Ascot Course Guide

Famous worldwide for its June meeting, ‘Royal Ascot’ is the most prestigious fixture in the UK Flat racing calendar. The meeting includes 8 Group 1 races, ranging in distance from the five-furlong King’s Stand Stakes to the two and a half mile Gold Cup, which spearhead five days of top-class racing comprising prestigious pattern races and historic handicaps such as the Royal Hunt Cup and Wokingham Stakes. With a Flat calendar that is further-bolstered by the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes in late July and British Champions Day in mid-October, no other racecourse stages a comparable level in terms of quality racing.

Ascot’s National Hunt course was inaugurated in 1966 and also stages several important meetings, notably the Ascot Hurdle fixture in November, the Christmas meeting featuring the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle, the two-mile Clarence House Chase (formerly the Victor Chandler) in January and the Ascot Chase fixture in February – the last two meetings featuring several ‘trial’ races for the upcoming Cheltenham Festival.


The round course is a right-handed, triangular circuit of fourteen furlongs, with a run-in of 2½ furlongs. There is a straight mile course and the Old mile course which joins the round course in Swinley Bottom. Despite the downhill run into Swinley Bottom and relatively short run-in from the final turn, Ascot is galloping in character. Since the redevelopment, the turn into the straight has become more sweeping and those ridden prominently can be difficult to peg back. Nowadays, the ground in the straight drains quicker than the rest of the course, meaning going descriptions can vary.

Because the run-in on Ascot’s round course is relatively short, positioning - jockeyship in other words - is key. It goes without saying that in steadily-run races you want to be towards the sharp end but, whatever the pace, you can get into trouble trying to come through rivals late on. We’re still learning about the straight course, following the relaying a few years back, but in my view it’s more pace-dependent than draw-dependent. Given the right pace to chase, I reckon you can win from anywhere.

View from the saddle: Jason Weaver

Right handed, galloping. NH course reopened in 2006/7 after major redevelopment work, and improved drainage means conditions rarely get so testing as they used to. Fences appear as stiff as they've ever been, the course taking plenty of jumping. The chase course often favours those ridden prominently.

The fences on the far side are quite tricky, particularly for a novice, but, if you’re on a horse that can jump them and freewheel nicely on the downhill section, it can usually win for you. Handling those obstacles smoothly saves an awful lot of energy. It’s a front-runners’ track, too, especially in small fields of novices, but it’s very difficult to win from the front in a big-field handicap. Saving ground when you can and making sure you meet the fences right are the two biggest factors to keep in mind when you’re riding Ascot.

View from the saddle: Mick Fitzgerald
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Last Update: 15/01/2021 17:00x

Upcoming races
Replays & Results
12:40 Foundation Developments Novices' Handicap Hurdle
GBB Race
2m 7½f | Class 4 | 4YO plus | 12 ran
  • Winner: Morning Spirit 9/2 Fav
  • Jockey: Jonjo O'Neill Jr. Trainer: Jonjo O'Neill
  • Owner: Mr P Hickey
13:15 Injured Jockeys Fund Graduation Chase
GBB Race
2m 5f | Class 2 | 4YO plus | 3 ran
  • Winner: Dashel Drasher 11/2
  • Jockey: Matt Griffiths Trainer: J Scott
  • Owner: Mrs B Tully And Mr R Lock
13:50 'For The Love Of Racing' Handicap Chase
2m 3f | Class 2 | 4YO plus | 12 ran
  • Winner: Bennys King 13/2
  • Jockey: Harry Skelton Trainer: D Skelton
  • Owner: Mezzone Family
14:25 Porsche Long Walk Hurdle
Grade 1 | GBB Race
3m ½f | Class 1 | 4YO plus | 8 ran
  • Winner: Paisley Park 9/4 2Fav
  • Jockey: Aidan Coleman Trainer: Miss E C Lavelle
  • Owner: Mr Andrew Gemmell
15:00 Good Luck Hollie In SPOTY Silver Cup Handicap Chase
GBB Race
Listed | 3m | Class 1 | 4YO plus | 10 ran
  • Winner: Mister Malarky 16/1
  • Jockey: H Cobden Trainer: C L Tizzard
  • Owner: Wendy & Malcolm Hezel
15:35 Betfair Exchange Trophy
Grade 3 Handicap Hurdle | GBB Race
1m 7½f | Class 1 | 4YO plus | 17 ran
  • Winner: Not So Sleepy 20/1
  • Jockey: T J O'Brien Trainer: H Morrison
  • Owner: Lady Blyth

Address & Contact

Ascot Racecourse Limited
0844 346 3000

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