Royal Ascot Trivia
The Royal Ascot meeting is the richest meeting in Europe with the prize funds of the 30 races totalling £4 million. The Golden Jubilee Stakes and the Prince of Wales Stakes boast the biggest prize funds in the event at a whopping £375,000 each.
Apart from being the richest meeting in Europe, the event is also one of the best attended with over 300,000 visitors packing into Ascot Racecourse during the five days with crowds peaking during Ladies Day.
Ascot Racecourse has one of the toughest tracks in Britain and is noted in particular for the steep uphill section which sees horses having to climb 73 feet from the lowest to highest points on the course.
The BBC screens nearly every race at the Royal Ascot meeting, including all of the Group Races. Only six races in the meeting are not broadcast by terrestrial television networks.
The Royal Ascot meeting is a caterer’s nightmare, with the racecourse serving over 50,000 meals over the five-day course of the meeting. An astonishing 185,000 bottles of champagne are consumed during the course of the event, washing down the 11,000 lobsters and 1.4 tons of beef served up in the various restaurants.
Only two winners of the 1,000 Guineas have gone on to win the Ascot Gold Cup since 1981 – To Agori Mou and Rock of Gibraltar.
In the last five years Mark Johnston has been the top trainer at the Royal Ascot meeting claiming nearly 20% of all race wins. He is closely trailed by Sir Michael Stoute, with Aidan O’Brien, John Gosdon and Saeed bin Suroor accounting for over 10% of the recent winners each. Together these trainers have seen their horses win almost 70% of all recent Royal Ascot races.
Johnny Murtagh boasts the record for riding the most Royal Ascot winners in the last five years, riding over 25% of the horses to have won races at the Royal Ascot meeting. His next closest competitors are Kevin Darley and Michael Kinane who together account for another 30% of all jockey’s wins.
The Royal Enclosure at Ascot was created as recently as the 1830s. The creation of a separate Royal grandstand was the result of an incident in which a former sailor, Dennis Collins, threw a rock a William IV. The Royal Enclosure was officially opened and named in 1845.