Royal Ascot is one of the highlights of the British flat race season. It takes place this year from June 15-19 and features some of the best horses in training.
This meeting has an incredible history behind it. 1711 saw the racecourse in Berkshire open with Royal Ascot as we know it, being introduced in 1811. It’s the best in flat racing with a high number of Group races, Listed races and handicaps. Many of the races have titles with a Royal connection such as the Queen Mary Stakes, King George V Stakes and the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes. The latter should be a rather emotional race for Her Majesty this year.
The good news is that this year there will be 12,000 fans allowed on course for each of the five great days of racing. That should include the Queen being in attendance. Her Majesty will have some great racing to watch. Let’s look at some of the feature races fans can’t wait to see.
The Ascot Gold Cup – Thursday 17 June
This is a Group 1 race and run over a distance of 2 miles, 3 furlongs and 210 yards. Stradivarius is the favourite to win yet again. This race was first held in 1807 and the favourite is bidding to win the race for the fourth time in succession. That’s a feat last achieved by Yeats in 2009. Fancied to break that run is Subjectivist who has won three of his last four races.
That’s just one of the great races you’ll be able to see at Royal Ascot this year.
The Kings Stand Stakes – Tuesday 15 June
A five-furlong race was first held in 1860 with a strange beginning. That year the weather was poor (well it was June) so too wet to race over two miles, so a five-furlong event was the replacement. It became the King’s Stand Stakes after King George V ascended the throne.
Favourite to win this year is Battaash, probably as difficult to beat as to spell correctly. Battaash won this race last year and comes into this having won five of his last six. It could be a Cinderella moment if Glass Slippers is victorious. This runner has got some air miles saved up. This will be five races and each in a different country.
Diamond Jubilee Stakes – Saturday 19 June
It was in 1868 that this race was first staged. It’s had a few names in the past but became the Diamond Jubilee Stakes in 2002 to mark 50 years of Her Majesty on the throne. Perhaps it’ll become the Platinum Jubilee Stakes next year?
Starman is the favourite for this year’s race, so probably popular with David Bowie fans. A winner of a Group 2 race in May, a good run looks guaranteed.