The Queen gives go-ahead for permanent changes to Royal Ascot

Her Majesty The Queen has given to go-ahead to make permanent changes to her favourite horse racing meeting.

Royal Ascot, which takes place from June 15-19 2021, will have seven races each day.

In 2020, it was expanded to allow extra runners, after the fixture list in the build-up was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

A revised running order added more races – and the Copper Horse Stakes, the Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes, the Golden Gates Stakes plus the reinstated Buckingham Palace Stakes – will be retained.

However the ‘Silver’ versions of the Royal Hunt Cup and the Wokingham Stakes have been scrapped.

Her Majesty has approved the naming of the Kensington Palace Stakes (0-105), a new handicap to be run over the Old Mile for four-year-old and upwards fillies and mares.

Kensington Palace has been a residence for members of the Royal Family since the 17th century.

Last year was the first time in her 68-year reign that The Queen did not attend Royal Ascot, as it went ahead behind closed doors.

One of the horses she owns, Tactical, won the Windsor Castle Stakes.

Sir Francis Brooke, Her Majesty’s representative at Ascot, said: “A positive that we drew from Royal Ascot 2020 was that the additional races presented more opportunities to participate and that this had been widely welcomed by owners, trainers, breeders and jockeys.

"We are delighted to be able to make this change permanent.”

The schedule in 2020 reflected the late start of the Flat season due to the coronavirus pandemic, which changed the timing of the Newmarket and Epsom Classics.

In 2021, the additional races will be run as the final races on each day, apart from on the Saturday.

The Golden Gates Handicap is race six on that card and the meeting concludes, as is traditional, with the Queen Alexandra Stakes.

The Queen Anne Stakes will return to its usual position, opening the meeting.

Nick Smith, Director of Racing and Public Affairs at Ascot, said: "Royal Ascot is constantly evolving and has benefited from many recent race additions and promotions and we are excited that the week will now be bigger and better for everyone.”

Source: Read Full Article