> Ascot Racecourse
Ascot stages twenty-five days of racing over the course of the year, comprising sixteen Flat meetings held in the months of May and October. The Royal Meeting, held in June, remains a major draw, the highlight being the Ascot Gold Cup. The most prestigious race is the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes run over the course in July.
It's located in the small town of Ascot, Berkshire and used for thoroughbred horse racing. It is one of the leading racecourses in the United Kingdom, hosting 9 of the UK's 32 annual Group 1 races. The course is closely associated with the British Royal Family, being approximately six miles from Windsor Castle, and owned by the Crown Estate.
The centrepiece of Ascot's year, Royal Ascot is one of the world’s most famous race meetings and dates back to 1711. The Queen attends the meeting, arriving each day in a horse-drawn carriage. It is a major event in the British social calendar, and press coverage of the attendees and what they are wearing often exceeds coverage of the actual racing. The Royal Enclosure has a strict dress code — male attendees must wear full morning dress including a top hat, whilst ladies must not show bare midriffs or shoulders and must wear hats. Outside the Royal Enclosure the dress code is less severe, but many people choose to wear formal dress anyway. To be admitted to the Royal Enclosure for the first time one must either be a guest of a member or be sponsored for membership by a member who has attended at least four times. This continues to maintain a socially exclusive character to the Enclosure.
Over 300,000 people make the annual visit to Berkshire during Royal Ascot week, making this Europe’s best-attended race meeting. There are 16 Group races on offer, with at least one Group One event on each of the five days. The Ascot Gold Cup is on Ladies' Day on the Thursday. There is over £3,000,000 of prize money on offer.
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