The countdown to one of the most iconic summer highlights of the British sporting and social calendar has begun. Four weeks today Ascot Racecourse will open its gates for five days of world class racing, pageantry, high fashion and Fine Dining from Tuesday 16th – Saturday 20th June 2015.
Royal Ascot will feature 18 Group races, including eight Group Ones, with total prize money across the five days in excess of £5.5 million. Around 300,000 guests are expected to attend the Royal Meeting this year to witness the spectacle.
35,000 guests alone enjoy Fine Dining during the event and globally renown chefs Michael Caines, Phil Howard, Raymond Blanc and Angela Hartnett are all involved this year, boasting seven Michelin stars between them. Fine dining has always been an important ingredient of the Royal Ascot experience, with 330 chefs, covering a total of 12 restaurants and 15 private dining facilities. During the event 2,400 kilos of whole sirloin beef, 3,700 rumps of lamb and 2,900 Scottish lobsters are served to guests. A further 51,000 bottles of champagne, 160,000 glasses of Pimm’s and 45,000 afternoon teas are consumed.
Approximately 400 helicopters and 1000 limousines descend on Royal Ascot across the five days, while guests are greeted by 300 in-house stewards in traditional attire and a further 700 stewarding staff.
Ascot Racecourse was established at the behest of Queen Anne in 1711. The centrepiece of Ascot’s year, Royal Ascot, is thought to have originated in the mid-18th Century and is now arguably the world’s most famous race meeting. It has been attended by British Monarchs ever since its inception and each day of Royal Ascot traditionally begins with the Royal procession in which The Queen along with her family and guests parade in front of the Grandstand in horse-drawn carriages.
Increasingly in recent years, the Royal Meeting attracts some of the best horses from around the globe, with around 100 runners per day.
All races throughout the week will be televised live on Channel 4 and around the world, including live on terrestrial television in Australia.
For more stories about Royal Ascot, past and present, visit www.likenowhereelse.co.uk
Tickets for Royal Ascot start from £27. Fine Dining starts from £250 per person + VAT. For further information and to secure your place click here or call 0844 346 3000.
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ROYAL ASCOT BY NUMBERS
Attendance at Royal Ascot in 2014 was 285,831 (279,452 in 2013).
All 30 races at Royal Ascot will be shown live on Channel 4 and Racing UK and, through Pitch International and GBI Racing, pictures are distributed to approximately 200 countries worldwide. Such is the relevance of Royal Ascot in Australia that the meeting is shown on terrestrial television there on Channel 7.
Food & Drink
330 Chefs will work across 12 restaurants and the 222 private boxes at Royal Ascot 2015, providing 35,000 covers.
At Royal Ascot 2014 racegoers enjoyed 51,000 bottles of champagne; 160,000 glasses of Pimms; 131,000 pints of beer; 5,000 kilos of salmon; 7,000 Cornish and Folkestone crabs; 2,900 lobsters; 2,400 kilos of beef sirloin; 3,700 rumps of English lamb; 10,000 Angus steaks; 89,000 bottles of mineral water and 42,000 bottles of wine.
45,000 guests taking afternoon tea last year consumed 1,000 kilos of clotted cream along with 50,000 macaroons, 30,000 chocolate éclairs and 7,000 punnets of berries.
Across 88 bars and restaurants, a record 160,000 rounds of drinks were served in 2014.
The Cheese on Toast outlet on the Grandstand lawns sold the equivalent in height of the London Eye!
There are 175 stable boxes at Ascot Racecourse to accommodate an average of 100 runners per day but the boxes are nearly always full with runners for the next day’s racing (approximately 60) also accommodated. 700 bales of shavings and 500 bales of paper are used for stable bedding over the week.
This year is a truly international event, with California Chrome, dubbed "America's Horse" entered in the Prince of Wales's Stakes.
Able Friend, Hong Kong and arguably the world's best miler has travelled internationally for the first time from Hong Kong and is entered into the Queen Anne Stakes.
Closer to home, Solow and Karakontie, French champion milers, the first a recent Group One winner in Dubai, the latter the winner of the Breeders' Cup Mile in the U.S. are entered into the Queen Anne Stakes too.
Approximately 400 helicopters and 1,000 limos descend on Royal Ascot every year.
There are nearly 14,000 spaces for cars to park each day.