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Tuesday 15th June – Saturday 19th June

The history. The pageantry. The hats. Royal Ascot, one of the most prestigious events on the British sporting calendar, means many things. Tradition aside, at its heart this is a spectacular five-day feast of absolutely tip-top Royal Ascot races, featuring the best horses from Britain, Ireland, France and beyond.

Martin Booth
By Martin Booth  
Updated: 26 May 2021 10:00 am






As The Queen rides in her carriage up the home straight at the start of each day’s racing, she is continuing an association that dates back more than 300 years. It was in 1711 that Queen Anne found an area of heathland that was “ideal for horses to gallop at full stretch” and horse racing has taken place there since. The meeting quickly grew in popularity with the aristocracy, although the first Royal Ascot four-day event was not held until 1768. The connection between royalty and the finest festival of flat racing in the world, however, lasts to this day.

The fact that the current monarch is a massive fan of horse racing – her joy when her horse, Estimate, won the Gold Cup in 2013 was genuine and unforgettable – certainly helps. Quite apart from its social status, Royal Ascot stands supreme for the sheer quality of its racing. The first four races on the opening day are all Group class and that sets the tone for a fabulous week. The Royal Ascot roll of honour is studded with great names from the history of racing. Among them is Lester Piggott, who rode a record 116 winners at the meeting between 1952 and 1993.


Tue 15th June
Wed 16thJune
Thur 17th June
Fri 18th June
Sat 19th June
2:30pm The Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1)
Age = 4+ £400,000 One mile
3:05pm The Coventry Stakes (Group 2)
Age = 2 £100,000 Six furlongs
3:40pm The King's Stand Stakes (Group 1)
Age = 3+ £350,000 Five furlongs
4:20pm The St James’s Palace Stakes (Group 1)
Age = 3 colts £350,000 Old Mile
5:00pm The Ascot Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (0-100)
Age = 4+ £65,000 Two miles, four furlongs
5:35pm The Wolferton Stakes (Listed)
Age = 4+ £75,000 One mile, two furlongs
6:10pm The Copper Horse Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (0-105)
Age = 4+ £65,000 One mile, six furlongs
2:30pm The Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2)
Age = 2 fillies £80,000 Five furlongs
3:05pm The Queen’s Vase (Group 2)
Age = 3 £175,000 One mile, six furlongs
3:40pm The Duke of Cambridge Stakes (Group 2)
Age = 4+ fillies & mares £140,000 One mile
4:20pm The Prince of Wales's Stakes (Group 1)
Age = 4+ £700,000 One mile, two furlongs
5:00pm The Royal Hunt Cup (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (Open)
Age = 3+ £120,000 One mile
5:35pm The Windsor Castle Stakes (Listed)
Age = 2 £65,000 Five furlongs
6:10pm The Kensington Palace Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (0-105)
Age = 4 fillies & mares £65,000 Old Mile
2:30pm The Norfolk Stakes (Group 2)
Age = 2 £80,000 Five furlongs
3:05pm The Hampton Court Stakes (Group 3)
Age = 3 £75,000 One mile, two furlongs
3:40pm The Ribblesdale Stakes (Group 2)
Age = 3 fillies £160,000 One mile, four furlongs
4:20pm The Gold Cup (Group 1)
Age = 4+ £350,000 Two miles, four furlongs
5:00pm The Britannia Stakes (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (0-105)
Age = 3 colts & geldings £75,000 One mile
5:35pm The King George V Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (0-105)
Age = 3 £65,000 One mile, four furlongs
6:10pm The Buckingham Palace Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (0-105)
Age = 3+ £65,000 Seven furlongs
2:30pm The Albany Stakes (Group 3)
Age = 2 fillies £65,000 Six furlongs
3:05pm The King Edward VII Stakes (Group 2)
Age = 3 colts & geldings £160,000 One mile, four furlongs
3:40pm The Commonwealth Cup (Group 1)
Age = 3 colts & fillies £350,000 Six furlongs
4:20pm The Coronation Stakes (Group 1)
Age = 3 fillies £350,000 Old Mile
5:00pm The Sandringham Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (0-105)
Age = 3 fillies £75,000 One mile
5:35pm The Duke of Edinburgh Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (0-105)
Age = 3+ £65,000 One mile, four furlongs
6:10pm The Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (0-105)
Age = 3 £65,000 Five furlongs
2:30pm The Chesham Stakes (Listed)
Age = 2 £65,000 Seven furlongs
3:05pm The Jersey Stakes (Group 3)
Age = 3 £75,000 Seven furlongs
3:40pm The Hardwicke Stakes (Group 2)
Age = 4+ £160,000 One mile, four furlongs
4:20pm The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Group 1)
Age = 4+ £700,000 Six furlongs
5:00pm The Wokingham Stakes (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (0-110)
Age = 3+ £120,000 Six furlongs
5:35pm The Golden Gates Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (0-105)
Age = 3 £65,000 One mile, two furlongs
6:10pm The Queen Alexandra Stakes (Conditions) (Class 2)
Age = 4+ £65,000 Two miles, six furlongs


The quality of Royal Ascot races across five sparkling days ensures that this is one of the biggest betting events on the racing calendar. As a result, there is intense competition among bookmakers to attract customers – which leads to some terrific betting offers in the countdown to the event. Among the promotions available for new customers looking to wager on Royal Ascot 2021 are the following:

Bet365: Get up to £100 in bet credits. Open a new account and deposit at least £5 and up to £100. When you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled, Bet365 will match that amount.

£100 Free Bet
T&Cs Apply

Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.

Full T&C's apply
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BetVictor: Open an account and place a £10 bet at odds of evens of better, and you’ll receive three £10 bets to use on horse racing – plus a casino bonus.

£40 Free Bet
T&Cs Apply

18+ New Customers only. Deposit, opt in and place a £10 qualifying bet on Horse Racing at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 3x £10 Horse Racing Free Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater. Plus, a £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw a max of £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days. T&Cs Apply, see below. Please Gamble Responsibly.

Full T&C's apply
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Paddy Power: Start your new account with a risk-free first bet of up to £20. If your selection loses, you get your stake back in cash.

£20 Free Bet
T&Cs Apply

Risk Free 20: New customers only, limited to one per person. If you've previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your FIRST bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using Cards or PayPal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. paddy's Rewards Club: get a £10 free bet when you place 5x bets of £10+. T&Cs apply.

Full T&C's apply
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Betfred: Open an account and place a sports bet of at least £10 at odds of evens or better, and you’ll get £30 in three bets, plus 60 free casino spins.

£30 Free Bet
T&Cs Apply

18+ New UK & NI customers only. promo code ‘SPORTS60’. Deposit & place first sports bet of £10 in one bet transaction, at odds of Evens (2.0) . settled within 60 days. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets credited within 48 hours of bet settlement, 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS validation may be required. Max 60 Free Spins on Justice League Comics. 7-day expiry.Full T&Cs apply.

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Unibet: Boost your horse racing odds three times a day every day with Uniboost.

T&Cs Apply

18+, eligible accounts receive three Uniboost tokens daily (00:00-23:59), No token 'roll over' expire at midnight, applies to win bets and win part of EW bets only, only available on racing single bets, Non-runner or voided bet returns Uniboost token, not valid on Futures or Specials. Further T&Cs Apply.

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William Hill: Open a new account, bet at least £10 on your first bet and receive two free £15 bets in return.

£30 Free Bet
T&Cs Apply

New online customers only, min £10 stake, win only, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3x £10, 30 day expiry, free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. Full Terms apply.

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Coral: Make an initial wager of £5 to receive four £5 free bets.

£20 Free Bet
T&Cs Apply

18+ Eligible UK&IRE players. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. No cashout, restrictions and T&Cs apply

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888sport: Make your first bet of £10 and get £30 in free bets.

£30 Free Bet
T&Cs Apply

New customers only – Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. General deposit method & withdrawal restrictions apply & full T&C’s apply

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Betway: Open a new account, make your first bet of £10 and get £10 in free bets.

£10 Free Bet
T&Cs Apply

New UK & Ireland customers only. £10. First deposit matched up to £30. 1x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Credit Card, Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. Full Terms apply.

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With all free bet promotions, it’s highly advisable to check the terms and conditions carefully. For instance, you may need to use free bets within seven days; so the start of Royal Ascot week is the perfect time to sign up for a new account.



Royal Ascot is an occasion synonymous with style and old-fashioned sartorial elegance among the great and good who flock to this special corner of Berkshire. But what precisely is contained in the Royal Ascot dress code? Let’s look first at the Royal Enclosure, where it’s possible – though highly unlikely – that you will rub shoulders with Her Majesty or one of her entourage. This is, to put it frankly, the poshest part of the course, so gentlemen – never simply “men” – must wear morning dress.

Your long coat must be black, grey or navy blue, you must wear a waistcoat and tie, your top hat needs to be black or grey and your shoes must be black. As for that topper, it can be removed only when indoors or on a balcony.

The Royal Ascot dress code for ladies – never simply “women” – is even more detailed. Dresses and skirts must be of “modest length” – just above the knee or longer. If your dress has straps, they must be at least one inch wide. Your midriff must be covered. And if you wear a trouser suit it must be full-length to the ankle.

Ladies in the Royal Enclosure must wear a hat – or a headpiece with a solid base at least 10cm in diameter. Fascinators are definitely not permitted.

The Queen Anne Enclosure Royal Ascot dress code is a little less formal, but gentlemen must wear a suit and conventional tie, and don’t even think about turning up without socks. Ladies should dress formally, and that includes a hat – but fascinators are allowed here.


The great news for Royal Ascot 2021 is that racegoers will be in attendance again. Last year’s event happened at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and as a result, was held behind closed doors.

Only 4,000 people (far less than the venue’s full capacity) were set to be allowed into the famous track on each of the five Royal Ascot 2021 dates. That number has now been upped to 12,000 per day, after organisers received the huge boost that the UK Government will use the meeting as a pilot event to test larger crowds.

It means we’ll see the highest number of fans at a UK race meeting since the sport shutdown last March as the pandemic gripped the country. The move will also ensure that thousands of racegoers who had tickets for the 2020 event will be able to go this year.

Only the Royal Enclosure and the Queen Anne Enclosure were slated to be opened originally, but horse racing fans will be delighted that between 1,000 and 1,500 general admission tickets will be on sale for each day between June 15-19. Tickets for the two available enclosures have been snapped up already.

Racegoers have been allowed on tracks since mid-May as the UK emerges slowly and cautiously from the coronavirus restrictions. As we have seen at events in recent weeks, even a small crowd can inject a great deal of atmosphere into a sporting occasion, so 12,000 cheering voices at the Royal Ascot races will undoubtedly be one of the sporting highlights of the year thus far.

It hasn't yet been confirmed if there will be a royal presence at this year's meeting, but organisers say the event will still have the pageantry which makes it one of the most-watched race meetings in the UK and around the world.


With 35 races across five days of fabulous and highly competitive action, Royal Ascot races present plenty of betting opportunities. But there are a few do’s and don'ts you should follow to have an enjoyable week.

  • DO
  • DO your planning in advance. There is plenty of advice out there and previews of each of the races but do your own preparation. Spend some time looking at the form of runners’ previous outings.

  • DO take advantage of any bonuses and free bets on offer. This is particularly relevant on the first day of the meeting, when sportsbooks will be keen to attract people to open new accounts. But existing customers can also find plenty of offers too.

  • DO look out for special money-back offers in certain races. You’re getting a risk-free bet. Keep an eye out for special price boosts and extra places, too.

  • DO look at the trends. These are your friends and it’s worth seeing how they apply to previous – and maybe future – winners of certain races. 

  • DON’T
  • DON’T simply bet the same amount on every single race. It’s impossible to be fully confident in every selection in 35 races – especially when it comes to big-field handicaps. In those races, it’s best to go each-way if your horse is at double-figure odds.

  • DON’T bet on every race. If you can’t work out who is going to win, or you fancy the favourite but the price is too short, just watch the race and enjoy the spectacle instead.

  • DON’T chase your losses. Nobody backs winners all the time. If you’ve had a losing run, simply accept it and don’t double your stake on your next bet. Stick to your limits.

  • DON’T make it all about the betting. Having a wager is part of the fun at Royal Ascot but so is the spectacle of great horse racing. Enjoy the action.



Horse racing at Royal Ascot represents a wonderful opportunity to enjoy five days of betting, but we urge you to do so responsibly. It’s really important that you treat this as light-hearted fun, and don’t wager more than you can afford. If you find yourself being tempted to bet beyond your limits, and start taking the sport far too seriously, there are plenty of agencies around to give you help and practical advice. We encourage you to take advantage of the assistance on offer to make sure you are gambling responsibly at all times. If you are ever worried about your levels of gambling, contact organisations such as GamCare that can help you.


What is Royal Ascot?

Royal Ascot is an annual horse racing meeting held over five days each June. It is one of the most famous festivals of racing in the world, let alone the UK. The best horses gather to contest prestigious races with generous prize money on offer and create one of the finest sporting spectacles.

When is Royal Ascot?

The Royal Ascot 2021 dates are June 15th to June 19th inclusive. The meeting always begins on a Tuesday with four successive Group races – three of them Group 1s – and runs through to the Saturday of the same week.

When is ladies day at Royal Ascot?

Royal Ascot ladies day is always held on the Thursday of the meeting, so at Royal Ascot 2021 it will be on Thursday June 17th. This is considered the most prestigious day of the week and the highlight of the racecard on Royal Ascot ladies day is the Gold Cup, run over two-and-a-half miles.

What to wear to Royal Ascot?

There is a strict Royal Ascot dress code that must be followed in the most exclusive parts of the racecourse, the Royal Enclosure and the Queen Anne Enclosure. Royal Ascot is famous, even infamous, for the strictness with which these dress codes are imposed. Check before you leave home that what you are wearing conforms with the regulation.

How many days is Royal Ascot?

Royal Ascot is staged over five days, with seven races on each. For more than two centuries after the first recognised Royal Ascot meeting in 1768, the meeting was staged over four days, but it was increased to five in 2002.

Where is Royal Ascot?

Royal Ascot is staged at Ascot Racecourse, which sits on land leased from the Crown Estate. The racecourse is located next to Windsor Great Park and lies about 25 miles to the west of the centre of London. It is easy to reach by train or road, but you must allow plenty of time for your journey.