included Logan, in 2002, and Maria Chen curated Oki-Ni exhibition in 2004.

Stephen Jones's masterpieces at the
Royal Ascot Fashion Show 2011

In 1999, Piers moved in as a lodger with iconic fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, who he assisted with art direction and in-house PR. ‘She instantly cured my captiousness with colour!’ reveals Piers. When Rhodes became a client of PR powerhouse Mandi Lennard, Piers took a post there assisting Mandi, who gave him many of her unique insights into the fashion world. After a similar stint at Blow PR, he joined Disorder Magazine as fashion editor for a shelf-full of issues. It was in this capacity that he proposed a newspaper for Graduate Fashion Week, featuring a star column by the Daily Telegraph’s fashion director, Hilary Alexander. This later led to Piers creating a daily for London Fashion Week (scouting Jenny Dyson of Teen Vogue as co-editor), a stressful but rewarding experience. One of the rewards was the small range of hats he created during this time to ‘let off steam’ – a collection that became his debut collection. He has since collaborated with Noki for his Spring/Summer ’09 presentation at Shoreditch’s White Cubicle, shown off-season at the East End’s fashion hang-out Beach Blanket Babylon and is currently in talks with designers across the pond…

Piers also works as a trend consultant with major organisations and brands, teaches Fashion PR at several universities, and continues to support new talent in the fashion industry in as many ways as he can.

London Fashion Week takes place from Friday 16th to Wednesday 21st September.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Catch a STAR at Ascot Racecourse

Announcing the launch of the ‘Seventeen to Twenty-Four Ascot Racegoers Card’ 

Following on from the success of the Colts and Fillies Club, Ascot Racecourse is proud to announce its latest exciting initiative, the STAR Card. Available for all young people aged 17 to 24, the new card entitles holders to enjoy substantial discounts on racing at the famous track throughout the year.

Issued free of charge, cardholders will be entitled to purchase a half price* ticket to all Ascot racedays (with the exception of Royal Ascot and British Champions Day), representing a saving of between £6 and £22.50 per raceday in 2011 depending on the date and type of ticket bought.

Firework Spectacular
As an additional bonus, anyone who already has a card or signs up for one in the next few weeks will be entitled to FREE entry on Saturday 29th October, United House Group Day and Firework Spectacular.

Jayne McWilliam, Ascot Racecourse said:

“We’re really excited about the new STAR Card. With such great discounts, we hope it will encourage some new faces to the racecourse and look forward to welcoming them on 29th October. Members just simply insert their card into one of the turnstiles when they arrive that day and they will be admitted to the Grandstand Admission area free of charge. We’re also really pleased that this card will provide further benefits to our loyal Colts and Fillies members who will be able to progress to the STAR Card when they turn 17 years old and continue their enjoyment of all that Ascot has to offer.”

*Tickets sold at half of the on the day price

For further information and images:
Jayne McWilliam, Colts and Fillies and STAR Card Coordinator, Ascot Racecourse; 01344 878512 / 07917 521429
Karen Smith, PR Manager, Ascot Racecourse, 01344 878430 / 07717 851566


Notes for editors:

To receive a STAR card, prospective members need to go to and click on the Star Card link to submit their details and a passport size photo. Star Cards will be dispatched within 28 days. Please be assured that details will not be passed to any third parties.

When attending the racecourse, cardholders simply show their card when purchasing a ticket and the discount will be applied. Please note that Star Cards cannot be used to purchase tickets in advance of a raceday.

Star Cards can only be used by the named holder and are strictly non-transferable. Conditions of entry to Ascot Racecourse and dress codes apply, see for details. Members will also be offered booking discounts for Royal Ascot.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Can History Repeat Itself in the World's Oldest Classic Race?

British horseracing is steeped in history, but no Classic race can claim an older heritage than the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster Racecourse which was first established in 1776 and celebrates its 225th running on Saturday 10 September 2011.
What’s more, time and time again we can draw parallels with previous races in the elusive search for the next winner, for the St Leger has a happy habit of being won by previously successful jockeys and trainers. It’s just a matter of finding the right one.

During its history, the race has been won on 16 occasions by the same trainer, nine times by the same jockey and seven times by the same owner but never twice by the same horse. This is for the simple reason that the St Leger, being one of the five British Classics, is restricted to horses that are three years old.

This year’s race, which forms part of the all-important QIPCO British Champions Series, is likely to be contested by nine trainers, jockeys or owners who’ve enjoyed success in previous years.

Brown Panther winning the The King George V
Stakes at Royal Ascot

Amongst the training ranks, Sir Michael Stoute, John Gosden and Aidan O’Brien have already celebrated a St Leger victory with the latter having won it on three occasions to date. Amongst the jockeys, William Buick, Jamie Spencer and Frankie Dettori have all tasted victory, with Frankie notching up five victories in previous St Legers. Certain owners have also proved luckier than others over the years, with Godolphin, Coolmore and Khalid Abdulla each having collected the trophy on at least one occasion.

Look back through the decades and you’ll see history repeating itself again and again. The great Lester Piggott won the race on eight occasions; Gordon Richards five times; and Fred Archer four times. Legendary trainers Dick Hern and Sir Henry Cecil have lifted the prize nine times between them.

From an historical perspective, the horses with the greatest chance of victory this year have to be: Blue Bunting, owned by Godolphin and ridden by Frankie Dettori; Sea Moon, trained by Sir Michael Stoute and owned by Khalid Abdullah; or one of Aidan O’Brien’s runners for Coolmore.

Who will win the Ladbrokes St Leger Stakes? To find out make sure you watch the Group One race on Channel 4 at 3.10pm today.

After the St Leger Stakes there is only one more race in the British Champions Series at Newmarket on the 23rd September before the grand finale here at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday 15th October.

For more information on British Champions Day and to book tickets visit

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Quince Products Scoops Inaugural Ascot Festival of Food Award

Johnny Weatherby presenting the Festival of Food Award 2011

Quince Products of Wallington, Oxfordshire, have won the inaugural Ascot Racecourse Festival of Food Award.

In celebration of the tercentenary, on Saturday 3rd September Ascot Racecourse launched a new Festival of Food Award, presented for the best locally grown produce on sale at the fifth Ascot Festival of Food Raceday. The award was voted for by the racegoers attending the race meeting and the Gold Award winner received a specially designed trophy.

Jam anyone?
Colin Wainwright, Managing Director of Quince Products, enthused; ‘I’m delighted to have won this prestigious award, which should really go to my wife for putting the product in the English food chain. Quince is a product that marries so well with game, meat, fish and cheese is a delight to work with’.

John Blake, Head of Sales and Marketing, commented: “We are delighted that Quince Products, a stalwart of the Ascot Festival of Food, have won our first award. The Food Fair has grown considerably from its humble beginnings in 2007 and this year we saw out highest crowd for the Festival with over 12,000 foodies and racegoers converging on the racecourse’.

Racing continues at Ascot on Friday 30th September and Saturday 1st October with the Ascot CAMRA Beer Festival Raceday; with an array of over 200 real ales, ciders and perries.

For further information contact:
John Blake, Head of Sales and Marketing: Tel: 01344 878512 or email:

The Food Stalls in the Grandstand

Notes to editors:
• Saturday 3rd September saw the running of the 5th Ascot Festival of Food. Attendance was 12,063, the highest of all five festivals.
• The 2012 Ascot Racecourse Festival of Food will take place on Saturday 8th September.
• Founded by Queen Anne in 1711, this year, Ascot is proudly celebrating 300 years of racing at the world famous racecourse. Ascot Racecourse has been synonymous with tradition, pageantry, fashion and style coupled with some of the greatest racing across the last three centuries.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Local Produce At Its Very Best

On Saturday at Ascot, you will be tempted by locally produced goodies such as quince jelly, handmade chocolates, honey, pickles, jams, speciality breads, oils, handmade gingerbread, real ale, wine and the finest cheeses.

The Racecourse is hosting a variety of different stallholders, the majority of which are members of the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire [BBO] Food Group and Hampshire Fare.

The BBO Food Group is a Community Interest Company, which is made up of local food, drink and hospitality businesses as well as organisations and individuals that share a passion for local food and drink. County food group Hampshire Fare campaigns to heighten the awareness and consumption of Hampshire's quality produce and 2011 sees the organisation celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Both organisations promote the production and consumption of local food and drink and to increase the volume of this market in the area; the principle objectives being to support producers to sell locally, promote the benefits of food and drink produced in the area, to enable as many people as possible to have access to good locally produced food and encourage producers to use environmentally friendly methods and to practise good animal welfare.

Now in its fifth year, the Ascot Racecourse Festival of Food has grown into a respected local gastronomic celebration enhanced this year by the cookery demonstrations from Gemma Amor, Ascot’s Head Chef. Gemma enthuses, ‘I will be rustling up three easy to prepare dishes today, each with recipe cards that racegoers can take away and try at home. It is so exciting and refreshing to know that the majority of the ingredients can be purchased at the racecourse today and they all come from local suppliers who are passionate about their produce’.
There are many stallholders that have been with the Ascot Racecourse Festival of Food from its humble beginnings in 2007, including Well Preserved (jams, marmalades, chutneys and pickles), Quince Products and Ilze’s Chocolates as well as regional brewer Ascot Ales, who will be returning to Ascot for the Campaign for Real Ale Beer Festival on Friday 30th September and Saturday 1st October.

We are also delighted to welcome some new faces for 2011 including Sweeney and Todd pie makers, Bow-in-the-Cloud Vineyard and Stanswick Farm. Stanswick Farm, run by the Sanderson Family on the Oxfordshire/Wilshire border between Lambourn and Shrvenham, have become famous in the region for their cold pressed Rape Seed Oil; very versatile with its subtle nutty taste which is not as overpowering as olive oil. It is great in the kitchen and can be used for everything from salad dressings to stir frying and is packed with goodness.When you are sampling the scrumptious local fare on Saturday that stallholders have to offer, you can be sure of its impeccable provenance. Don’t forget to vote for your favourite stallholder for the inaugural Ascot Festival of Food Award on Saturday!

For further information on the BBO Food Group, visit

For further information on Hampshire Fare, visit

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