Royal Ascot: Your Need to Know Essentials

Ascot Racecourse: home to the some of the season’s finest flat racing fixtures. Races at Ascot are renowned for attracting a cast of thousands every year with the annual showcase, Royal Ascot, triumphing over all.

The prestigious Royal Meeting boasts 8 fascinating Group 1 races, ranging in distance from the 5f King’s Stand Stakes to the 2 and a half mile Gold Cup. Five days of top-class racing at Ascot is the perfect tonic for those looking combine pulsating action with a tremendous social occasion.

Royal Ascot 2018 Dates

Proceedings get underway at the prestigious Royal Meeting on Tuesday 19th June in 2018. The event lasts five days and reaches its climax on Saturday 23rd June. A day to look out for is certainly Ascot Ladies Day, which this year is scheduled for Thursday 21th June.

Royal Ascot 2018

Royal Ascot combines a fabulous racing spectacle with unrivalled style and sophistication.

Ascot Dress Code

Synonymous with style, elegance and unrivalled sophistication – values which are upheld by the meeting’s impeccable dress code – Royal Ascot represents one of the world’s most popular social events in the summer calendar. The luxury and finery of this splendid social occasion is unrivalled by most and for good reason. The dress codes for two of the venue’s popular enclosures can be found below:

Royal Enclosure

Gentlemen are required to wear either grey or black morning dress inside the Royal Enclosure, this must include:

  • Waistcoat and tie (no cravats)
  • Black or grey top hat
  • Black shoes

Ladies are required to wear formal daywear when inside the Royal Enclosure and this is defined below:

  • Dresses and skirts should be of modest length, falling just above the knee
  • Tops and dresses should have straps of one inch or greater
  • Jackets and pashminas are permitted but must be worn over dresses and tops
  • Trouser suits are allowed but should be of full length and matching colour
  • Hats should be worn
  • A headpiece with a base of 4 inches or greater in diameter is also acceptable

Queen Anne Enclosure

Gentlemen with Queen Anne Enclosure Admission must wear a suit with a shirt and tie.

Ladies with admission to the Grandstand are encouraged to dress for a formal occasion and should adhere to the following:

  • A hat, fascinator or headpiece should be worn at all times
  • Strapless/sheer strap top or dresses are not permitted
  • Trousers must be full length and comply with the above guidelines
  • Midriffs should be covered
  • Shorts are not permitted

Enjoy this splendid social occasion in unrivalled style with Eventmasters’ Official Royal Ascot Hospitality.

Toast to 2018 in style with a fabulous corporate package at Ascot Racecourse. It can only be imagined the impression that will be left with your valuable clients!

Royal Ascot 2018: An Occasion to Treasure

Ascot Racecourse: home to one of England’s most anticipated occasions of the summer sporting calendar; it is the defining stage upon which elegance and charm flourishes amongst a cast of thousands.

Three hundred years in the making, Royal Ascot is certainly an occasion to be cherished – the pageantry and the majesty; the passionate roar of the expectant crowd; the colour and sartorial elegance, the phenomenal feast and the astonishing glory makes this remarkable event like nothing else in the world.

The luxury and finery of this splendid social occasion is matched only by the delightful confines of the racecourse’s signature hospitality facilities, for which we will be officially supplying in 2018.

These will include Private Boxes within the main Grandstand, exclusive options for the Royal Enclosure and fine dining restaurants from the area immediately to the right of the Grandstand. Themed and party-style packages will also be available in the Village, which is located in the centre of the Racecourse.

Supplementing the racecourse’s superb collection this year are notable additions, The Gallery and Furlong Club.

Situated in a second-floor suite above the Lawn Club, The Gallery combines a prime viewing position with an exquisite Prosecco Jeio reception, three-course luncheon, complimentary bar and more. What better way to impress your esteemed guests?

The Furlong Club is equally alluring. With splendid panoramic views of the racing action, it is the idyllic setting for any avid racegoer. The facility offers guests a wonderfully private and spacious environment close to the Bandstand and Parade Ring, and includes an impeccable table service which is on offer throughout the day.

Royal Ascot Hospitality 2018 - Villiers Club

The Furlong Club provides racegoers with some of the finest track views on offer.

The Village, a long-established client favourite, will also be introducing its own exciting array of changes. In 2018 it will pioneer ‘Around the World in 80 Days Tea’, an immersive new party-theme to rival the immensely successful Mad Hatters Tea Service.

Beautiful table decorations and settings welcome diners to their places as they sit down to enjoy afternoon tea flavours served from giant wicker hot air balloon baskets. Dancers and performers join the party, performing traditional Indian dance in beautiful colourful costumes. An experience set to stay long in the minds of the Village Restaurant customers.

2018 will also mark the 3rd anniversary of the immensely popular Villiers Club. Acting as one of the venue’s leading social spots, the plush facility offers guests not only a wonderful and informal atmosphere to savour, but also a delightful tapas-style lunch and evening BBQ. To add to the splendid occasion, live music will also feature after the last race until 9 pm.

Royal Ascot Hospitality 2018 - Villiers Club

The splendid Villiers Club celebrates its 3rd year at Ascot in 2018.

It is also worth noting that the Sandringham Restaurant will be excluded from proceedings this year. Standing in its place is the equally enticing Balmoral Restaurant. Situated adjacent to the Royal Enclosure Gardens, this superb, novel hospitality option will be sure to entertain guests with its stunning views, fine foods and first-class personal service.

Enjoy this splendid social occasion in unrivalled style with Eventmasters’ Official Royal Ascot Hospitality.

Toast to 2018 in style with a fabulous corporate package at Ascot Racecourse. It can only be imagined the impression that will be left with your valuable clients!

Royal Ascot 2017: The Races to Remember (Day One and Day Two)

Eventmasters are delighted to provide official Ascot hospitality packages throughout the year. Give your esteemed clients the experience of a lifetime with one of our wonderful, exclusive offers.

Ascot Racecourse is home to one of England’s most anticipated occasions of the summer sporting calendar; it is the defining stage upon which elegance and charm flourishes amongst a cast of thousands. Three hundred years in the making, Royal Ascot is certainly an occasion to be cherished – the pageantry and the majesty; the passionate roar of the expectant crowd; the colour, the phenomenal feast and the astonishing glory makes this remarkable event like nothing else in the world.

Britain’s most prestigious race meeting sees a sumptuous array of the world’s top-class horses compete for a staggering £6.5 million in prize money in front of Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth along with other esteemed Royal Family members. The glorious five-day gathering, from 20th – 24th June will include eight Group One races, with the coveted feature races starting at 16:20 BST each day.Royal Ascot Hospitality - ascot racecourse

The prestigious meeting got off to a fabulous start with a Royal Flush heralded by the arrival at the beginning of this year’s sun-splashed event with the traditional Royal Procession bearing several senior members of the Royal Family. Accompanying H M Queen was the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Earl and Countess of Wessex along with Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice.

Royal Ascot Day One (Tuesday 20th June): Racing Highlights

Racing Schedule & Results:

14:30 – (Group 1) Queen Anne Stakes – Winner: Ribchester
15:05 – (Group 2) Coventry Stakes – Winner: Rajasinghe
15:40 – (Group 1) King’s Stand Stakes – Winner: Lady Aurelia
16:20 – (Group 1) St James’s Palace Stakes – Winner: Barney Roy
17:00 – (Handicap) Ascot Stakes – Winner: Thomas Hobson
17:35 – Windsor Castle Stakes – Winner: Sound and Silence

Three Group One encounters on the opening day guaranteed that flat racing’s signature meeting was launched in terrific style. The Queen Anne and King’s Stand Stakes provided more than enough to whet the appetite of avid onlookers. In the Queen Anne Stakes it was the firm favourite Ribchester, ridden by William Buick, who gave owners, Godolphin, a superb opening win at the 2017 Royal meeting. The British-trained Thoroughbred produced a course record for the straight mile – a splendid way for Sheikh Mohammed to celebrate his 40 year anniversary as Godolphin chief. In the King’s Stand Stakes, flying filly Lady Aurelia emerged as the victor for the second successive year despite the absence of Frankie Dettori. The decorated Italian jockey picked up an injury on the eve of the royal meeting, but his capable deputy, John Velazquez, proved his mettle with a terrific victory in his stead.

The St James’s Palace Stake, however, certainly merited the acclaim of ‘race of the day’. The enthralling feature race saw a fiercely fought rivalry reignited when Dual 2000 Guineas winner Churchill, ridden by Ryan Moore, once again came head to head with Barney Roy, ridden by James Doyle. Back in May, Churchill had triumphed over Barney Roy by a length at Newmarket, but it was the latter who emerged victorious at Ascot Racecourse, triggering tumultuous applause from a captivated audience.

Royal Ascot Day Two (Wednesday 21st June): Racing Highlights

Racing Schedule:

14:30 – (Group 3) Jersey Stakes
15:05 – (Group 2) Queen Mary Stakes
15:40 – (Group 2) Duke Of Cambridge Stakes
16:20 – (Group 1) Prince Of Wales’s Stakes
17:00 – Royal Hunt Cup Heritage Handicap
17:35 – Sandringham Stakes

Yesterday’s iconic opening day saw an interesting change from the original status quo as esteemed racegoers, for the first time in the event’s history, were allowed to adopt a more casual dress code – by removing their plush jackets and top hats – to combat the scorching heat wave. It looks to be more of the same today for visitors, who can expect another magnificent day in the sweltering sun with highs of 32 degrees.

Day Two will also represent an extremely busy day for H M Queen, who is set to travel directly to the racecourse from the State Opening of Parliament in time to enjoy another delightful day of riveting racing.

Today’s feature race, the Prince of Wale’s Stakes (16:20 BST), will certainly be one to savour. The highly anticipated Group One race will showcase some the world’s finest middle-distance horses and should provide an enthralling spectacle for the thousands in attendance.

Highland Reel, ridden by Ryan Moore, is the competition’s firm favourite; the five year old Irish Thoroughbred will be looking to add to his recent success in the Coronation Cup at Epsom in early June. He will, however, have a number of strong competitors to contend with, not least of all Ulysses, whose resilient performance at Sandown demonstrated his terrific capabilities. The contest will also spark a renewed rivalry between Highland Reel and Jack Hobbs with the latter beating the former in the Dubai Sheema Classic back in March.

The contest promises to be a tremendous sporting occasion, and is one that certainly shouldn’t be missed.

Eventmasters’ Royal Ascot Hospitality

Eventmasters are proud suppliers of splendid corporate entertainment packages at the sumptuous Royal Ascot. We aim to give your clients a memory to cherish with our exclusive VIP hospitality experiences.

Royal Ascot 2017 Style Guide & Dress Code

The Royal Meeting takes place at Ascot Racecourse every year and is synonymous with elegance, style, sophistication and world-class sport.
This meeting is the biggest of the flat racing season in the UK and hosts an astonishing eight group one contests spread across five glorious days of unrivalled action. Royal Ascot corporate hospitality packages are available for all five days of the 2017 Royal Meeting including the always popular Royal Ascot Ladies Day.

Deciding what to wear to the Royal Meeting can be a daunting task for both men and women. We have put together a style guide to try and help you decide!

Massive change at Royal Ascot 2017?

Jumpsuits have come back in fashion from catwalks to retail shops. The Royal Ascot Enclosure accepts the use of Jumpsuits to be worn for the first time in 300 years. However, they will only accept jumpsuits that are ankle length with either a light/beige colour scheme but nothing too colourful. The last time The Royal Ascot made a major change was in 1971 where the trouser suit was incorporated into the dress code. With severer rules this year, halter necks, spaghetti straps and clashing colours are definitely NOT allowed.


• Skirts and dresses will have to be knee-length at a minimum. Anything shorter will not be accepted
• The straps of dresses or tops should be one inch or thicker.
• You are allowed to wear jackets and pashminas but it’s recommended that the dress or tops underneath should obey with the style code.
• Trouser suits and jumpsuits are acceptable but both should be full length having a suitable colour and material.
• Hats NEED to be worn with a solid base of 10cm is acceptable.


• Gentlemen must remember to wear either black or grey.
• Must wear a waistcoat and tie
• Black/grey hat
• Black shoes
• Gentlemen are allowed to take their hats off when they are in a private box, a private club, a restaurant, balcony or garden.


• Girls who are aged 10-17 should dress according to the ladies dress code. They may wear a headpiece or fascinator without any restrictions.
• Boys who are aged 10-17 should dress according to the gentlemen’s dress code or they can wear a dark coloured suit with a shirt.

Overseas visitors

• They are more than allowed to wear the formal National Dress of their country or a service dress.

Serving military

• More than welcome to wear a service dress or something similar.

Banned from Ascot

• Strapless, halter neck and spaghetti straps.
• Midriffs should be covered.
• Headpieces are not allowed unless they have a solid base of 10cm/four inches.

If you have any questions on the above or would like any more dress code information please contact us on 020 7989 6500.
The Royal Meeting is now less than 40 days away, Eventmasters have limited stock remaining in exclusive areas… but the stock is running out fast! Please follow the link for more information on our Royal Ascot Hospitality Packages.

Royal Ascot 2017 – What to expect?


ascot blog image

As the sun gets brighter and the days get longer, it can only mean one thing – Royal Ascot is around the corner. Get your fascinator and top hat dusted down, this year is should be amazing!

The event is “under starter orders” from Tuesday 20th June and chefs are getting ready to cook and serve the long list of VIP celebrities, guests and of course H.M. Queen and Royal family members who again will be attending this year.

Preparations are already underway:

5,000 kg of Smoked Salmon

45,000 Pastries

7,000 Punnets of Berries

35,000 Rounds of Sandwiches

51,000 Bottles of Champagne

160,000 Glasses of Pimm’s

Exciting New Village Enclosure Facility!

For the first time in over a 100 years Royal Ascot will be getting a new enclosure. The Villers Club Enclosure will be concentrated in the centre of the race course, in what will be an attempt to make a push for the younger generation.

It will include features such as live music, food stalls, DJs, cock-tail bars and much more.

This restricted area will be available for the last three days of Royal that runs over five days concluding on Saturday 24th June.

Aiden O’Brien has confirmed that he will once again be bringing his usual strong team from Ballydoyle to Royal. He has 23 entries in the Queen’s Vase alone, which will be over a new distance of 1M 6F (rather than the traditional 2M) in 2017. A race he has won 5 out of the last 10 years!

Entries for Royal Ascot Group 1 races were revealed last week.

Eventmasters are offering a number of corporate hospitality packages at Royal Ascot 2017 with many facilities already sold out please follow the link for current availability.

Royal Ascot Hospitality Packages. 

Quiet Reflection Ready For Royal Ascot & QIPCO Champions Day

Quiet Reflection one of the stars of Royal Ascot in 2016, will be returning to Ascot Racecourse in 2017 with the Royal Meeting and QIPCO Champions Day both on her agenda.

Karl Burke trained the star filly to big race wins in the 32Red Sprint Cup Stakes at Haydock and the Prix Sigy at Chantilly – but her finest moment was without doubt her storming success in the Group One Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

On that afternoon she justified strong support to beat Kachy with a powerful finish. Her season finished with defeat in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes on Champions Day, but her trainer is confident of another successful season in 2017.

“She is obviously the stable star of last year and she has wintered brilliantly. I am really pleased with her – she has thickened out and strengthened as a lot of those sprinting horses do,” Burke told

“She is fairly restricted and limited to where she can go but she will start off in a Group 2 in either the Duke of York, the Temple Stakes at Haydock the following week or a Group 2 over six furlongs at the Curragh on the same day as the Temple.

“I think She will go to one of them as a prep run for Royal Ascot and hopefully then onto the July meeting at Newmarket and then maybe onto the Nunthorpe depending on how she gets on in the Temple. She will go for the Sprint Cup at Haydock and then Champions Day at Ascot and then that will be her done.”

Almanzor On Track For Royal Ascot Appearance

French flyer Almanzor will return to the scene of his finest success with Royal Ascot one of the main targets for Jean-Claude Rouget’s stable star.

The four-year-old was the star of the show on QIPCO Champions Day in 2016 as he breezed past Found and Jack Hobbs to win the QIPCO Champion Stakes. Now the superstar will head for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes on the second day of Royal Ascot, as he looks for more Group One glory at the iconic track.

“The main target for Almanzor during the first half of the year is the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and he will prep for that in the Prix d’Ispahan,” Rouget told the Racing Post.

“He has done well physically over the winter but he has done nothing yet in the way of fast work, he has just been cantering.”

Royal Ascot Hospitality Packages Now On Sale

Royal Ascot 2017 will once again be the most prestigious and sought after event of the summer, don’t miss out on your chance to experience it all in VIP style with our official Royal Ascot hospitality packages – please follow the link for more information.

Royal Ascot on the Radar for Jack Hobbs

Jack Hobbs, who returned to action with an impressive victory in the Sheema Classic on Dubai World Cup Night, could be targeted at Royal Ascot according to his trainer John Gosden.

The five-year-old missed the majority of the 2016 campaign with a stress fracture, made an eye-catching return to the track as he defeated two of the leading middle distance horses in the world; Postponed and Highland Reel.

Now the Godolphin star has an array of targets moving forward including Royal Ascot, the Coronation Cup and King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Jock Hobbs ran just twice last season pulling up sharply on his first start at Newmarket on 2000 Guineas Day, before returning at QIPCO Champions Day to finish third in the Champion Stakes behind Almanzor and Found.

Gosden said of his Dubai winner: “Jack Hobbs had a wonderful 2015, winning the Irish Derby, finishing second in the Derby and Dante, and probably hit the front way too soon in the Champion Stakes.

“We had the whole year trying to get him right again, which we did. I thought he ran a great race behind Almanzor and Arc winner Found. Again he was a bit dreamy in the race, came wide and late, which was why we would put something [blinkers] on to focus the horse because he’s inclined to look at everything.

“He travelled beautifully through the race at Meydan. He settled after three furlongs and travelled best of all then. Rather as with Dar Re Mi William didn’t hit the button as soon as they straightened, he waited to the two marker and away he went. It was very fulfilling.”

The top races over ten and twelve furlongs will be the aim all season, in a division that looks ferociously competitive with the likes of Almanzor and Postponed sure to be involved in all the big events.

Royal Ascot Hospitality Packages Now On Sale

Royal Ascot 2017 will once again be the most prestigious and sought after event of the summer, don’t miss out on your chance to experience it all in VIP style with our official Royal Ascot hospitality packages – please follow the link for more information.

Royal Ascot 2016 Racing and Hospitality Review

Royal Ascot once again provided the finest racing, hospitality and fashion in 2016. There were winners from all over the world and despite less than ideal weather conditions the action on display was still of the highest calibre.

Here is our full review of all the big race action at Royal Ascot 2016.

Tepin shines on day one with Queen Anne Stakes victory; while Galileo Gold proves to be the best of the Guineas winners

The opening day of Royal Ascot began with a typically glorious Royal Procession and while the weather was gloomy, the crowd was quickly set alight by the electrifying superstar US mare Tepin.

Many worried before the race that the ground would go against the five-year-old who stormed to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile in October; but as the race began to develop those fears were quickly put to bed.

Jockey Julien Leparoux kept his mount close to the pace throughout and entering the final furlong-and-a-half he pushed Tepin to take the lead. The mare responded in great style and entered a brilliant battle with favourite Belardo, but in true champion style Tepin ground her rival down and took the victory by half-a-length.

After the race owner Robert Masterson said, “She is the best thing in the world. It’s all her, we just represent her. She is fantastic and she did a fantastic job again today.”

What a thrilling start.

In the battle of the British, Irish and French 2000 Guineas winners it was Galileo Gold who came out on top in the St James’s Palace Stakes. The winner of the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket showed another devastating turn of foot under a typically brilliant Frankie Dettori ride.

With Awtaad (Irish 2000 Guineas winner) and The Gurkha (French 2000 Guineas winner) in the field the race was always going to be one of the best of the entire week and it certainly lived up to the hype.

Galileo Gold took up a good position throughout and didn’t want to be caught out like he was in the Irish Guineas. He quickened up well inside the two-furlong marker and quickly had daylight between himself and his rivals.

And under the master of Ascot Dettori he was always doing enough to beat The Gurkha by a length-and-a-quarter.

Lady Aurelia produces a dazzling display on day two of Royal Ascot

The second day of Royal Ascot 2016 was dominated by one horse as Lady Aurelia produced one of the most stunning displays Ascot Racecourse has ever seen.

The Wesley Ward-trained two-year-old was sent off as the 2-1 favourite for the Queen Mary Stakes despite conditions being softer than ideal. Once again that man Frankie Dettori was in the saddle, quickly sending his mount into the lead.

The furious pace set by the filly was too much for her rivals to handle and as quickened further clear in the final furlong nothing was able to match the devastating power. She crossed the line as a seven-length victor, a truly astonishing performance.

Dettori said: “That was breathtaking from the top. To win by seven lengths at Royal Ascot was sensational and I’ve never seen or experienced anything like it especially for a two-year-old.”

In the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes there was a major shock as Japanese superstar and odds-on favourite A Shin Hikari finished last in the six-runner field as My Dream Boat took the prestigious prize for Clive Cox and Adam Kirby.

Order Of St George is the star of Royal Ascot Ladies Day with superb performance in the Ascot Gold Cup; Quiet Reflection storms to victory in Friday’s Commonwealth Cup

The 2016 running of the prestigious Ascot Gold Cup attracted a post-war record field of 18-runners but there was only one superstar among them as Order Of St George gave Aidan O’Brien his seventh win in the race.

Despite a troubled passage throughout the race, Ryan Moore always looked confident that his mount had plenty in the tank. The odds-on favourite wasn’t a confirmed stayer before the race but he made light work of the marathon trip.

Entering the final quarter-of-a-mile the four-year-old quickened very well but three-lengths between himself and the field and scoring in comfortable fashion.

After the race Ryan Moore said: “He has lots of class and it was a very messy race with 18 runners in there. He’s just a class animal.” That win made it a double on the day for Moore and O’Brien who took the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes with the exciting Even Song (O’Brien’s 50th Royal Ascot winner).

On Friday afternoon all-eyes were on the exciting Quiet Reflection who was bidding to six wins from seven starts in the Commonwealth Cup and Karl Burke’s three-year-old didn’t disappoint.

As Dougie Costello held the filly up in the middle of the pack she always looked to be travelling strongly. Inside the final-furlong she was asked for extra-effort and duly responded and took the race in striking fashion, running on all the way to the line.

Queen celebrates 90th birthday with Dartmouth’s Hardwicke Stakes win; with Twilight Son taking the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on the final day of Royal Ascot 2016

Her Majesty The Queen celebrated her 90th birthday in fantastic style as Dartmouth took the Hardwicke Stakes, her first winner since Estimate’s Gold Cup success in 2013.

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute the four-year-old was travelling powerfully under French jockey Olivier Peslier. Entering the final furlong he entered a ding-dong duel with Highland Reel, but he was always doing enough and ran on strongly to take the race by a head.

The victory drew huge cheers from the capacity crowd and despite a Stewards Enquiry the placings were unaltered. It was thrilling sight to see The Queen in the winners’ enclosure.

There was a  further connection to Eventmasters in the final big race of the week as the winner Twilight Son’s dam Twilight Mistress was previously owned by company managing director Denise Sheasby (The Twilight Team) who came out on top in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes, in arguably the best race of the week. The exhilarating six-furlong contest is always run at a furious pace and this was no different.

As the field entered the final strides only a length separated Twilight Son from Gold-Fun, Signs Of Blessing and Magical Memory. But under the masterful Ryan Moore the Henry Candy star was able to hold on for the biggest win of his career.

Royal Ascot 2016 Hospitality Review

Eventmasters were once again delighted to provide the finest hospitality for Royal Ascot 2016, with guests enjoying VIP treatment across all five days.

Alongside our flagship Sandringham Restaurant we were also thrilled to be able to provide the finest hospitality inside Carriages Restaurant; The Royal Ascot Village; The Ascot Pavilion and a brand new facility in 2016 The Lawn Club – which provided stunning views of all the action.

Below we have posted a video of the superb views of the action from the Lawn Club as Churchill took the Chesham Stakes on Saturday.

With sumptuous food, luxurious settings and VIP treatment the hospitality on offer at Royal Ascot 2016 was some of the finest at any event in the country. Perfectly complimenting the thrilling action on the track.

For more information or to register your interest please see our Royal Ascot 2017 hospitality packages page.

Royal Ascot 2016 – Day One Preview

The biggest meeting of the flat racing season is here, its Royal Ascot 2016. After all the build-up some of the world’s finest horses will grace the famous turf of Ascot Racecourse for five days of truly glorious action.

Read our preview of the big race action on day one of Royal Ascot which includes the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes and the King’s Stand Stakes.

2.30pm – Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1)

The traditional curtain raiser of Royal Ascot is the Queen Anne Stakes one of the season’s premier one-mile contests which has once again attracted a high-class field.

The market for the race is led by US super-mare Tepin, one of many international superstars who will grace Ascot this week. The five-year-old is a multiple Group 1 winner and took the Breeders’ Cup Mile in 2015, marking her out as a global star.

Her form this season has been impressive again and she arrives as the one to beat. The only concern for Mark Casse’s stable star will be the softer ground, something she has not encountered in 19 career starts.

French star Ervedya arrives in the Queen Anne with a Royal Ascot win under her belt after taking the Coronation Stakes in 2015. The form of that race has worked out magnificently well with the likes of Found and Arabian Queen winning Group 1 contests since.

While the four-year-old was turned over in her reappearance at Saint-cloud, the softer ground we are likely to see will play right into her hands and she is a major player for Jean-Claude Rouget.

Another French raider with a strong chance is Esoterique for the Andre Fabre yard. The six-year-old has a lot of high-quality Group 1 form in the book especially on slower ground. She was second to the world-class Solow in this contest in 2015 and will be one to watch.

The home challenge looks likely to be led by the Roger Varian-trained Belardo. The four-year-old took the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes as a juvenile, he had a difficult campaign as a colt, but looks back to his best this season.

This soft-ground specialist took the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury last time out, showing plenty of heart on the run in to score by a length. He mustn’t be ignored for an in-form stable.

Interesting outsiders include Kodi Bear (Clive Cox), Toormore (Richard Hannon Jnr) and Cougar Mountain (Aidan O’Brien) but they will have to improve their form to be major contenders against this quality of opposition.

Verdict: A hot renewal of one of the season’s biggest races. There is quality wherever you look. Tepin brings some of the best form and is the headline act but the ground is a concern. But that can’t be said of previous Royal Ascot winner Ervedya who will relish conditions and looks to hold a superb chance at making it two-from-two at this historic meeting.

3.40pm – King’s Stand Stakes (Group 1)

The second Group 1 contest of the day is always one of the most exhilarating contests of the week as the best sprinters thunder down the Ascot straight in the five-furlong King’s Stand Stakes.

High-class sprinter Mecca’s Angel has been the long-time favourite for this event and she will relish the conditions at Ascot Racecourse. Michael Dods stable star took the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York on her final start of 2015 beating Acapulco (who was removed from the race on Monday due to going conditions) on good-to-soft ground.

The five-year-old was narrowly beaten on her reappearance at Haydock by the highly-progressive Profitable. That run should have put her spot on for this race and she will be dangerous once again.

As mentioned Profitable got the better of Mecca’s Angel at Haydock, his second big win of the season. Clive Cox’s progressive sprinter took the Palace House Stakes on Guinea’s weekend at Newmarket before his victory in the Temple Stakes.

He will not be inconvenienced by the softer conditions, but it remains to be seen if he can confirm the form with the favourite.

The huge gap in the market between the two principles and the rest would suggest it is a two-horse race but there are plenty with the potential to cause an upset. Pearl Secret is a real soft-ground horse and is a talented individual.

He has run to a consistent level in the biggest sprints and took the Group 2 Temple Stakes lasts season. If everything drops right for him he could run a big race.

The same can be said of David O’Meara’s Move In Time, the eight-year-old claimed the Group 1 Prix De L’abbaye De Longchamp in 2014, proving he has the quality for a race like this. Since then he has failed to fire on all cylinders but he could be prepped for the big day by a shrewd trainer.

Waady represents the powerful combination of John Gosden and Frankie Dettori. The four-year-old is very versatile, winning on a wide range of going. His three victories at Sandown show that he relishes a track with a stiff finish, so the course should be to his liking and he may be able to improve on his two runs behind Profitable this season.

Verdict: Mecca’s Angel is the obvious starting point for this race with her quality form from last season. Profitable has been so progressive this season and could run a big race again. But at a bigger price Waady could cause an upset for a potent trainer/jockey combination.

4.20pm – St James’s Palace Stakes (Group 1)

The final Group 1 contest of the afternoon is the St James’s Palace Stakes which this season features the British, Irish and French 2000 Guineas winners. This is going to be one hell of a race.

The Gurkha represents the Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore team who combined to such devastating effect at Royal Ascot last season. After winning his maiden by nine-lengths at Navan he destroyed a top-class field in the Poule D’essai Des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) running away under Moore to score by five-and-a-half lengths.

That victory catapulted him to the top of the market for this race and he really could be anything.

Awtaad took his career tally to four wins from five starts when he stormed to victory in the Irish 2000 Guineas. Kevin Prendergast’s three-year-old was well backed before the race and delivered a thrilling performance. Reports from the stable suggest he has improved since that run and he won’t mind the softer conditions.

Prendergast said, “Awtaad has won on soft, yielding and good to yielding, so the ground should be perfect for him.

“He’s in good shape. He did his last bit of work on Thursday and came out of it very well. I couldn’t be happier with him and it’s all systems go for Tuesday.”

Galileo Gold was a superb winner of the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in April but has some work to do to reverse the form of his defeat by Awtaad in the Irish Guineas. The colt gave Hugo Palmer the biggest day of his training career at Newmarket, but was slightly below his best at the Curragh. While the ground will suit, it remains to be seen if the track at Ascot will be to his liking.

Verdict: What a race we have here with three high-class Group 1 winning performers. Galileo Gold seems to have the most to do in terms of form but shouldn’t be easily discounted. The Gurkha looks to be a potential superstar, but Awtaad looks the most polished of all these; he has great form and possesses a superb turn of foot.

Sit back and enjoy the finest flat racing anywhere on the planet.

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Royal Ascot News Update – 31/05/2016

With just two weeks to go until the start of Royal Ascot 2016 we continue to round-up all the latest news and views. The biggest meeting in flat racing sees some of the world’s best horses, jockeys and trainers come to Ascot Racecourse for five glorious days of action.

Super sprinter Drafted set for Royal Ascot bow

Godolphin’s US owned sprinter Drafted will make his first trip to Europe as he tackles the Windsor Castle Stakes on the opening day of Royal Ascot 2016.

In April the unbeaten colt (trained by Eoin Harty) set a new track record at Keenland, when he destroyed Wesley Ward’s fancied Spellker over a trip of just four furlongs.

Now it has been confirmed that he will step up to five furlongs at Ascot Racecourse for the Listed contest, which was won in 2015 the Aidan O’Brien trained Washington DC.

The USA will be sending over some of their finest horses as they look for more glory at the Berkshire track with the likes of Tepin, Undrafted, Acapulco and Hootenanny all set to travel to the UK.

Harty said of his star: “He worked on turf over five furlongs at Arlington, and it was a fantastic piece of work. He’s straightforward and precocious.

“We are always on the look-out for horses with potential, and he’s basically ideal for what we have in mind.”

Lyons still has Royal Ascot in mind for Psychedelic Funk; while Ascot Gold Cup is still the aim for Clever Cookie

Irish trainer Ger Lyons still intends to take his exciting two-year-old Psychedelic Funk to Royal Ascot; despite the colt missing his run on Sunday with a high temperature.

After two impressive victories the juvenile has been cut into 6-1 for the Group 2 Coventry Stakes on the opening day of Royal Ascot 2016.

Lyons said on At The Races: “There was everything to lose and nothing to gain – two weeks away Royal Ascot is the most important date and that’s what we’ll keep him for.

“He’s the best we’ve had at this stage. He’s very straightforward and when Aidan O’Brien comes up to you and is high on him, you know you’ve a nice colt.”

Another horse on the Royal Ascot path is the popular Clever Cookie who is looking for his maiden Group 1 victory in the prestigious Gold Cup.

The eight-year-old took the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup at the York Dante Festival after finishing a close second Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup at the end of last season.

However if the ground on Thursday 16th June (Royal Ascot Ladies Day) is too fast then trainer Peter Niven won’t risk running his stable star.

He said: There’s no plan B. We’re just hoping for good ground. If he doesn’t run it’s not the end of the world as there are plenty of races at the back end of the season for him.

“We’re not saying he needs a bog, he doesn’t, just as long as it’s safe ground. The worry is it can get very quick up the straight at Ascot.”

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