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Royal Ascot 2010

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Royal Ascot Overview
The Queen arrives at Royal Ascot

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, arrive at Ascot Racecourse on the 1st Day of The Royal Meeting at Ascot Racecourse on June 15, 2010.

© Stuart Wilson/Getty Images
June 15, 2010

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 hat 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. "Eating in public requires all private habits to be closeted. Pace yourself, so neither hoover like a wolf nor pick like a sparrow. Bring food to your mouth rather than drop your head." As well, "Everyone enjoys a flutter, but ensure that you don't become overly competitive or, if you're lucky enough to back a winner, never gloat over less fortunate companions." During the course of Royal Ascot, some 170,000 bottles of champagne, 160,000 pints of beer, 4 tons of beef, and 10,000 lobsters will have been consumed.

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.

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