Royal Ascot 2021: the full running order, TV schedule and day-by-day race times
After a pair of spectacular Epsom Classics revved the British Flat season into top gear, a sizzling summer of racing continues to accelerate with the five-day extravaganza that is Royal Ascot.
Always a dazzling spectacle of pomp and ceremony, this year's meeting begins on Tuesday, June 15 and concludes on Saturday, June 19.
Why is the meeting so important?
Aintree gives us a terrific three days of racing leading up to the Grand National, Cheltenham provides us with a fantastic four, but Royal Ascot spoils us with an unrivalled five days of top-class racing featuring eight Group 1s and 11 more at Group 2 or 3 level.
It is Britain's most valuable race meeting and attracts the finest racehorses, trainers and jockeys in the world all fighting for a slice of the £6 million prize fund on offer across the week, as well as the prestige that comes with landing a winner at the track.
The top trainers plan their campaigns with Royal Ascot in mind and there is not much greater joy for owners than sporting your morning suit and watching your horse bolt in.
Before racing each day is the traditional royal procession where the Queen and members of the royal family arrive at the course accompanied by the playing of the national anthem. It has yet to be determined if the Queen will be in attendance this year.
The inaugural Ascot Gold Cup held in 1807 signalled the beginning of the Royal Ascot we know and love today and feature races include the St James's Palace Stakes, Prince of Wales's Stakes, the aforementioned Gold Cup, Coronation Stakes and Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
What is the Royal Ascot running order and where can I watch?
Six extra races were added to the Royal Ascot schedule last year to accommodate horses who had had their campaigns interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, and such was the popularity of the expanded card that officials have permanently expanded each day's card to seven races instead of the previous six.
That means there are a total of 35 races for you to feast on during the week, with some longstanding races moving times and others switching back to old slots after some rearrangements last year.
Ascot's terrestrial television schedule this year will be interrupted at times by ITV’s coverage of the rearranged Euro 2020, but every race will be broadcast live on either the main channel, or ITV4 at times where the football is scheduled on the main channel. Sky Sports Racing will have full uninterrupted coverage on all five days of the meeting.
You can also watch all live races from Ascot through the Racing Post website and Racing Post app. Log in to your bookmaker account and look on the racecards for eligible races. Click the red 'Watch live now' icon and they're off! Find out how here.
Below is the full schedule for each day and details of which channel the action can be watched on:
2.30: Queen Anne Stakes
Group 1, 1m, 4yo+, ITV/Sky Sports Racing
3.05: Coventry Stakes
Group 2, 6f, 2yo, ITV/Sky
3.40: King's Stand Stakes
Group 1, 5f, 3yo+, ITV/Sky
4.20: St James's Palace Stakes
Group 1, 1m, 3yo colts, ITV4/Sky
5.00: Wolferton Stakes
Listed, 1m2f, 4yo+, ITV4/Sky
5.35: Ascot Stakes
Handicap, 2m4f, 4yo+, ITV4/Sky
6.10: Copper Horse Stakes
Handicap, 1m6f, 4yo+, ITV4/Sky
2.30: Queen Mary Stakes
Group 2, 5f, 2yo fillies, ITV/Sky
3.05: Queen's Vase
Group 2, 1m6f, 3yo, ITV/Sky
3.40: Duke of Cambridge Stakes
Group 2, 1m, 4yo+ fillies and mares, ITV/Sky
4.20: Prince of Wales's Stakes
Group 1, 1m2f, 4yo+, ITV/Sky
5.00: Royal Hunt Cup
Heritage Handicap, 1m, 3yo+, ITV/Sky
5.35: Windsor Castle Stakes
Listed, 5f, 2yo, ITV/Sky
6.10: Kensington Palace Stakes
Handicap, 1m, 4yo+fillies and mares, ITV4/Sky
2.30: Norfolk Stakes
Group 2, 5f, 2yo, ITV4/Sky
3.05: Hampton Court Stakes
Group 3, 1m2f, 3yo, ITV4/Sky
3.40: Ribblesdale Stakes
Group 2, 1m4f, 3yo fillies, ITV4/Sky
4.20: Ascot Gold Cup
Group 1, 2m4f, 4yo+, ITV/Sky
5.00: Britannia Stakes
Heritage Handicap, 1m, 3yo colts and geldings, ITV4/Sky
5.35: King George V Stakes
Handicap, 1m4f, 3yo, ITV4/Sky
6.10: Buckingham Palace Stakes
Handicap, 7f, 3yo+, ITV4/Sky
2.30: Albany Stakes
Group 2, 6f, 2yo fillies, ITV/Sky
3.05: King Edward VII Stakes
Group 2, 1m4f, 3yo colts and geldings, ITV/Sky
3.40: Commonwealth Cup
Group 1, 6f, 3yo colts and fillies, ITV/Sky
4.20: Coronation Stakes
Group 1, 1m, 3yo fillies, ITV/Sky
5.00: Sandringham Stakes
Handicap, 1m, 3yo fillies, ITV/Sky
5.35: Duke of Edinburgh Stakes
Handicap, 1m4f, 3yo+, ITV/Sky
6.10: Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes
Handicap, 5f, 3yo, ITV4/Sky
2.30: Chesham Stakes
Listed, 7f, 2yo, ITV/Sky
3.05: Jersey Stakes
Group 3, 7f, 3yo, ITV/Sky
3.40: Hardwicke Stakes
Group 2, 1m4f, 4yo+, ITV/Sky
4.20: Diamond Jubilee Stakes
Group 1, 6f, 4yo+, ITV/Sky
5.00: Wokingham Stakes
Heritage Handicap, 6f, 3yo+, ITV4/Sky
5.35: Golden Gates Stakes
Handicap, 1m2f, 3yo, ITV4/Sky
6.10: Queen Alexandra Stakes
2m6f, 4yo+, ITV4/Sky
What trainers and jockeys will be competing at Royal Ascot?
The best of the best in Flat racing will be present in Berkshire for the spectacular week.
Ireland’s champion trainer Aidan O'Brien has dominated Flat racing over the last decade and is sure to bring over a powerful string of horses from his Ballydoyle base in County Tipperary, while American trainer Wesley Ward always brings an international flavour to the occasion.
Leading British trainers John and Thady Gosden, William Haggas, Charlie Appleby, Mark Johnston, Andrew Balding and Sir Michael Stoute – the most successful trainer in the history of Royal Ascot – are just some of the names set to feature heavily.
Frankie Dettori, now 50, is the most successful active jockey at Royal Ascot and was the leading rider at last year's meeting with seven wins to take him on to a career total of 73.
He will return this year along with the likes of Ryan Moore, William Buick, Hollie Doyle, Tom Marquand and champion jockey Oisin Murphy.
Can I still buy tickets?
Crowds will return to Royal Ascot this year after the event was held behind closed doors last year, with a total of 12,000 punters set to be in attendance after the five-day meeting was selected as part of the government's pilot events to trial the return of larger crowds.
However, general tickets have sold out after being snapped up by eager fans, although tickets are available for the rest of Ascot's 2021 meetings here. Until then, the Racing Post will provide you with thorough coverage before, during and after the royal meeting with every race free-to-view on television.
Who should I bet on at Royal Ascot?
Have a look at the cards and check out our free bet offers to start with, then stay up to date with the Racing Post website, mobile app and newspaper for our expert betting advice and all the latest news in the run-up to the big weekend. You can also visit our dedicated Royal Ascot microsite for extra insight.
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