If you’ve watched NBC’s coverage of this year’s Triple Crown event, you’ve likely heard commentators talk about something called “Royal Ascot.” If you’re wondering what exactly this fantasy race meet is, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered ahead of the June 15-19 meetup.
What is the: The five-day Royal Ascot Meeting is held in Ascot, England, at the famous Ascot Racecourse. Ascot holds flat jump and jump races throughout the year and even celebrates British Champions Day every October (similar to our Breeders Cup). But the third week of June is always the most popular week of the year as the racing week (four days for most of its period before moving to five this century) has been taking place for more than 200 years.
Determining the land on which the Ascot was built would be ideal for the racetrack, the Queen Anne had a racetrack built where the Ascot stands today. In August of 1711, the “Painting of Her Majesty” was erected and the racetrack soon became a popular venue. It wasn’t until 1807 when the Gold Cup (now the oldest race in Ascot) was first run that the modern version of what we know as Royal Ascot was formed.
It has always been a “must-attend” meeting of English high society, and even now, it is not unusual to see royalty, athletes and other celebrities on the track this week. However, this year will look a little different as only 4,000 people are allowed each day and attendance is restricted to owners, hospitality and Ascot members due to government regulations during the pandemic.
What makes Royal Ascot Week unique is that every day before the race begins, the Queen is part of a royal procession that rides down the track in carriages. Some of the biggest betting events of the week come from daily guesses about what color she’ll wear, and even non-racing fans keeping tabs to see who gets invited to ride the parade each day, especially in her buggy. Unsurprisingly, some of the week’s most publicized gains are those of her horses with recent winners of Royal Awards including Tactical and Recognition.
However, Royal Ascot is not just about the Queen, the horses are the real stars. The meet is attended by some of the best horses in Europe … such as the American horses.
In fact, two US-based horses have won Group A races at Royal Ascot in the past six years – Unrafted won the Diamond Jubilee of Group 1 in 2015 And the Teppin won the Queen Anne Stakes in the first set In 2016. Animal Kingdom, the winner of the 2011 Kentucky Derby, also participated in the Queen Anne Stakes in the 2013 and 2014 Kentucky Derby and the winner of the Prekness California Chrome He was training towards the 2015 Royal Ascot meeting before his plans were derailed.
US based coach Wesley Ward Known for sending a big batch to Royal Ascot every year (you can see this year’s contestants below) and has 11 winners – 10The tenth Most any current coach in the world.
Those who watched Royal Ascot in the past will likely notice a small change in the daily schedule. This year there will be seven races taking place every day instead of the traditional six that were held at previous meetings.
How to watch: NBC will broadcast each day of the meet on its channels. Tuesday through Friday, races will be shown on NBCSports from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET. Channels switch on Saturday – the last day of Royal Ascot – with morning coverage from 9 to 11 a.m. on NBC with coverage and then shift to CNBC from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET.
TVG will also be covering the races every morning.
Must-watch races: Many of the horses you see at Royal Ascot will make their way to From the sea in November for the Breeders’ World Cup, and four of them will earn a “Win and You In” qualification berth for this fall’s event.
The first race on the first day of Royal Ascot is Queen Anne Stakes where the winner gets a spot in the Breeders’ Cup FanDuel Mile. For the first time in 1840, four of the last five winners of the race competed in the Breeders’ Cup Mile with a two-time runner-up. She was the last Queen Anne winner to win the Breeders’ Cup Mile in the same year Goldikova in 2010.
The following day, the Prince of Wales Stakes will be held, a “win-it-in” race for the Longines Breeders Cup Turf. This race was first run in 1862, although it took a short break in the mid-20th century when no one held the Prince of Wales title before it resumed in 1968. Only two of the last five winners also participated in the Breeders Cup during the year that They won this race height pulley He finished third – he won the Breeders Cup the year before – and Lord North finished fourth. Only one horse won both races in the same year: Fantastic Light in 2001. However, the Ouija Board won the 2006 Prince of Wales’ Stakes title and the Emirates Airline Breeders’ File and Mare Turf Cup.
Group 2 Norfolk Stakes June 17 is the jumping off point to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint for 2-year-olds. First run in 1843, the race has seen American coach Wesley Ward win it twice in the past decade with his last win in 2014. Last year’s winner The Lir Jet ran the Juvenile Turf Cup from Group 1 Breeders after winning here last year while Ali ran in a race Juvenile Turf Sprint for 2019 – and only the second race of that race. Johannesburg lined up the juvenile G1 Bessemer Trust Breeders Cup in 2001 after winning in Norfolk and winning the 1¼ Breeders Cup race to be named the two-year-old US Champion.
In 2015, Undrafted became the first US runner to win the first set at Royal Ascot in their Diamond Jubilee. This year, whoever wins will get a chance to become the sole winner of both the Diamond Jubilee and First Class Turf Race for Breeders. First held in 1868, the race has gone through a few different name changes and was given the name Diamond Jubilee in 2012 to celebrate the Queen’s 60th birthday.The tenth year on the throne.
Of the winners in this race, only Undrafted and Starspangledbanner participated in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, although Undrafted represented the winners well when running in three copies of the Turf Sprint with those courses coming from 2014 to 2016.
The Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes is not a ‘win in’ race but has seen huge success in the US in recent years. A junior filly race, Wesley Ward has won it four times in 11 years, including last year. If Ward’s Twilight Gleaming can win the race, he will associate Richard Hannon Sr. as the most successful coach in the race since 1977 with five winners.
The oldest race in the Royal Ascot program, the Gold Cup is also one of the most prestigious survival races in the world. This race plays a role in the history of the American Triple Crown when the 1935 Triple Crown winner Omaha lost this race by just a nosedive when he campaigned in England the following year. this year, John GosdenStradivarius, the coach, tried to make history with his fourth Gold Cup victory to achieve the most victories for any horse. The 7-year-old won last year’s race by an impressive 10 lengths.
American horses at Royal Ascot:
Eleven American horses have been shipped to England to compete in the 2021 Royal Ascot meet.
extravagant kid And the veteran Both will race in Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes on opening day. Brendan WalshThe trained extreme kid takes his first steps since handing the United States another international win at the Al Quoz at Meydan in March. Trained by Wesley Ward, Maven had the distinction of being the first North American winner and step-by-step winner in stakes for her 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, as he entered this race with a 2-time win in kenland In an allowance race last month.
Ward also sends the Kaufymaker in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes against the Colts on Tuesday. Race two-year-old Ward on his wish list as the biggest event race he hasn’t won in the meet, Kaufymaker has a good chance after winning her first by 6 lengths in Keeneland in April.
In addition to Twilight Gleaming trying to help her coach win Wednesday’s Queen Mary for the record-setting fifth time, two-year-old filly Ruthin goes to Windsor Castle Stakes against males on the same card. It will be joined by Napa Spirit, both of which are also owned by Stonestreet. Just like the Queen Mary, if Ward wins Windsor Castle, he will be tied as the best coach in the race since 1977.
Ward is aiming for the same feat at the Norfolk Stakes on Thursday, as his apprentices Lucci and Nakatomi seek the Breeders’ Cup berths with their win.
Campanile He was named last year the two-year-old European champion after winning Queen Mary at Royal Ascot and the Group A race in France over Ward and Stonestreet. This year, her target is the Commonwealth Cup Group 1 against the males on Friday for her first start of the year. She is looking forward to following in the footsteps of another award-winning filly, Queen Mary trained by Ward on Stonestreet in Lady Aurelia. That filly followed her Queen Mary win with a Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes victory five years ago.
Complete US Cost at Royal Ascot is a newcomer with Coach Rusty Arnold Send a horse to meet for the first time. Artos sends to the Queen Mary Stakes after the filly won her first Churchill Downs special weight race last month after just half a furlong in that race.