Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot: everything you need to know about the world’s most famous horse race

Royal Ascot is one of the world’s most beloved events, famous for top hats, wide-brimmed hats, veils, and champagne. Five days dedicated to horse racing, yes, but also to being there to see and be seen, as Audrey Hepburn taught in My Fair Lady.

What is Royal Ascot?

Ascot racecourse was founded by Queen Anne in 1711 when it hosted a race called Her Majesty’s Plate, which rewarded the winner with the then princely sum of 100 guineas. The Ascot course then quickly established itself, and by the early 19th century, it was already considered not only a first-rate sports arena but also an event to attend. At that time, therefore, Beau Brummel, a great friend of the Prince Regent, devised a dress code.

Although each of the five days has its highlights, the opening day remains unique because it attracts a number of royals, limiting entry to the Royal Enclosure, the most prestigious level, to members only. In the morning, the gates are opened by the Yeoman Prickers. Known as the “green coats” due to their iconic green velvet uniforms, they were initially the monarch’s ceremonial guard and now assist participants in the competition.

Then, at 2 p.m. sharp, the queen and a select group of guest’s parade down the straight mile of the course in beautiful carriages amid singing and fanfare. Only then do the first-class races begin.

How to dress up?

Royal Ascot dress code

In the Royal Enclosure, tradition reigns supreme because of strict dress protocol. Men must wear a morning suit with a vest and a black or gray top hat. Only black shoes are allowed, and socks are mandatory. Women must wear a hat with a minimum base of 10 cm and dress with a modest cut.

No cleavage, transparencies, or shoulder pads are allowed. Instead, pants and jumpsuits are permitted but must always be worn with a “matching fabric” jacket or top: bright colors, floral prints, and long, flowing dresses.

The other Enclosures also have their dress code. For example, in the Queen Anne Enclosure, men must wear a suit and tie, and women must wear elegant dresses and a hat. The same goes for The Village Enclosure, while the Windsor Enclosure is more relaxed, with no dress code.

But how does one become a member of the Royal Enclosure? Membership is open, but you must be introduced by at least two members-not from the same family who have been members for at least five years. Attendance, letters of reference, and lots of ambition make the difference.

But besides horse racing, people go to Ascot for fun and entertainment. Over five days, 300,000 attendees consume some 56,000 bottles of champagne, 44,000 bottles of different types of wine, 21,000 pitchers of Pimm, and 60,000 sandwiches. There is, of course, no shortage of tea, of which about 80,000 cups are consumed. And whether it’s an elegant afternoon tea in the dedicated rooms of 1768 or a sumptuous picnic curated by Fortnum & Mason, the experience is undoubtedly not to be missed.

Ascot Gold Cup

The main event at Royal Ascot is the “Gold Cup.” It is a Group 1 flat horse race open to horses four years of age and older, 2 miles, 3 furlongs, and 210 yards (4,014 meters) long.

The Ascot Gold Cup is the most prestigious event in Britain for “stayers,” horses specializing in long-distance racing. It is the most anticipated and important race of this meeting. Many try their luck by betting on the best horse racing betting sites, where you can safely bet on horse racing by receiving welcome and deposit bonuses, attractive promotions, free bets, and concessions such as the best odds guaranteed.

Ascot Gold Cup records

Ascot Gold Cup records start with the jockey with the most victories, the Briton Lester Piggott able to win this race 11 times in his career, with a good 25 years between the first success (1957 on Zarathustra) and the last (1982 riding Ardross). Also of note in this unique ranking is our own Frankie Dettori, who has won here seven times, winning this race in 2018 and 2019, both with Stradivarius.

On the other hand, the horse that has won this event most often is Yeats, who was able to impose himself for four consecutive years from 2006 to 2009. On the other hand, the Aidan O’Brien-Sue Magnier pair have a record of 7 wins for best trainer and best owner, respectively, have worked together from 2006 to 2009 with Yeats, in 2011 with Fame and Glory, in 2014 with Leading Light and in 2016 with Order of St George (2016).

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