The new season of Ascot events has now commenced, full of fun and formality. With the first event fast approaching, we present a short round up of all the events until the end of 2017. From Lamb National, and a Beer Festival, to the legendary five-day long Royal Ascot event (the Royal Ascot Early Booking Discount ends at midnight tonight, Friday 31 March), choose what suits you, whether it’s to kick off with a day of family entertainment or watching prestigious horse racing amongst royalty.
Spring Family Raceday: Sunday 2 April
The first family race-day of the 2017 season offers top class racing and activities for those of all ages. With spring in full swing, and the day being free for under 18’s, there are few better ways to spend a Sunday. Ascot’s final fixture of the 2016-17 season takes centre stage, attended by most of the UK’s leading jockeys and trainers. Try your hand at some traditional crafts, including basket making or wood turning, get up close to and meet awe-inspiring birds of prey or hedgehogs, or enjoy a free pony ride. A highlight is the ‘Lamb National’, which features six Herdwick sheep that race over mini fences.
Ascot Raceday: Wednesday 3 May
On the first day of the Flat season, enjoy free entry to the Queen Anne Enclosure. For racing enthusiasts, a highlight is the Group 3 Longines Sagaro Stakes, one of the most important in The Gold Cup. Perfect for loyal fans or racing novices, the latter of which will able to consult experts throughout the day to help explain the intricacies of racing, or join Bowler Hat Stewards for a tour that leads to areas usually unavailable to the public.
May Racing Weekend: Friday 12th – Saturday 13th May
On Friday, May Race Night offers the perfect opportunity to meet friends and family. The evening consists of six competitive races. This is Ascot’s only annual evening meeting, so expect great entertainment and live music. Classic tribute acts including The Rolling Stones and The Beatles are enough to get anyone excited. Saturday features The Totepool Victoria Cup, a seven-furlong sprint often used to as a precursor to the Royal Hunt Cup.
Royal Ascot: Tuesday 20 – Saturday 24 June
Royal Ascot attracts the world’s finest racehorses. Indeed, in 2013 The Queen watched her horse Estimate triumph in the Gold Cup. A dedicated owner, she has attended every Royal Meeting during her reign and the Royal Procession is iconic. Much anticipated and revered, these five days are seen both as a social opportunity, and a means to create a spectacle of designer fashion and style. So be sure to consult the official style guide beforehand. Highlights include Thursday’s historic Gold Cup, and Saturday’s Diamond Jubilee Stake, which is one of the world’s great international sprint races.
First July Weekend: Friday 14 – Saturday 15 July
Friday’s Raceday is a relaxed and stylish day of Flat racing to fundraise for children’s charities. On Saturday this is followed by the Summery Mile Raceday consisting of seven races accompanied by champagne, sun and picnics on the lawns. Family fun, cocktails and champagne alongside elite racing makes a fantastic combination, and are a perfect way to start the summer. Free fairground rides including the Tea Cups and Swing Boats, opportunity to meet the The Octonauts, face painting, balloon modelling and pony rides provides entertainment for the whole family. And a bonus: children go free.
King George VI Weekend: Friday 28th – Saturday 29th July
On Friday, enjoy a competitive six-race card. And Saturday sees the The King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, in addition to the European mid-season middle distance championship, providing a day sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. Detour off the race track and you will be faced with a delicious selection of bars and entertainment, which helps to create a traditional English Garden party atmosphere during the height of summer.
Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup & Concert: Saturday 12th August
This year’s concert features three exciting acts, the line-up of which is to be announced on 07 April.
Festival of Food & Wine Racing Weekend: Friday 8th – Saturday 9th September
Combine food and wine from around the world with the finest Flat racing at Ascot’s Festival of Food and Wine Race Weekend. More than 140 market stalls offer racegoers a unique day at Ascot Racecourse. Alongside a seven-race card headlined by the country’s most valuable mile-and-a-half handicap, racegoers can look forward to food and wines from around the world.
Autumn Racing Weekend & Ascot Beer Festival: Friday 6th – Saturday 7th October
You can expect much more than just exciting Flat racing on the opening day of the Autumn Racing Weekend, which features the Ascot Beer Festival. Alongside the Listed London Metric Noel Murless Stakes, run over a mile and six furlongs, sip on an array of 280 real ales, ciders and perries. Ascot’s annual CAMRA Beer Festival continues on Saturday, alongside traditional pub games, a quiz and live music, plus the Totescoop6 Challenge Cup. Now in its second year, the Ascot Bier Haus will bring the Oktoberfest to Ascot.
Qipco British Champions Day Flat Season Finale: Saturday 21st October
A key race day in the British calendar, this marks the finale of the European Flat racing season. This is a prime opportunity to see the world’s finest horses and jockeys in action.
Halloween Raceday & Fireworks Spectacular: Saturday 4 November
The Gold Cup Chase race is followed by one of the region’s largest Fireworks Spectaculars. Throughout the afternoon, the Plaza Lawns will come alive with free fairground rides until 4pm. All proceeds go to local charities, and entry is free for children under 18.
Friday 24th – Saturday 25th November: The Prince’s Countryside Fund Racing Weekend & Christmas Shopping Fair
The Jumps season continues at the November Racing Weekend, with a varied six-race card over fences and hurdles. With the festive season on its way, enjoy Christmas shopping at the Country Living Christmas Shopping Fair in the Grandstand in between races. The action continues Saturday, so come along for an action-packed day of Jumps racing, featuring the Grade 2 Coral Ascot Hurdle.
Friday 22 – Saturday 23 December: Christmas Racing Weekend
Friday is the first of a two-day festive finale at Ascot, making it the perfect day to celebrate with colleagues and friends. The action continues Saturday with Ascot’s most valuable day of Jumps racing and a family day including a visit from Father Christmas, carol singing, mince pies and more.
If you’d like to find out more about Ascot events and book tickets, click through to their website.