Ascot Racecourse today announces that Her Majesty The Queen has graciously consented to approve the extension of Royal Ascot to seven races each day from this year’s Royal Meeting (15th to 19th June).
Last year the Copper Horse Stakes, the Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes and the Golden Gates Stakes were added to the programme and the Buckingham Palace Stakes was reinstated. These races have all been retained.
Her Majesty has also approved the naming of the Kensington Palace Stakes (0-105), a new handicap to be run over the Old Mile for four-year-old and upwards fillies and mares.
Kensington Palace, set in Kensington Gardens, has been a residence for Members of the Royal Family since the 17th century.
The ‘Silver’ versions of the Royal Hunt Cup and the Wokingham Stakes have not been retained and there will not be eight races on Saturday as there were in 2020.
Sir Francis Brooke Bt., Her Majesty’s Representative at Ascot, said: “A positive that we drew from Royal Ascot 2020 was that the additional races presented more opportunities to participate and that this had been widely welcomed by owners, trainers, breeders and jockeys. We are delighted to be able to make this change permanent.”
The order of running in 2021 will be based on 2019. The schedule in 2020 reflected the late start of the Flat season which necessitated considerable changes, mainly related to the timing of the Newmarket and Epsom Classics.
In 2021, the races being permanently added will be run as the final races on each day. The exception will be on the Saturday, where the Golden Gates Handicap will be run as race six and the meeting will conclude, as is traditional, with the Queen Alexandra Stakes. The Queen Anne Stakes will return to its usual position, opening the Royal Meeting.
The full order of running for 2019, 2020 and 2021 is attached. Prize money will be confirmed in advance of the early closing races in April and will be listed for now with holding values (based on 2020) in programme book two.
Nick Smith, Director of Racing and Public Affairs at Ascot, added: “The concept of extended cards last year was well received, and we are very pleased to be able to offer additional opportunities to the horsemen community, the public, broadcasters and media going forward.
“At this time, more than ever, the increased opportunity to win prize money and to generate more levy and domestic and overseas betting income is crucial.
“Following consultation with the BHA, we decided to remove the two reserve races and bring in another high-quality handicap, as we are actually reducing the number of races run by one from last year, where eight races were staged on the Saturday. It occurred to us that the Old (round) Mile course is only used twice during Royal Ascot and another race on this track would add to the variety on offer.
“Last year’s extended cards were only possible by reducing some field sizes slightly, and because no overnight stabling was allowed under Covid-19 protocols.
“In order that field sizes can go up to their maximums again and with overnight stabling extremely important, we have commissioned extra temporary stabling to be built to the required high BHA standards.
“Royal Ascot is constantly evolving and has benefitted from many recent race additions and promotions and we are excited that the week will now be bigger and better for everyone.”
Royal Ascot 2021 Order of Running:
Tuesday 15th June
The Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1) | 4+ One mile (straight)
The Coventry Stakes (Group 2) | 2 Six furlongs
The King’s Stand Stakes (Group 1) | 3+ Five furlongs
The St James’s Palace Stakes (Group 1) | 3 C Old mile (round)
The Ascot Stakes (Handicap) | 4+ Two miles, four furlongs
The Wolferton Stakes (Listed) | 4+ One mile, two furlongs
The Copper Horse Stakes (Handicap) | 4+ One mile, six furlongs
Wednesday 16th June
The Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) | 2 F Five furlongs
The Queen’s Vase (Group 2) | 3 One mile, six furlongs
The Duke of Cambridge Stakes (Group 2) | 4+ FM One mile (straight)
The Prince Of Wales's Stakes (Group 1) | 4+ One mile, two furlongs
The Royal Hunt Cup (Heritage Handicap) | 3+ One mile (straight)
The Windsor Castle Stakes (Listed) | 2 Five furlongs
The Kensington Palace Stakes (Handicap) | 4+ FM Old mile (round)
Thursday 17th June
The Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) | 2 Five furlongs
The Hampton Court Stakes (Group 3) | 3 One mile, two furlongs
The Ribblesdale Stakes (Group 2) | 3 F One mile, four furlongs
The Gold Cup (Group 1) | 4+ Two miles, four furlongs
The Britannia Stakes (Heritage Handicap) | 3 CG One mile (straight)
The King George V Stakes (Handicap) | 3 One mile, four furlongs
The Buckingham Palace Stakes (Handicap) | 3+ Seven furlongs
Friday 18th June
The Albany Stakes (Group 3) | 2 F Six furlongs
The King Edward VII Stakes (Group 2) | 3 CG One mile, four furlongs
The Commonwealth Cup (Group 1) | 3 CF Six furlongs
The Coronation Stakes (Group 1) | 3 F Old mile (round)
The Sandringham Stakes (Handicap) | 3 F One mile (straight)
The Duke of Edinburgh Stakes (Handicap) | 3+ One mile, four furlongs
The Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes (Handicap) | 3 Five furlongs
Saturday 19th June
The Chesham Stakes (Listed) | 2 Seven furlongs
The Jersey Stakes (Group 3) | 3 Seven furlongs
The Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2) | 4+ One mile, four furlongs
The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Group 1) | 4+ Six furlongs
The Wokingham Stakes (Heritage Handicap) | 3+ Six furlongs
The Golden Gates Stakes (Handicap) | 3 One mile, two furlongs
The Queen Alexandra Stakes (Conditions) | 4+ Two miles, six furlongs