Royal Ascot is the most popular fixture in the British flat racing calendar and attracts more than 300,000 racegoers over the five-day meeting.
It is a celebration of the very best in racing and a highly fashionable occasion. It is also the most valuable race meeting of the year, with £5.5m in prize money.
This year, William Hill expects customers to turnover more than £30m across our shops and online. If you piled up the equivalent amount of money in £10 notes, the stack would reach 330 metres high - that's 24 metres taller than The Shard!
Every day of the meeting commences with the Royal Procession at 2.00 pm before six races of the highest quality. This year there are 18 Group races including eight of the highest ranking Group 1 races over the five days. With such excellent racing for equine fans to enjoy, William Hill expects customers will place over 3 million bets across the meeting.
Ascot Racecourse was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne, with the first Royal Meeting held in 1768. Back then you had to be at the racecourse to watch the action, but this year viewers in over 200 countries will tune in to watch the action and it is expected more than 100,000 tweets from around the world will mention 'Royal Ascot' or #RoyalAscot during the meeting.
During the week, 51,000 bottles of champagne are popped at the racecourse alone, with 160,000 glasses of Pimm’s and 131,000 pints of beer being consumed, as the lucky people in attendance enjoy the best in thoroughbred action.
Five races to look out for at Royal Ascot
- The Queen Anne Stakes is the opening race of the meeting. Solow has won nine of his last ten starts including Group 1 victories this year in the Dubai Turf and Prix d’Ispahan, while his biggest challenger could be Able Friend who has notched up four Group 1 wins in Hong Kong.
- Diamond Jubilee Stakes – Brazen Beau is deemed to be one of the best horses that Australia have ever sent over to the Royal Meeting and having won two Group 1’s in the Southern Hemisphere, Chris Waller’s colt is aiming to beat the best that the Northern Hemisphere can offer.
- Gleneagles – odds-on favourite for the St James’s Palace Stakes and trained by Aidan O’Brien, the dual English and Irish 2000 Guineas winner – has a tough challenge with French Guineas winner Make Believe and the highly progressive Consort set to give him a real contest.
- Sole Power, the Eddie Lynam-trained gelding, bids for a hat-trick of wins in the King’s Stand Stakes.
- For the Ascot Gold Cup – the jewel in the crown of the Royal meeting – Forgotten Rules could be a popular favourite. He has raced four times and won them all, including a victory on Champions Day at Ascot in 2014.