Few sporting venues can match Ascot Racecourse for heritage and history. It is a national institution and the centrepiece of the British summer social calendar, as well as being the ultimate stage for the world's best thoroughbred horses.
Steeped in tradition and pageantry, Ascot was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne. The first race, Her Majesty's Plate, had a purse of 100 guineas.
An 1813 Act of Parliament ensured the grounds would remain a public racecourse and in 1913 another Act created the Ascot Authority which manages the course.
It stages 25 racing days a year, with the most prestigious race the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes run in July.
Royal Ascot is spread over five days every June. It attracts over 300,000 racegoers and is a kaleidoscope of colour, fashion and glamour. It is Europe's most popular race meeting and attracts equine contenders from as far as Australia and New Zealand. The quality of the bloodstock is outstanding, with over $3 million in prize money on offer.
There is usually a Royal Procession on each day of Royal Ascot. The Queen and royal party enter the racecourse in horse-drawn landaus and slowly head for the Royal Enclosure and Parade Ring. Everyone is keen to see what Queen Elizabeth is wearing each day, particularly in the millinery department.
There were four Australian entries in 2007's Royal Ascot and the trophy was won by Miss Andretti, ridden by Craig Newitt and trained by Lee Freedman. Paul Perry's horst Choisir won in 2004, so horses from Australia are making their presence felt, just as horses from the northern hemisphere are having great success running in the Melbourne Cup.
Royal Ascot general public tickets start at around $35 in the Silver Ring area and $126 for general admission. The heath is around $17 per person on the day. It will next run on June 17-21, 2008.
Prices quoted correct at July 26 2007.
Berkshire, 30 minutes from London.
For further information
Berkshire SL5 7JX
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