Ascot Races

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Horse racing is often termed the 'Sport of Kings', and the term can be no better suited than to Ascot races. Situated in Berkshire, just 6 miles from Windsor Castle, Ascot Racecourse is owned by the Crown Estate and hosts one of the worlds most famous and exclusive race meetings, Royal Ascot, held each June and attended by royalty and dignitaries from around the world.

Free Racing Tips While Royal Ascot is the highlight of both the racing and social calendar, the race course also hosts no less than 9 of the 32 annual Group 1 races, a feat shared only by the home of UK horse racing, Newmarket.

The most prestigious of these is the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, an open age flat race which has featured some of the best thoroughbred horses and most memorable races in history.

When it comes to history and prestige in horse racing, Ascot races is certainly the front runner.

Approaching its 300 year anniversary, the first horse race at the site took place in 1711 after Queen Anne realised the potential for this large area of open heath close to the castle.

The Queen Anne Stakes runs today in memory of the monarch and in recognition of the cultural and sporting impact that horse racing at Ascot has since enjoyed in the world of horse racing. Although the racecourse remains Crown property, an act of parliament passed in 1813 ensured Ascot’s future as a public racecourse.

Royal Ascot was the only race meeting at the racecourse up until 1939 and remains the centrepiece of the racing calendar. The famous Ascot horse racing meeting is held over four days and perhaps the most famous of these is Gold Cup Day, which takes place on the third day. The Gold Cup is one of the most popular horse races in the country but Gold Cup Day often draws more attention from the press photographers and media for fashion than racing. Colloquially known as Ladies Day, it is a time when the latest couture and hats take centre stage.

Royal Ascot is certainly an occasion for dressing in the finest clothes and in addition to the gentlemen’s morning dress and top hats, and ladies high fashions obligatory within the royal enclosure, most people who attend the event make a special effort for such a renowned, exclusive and historic occasion. Royal Ascot week is the best attended race meeting in Europe and whether attended for style or for first class horse racing remains the only show in town for many lovers of equestrian and horse racing culture.

Royal connections, tradition and history certainly form a major part of the appeal for Ascot racing but the racecourse is no living monument of bygone days of glory. The stunning new stand opened in 2006 and heralds a new age for racing at Ascot where opportunities for combining a day at the races with a full range of hospitality options are limitless.
Ascot Races, inside rail

Combine racing with Christmas shopping, with Halloween and fireworks family fun, or with the annual Ascot races food fair; just a selection of ways in which to enhance a race day experience.

There are many ways to enjoy first class hospitality on race day. Group bookings can be made for Christmas or for stag and hen parties, where each person can enjoy a grandstand admission ticket, race card, a bet voucher and wine or beer. A memorable day is ensured whether any member of the group has been to the races or not and it represents an ideal way to mark any celebration.

The time honoured tradition of enjoying a race day from the sumptuous surrounds of Ascot's fantastic dining environments remains most popular way to spend a day at the races. From the public restaurants to the ultimate in fine dining all tastes are catered for with many offering superb views over the course. Private boxes offer an alternative for those who would like the privacy and intimacy afforded by such exclusivity.

266 private boxes are available in the grandstand all with remarkable views over the famous Ascot racing course. Complete with the finest range of cuisines and first class service, each private box is equipped with a private dining room, large flat screen television, and balcony overlooking the track. A waiting list is currently in operation for private boxes during selected days at Royal Ascot.

While the opportunity to have a bet and maybe see some returns on it may be uppermost in the minds of racing enthusiasts at Ascot racing events, the day is all about fun and recreation and the environment at Ascot provides the perfect backdrop to enjoy the full day as well as each race.

Arriving early on race day is recommended and the first action is to buy a racecard, which will detail all the times and runners of each race as well as maps of the course and other useful information.

There is nothing quite like the thunder and thrill of a race underway and to take in the full experience, visitors can watch the horses warm in the Pre-Parade ring before getting a closer view in the Parade Ring itself before each race. At the end of the race winners and placed horses can be viewed within the winner's enclosure where trophies are also handed out. Placing a bet is of course an integral part of the enjoyment and there are many on-course betting shops and tote positions to choose from. Win or lose, a day at Ascot races promises to be an unforgettable social event.