Royal Ascot 2019: Beginners Guide!
So, What is Royal Ascot?
30 races. 5 days. 500 horses. £7.3million prize money. 300,000 racegoers. 650 million watching around the world. Thousands of crazy hats.
Royal Ascot is the best attended, prestigious, most valuable and hat-filled horse racing festival in the European calendar. And Her Majesty the Queen goes. So it can’t be bad. Also, don’t forget to check out the latest betting odds for Royal Ascot 2019 at Ladbrokes!
Where is Royal Ascot?
Ascot. Surprisingly. But to be more specific, Ascot Racecourse is just off the high street. There is parking at the racecourse and a landing space for a medium-sized helicopter. Or you can take the train – your call. Unfortunately, no fixed-wing private aircraft can land though, so leave the G6 at home.
When is the Royal Ascot?
So, when does Royal Ascot start? All the action kicks off on Tuesday 18th June and runs until Saturday 22nd June.
But if you’re all about the detail, the Royal Ascot opening time is 10:30am for gates open. The first race isn’t until 2:30pm, but you’re going to want to get there early to bag the best spot to look at hats.
What is the Royal Ascot Procession?
If you’re a fan of people waving, then Royal Ascot has a real treat in store for you. Led by four Windsor horses, Her Majesty the Queen and some of her pals ride in a carriage for a mile. While waving. The Royal procession at Ascot is not to be missed.
The owner of many race-winning thoroughbreds – as of 2013, over 1,600 have won – the real question is on who Her Majesty the Queen will be backing in the Royal Box sweepstakes.
What time is the Royal Procession at Ascot?
Good question. 2pm each day.
Royal Ascot Day Guide
So you’ve parked the helicopter, you’ve seen some Royals being wheeled around in a carriage, now what? Oh yeah, races. Lot’s of races. Here’s our guide to the daily action.
Royal Ascot Day 1 – Tuesday 18th June 2019
Day one of Royal Ascot 2019 kicks off with a hat trick of Group One races (flat races are ranked in groups, Group One as the best, down to Group Four), The Queen Anne Stakes, The King’s Stand Stakes and the St James’s Palace Stakes.
One of the top Group One races of the week, The St James’s Palace Stakes is for three year old colts, who race a mile. £500,000 is up for grabs. Not bad.
The other races are The Coventry Stakes (Group 2), with two-year-olds (that’s the horse, not the jockey) taking on six furlongs for £150,000. If you want to impress/bore your mates, a furlong is 201.168 metres. Which coincidentally, is about how far away your friends will move if you tell them this. The last two races are a Handicap (the faster horses carry more weight), and a Listed race (level just below Groups), and take place on longer courses with older horses.
Royal Ascot Day 2 – Wednesday 19th June 2019
One of the best races of the meeting, the Prince of Wales’s Stakes is the highlight of day two, with some of the best middle distance runners taking part.
Despite being a handicap race, The Royal Hunt Cup is fantastic to watch as a field of up to 30 runners gallop down the mile straight.
Royal Ascot Day 3 – Thursday 20th June 2019 -Royal Ascot Ladies Day
The day of the historic Gold Cup, Royal Ascot Ladies Day is as famous for the outfits in the stands as much as the action on the turf. The Ascot Gold Cup sees the runners battle it out in a test of stamina over two miles and four furlongs. The Gold Cup winner takes home (no prizes for guessing) a gold cup, presented by HM the Queen. In 2013, the Queen’s own horse won the Gold Cup. To save her having to present the cup to herself, Prince Andrew did the honours.
The Gold Cup is not the only race on Ladies Day, two Group Two races, The Norfolk Stakes and Ribblesdale Stakes are the undercard on the most glamorous day of the festival.
Royal Ascot Day 4 – Friday 21st June 2019
The fourth day sees Europe’s best fillies (female horses) racing over a mile in the Group One Coronation Stakes. In one of the weirder traditions of the festival, the winner also takes home a year’s supply of Coronation Chicken and a VHS box set of Coronation Street (not really, but they should), alongside a share of the £300,000 prize.
There’s also a Group Two King Edward VII Stakes where the winner gets a big potato (sorry, not really but we couldn’t resist). The Group Three race, the Albany Stakes and the Sandringham Handicap round off a great Friday.
Royal Ascot Day 5 – Saturday 22nd June 2019
On the last day of the meeting, there is no let-up of great racing at Royal Ascot. The highlight being The Diamond Jubilee Stakes. The short sprint is always one of the most popular races of the entire week.
The Wokingham Stakes is another great sprint as the curtain begins to fall on Royal Ascot.
The longest race of the week finishes the racing action for the week with The Queen Alexandra Stakes, run over 2 miles 6 furlongs. A great test of stamina, the runners in this race will need to be stayers as they look to win the last race of the Royal Ascot meeting.
For the complete lowdown of all race times head to: https://www.ascot.co.uk/race-times
Royal Ascot Dress Code
Now you know what’s happening, ‘what do I wear?’ I hear you ask. Luckily for you, we have all the answers. Royal Ascot is famous for its dress code and to save you any embarrassment, here’s our tips.
What to wear at Royal Ascot?
If you’re in the Queen Anne enclosure hats are pretty much mandatory. Some advice for guys; avoid baseball, beanies or cowboy. Top, bowler or flat are the way to go. Chuck on a suit and some black shoes and you’re good to go. For the ladies think less TOWIE, more Downton.
In the Windsor enclosure, there is no strict dress code – think of it like your favourite classy bar. Try and make a bit of effort. Replica sport shirts are not allowed, although if you have a genuine match-worn shirt, you could try your luck, but we don’t recommend it.
Royal Ascot enclosure dress code
If you’re lucky enough to be hanging out with Her Majesty in the Royal enclosure, there are a new set of rules. For guys, waistcoats, ties, top hats and black shoes are a must and for ladies, midriffs must be covered. Dresses must be knee-length or longer.
Check out the Royal Ascot website for full details on the dress code: https://www.royalascothospitalityuk.co.uk/royal-ascot-dress-code