Ascot Racecourse

Ascot Racecourse  Ascot racecourse is probably best known as the home of Royal Ascot, the five-day festival that takes place in June each year and features nine of the thirty-two Group 1 races held in Britain each year. The racecourse is situated next to Windsor Great Park, less than seven miles from Windsor Castle, and its royal association stretches back to 1711, when it was founded by Queen Anne.

 

Course Characteristics

The round course at Ascot consists of right-handed, triangular circuit, approximately a mile and threequarters around. From the mile and a half start the course runs downhill to Swinley Bottom, the lowest point, but runs uphill from the turn into the relatively short, 2½-furlong straight until well inside the final furlong.

The straight mile course, on which races such as the Royal Hunt Cup and the Wokingham Stakes are run, descends for the first three furlongs, but ascends to its junction with the round course. The draw bias on the straight course varies from meeting to meeting, according to subtle differences in underfoot conditions and the distribution of pace in individual races, so it’s difficult to draw any overall conclusions.

 

Track Facts

National Hunt racing first took place Ascot in 1965 after Hurst Park racecourse, near West Moseley in Surrey, closed in 1962.

In 1975, Ascot witnessed what is often cited as the best Flat race ever run in Britain, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes between Grundy and Bustino. Grundy eventually beat Bustino by half a length after a monumental duel throughout the final furlong.

The oldest surviving race at Royal Ascot is the Gold Cup, first run in 1807. The Queen traditionally presents a trophy to the winning owner but, in 2013, received the trophy from her son, the Duke of York, after her filly Estimate won the Gold Cup.

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