Tuesday – St James Palace Stakes (Group 1) 1m
The feature race on the first day of Royal Ascot is the St James Palace Stakes, a Group One contest for three-year-old colts over one mile. It is one of the premier races of the season and guests enjoying the superb Royal Ascot hospitality facilities are in for a treat. The race has been won by some high class horses in recent times including the invincible Frankel in 2011.
In 2017, Barney Roy won the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot as Godolphin celebrated a superb treble on the opening day of the event. The 5-2 winner, trained by Richard Hannon and ridden by the fearless James Doyle, triumphed in style as the favourite, Churchill, finished in fourth.
Barney Roy had been a runner-up to rival, Churchill, in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in May, but it was the former who proved the better of the two this time at Ascot, winning the enthralling contest by a length.
Not a bad way to start a phenomenal week of action.
Wednesday – Prince of Wales Stakes (Group 1) 1m2f
The feature race on day two of Royal Ascot is the Prince of Wales Stakes, a Group One contest run over a mile-and-a-quarter. It was granted Group One status in 2000 and has become one of the biggest races in the calendar for horse aged four and up.
Highland Reel stole the headlines in 2017, showing his phenomenal class to win the Prince of Wales Stakes for trainer Aiden O’Brien. The 9-4 shot, ridden by the courageous Ryan Moore, soared past runners-up Decorated Knight and Ulysses.
The Irish Thoroughbred prevailed by one and a quarter lengths for the sixth Group One victory of his prospering career and the 300th top-level triumph for his accomplished trainer.
Thursday – Gold Cup (Group 1) 2m4f
The feature race on Ladies Day at Royal Ascot is the Gold Cup, a Group One contest run over a gruelling two-and-a-half-miles. The race was first run in 1807 and is the most prestigious race for long distance horses and the guests enjoying the wonderful Royal Ascot hospitality facilities will see the world’s best stayers in action.
Last year’s contest gave guests a remarkable spectacle to savour as Big Orange pipped previous winner, Order of St George, by a short head in an epic finish to win the prestigious Gold Cup.
The 5-1 winner, ridden by the well-regarded James Doyle for trainer Michael Bell, clung on for a memorable triumph after a captivating battle in the final furlong.
Friday – Coronation Stakes (Group 1) 1m
The feature race on the penultimate day of Royal Ascot is the Coronation Stakes, a Group One contest for three-year-old fillies over one mile. This premier contest for the best fillies from around the world always thrills the guests enjoying the excellent Royal Ascot hospitality facilities.
Winter showcased her superiority in 2017 with a decisive victory in the Coronation Stakes, much to the delight of trainer Aiden O’Brien and jockey Ryan Moore. The three year old daughter of Galileo, and 4-9 favourite, was travelling well under Moore and when asked to deliver her challenge in the home straight, she surged away from the chasing field to score by two and a quarter lengths.
A phenomenal win for the three year old filly.
Saturday – Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Group 1) 6f
The feature race on the final day of Royal Ascot is the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, a Group One contest for sprinters over six furlongs. It is traditionally one of the quickest run races of the season and is part of the Global Sprint Challenge, so guests enjoying the excellent Royal Ascot hospitality facilities are in for an electrifying race.
The 2017 race made for splendid viewing, with The Tin Man storming to victory in the final flurries of the contest. Jockey Tom Queally, who had guided the legendary Frankel to all of his 14 wins, produced a fantastic ride on the 9-2 chance.
After surviving a late stewards’ inquiry into bumping in the final stages, The Tin Man soared to victory in emphatic style to cap off a fabulous five days of action.