Royal Ascot – the Centrepiece of the British Social Calendar

Royal Ascot - the Centrepiece of the British Social Calendar

For five spectacular days from Tuesday 18th – Saturday 22nd June 2013 Royal Ascot, one of the highlights of the Flat racing calendar, will bring together the very best of fashion, style, sport, and entertainment.

Over the past 300 years, Ascot has established itself as a national institution; with Royal Ascot becoming the centerpiece of the British social calendar and the ultimate stage for the best racehorses in the world. Few sporting venues can match the rich heritage and history of the Ascot Racecourse.

In 1711 Queen Anne saw the potential for a racecourse at Ascot whilst out riding near Windsor Castle. She happened upon an area of open heath that looked, in her words, “ideal for horses to gallop at full stretch”.

Later that year, on Saturday 11th August 1711, the first race meeting at Ascot took place. The inaugural event was Her Majesty’s Plate, worth 100 guineas and open to any horse, mare, or gelding over six years of age. With each horse required to carry a weight of twelve stone and the seven runners were all English Hunters it was very different from the speedy thoroughbreds that race on the flat today.

That race consisted of three separate heats, each four miles long – about the length of today’s Grand National course, bearing little resemblance to modern-day racing at Ascot, as the winning horse would have required tremendous stamina.

Queen Anne’s gift to racing, founding the Royal Racecourse, is marked by the tradition of opening Royal Ascot with the Queen Anne Stakes.

Today Royal Ascot’s opening day gets off to an impressive start with three Group 1 races – the most prestigious races in the world:

  • The Queen Anne Stakes
  • The King’s Stand Stakes, the first British leg of the Global Sprint Challenge
  • The St James’s Palace Stakes, the feature race of the day

Ascot Racecourse is ideally situated in beautiful wooded countryside adjoining Windsor Great Park, offering easy access for all racegoers, wherever their departure point.

The Royal Enclosure is at the heart of Royal Ascot, with exclusive viewing areas and some of the best facilities on the course, perfect for relaxing with friends and guests.

For many, the fun begins with a ‘flutter’ on the horses. A small bet each way, or ‘on the nose’ to win, with the excitement culminating as the horses thunder down the home stretch, towards the winning line.

If you are new to racing and betting, you can follow these easy steps to enjoy a ‘flutter’ at the races.

To start simply take a look through the Racecard, the Racing Post, or any national paper to select which horse you fancy. Decide whether you want to bet ‘To Win’ (the horse has to finish first) or ‘Each Way’ (the horse must be ‘placed’ – finish in the first two, three, or four, depending on how many runners there are in the race). ‘Each Way’ is twice the cost, as you are placing one bet on the horse to win and another bet on the horse to be placed.

You can choose three different ways to place a bet at Ascot: the tote, Betting Shops, and the Betting Ring. If you are not attending on the day there is also the option to bet online.

For more information on this event visit


For online betting odds on the Royal Ascot race, visit

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