The Royal Meeting is a whirlwind of excitement and colour. Each day has its own personality, interspersed with six top-class races.
The curtain goes up. Our week begins with three Group One races (the most prestigious class of Flat race).
The first is the Queen Anne Stakes, named after our founder. The second is the King’s Stand Stakes, the first British leg of the Global Sprint Challenge. Finally, the St James’s Palace Stakes often attracts horses that have run in the English, French and Irish 2,000 Guineas.
A more gently-paced day that nevertheless features an exciting card and includes the Group One Prince of Wales’s Stakes.
This is held by many to be Royal Ascot’s most important race of the modern era, though it actually dates back to 1862.
Traditionally watched by a slightly smaller crowd, it is the perfect opportunity to entertain in a more relaxed atmosphere.
Thursday is the day of the historic Gold Cup. This is Britain’s most important event for stayers (horses that run over long distances).
It is also the event that launched the Royal Meeting as we know it. As thousands turn out to see this coveted prize contested, it is also the day that designer creations and millinery masterpieces take centre stage.
The traditional highlight of the day is the Group One Coronation Stakes. This was first run in 1840 to commemorate the crowning of Queen Victoria two years earlier. This race typically pits the leading three-year-old fillies in Europe against each other.
A second Group One race, the Commonwealth Cup, was introduced in 2015 making Friday the perfect lead-in to a long weekend.
The week’s fitting finale. Royal Ascot closes with the Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes; one of the world’s great international sprint races and the second British leg of the Global Sprint Challenge.
It was famously won in 2012 by Black Caviar, who put her unbeaten record on the line to ensure global prestige. A second Group One race, the Commonwealth Cup, was introduced in 2015 making Friday the perfect lead-in to a long weekend.