Where, and what, is Swinley Bottom?

Now, there’s a horse racing question I doubt many have the answer to. Swinley Bottom is section of Ascot Racecourse, on the far side from the grandstands, near the A332 Bagshot-Slough road. Originally, Swinley Bottom was the site of a kennel established by Queen Anne – who founded Ascot Racecourse in 1711 – for the Royal pack of hunting hounds, known as the Buckhounds. Indeed, until 1901, the Master of the Buckhounds ran Ascot Racecourse on behalf of the Crown and various races at Royal Ascot, including the Coventry Stakes, Jersey Stakes, Ribblesdale Stakes, Chesham Stakes and Hardwicke Stakes, are named after former incumbents of the position.

Nowadays, though, Swinley Bottom is best known for its significance to races run on the Round Course at Ascot. The Round Course is triangular; Swinley Bottom is a sweeping right-hand bend at the apex of the triangle, immediately before the junction with the Old Mile Course, about a mile from home. It is, in fact, the lowest point on the course, with an elevation 73’ lower than the winning post, so the going around Swinley Bottom can become especially holding and testing.

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