6 Facts You Didn’t Know About Royal Ascot

There are a select few events in the calendar year that stand out for horse racing fans above all others. One of these is, of course, the Royal Ascot, a five-day extravaganza of pomp and pageantry that takes place each June at the legendary racecourse in Berkshire.

You probably already know that Royal Ascot is an absolute mainstay on the social calendar of the royal court, with Queen Elizabeth II and her closest family, friends, and fellow monarchs all making an appearance to cheer on their favourite horse.

However, given the many centuries that this prestigious event has been in place, there are probably a few things that you don’t know. With that in mind, here are some of the most fascinating Royal Ascot facts that you may not already know.

1. Mundane Origins

Although Ascot has always been royal in origin, it has not always been such a high-profile affair. In fact, when the race grounds were first opened in 1711 by Queen Anne, it was so that she could have somewhere quiet and isolated for her many horses to “to gallop at full stretch”.

2. Sky-High Prizes

By any measure, Royal Ascot is the most lucrative event for racers in the whole of British racing. Almost every single year for the past decade, the prize money has hit a new record. In 2021, the total prize pot reached an all-time-high of more than £6 million.

3. No Socks, No Service

Everyone knows about Ascot’s strict dress code, which includes rules on what kind of formal hats you can wear in certain enclosures. However, less well known is the latest dress code rule introduced in 2018, which stipulates that anyone not wearing socks shall be refused entry.

4. Betting is Big Business

Much like any horse racing sport, Royal Ascot attracts no shortage of punters, with more than £130 million estimated to have been wagered over five days. Unsurprisingly, the top horse racing betting sportsbooks have a constant stream of Royal Ascot content, covering all of the odds and gossip for the 12 months running up to the big event.

5. Foodie Fun

Given that Ascot is essentially a five-day celebration of refined excess, it should come as no surprise that the food consumption is sumptuous, to say the least. Last year, 300,000 attendees quaffed 56,000 bottles of champagne and 44,000 bottles of wine, as well as gorging on 60,000 sandwiches, 5000 Angus steaks, 8000 Cornish crabs, and 3500 fresh lobsters.

6. The Inner Sanctum

You may already know that the royal enclosures, where the Queen and the crème de la crème of society hang out, are the places to see and be seen. What you might not know is exactly what it takes for a mere mortal to gain access to the inner sanctum. For this, you will need written sponsorship from two other attendees to the Royal enclosure, both of whom must have also attended for the past four years.

As the eccentricities and excitement of Ascot continue to unfold with each passing year, we are sure that we will have more fun facts to add to this list in the future.

Horse Racing in South Africa

In the last post we touched on the love that they have for horse racing in Australia, and namely the racing excitement that can routinely be witnessed on racecourses such as Flemington. In a parallel made before, there are some that enjoy the best online casinos au, and there others who want a real world gambling or sporting experience. The same applies to all nations; and I’d say that one nation that doesn’t get enough love as far as its passion for horse racing goes, is South Africa.

There are in fact several race course in South Africa, which surely speaks to the popularity of the sport of horse racing in the country. Racing has a history in the country going back 200+ years and there are several tracks that are known to draw in the crowds. It’s not a country I’ve visited, the closet I’ve been is in playing the best online slots south africa, but it’s certainly a country I’d love to go. If I can watch top quality horse racing action while I’m there, all the better.

There’s the 2600m Turffontein, a right handed track with a straight. It’s home of multiple group one races including the prestigious Champion’s Challenge in April, which has impressive prize money of £170,000. There’s also Kenilworth, a  left handed track where stamina often plays a deciding role in victory. The  5,000,000 Rand Sun Met takes place it each year, bringing with it crowds of 50,000+. It’s the richest race in South African racing and attracts the cream of the crop of racing talent.

Another track, which some will have heard of is Greyville. It’s pear shaped and so often the case that if a horse gets to the front of the pack, the other have their work cut out to take the lead. The big money Group race ‘The Durban’ takes place here. The race is steeped in over 100 years of history and so is a much sough after win for jockeys, trainer and owners alike.

Top Racecourse: Australia vs United States

It’s surely clear to most visitors of the site that there is something of a UK bias around these parts. Can you blame us really, when there is such a wealth of history to British racing and so very many legends to highlight and reel off? Not wanting others to feel left out though, let’s today concentrate on a racecourse in each one or two other great horse racing nations, namely the United States and Australia.

Stateside, there is an awful lot of competition for best racecourse. Courses like Santa Anita Park on the West Coast and Saratoga in New York are crowd favourites, but for me there is no surpassing Churchill Downs. Set in Lexington, Kentucky, USA and home to the Kentucky Derby the racecourse is second to none and a real thrill to see in person. Opened in 1875 (quite something for such a comparatively young country) and with a turf track within a dirt track, Churchill Downs is synonymous with top class racing and draws in the best of the best in terms of racing talent.  The real cherry on the cake though is that it hosts the aforementioned Kentucky Derby (the first race of the US Triple Crown). While some gamblers head to the states for Vegas (basically an offline version of the best US online casino) for lovers of horse racing who can blame them for heading straight to Kentucky!

Not to be outdone, Australia too is home to great weather and amazing racecourses. Outside of the top au online casinos and offline equivalents, those interested in a flutter look to horse racing, and head to the course. One of the racecourses in the country that any race fan worth their salt knows about is Flemington. Home to the world renowned Melbourne Cup day and situated in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia this racecourse opened way back in 1840 and the track has seen many a history making race play out over the decades.  As well as November’s Melbourne Cup (one of the biggest money flat races in the worldwide racing calendar), the course also hosts Black Caviar Lightning and the LKS Mackinnon Stakes. The track almost routinely features group one action and so it’s no wonder it’s held in such high regard.

So it just goes to show that when it comes to horse racing; history and prestige  are worldwide attributes, not just specific to the UK.