For many flat fans it is the highlight of the horse racing calendar as the creme de la creme of the thoroughbred community flock to Royal Ascot in what is fully expected to be a sensational five days of top action with the homegrown stars taking on a plethora of foreign challengers in a multitude of Group events, as well as some competitive handicaps.
The Royal extravaganza kicks off in the best possible fashion with the world's best racehorse Frankel looking to maintain his unbeaten record in the Queen Anne Stakes and Sir Henry Cecil's star will be all the rage with punters on the opening day as he looks to cement his place at the top of the flat racing tree.
In a triumvirate of Group One races to kickstart the meeting, the speedsters will take centre stage after the Queen Anne and Bated Breath will bid for victory in the King's Stand Stakes, whilst Aidan O'Brien's Power could look to add the St James's Palace Stakes to his recent Irish 2000 Guineas success.
Later on in the week, the Royal Hunt Cup will be one of the devilishly difficult handicaps for punters to work out, whilst another Ballydoyle star Fame And Glory will look to retain his Ascot Gold Cup crown on Thursday, with the fillies starring on Friday in the Coronation Stakes.
However, come the final day all eyes will be on the Australian wonder mare Black Caviar, who looks to continue her unbelievable unbeaten run and grab victory in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes and the bookmakers are certainly running scared of the sprinting phenomenon, having chalked her up a long odds-on favourite for the 6f crown.
14:30 Queen Anne Stakes
15:05 King's Stand Stakes
15:45 St James's Palace Stakes
16:25 Coventry Stakes
17:00 Ascot Stakes
17:35 Windsor Castle Stakes
14:30 Jersey Stakes
15:05 Windsor Forest Stakes
15:45 Prince Of Wales's Stakes
16:25 Royal Hunt Cup
17:00 Queen Mary Stakes
17:35 Sandringham Handicap
14:30 Norfolk Stakes
15:05 Ribblesdale Stakes
15:45 Ascot Gold Cup
16:25 Britannia Stakes
17:00 Tercentenary Stakes
17:35 King George V Stakes
14:30 Albany Stakes
15:05 King Edward VII Stakes
15:45 Coronation Stakes
16:25 Wolferton Rated Stakes
17:00 Queen's Vase Stakes
17:35 Buckingham Palace Stakes
14:30 Chesham Stakes
15:05 Hardwicke Stakes
15:45 Diamond Jubilee Stakes
16:25 Wokingham Stakes
17:00 Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes
17:35 Queen Alexandra Stakes
Royal Ascot is the premier flat racing meeting in the UK each summer with five days of the most fantastic racing on offer each June at the Berkshire track. The Royal Meeting at Ascot is one of the most famous in the world from a sporting and a social point of view with the grandstands packed full of punters dressed in their best suits and dresses for each day of the meeting.
The Queen counts Royal Ascot as one of her favourite weeks of the year and there is always plenty of attention on her as she arrives each day in a horse-drawn carriage, it is one of the many traditions of the week and because of that it remains a hugely significant event on the calendar.
There is no doubting that Royal Ascot is the key event for Ascot Racecourse with around 300,000 punters flocking to the course during the week, the appetite for an event like Royal Ascot is clearly massive and the traditions set it apart from every other meeting.
People should not be fooled into thinking that Royal Ascot is just a social event though; the racing is second to none and as well as the horses from the UK and Ireland there are more and more runners heading to Berkshire from around the world than ever before. The sprinters from the USA and Australia are starting to make an impression on Royal Ascot while as Goldikova showed when winning the Queen Anne Stakes in 2010 the French horses are always strong.
Each day is as strong as the next at Royal Ascot with Group 1 action each day for punters to get stuck into, it is hard to pick a feature race of Royal Ascot but perhaps the highlight of the week is the Ascot Gold Cup. The Gold Cup is the highlight on Ladies Day at Royal Ascot and it gives the staying horses the chance to display their talent, this race has been dominated by the great Yeats in recent years who won it in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
While at the other end of the distance scale is the cavalry charge King's Stand Stakes which is the feature race on Day 1 of Royal Ascot, the horses are spread across the track in the King Stand and it makes for brilliant spectacle. The King's Stand forms part of three Group 1 races on Day 1 of Royal Ascot with the Queen Anne and St James’s Palace Stakes also a feature, these are the three races that start the entire meeting and it sets the tone for the week with plenty of star names on show.
In all there are 16 Group races during the five days of Royal Ascot and they are more than ably supported by some nice listed races throughout the week including the renewals like the Hampton Court Stakes and the Chesham Stakes among many others.
Royal Ascot has every division and class covered with the fillies and mares are given their own race in the Coronation Stakes, while the Juveniles are also covered with the Coventry Stakes always a great marker for the following season with an eye on the classics.
Every race has a significance to it which makes a huge week for racing fans and punters in particular; it is one of the biggest weeks of the year for the whole industry with terrestrial TV coverage of the event guaranteed and racing being given plenty of welcome exposure.
Royal Ascot is five days of the very highest quality action and the full race cards for each of the major races will be released as we progress through the week. The Cards will include the betting from the major online bookmakers and they of course will be hoping to have successful Royal Ascot week, while the punters will as always be more than happy to take them on.