Thursday, June 15, 2023

Royal Ascot 2023 Preview

Royal Ascot is Britain's most valuable race meeting, attracting many of the world's finest racehorses to compete for millions of pounds in prize money (just over 9.5 million in 2023). Approximately 500 horses race across the five days. Eighteen Group races, eight of them Group 1, are staged each year and are broadcast to audiences in almost 200 territories around the world.

Ascot employees increase by more than 6,500 temporary staff, with over 33,500 items of temporary furniture and 20,000 flowers and shrubs grown especially for the Royal Meeting.

There are four enclosures in total at Royal Ascot, three of them open to the public. The Royal Enclosure is the most prestigious, with access strictly limited. First-time applicants must apply to the Royal Enclosure Office and gain sponsorship from someone who has attended the Royal Enclosure for at least four years. Existing members are sent invitations by Her Majesty's Representative to request badges each year. Badges are hand written and can only be worn by the named person.[5]Colours of badges vary for each day of the Royal Meeting.

The annual Royal Meeting takes place over five days, each with a unique offering of racing and atmosphere. The week begins on a Tuesday, with the first race traditionally being The Queen Anne Stakes. Two further Group 1 contests normally take place on this day, which is surely the most enjoyable for racing purists. The King's Stand Stakes and The St James' Palace Stakes round off the feature races on the card.

The Wednesday of Royal Ascot provides a relaxed atmosphere off the track and an intense atmosphere on it, with the highlight on the card being the prestigious Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes.

Undoubtedly the most electric day of the Royal Meeting is Thursday, with the oldest and most prestigious race taking place – The Gold Cup staged over two-and-a-half miles, making it a stiff test for even the world's most elite long-distance horses. It is also the day where high fashion and millinery masterpieces take centre stage, and has been colloquially termed "Ladies Day".

The fourth day of the Royal Meeting features two Group 1 races in The Coronation Stakes and The Commonwealth Cup, whilst the final day, Saturday, offers a relaxed and social atmosphere. The quality of racing is no less top-notch, with The Diamond Jubilee Stakes being the feature race.


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