- Royal Ascot’s prize money in 2023 is £9,52 million
- Gold Cup Day on a Thursday drew a crowd of 70,000 racegoers in 2022
- Rround 300,000 people attended Ascot in 2022
- There are 4 enclosures at Ascot, each with their own rules and dress code
- Champion Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien has trained 76 Ascot winners
- Champion jockey Ryan Moore has won more than £125 million for owners
- Baaeed, the 4-year-old bay colt, was the most backed horse for Royal Ascot 2022
- The Ascot racecourse company is offering £17 million in prize money over 25 race days in 2023.
The Royal Ascot is a quintessentially British institution. This annual flat racing meeting held for five days in mid-June features 18 Group races and is renowned for its strict dress codes and etiquette.
Beginners to horse racing or first-timers may find Ascot overwhelming. But don’t worry, help is at hand. We’ll fill you in on all you need to know about the Royal Ascot in 2022/23.
Royal Ascot Facts
Held over 5 days in the village of Ascot in Berkshire, the Ascot is one of the richest horse races in the world with £9,52 million in prize money for 2023. It attracts racehorses from all over the world.
Ascot has long been associated with royalty. The Royal Precession occurs daily at 2 pm and is an old tradition. 2023 will be the first year without Queen Elizabeth II, who died in September 2022. Queen Elizabeth II is said to have attended every Ascot during her reign. Royalty usually arrives in a horse-drawn carriage before taking their seats in the Royal Box at the top of the Grandstand.
Most punters advise travellers to take the train to Ascot to avoid the inevitable traffic congestion on the motorways.
Tickets are in high demand, so it’s best to book yours early from the Ascot website.
How Many People Attended Ascot In 2022?
According to official figures around 300,000 attended Ascot 2022. It is considered the biggest horse racing event in Europe. The popular Gold Cup Day on a Thursday saw 70,000 racegoers last year. The day is also known as Ladies’ Day.
People who attend Ascot are said to predominantly come from prominent classes in British society. Huge emphasis is placed on etiquette and any infringements are frowned upon.
You Must Follow The Dress Code
Access to the Royal Enclosure admittance is by invitation only, and there is a strict dress code. Men are required to wear a waistcoat and tie, a top hat and black shoes. Women’s dresses must come to the knee. The event is known for its hats so many women make bold statements with their choice of headgear.
The Grandstand Enclosure is more relaxed, but men must wear a suit, shirt and tie, while women require a hat and full-length trousers if worn.
In the Silver Ring, there is no formal dress code, with the exception of replica sports shirts. They are a no-no.
For general admissions, no casual sportswear is allowed. Men should wear grey or black morning suits, including a waistcoat and top hat.
Women can wear brightly coloured dresses (to the knee of course) but absolutely no bare shoulders, midriffs and sheer dresses are out of the question.
Since 2019 Ascot announced more relaxed gender rules to accommodate transgender racegoers. Women may wear men’s clothes and vice versa, as long as their strict style rules are followed. Each year Ascot publishes a detailed dress guide for women, men and children.
You Must Queue Patiently
Ascot queues are usually tortuously long and can be exhausting. This is England and the English patiently wait their turn.
Use reliable betting platforms and place your bet by using the free NAP to up your chances of a win.
Don’t Block The View Of Others
During a race, men should remove their top hats. Remember there are hundreds of people sitting in the enclosures and you don’t want to block their visibility.
Avoid public displays of intense excitement at your win. Don’t scream or jump, just celebrate your win as a Lord or Lady would. Of course, once you leave the enclosures and Ascot proper, you can go as wild as you like.
Capturing The Moment
While mobile phones are permitted, etiquette demands that you put your phone down often and take in the atmosphere.
If you spot a celebrity, don’t go and ask them for a selfie with yourself. Nor should you take sneaky photos of them. That’s just considered bad form.
Food & Drink
There are around 14 restaurants at Ascot and one can have a sit-down meal. There are Michelin-starred restaurants with panoramic views of the track and a selection of other outlets that offer a variety of food at different prices. You can even enjoy a traditional English High Tea.
Punters can bring picnic baskets and picnics can be held in the car parks or the specially designated areas. You can also purchase a picnic.
Alcohol is sold in various bars.
The Four Ascot Enclosures
At the top of the pile, naturally, is the Royal Enclosure, the Queen Anne Enclosure, the Village Enclosure and the Windsor Enclosure － each with its own rules and formalities.
The Royal Enclosure is the most prestigious enclosure followed by Queen Anne. The Village and Windsor Enclosures are more relaxed in atmosphere.
The Village Enclosure is a grassed area outdoors featuring DJs and live bands until 9 pm. So, if you dress for a formal garden party with practical shoes, you will fit in.
Now that we’re up to speed on background let’s turn to some of the facts and figures around Ascot.
Ascot’s Leading Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
O’Brien has trained 76 Royal Ascot winners as of 2022 with 11 winning meets under his belt.
Ascot’s Leading Jockey: Ryan Moore
Ryan Moore has won the leading jockey title eight times.
According to the Professional Jockey Association, complicated rules determine jockey fees.
Generally, flat jockeys are paid around 8.5%-9% of the advertised win prize and 2.61% of the advertised place prize.
A riding fee is negotiated annually between the PJA and the Racehorse Owners Association.
But jockeys are by no means poor. Moore is the only jockey in Britain to ever break the £8m barrier for domestic winnings in a season. He has won more than £125 million for owners.
The best horse at Ascot 2022 was the 4-year-old bay colt, Baaeed. He was the most backed horse for Royal Ascot 2022.
Although Ascot has around 36 races, the premier event, the winner of the 2-mile Gold Cup received $345,000.
So what can we look forward to at the Royals Ascot in 2023?
2023 Royal Ascot
The event will be held from Tuesday 20th June to Saturday 24th of June this year.
To give you an idea of just how big horse racing is in Britain, an interesting question is where does the annual ₤1 billion purse come from? It comes mostly from wagers and betting.
According to Eclipse Magazine, this includes track wagers, wagers made in betting shops, bets placed over the phone and online betting. The largest percentage of money from wagers comes from on-track bets. Some money comes from a British levy on profits earned by bookmakers. Horse owners’ entry fees make up the rest. In a country like Ireland, which is besotted with horse racing, the government actually funds Horse Racing Ireland, which also contributes to prize money.
Ticket prices for Ascot 2023 range from £195-£265 per day. Of course, the two top enclosures are way more expensive.
And it looks like Ascot is going to have a bumper year in 2023. The racecourse company announced in November last year that the racecourse is offering a total of £17 million in prize money over 25 race days.
The prize money for the Royal Ascot 2023 is a record £9.52 million. Ascot 2022’s prize money was £8.65 million.
Ascot’s Total Prize Fund
Ascot Race days: £17,000,000
Royal Ascot: £9,520,000
Ascot Race days: £15,673,400
Royal Ascot: £8,652,500.
So if you want to go hobnobbing at one of Britain’s richest horse races and to get an idea of how the 1% live － a day at the Royal Ascot is your best place to start.