If there is an event marked on the calendar of any respectable British individual, it is the Royal Ascot. When Queen Anne of England opened the Royal Ascot racecourse in 1711, she couldn’t have imagined that this little site called Berkshire County would end up being the quintessence of British. The ideal combination of tradition, royalty, glamour and perfection. For more than three centuries the Ascot horse racing, taking place in mid-June, has always marked the beginning of the social summer season in England. Such is its importance, that the event is broadcast worldwide. In fact, in Piero’s Café we broadcast both, the Ascot horse race and other sports on television in Caleta de Fuste.
The racecourse is closely linked to the British Crown, it is only a few miles from Windsor Castle, and owned by the royal family. Every year Queen Elizabeth II presides over the Royal Ascot and when the royal carriages come out on the racecourse after her arrival, it converts the race into an event worth seeing.
An event in which more than 30 races with the best horses in the world are held and which attracts every year around 300,000 people, including sheikhs, aristocrats, the British high society and the royal family. And if you want to attend the event and sit with the royal family at the Royal Enclosure, one must be invited by a third party who has been there on at least four previous occasions. As you can see, it is an extremely select club of friends.
The boxes, located on the upper floors of the main building, are generally rented by companies or private individuals and have different seating capacities based on their size. They have kitchens and their own catering service.
For the rest of the people who want to attend the horse race from a less privileged part of the racecourse and taste the atmosphere of this unique event, the privilege of attending is reduced to paying an entrance fee of 400 euros. Usually, they occupy the bleachers at the foot of the slope, an annexed twin area which is reserved for the Royal Enclosure, up to the finish line. But leaving aside the Royal Enclosure and the boxes, the cheapest tickets cost about 20 pounds for the Silver Ring and 70 pounds for the Grandstand.
Hence, in a city like London, where it is more and more difficult to attend emblematic events, the Royal Ascot is an excellent opportunity to enjoy a day outdoors socializing with the British crème de la crème, even in the Grandstand category or the Silver Ring. However, the latter is less advisable. In any case, it is an experience that can hardly be forgotten and you would probably like to repeat.
For five days different races are held, among them nine races that classify for the “First Group” or “Group Races”- the 32 major competitions held in the UK during the year. Perhaps the most important days of the week are Tuesday, the opening day, and Thursday, the famous “Ladies’ Day” when The Gold Cup takes place, a race that is awarded with more than 3 million pounds. The latter is the one loved most by the media, with the competition of the classic Gold Cup. Characterized above all by the stunning picture hats worn by the high society ladies. And not only this day, but the whole event is a great display of style and etiquette. The dress code is so strict that they have even guards who are responsible for ensuring elegance and compliance of standards.
Obviously, bets are a fundamental part of Royal Ascot. It’s impressive how many betting houses and individual brokers can be found on the premises. You can place bets of all kinds, but it is convenient to compose a strategy combining well the “odds”.