There aren’t many racecourses around the world as famous as Ascot. That is largely thanks to Royal Ascot, the meeting that takes place each year in front of members of the Royal Family. The course itself is best-known for flat racing, hosting 13 of the 36 Group 1 races that are held throughout the flat racing calendar. It also hosts some jump racing events, though, including three Grade 1 races. The fact that it is a course that can take both jump and flat racing means that it is in use all year round, with no month of the year clear of some sort of racing or another.
Fixtures at Ascot Racecourse
There is no shortage of top-class racing taking place at Ascot Racecourse during the year, with some famous meetings capturing the attention of the racing world. The best-known of these is easily Royal Ascot, which dominates June every year. With the likes of the St. James’s Palace Stakes, the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and the Ascot Gold Cup on the list of events, it is perhaps no surprise that the racing world heads to Berkshire every summer for some of the best flat racing that you’re ever going to see. Around 10% of all racegoers that attend a race during the year do so at Ascot.
That is partly owing to the fact that it isn’t just Royal Ascot that is on offer in terms of big meetings. British Champions Day has been taking place at the course since 2011, being the culmination of various different flat racing disciplines. Add in the King George Diamond Weekend, which is when the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes takes place, and you can see why it is so important to flat racing as a venue. Jump racing, meanwhile, has taken place at the course since 1965, with the right-handed, triangular shaped course boasting ten fences and hosting some excellent races.
Horses that have made a name for themselves over the jumps at Ascot include Arkle, Cue Card and Altior, so the jump racing isn’t just a passing thought. You can see some notable jump events play out at Ascot in the winter months, with the most famous being the Clarence House Chase, Ascot Chase and the Long Walk Hurdle, which are all Grade 1 events. With flat racing season at the course running from April to October and jump racing being between October and March, racing enthusiasts can head to the course at any time and enjoy seeing horses in full flow.
Being the famous racecourse that it is, Ascot has been used in numerous films and TV shows such as the James Bond film, A View to a Kill. More importantly, though, it is also the home of Royal Ascot Cricket Club, which has been based there since 1883. The grounds are located in the middle of the course, whilst Ascot United Football Club are based towards the south of the site. The Grandstand Atrium and other areas of the course have become popular places to host big events, in no small part due to the more than 300 meeting and conference rooms as well as large exhibition space.