Renowned racing commentator Simon Holt has enjoyed many years calling the horses home at Royal Ascot and this year is set to be just as special for Channel 4's voice of racing.
I always look forward to Royal Ascot. I have been very lucky as I have commentated there since the mid 1990’s and I can remember Double Trigger winning the Gold Cup in 1995.
I used to do the race commentary before and then Channel 4 took over the broadcasting so I have seen some of the best days in Royal Ascot history. I have great admiration for the week in general. It is such a special, smart occasion - a great atmosphere over the five days and world class horse racing makes it unlike anywhere else.
It has given me some of my greatest racing memories, we can’t forget Estimate who won the Gold Cup for the Queen but another day I won’t forget was Black Caviar in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes in 2012. It was amazing that such a respected horse, the ‘wonder from down under’, would come all the way over just for the race.
It was an incredibly dramatic race as the rider dropped his hands and nearly got beat with one or two closing up towards the line. There were also a number of Australian fans there that day and it was a real feel good day, whether they came from down under or Earls Court.
The incredible atmosphere and drama of that day is memorable and I felt sorry for Black Caviar but the best horses can win ugly as well as impressively.
Of course 2016 will also have a real international flavour with Wesley Ward bringing over a number of impressive American horses who have good chances.
We also have A Shin Hikari, the Japanese horse who emphatically won over in France on his European debut and that is one I am particularly looking forward to.
My job at Royal Ascot is of course an enjoyable one, we get the best seat in the house at the top of the new Ascot Grandstand.
The commentary box at Ascot offer tremendous height. It offers amazing views, so there are no excuses in terms of me seeing the action and calling it correctly. We get a better look at things than most, even the big handicap fields we can look around and see exactly what is unfolding whereas some are waiting until they reach the home straight.
Some areas at Ascot are brilliant. I wouldn’t mind having lunch in one of the restaurants one day in the Royal Enclosure, they look beautiful.
In terms of the course, it is stiffer than some people think with the mile straight course pretty much being all uphill and so if you are bringing a horse to Royal Ascot, they must be able to stay because it is tougher than Newmarket or Epsom.
Simon Holt, Channel 4
Tickets for this year's Royal Ascot are proving as popular as ever, with the Queen Anne Enclosure sold out on Thursday 16th, Friday 17th and Saturday 18th June. The Windsor Enclosure has sold out on both Thursday 16th and Saturday 18th June, with limited availability on Friday 17th June.
We still have availability on the opening two days of the Royal Meeting, while upgrades that include Queen Anne Enclosure admission are still available across all five days.For all latest availability and to book pleaseclick here