June 19, 2012
Royal Ascot is the world's oldest race meeting, contested at Ascot Racecourse, which was established by Queen Anne in 1711 in an open space in Windsor Forest, saying it was an ideal place "for horses to gallop at full stretch". The first Royal meeting of the current form occurred in 1768. It follows that such an ancient facility would be full of pageantry, including the parade up the stretch of the Royal Family at 2PM daily in horse-drawn carriages to the cheers of the crowd, a tradition that dates back to 1925.
Through the reigns of 12 monarchs, the best horses in Europe have converged here for 5 days in mid June to compete for rich purses in Group stakes company. Although Ascot stages only 2% of British races, it hosts 1/3 of Britain's Group 1 races and accounts for 10% of attendance and 10% of television coverage.
Strict dress codes and etiquette are in effect, especially in the Royal Enclosure where men must wear morning suits complete with top hat, and new for 2012, fascinators are banned.
Ascot is a huge facility compared to American tracks. The main course is a 1 3/4 mile triangular circuit with a long 1 mile chute off the homestretch. All races are conducted clockwise and on turf. The current grandstand is a new facility, opened in 2006.
This article will be updated daily through the Royal Ascot meet with all the Group 1 race results.