The incomparable Frankel raced to glory twice on Royal Ascot’s opening day, in both the Queen Anne Stakes and the St Jame’s Palace Stakes, while, in 2016 headlines were dominated by America’s superstar mare, Tepin. The world’s finest sprinters take their place on Day One, in the King’s Stand Stakes, showcasing their speed and power to the world. On Tuesday, anticipation is high, the racecourse immaculate and for the purist, this is the unmissable day in their calendar.
The Prince of Wales’s Stakes is run over 10 furlongs for four-year-olds and upwards. The supporting card is headed by the Group Two Duke of Cambridge Stakes a race for fillies and mares, four-years-old and upwards. The Group Two Queen Mary Stakes is the premier two-year-old race for fillies. Regulars adore this day, relaxed off the track and intense on it.
What is now known as Royal Ascot started to take shape when The Gold Cup was first run in 1807. It is Ascot’s oldest surviving race. The winning owners still receive a gold trophy to keep. Colloquially known as ‘Ladies’ Day,’ a term first used in 1823, when an anonymous poet described the Thursday of the Royal Meeting as “Ladies’ Day … when the women, like angels, look sweetly divine.”Thursday is vibrant and celebratory. The opening day of the Village Enclosure offers live music until 9 pm.
Since the inception of the Commonwealth Cup in 2015, Friday is now arguably the second best day of the week with two Group One races. This Group One race addressed a gap in the European calendar – a championship for three-year-old sprinters and is a highlight of the week. This is complemented by the Coronation Stakes, the mile championship race for three-year-old fillies following the European Guineas.
There is no let-up of great racing on the final day. The Wokingham Stakes is a fantastic race for a flutter due to the size of the field and fierce pace. The longest race of the week completes a week of racing like nowhere else with The Queen Alexandra Stakes run over a stamina stretching 2 miles and 6 furlongs before an after party in all enclosures.