If anyone was in any doubt as to the health of horse racing, the announcement from Ascot that it will be offering record sums in prize money over the course of 2018 demonstrates that the industry has never been in better shape.
A clash with the State Opening of Parliament last year caused Her Majesty The Queen to miss part of a day’s racing at Royal Ascot for the first time in more than 60 years – a fact that dominated the front pages and prompted all manner of constitutional and political rumors. That exemplifies just how important this historic racecourse is to racing .
Ascot is determined to offer prize money that reflects its position at the top of the hierarchy and attracts the very best runners and riders. This follows the announcement that it will offer prize money of more than £13.4 million over the coming year – and that excludes what is paid out on Champions Day, when the winnings come directly from the industry.
Bigger Money, Higher Profile, and More Wagers than Ever
The news will have racing fans, gamblers, and bookmakers impatient for the action to get underway. The bigger the prizes, the more that rests on the races, and Ascot is guaranteed to host the most exciting meetings on the calendar. With the growing popularity of online betting, 2018 is certain to see more newcomers seeking out horse racing tips, too, so let’s take a peek at what 2018 might have in store.
What’s on at Ascot
While Royal Ascot is the most famous event at the historic track, there will actually be 26 race meetings over the course of the year, and it all begins on January 20 with a jump meeting that encompasses seven races throughout the day.
The first flat racing of the new season will be on May 2, featuring the Group 3 Longines Sagaro Stakes. This is the race where those hoping for glory at Royal Ascot will first show their cards, as it’s considered a significant trial race before the showcase event in late June.
Following that meet, there’s racing every month until the flat season comes to a close on October 20 with Champions Day. Even after that, though, there are plenty more jump races right up to Christmas, before it all prepares to start again.
Eyes on the Prize
Last year saw an epic battle in the Group 1 Gold Cup, in which Big Orange nipped the favored Order of Saint George by a short head, leaving both royalty and commoners breathless. The feat captured the attention of the world’s media, and with this year’s increase in prize money, the attention will be bigger still.
Fans will have the ability to keep up with the action online or via the comprehensive TV coverage, but to really soak up the atmosphere, why not watch it live? Provided there are no clashes with Parliament this year, you never know who you might meet!