Royal Ascot
Ascot Racecourse Ascot
Berkshire , , SL5 7JX
United Kingdom

0870 727 1234
0870 460 1238


Racing Dates: 2012-07-19 until 2012-07-23
Number of Racing Days: 5



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Royal Ascot History


Ascot Racecourse was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne. The first race, "Her Majesty's Plate", with a purse of 100 guineas, was held on 11 August 1711. Seven horses competed, each carrying a weight of 12 stones (76 kg). This first race comprised three separate four-mile (6437 m) heats.

In 1813, Parliament passed an act to ensure that the grounds would remain a public racecourse. In 1913, Parliament passed an act creating the Ascot Authority, an entity that manages the racecourse to this day. From its creation until 1945, the only racing that took place at Ascot was the Royal Meeting, a four-day event. Since that date, more fixtures have been introduced to the grounds, notably the Steeplechase and hurdles in 1965.
Hat in the Royal Enclosure, 2009

Ascot racecourse closed for a period of twenty months on 26 September 2004, for a £185 million redevelopment funded by Allied Irish Bank and designed by Populous and Buro Happold. As owner of the Ascot estate, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth reopened the racecourse on Tuesday 20 June 2006.


However upon re-opening, the new grandstand has attracted widespread criticism for failing to provide sufficient raised viewing for patrons to watch the racing, and devoting too much space to money-spinning restaurants and corporate hospitality facilities.[citation needed] At the end of 2006 a £10 million programme of further alterations was announced to improve the viewing from lower levels of the grandstand using an innovative steel composite product ("SPS" Sandwich plate system) to reprofile the existing concrete terraces. However, the upper levels provide far less accommodation for the everyday racegoer than was present in the former stand.

In March 2009 it was confirmed that the main sponsors of Ascot, William Hill would be ceasing their sponsorship deal, citing that the decision by the BBC to reduce live race coverage as the main reason in its decision making process.

In July 2009, Ascot Racecourse also hosted the third round of the UAE President's Cup.





More About Royal Ascot

Running parallel with the innovative design of the new Grandstand are the values that Ascot Racecourse’s reputation has been built upon; history, heritage, tradition, pageantry and world class horse racing.
As Ascot approaches its 300 year anniversary it is apparent how easily the old and the new sit side by side at The World’s Most Famous Racecourse.



How to get there:

Ascot Racecourse is ideally situated in beautiful wooded countryside adjoining Windsor
Great Park and about 50 minutes drive or train journey from London. Located close to the M3, M4, M40 and M25 motorways and to London Heathrow for international visitors, Ascot offers easy access for all racegoers, wherever their departure point.