Dates, schedule, ticket information for Royal Ascot 2021 as spectators return

Royal Ascot's racing extravaganza will be watched live by 12,000 people each day after the government gave the green light to the return of bigger crowds.

The Berkshire track was previously limited to attendances of 4,000 on Tuesday to Saturday, although officials had hoped to receive a boost to the numbers.

Originally owners, hospitality and members were included in the allocation – but now the general public have their chance.

A year ago the meeting was held behind closed doors, without the Queen watching her favourite racing week in the calendar.

Off the track, the fashion competition was limited to social media, with some annual attendees dressing up at home for a TV gathering.

Here's what we know about Royal Ascot 2021.

When is the meeting held?

The dates for this year are June 15-19, Tuesday to Saturday.

How do you get tickets?

As one of the government's pilot events, up to 1,500 general admission tickets for each day and royal enclosure badges will go on sale on Friday.

Fans who rolled over tickets from 12 months ago can attend too, while 500 complimentary tickets will be made available to the local community.

Guy Henderson, Chief Executive at Ascot Racecourse, said: “We are delighted that Royal Ascot has been accepted to play its part in the next phase of the Government’s Events Research Programme. We much look forward to welcoming 12,000 racegoers each day.

“Our thanks go to our industry bodies, the British Horseracing Authority and the Racecourse Association, which led the preparation of the submission to Government.”

The numbers are significantly less than the average year, as around 300,000 racegoers in total go to the track throughout the big week.

When is Ladies Day?

It takes place on Thursday, June 17, the day of the biggest race of the week – the Gold Cup.

The Royal Ascot dress code varies depending on which enclosure out of four racegoers attend.

King George IV commissioned the Royal Enclosure in 1822, with a two-storey stand and its surrounding lawn.

An exclusive area, access was strictly by invitation of the monarch.

How much prize money is on offer and what is the schedule?

More than £6 million can be won in races during the week.

The gates for each day usually open at 10.30am, with the first race at 2.30pm.

There are a total of eight Group 1 races, the highest level on the Flat.

Which horses are the big favourites?

Palace Pier, an impressive winner of the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes earlier this month, is odds on for the Queen Anne Stakes (June 15).

One of the most imposing milers of recent years, bookies cut his odds significantly after he spreadeagled the field during his most recent performance.

Stradivarius is 6-4 to land his fourth Gold Cup and enhance his record in the history books.

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