Royal Ascot is well established as one of the world’s great racing carnivals. It rates alongside the 4 days of the Melbourne Cup carnival, the Saturday and Sunday of the Arc weekend, the Kentucky Derby, and of course the Breeders Cup that rotates from city to city in the United States.
While Royal Ascot usually starts on the second last Tuesday of June each year, the week really starts in France a couple of days earlier with the Prix de Diane. The French Oaks as it is often known is the classic race for 3yo staying fillies. Given the French culture for fashion and cuisine, it’s a more popular race meeting than the Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby). Chantilly race course is packed with some of the most glamorous fashion you’ll see on a race course, together with some of the champion fillies that will be the great dams of the champions ahead. This year was no exception with runners coming from all over Europe to compete.
It is then a quick rush across to London, where the highlight of the Monday before the start of racing is the Goffs sale in the gardens of Kensington Palace. Proceeded by an afternoon tea that attracts the racing elite, this boutique sale has the unique attraction of selling horses that may run during the Royal Ascot meeting. That attraction often produces higher than average sale results, albeit that many vendors are reluctant to let go of their horses before they take their place in one of the world’s great carnivals. It must be said, however, the highlight of this sales environment is the comradery of people who have gathered in readiness for the weeks racing activities.
So with great optimism, everyone is ready for Royal Ascot to start on Tuesday. It may not be the most financially rewarding carnival around the globe, but it is certainly one where owners, trainers and jockeys alike would love to win a race. That lack of financial reward is readily made up with the bragging rights that go with winning at this great meeting.
OTI is set to have two horses feature at Royal Ascot:
- Chelkar will run in the 4010m Class 2 Handicap (Ascot Stakes) tonight at 2:00 am (AEST)
- Downdraft is set to run in the King George V Stakes on Thursday night.
Best of luck to all our partners.