There’s nothing more special than a day at the races, especially a day at Royal Ascot races.
There’s something just a little bit more elegant about this course, whether it’s the link with the royals (it probably is), its wonderful surroundings in leafy Berkshire, or just the joy of watching the sport of kings, a day at Ascot is a day never to be forgotten.
Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your day.
Choosing An Outfit
Some of us love it, some of us loathe it, but all of us have to do it. Unless you’re attending a very specific day in the racing calendar, then the rules are simple: smart-casual.
That means gents in suits, with long sleeves and proper shoes, and ladies in formal attire (no flip flops or jeans please!)
The nice thing about this dress code is that it’s something we don’t get to do every day, so let yourself go to town.
Roll out your favourite little black dress and team it with a fascinator and cute heels. If you need a little confidence boost for such an occasion then get yourself feeling your best with a spa treatment, either at a spa or in your own front room.
Every outfit will look so much better with healthy glowing skin and soft locks.
When deciding on your outfit, consider most carefully the shoes you’re going to wear. If you plan to stand on the grass, which is highly likely, then either opt for a chunkier heel or buy yourself some grass guards.
This nifty little invention will stop you sinking in soft ground and will keep your lovely heels mud-free. Genius.
Get Settled In
If you’ve been racing before then you’ll be aware that there’s always something going on, and Royal Ascot is no exception.
Begin your day by purchasing a form booklet – if you’re planning on placing a bet then this will be essential, unless you prefer to just pick the prettiest horse, or the one with the best name that is!
Inside the book there’ll be lots of information on every horse running that day, including how many times they’ve won, what colours their jockey will be wearing, how old they are, and usually a Timeform rating.
The Order of Things
Now that you’ve had a look around, it’s time to get started with the action. Before each race, it can be nice to go and see the horses that will be running.
If there’s a horse you’re particularly interested in then you can go and see them getting ready in the pre-parade ring.
After that, all the horses make their way to the parade ring, where they are walked around by their handlers for everyone to see.
Some tipsters consider watching the horses in the parade ring an essential bit of information for determining how well the horse will run.
Good paddock judges will tell you to look for things like a defined heave line, that is a crease in the horse’s stomach, and defined muscles in their hindquarters, both signs that the horse is in prime fitness.
There are plenty of race days to choose from at Ascot, with this well-respected track playing host to 13 of Britain’s 36 Group 1 horse racing meets.
If you choose a busy day then be prepared for quite large crowds. It’s sometimes difficult to make your way from the grandstand down to the bookmakers below, so if you find yourself struggling then it’s worth searching out an online bookmaker.
If you have your phone to hand you can avoid the crowds by placing your bets online, from the comfort of the grandstand.
Some horses can find race days a little stressful, which can cause them to sweat and occasionally misbehave, it’s generally a better sign for your horse to be relaxed and not foamy.
If your horse does come in then be sure to head to the winner’s enclosure to congratulate the horse and their team.
Here the first three horses, along with jockeys, grooms, owners, and trainers will all congregate for photos and awards if applicable.