Royal Ascot

History of the Royal Ascot

The Royal meeting at Ascot in Berkshire was founded by Queen Anne in 1711 and takes place in June each year. The opening race of the meeting is named in her honour. The meeting is one of the main events on the horse racing calendar, staging nine Group 1 races and bringing together the finest thoroughbreds from across Europe. In recent years, there has been an increasing number of representatives from Australia and the United States. The course is only six miles from Windsor Castle and has long been established as a social and fashion event of the highest order.

Online betting for the 2013 Royal Ascot race is available from PaddyPower, one of the best bookmakers for any horse racing events.

Although Ascot stages twenty-six days of Flat racing a year including the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, there is nothing to compare to the Royal meeting in terms of quality and prestige. The meeting is attended by HM Elizabeth II and various members of the Royal Family with their daily arrival by horse-drawn carriage making the Royal procession part of the day’s entertainment. Over 300,000 people attend the Royal meeting, making it the best attended in Europe and one of the top events for horse racing in the UK. There is over £3million of prize money on offer and the quality of racing is the finest anywhere in the world.

Betting on Royal Ascot

There is an ante-post market on almost very race at Royal Ascot. The biggest betting races of the week are the Ascot Gold Cup, the Royal Hunt Cup and the Wokingham Stakes. The 2012 meeting proved an exception where the presence of the two top rated racehorses in the world dominated the betting interest. Frankel won the Queen Anne Stakes on the opening day and was linked in doubles with Australia’s superstar mare Black Caviar for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on Saturday. In the end, she only scrambled home in a photo finish but it was enough to land some monster bets. Royal Ascot is only rivalled by the Cheltenham Festival in terms of betting over the course of a meeting.

Some of the best online racebooks for the Royal Ascot includes PaddyPower and (the later accepting US punters) which offers a complete real money betting section just for these races.

Full Racecard for Royal Ascot 2013:

Day 1 – Tuesday 18th June

The Queen Anne Stakes – Group 1
The King’s Stand Stakes – Group 1
The St. James’s Palace Stakes – Group 1
The Coventry Stakes – Group 2
The Ascot Stakes – Class 2 handicap
The Windsor Castle Stakes – Listed

The feature race of the opening day is The St James’s Palace Stakes for three-year-old colts over one mile. It often features the 2000 Guineas winners of England, Ireland and France clashing for the first time to establish the champion miler in Europe. Past winners include Brigadier Gerard (1971), Kris (1979), Rock of Gibraltar (2002) and Frankel (2011).

Day 2 – Wednesday 19h June

The Jersey Stakes – Group 3
The Windsor Forest Stakes – Group 2
The Prince of Wales’s Stakes – Group 1
The Royal Hunt Cup – Class 2 Heritage Handicap
The Queen Mary Stakes – Group 2
The Sandringham Handicap – Listed

The Prince of Wales’s Stakes always attracts a top quality field of older horses competing over a mile and a quarter. Famous past winners include Ela-Mana-Mou (1980), Mtoto (1987, 1988), Dubai Millennium (2000) and Ouija Board (2006).

Day 3 – Thursday 20th June

The Norfolk Stakes – Group 2
The Ribblesdale Stakes – Group 2
The Gold Cup – Group 1
The Britannia Stakes – Class 2 Heritage Handicap
The Tercentenary Stakes – Group 3
The King George V Stakes – Class 2 handicap

Gold Cup day is known as Ladies’ day and is the highlight of the fashion week. The race itself is run over two and a half miles. Ironically, staying races are not as fashionable as they once were owing to the breeding industries desire for speed but the Gold Cup is still highly prized. Yeats made the race his own between 2006 and 2009, winning in four consecutive seasons. He surpassed the three victories of Sagaro (1975-1977).

Day 4 – Friday 21st June

The Albany Stakes – Group 3
The King Edward VII Stakes – Group 2
The Coronation Stakes – Group 1
The Wolferton Handicap – Listed
The Queen’s Vase – Group 3
The Buckingham Palace Stakes – Class 2 handicap

The fillies take centre stage on Friday for the Coronation Stakes. Rather like the St James’s Palace Stakes brings together the best colts of the generation, the Coronation is the equivalent race for fillies. It is the natural target for the winners of the English, Irish and French 1,000 Guineas and famous winners include Sonic Lady (1986), Kooyonga (1991), Ridgewood Pearl (1995) and Attraction (2004).

Day 5 – Saturday 22nd June

The Chesham Stakes – Listed
The Hardwicke Stakes- Group 2
The Diamond Jubilee Stakes – Group 1
The Wokingham Stakes – Class 2 heritage handicap
The Duke of Edinburgh Stakes – Class 2 handicap
The Queen Alexandra Stakes – Class 2 conditions race

The Diamond Jubilee Stakes is a Group 1 event over six furlongs for the finest sprinters in the world. It was previously known as the Cork-and-Orrery Stakes and then the Golden Jubilee Stakes. The arrival of Australian ace Black Caviar provided a fitting climax to the 2012 meeting. Previous famous winners include Thatching (1979), Committed (1984), Danehill (1989) and Choisir (2003).

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