There are certain sights and certain sounds around the racecourse that combine to make Ascot a unique place to visit. Tick these off as you go along to get the most out of your experience…
When it basks in the summer sunshine during the Royal Meeting, Ascot’s Parade Ring is one of the event’s true epicentres. The Royal Procession arrives there each day before the first race, producing an atmosphere that won’t be found at any other sporting venue in the world, while when the racehorses parade there before a big race you can almost taste the tension in the air. Situated between the main gates and the grandstand, it has a capacity for xxxx viewers on its steps.
The Parade Ring also doubles up as the place where the winning horses are led following their heroics on the track, and the noise that greets them regularly sends chills down the spines of those who rush there to hail them. In recent years the receptions afforded by the Royal Ascot crowds to Frankel, Yeats, Black Caviar and Estimate, who won the Gold Cup for Her Majesty The Queen in 2013, will never be forgotten by anyone who was there to witness them. Trophies are also presented there to the lucky winning connections.
One of the highlights of last summer’s Royal Meeting was the unveiling, by Her Majesty The Queen, of a statue honouring the greatest racehorse of modern times. Frankel proved unbeatable on the track, winning all 14 of his races and becoming officially the highest rated racehorse in history. His greatest performance came in the 2012 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, the fourth of his five wins on the course, and he now stands looking down on the Parade Ring and on all the other horses who try to emulate him.
Ascot’s bandstand is located adjacent to the Parade Ring and offers a soothing backdrop of brass band music throughout the day. However, the area really comes alive each evening after racing, when hundreds of revellers crowd around it to sing in unison and see out an unforgettable day in style.
Every day Royal Ascot is ‘opened’ when the Royal Procession, led by Her Majesty The Queen, makes its way from the golden gate at the far end of the racecourse, down the finishing straight and into the Parade Ring. There aren’t many sights more representative of this most joyous of occasions than that of the horses and carriages making their way across the hallowed Ascot turf to join all the other expectant racegoers. Make sure you choose a suitable vantage point and don’t’ miss it!
To read more about the Ascot Racecourse grounds, get your copy of the Royal Magazine here.