Royal Ascot Meeting Fit for a Queen

source: Ascot

June 17 (UPI) — It’s the event around which the Her Majesty the Queen structures her year, the week that lures Thoroughbred champions from around the world, the week that pits the best against the best and makes heroes and champions.

It evolved long before the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, World Cup night in Dubai, the Turf World Championships in Hong Kong — in fact, centuries before any of those.

Yes, indeed. It’s the Royal Meeting at Ascot, a short train ride west from London and a long trip back in time. Racing was first conducted at the site in 1711 and that heritage is honored to this day.

The meeting starts Tuesday and runs through Saturday, with eight Group 1 races scattered throughout and plenty more action elsewhere on the card. Fashion counts, too, especially in the Royal Enclosure where the Queen alights from her carriage each day and pays close attention to the racing. As well she might. As keen a horsewoman as she is steadfast a monarch, Queen Elizabeth II has owned 23 Royal Ascot winners, dating back to 1952.

William Haggas, who admits to having “a lot of horses for Her Majesty the Queen,” said at the event preview, “I’ve had no luck for her at Royal Ascot yet. But to try and win a race there would be big stuff for us and we try hard to do so.” He will field the Queen’s Magnetic Charm in the Coronation Stakes and Seniority in the Royal Hunt Cup…